Live & Learn

Workshops, classes, & seminars: Something to be learned

September 1 – 22, 2017
Altars, Amulets and Shrines

The David M. Hunt Library in Falls Village will premiere the group exhibit, Altars, Amulets and Shrines, curated by Gay Schempp.This exhibit expresses eight artists’ exploration of personal altars, amulets or shrines used to create external representations of interior mysteries, memories or links between people, between things and between realms. The works range in a variety of disciplines and materials including sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, encaustic, assemblage and jewelry. Featured in the exhibit are works by Mary Lou Alberetti, Lori Barker, Suzanne Benton, Robert Dansik, George Herrick, Barbara Jaroch, Gay Schempp, and Diane Wright. A reception with refreshments for the artists will be held on Friday, August 25. The exhibit will be on display through Friday, September 22.


David M. Hunt Library
63 Main Street
Falls Village


September 1 – 9, 2017
The Nordic Tapestry Group: Weaving
Knowledge into Personal Expression

The Nordic Tapestry Group consists of weavers from Sweden, Iceland, and the United States who formed a decade ago when Swedish-born tapestry artist, Helena Hernmarck, returned to Sweden to offer workshops in her weaving technique.

The craft of interweaving natural materials to create functional ware and decorative objects has been practiced for centuries. Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The method in which the warp, the longitudinal threads, and the weft, lateral threads are interwoven affects the characteristics of the cloth.

Hernmarck is an internationally acclaimed artist and weaver recognized for revolutionizing weaving tapestry as a medium suited to modern architectural environments. Her technique is a play on traditional Swedish weaving techniques, which she has evolved to achieve powerful photorealistic effects. A close look at her tapestries reveals bundles of variously hued yarns that combine at a distance to create a remarkable illusion of depth.

This exhibition features tapestries from the Nordic Tapestry weavers’ most recent exploration, Face to Face. It reveals their shared passion and ongoing exchange, and celebrates the transfer and evolution of weaving knowledge into personal expression. Their works display their expertise in using light, color, and the different qualities of yarn to weave images, create space and depth, and to depict three-dimensional forms. Their skillful mastery of the loom truly elevates the craft of weaving to a sophisticated and elegant style of painting with threads.


The Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Plaza
Washington Depot


The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens
One Green Hill
Washington Depot, CT 06794


September 7, 2017
Saturn and NASA’s Epic Cassini Spacecraft
A Visual Presentation

Denis Williamson of the Litchfield Hills Astronomy Club delivers a visual presentation Saturn and NASA’s Epic Cassini Spacecraft.

NASA’S Cassini spacecraft is one of the most ambitious efforts in space exploration. Launched in 1997, Cassini traveled 2.2 billion miles in seven years to reach Saturn and enter orbit. This September it will take its final measurements and images as it plunges into Saturn’s atmosphere at 77,000 miles per hour, burning up high above the cloud tops. Over the past 13 years, Cassini’s instruments have returned countless priceless observations and hundreds of thousands of images of the Saturnian system. With imagery, Dennis will share some of Cassini’s amazing discoveries of Saturn – its atmosphere, moons, vast rings and much more.  Join us as this mission comes to an end.

Founded in 1956, the mission of the Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club is to promote the enjoyment of astronomy through education, meetings, and public outreach. For more information visit:

Thursday, September 7, 6:30 pm 


Wykeham Room
The Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
at Route 47 on the Green


September 9, 2017
The Exuberant Garden
Garden Study Weekend VII Symposium

Be inspired by a day long symposium featuring:
Jacqueline van der Kloet – celebrated Dutch landscape designer will talk about “Magical Mixes” in the garden
Tom Coward – on leading the restoration of William Robinson’s legendary gardens at Gravetye Manor
Andrew Bunting –  expert on woody plants and author on “Plant Lover’s Guide to magnolias”
Jane Garmey– noted author and passionate gardener on “A Sense of Place: Challenges, Approaches and Solutions to Crating Gardens”
The symposium is moderated by Todd Forrest of NYBG.

Saturday September 9, 8 am – 6 pm

Patron: $500 – includes invitation to the
speaker dinner on Friday evening at Hollister
House Garden and reserved seating at the symposium.
($200 of this ticket is tax deductible)
Friend + Members: $185
Non-members: $200
Each reservation includes continental breakfast
and lunch at the symposium and cocktails and
preview buying at the Sale of Rare and Unusual
Plants at Hollister House Garden.

The Heritage Hotel
522 Heritage Road


September 11 – October 16, 2017
19th Century American Literature
in 5 Short Stories Led by Scholar Mark Scarbrough

Gunn Memorial Library in Washington is pleased to welcome Mark Scarbrough, a scholar on 19th Century American literature, as he leads a five-week session exploring literature, politics and culture in the United States through the genre of short stories.
While the short story didn’t originate in the United States, it became the form the new nation re-invented and made its own. From Nathaniel Hawthorne through Charlotte Perkins Gilman, participants will examine these changes through our cultural history before and after the Civil War. Join us for a lively lecture/discussion format. Copies of the short stories will be available at the circulation desk, when reserved in advance.  Please sign up today. Supplies are limited.

Mark Scarbrough started his professional life as an academic and did his doctoral work in nineteenth century American literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison before accepting a job at Saint Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He has given papers on Chaucer at the International Medieval Conference and on American literature at the MLA and regional MLA conferences. After several years teaching, he resigned and moved to New York to write. In New York, he met and married Bruce Weinstein. Together, they have written more than two dozen cookbooks, and have appeared on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and The View and selected as The Most Influential People of Litchfield County. Mark is enmeshed in literature and has been a popular book group and literary discussion leader across Southern New England.
For more information on Mark visit:

Discussions: Mondays at 10 am
September 11, 2017- Nathaniel Hawthorne, My Kinsman, Major Molineux (1832)
September 18, 2017 – Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener (1853)
September 25, 2017 – Bret Harte, The Outcasts Of Poker Flat (1869)
October 2, 2017 – Charles Chesnutt, The Wife Of His Youth (1898)
October 16, 2017 – Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892)

Registration is requested

The Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
at Route 47 on the Green


September 16, 2017
Discovering the Night Sky
An Exploration in Nature

Join Steep Rock Association on a tour through the night sky at Macricostas Preserve.  Once making the short walk to an expansive field, we will marvel at the open ceiling above and unveil constellations hidden in the matrix of stars. Dubbed a “family weekend workshop”, this program will accommodate children and adults alike. Participants should dress in layers (light jackets) and bring a flashlight or headlamp.

Leading this night time excursion is Hugh Rogers, a retired public school teacher, with a lifelong interest in the natural world. He is a graduate of the North Carolina Outward Bound School as well as the Master of Wildlife Conservation program offered by CT DEEP.  Hugh has previously served as a director of the Washington Environmental Council and is currently on the board of Rivers Alliance of CT.  Registration helpful!

Saturday, September 16, 8 – 9 pm


Macricostas Preserve
124 Christian Street


September 17, 2017
Surviving Trump:
History Predicts the Future

Unchallenged for so long, the primacy and legitimacy of the American system of checks and balances came to be accepted as political bedrock, certain to survive even the most severe earthquakes. But the daily headlines show the guardrails of American democracy are absorbing a battering and, many analysts now warn, the entire American experiment is in danger of collapse – a majority of Republicans, a new poll shows, favor postponing the 2020 election if President Trump says it’s the only way to ensure only eligible voters are allowed to cast ballots.

“History does not repeat, but it does instruct,” reads the first line of this season’s hottest historical book, “On Tyranny.” “The European history of the twentieth century shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary men can find themselves standing over death pits with guns in their hands.”

The book’s author, the noted Yale Historian Timothy  Snyder, will discuss the state of the country’s political health with The Washington Post’s celebrated columnist, Jennifer Rubin, one of the intellectual pillars of neo-conservative movement, at the next “Conversation On the Green,” the interactive Town Hall series, moderated by Jane Whitney – former NBC News correspondent & talk show host. Audience members will be  encouraged to participate in the interactive town-hall style format.

Immediately following the “Angels” reception, enjoy a prix fixe dinner at the Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa. Open exclusively to event attendees, enjoy a 3-course dinner artfully prepared by executive chef Isaac Olivo.

All proceeds benefit:
Greenwoods Counseling Referrals, Inc. – Helping members of the Litchfield County Community and beyond find access to compassionate and high-quality mental health and related care.
New Milford Hospital – helping to secure the latest technology, attract the best medical staff and provide the compassionate, patient-centered care for which they are nationally recognized.
Susan B. Anthony Project – promoting safety, healing, and growth for all survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and advocates for the autonomy of women and the end of interpersonal violence.

Sunday, September 17, 3 – 4:30 pm

Tickets: $45; $250 per person – “Angels on the Green” tickets, include preferred seating and a chance to meet the speakers at a cocktail reception following the conversation at The Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa.
Seating is limited; RSVP

Prix fixe dinner:
$88.50 per person, includes select wine, tax and gratuity

St. John’s Parish Hall
9 Parsonage Lane