Live & Learn

Workshops, classes, & seminars: Something to be learned

September 1 - October 13, 2019
Wild and Beautiful Creatures:
The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon

Organized by the Sharon Historical Society & Museum in Sharon, Connecticut, Wild and Beautiful Creatures: The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon is a celebration of the art, science, and heritage of John James Audubon, one of America’s greatest naturalists. The Tremaine Art Gallery exhibit, Wild and Beautiful Creatures, is on view August 30 – October 13 and runs concurrently with The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon on view at the Sharon Historical Society Museum September 14 – December 13. The Tremaine will host a gallery talk Saturday, September 14 at 3 p.m. followed by a reception from 4 – 6 p.m. The featured speaker is Dr. Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts and Senior Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia. The talk and reception are free and open to the public.

The Tremaine Art Gallery exhibition includes around thirty of Audubon’s stunning illustrations of birds and mammals for his two monumental publications, The Birds of America (1826-38) and The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America(1845-54). Drawn largely from local collections, including that of Hotchkiss School Special Collections, most of the prints are from Robert Havell Jr.’s original hand-colored “double elephant folio” edition. Also on exhibit will be examples from other editions, as well as one of the few surviving oil paintings from a projected “Gallery of Paintings” of the birds, and one of the rare copper plates from which the Havell edition was pulled.

At the same time, the Sharon Historical Society and Museum will provide context with an exhibition on Audubon’s life and work. The show will explore his fascinating professional and family life, the evolution of his publications, his innovative working methods, his complex relationship with the conservation of American species and their environment, and his heritage in the founding and work of the National Audubon Society and Audubon Sharon. Among the objects on display are one of Audubon’s rare portrait drawings, his favorite snuff box, and a beautiful specimen of a passenger pigeon, abundant in Audubon’s lifetime but by the early 20th Century extinct. The exhibition will be complemented by an exhibit of works by local artist Allen Blagden, one of today’s foremost wildlife watercolorists.

A program of lectures and other events are scheduled to coincide with the exhibits. Autumn programming at Audubon Sharon, a division of Nation Audubon, whose three thousand acres of preserve and Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic continue the work begun by Audubon, will supplement the exhibits. For comprehensive information about events  please visit,, and

This community-wide event will be celebrated with a benefit tented brunch in Sharon on Sunday, September 15. For location, tickets and details visit or contact The exhibits are sponsored by AIG Private Client Group, Klemm Real Estate, and the Tremaine Art Gallery at The Hotchkiss School.


  • September 7, 4-6pm. Sharon Art Walk. At various locations on Sharon Green, including the opening of the exhibition Inspired by Audubon: The Art of Allen Blagden, one of the foremost bird watercolorists of today. Sharon Historical Society.
  • September 13, 7pm. Dr. Doug Tallamy, noted author of “Bringing Nature Home, will speak on the importance of caterpillars in the bird food chain. Litchfield Community Center, $10 suggested donation. Please register via email to referencing “Tallamy Talk.”
  • September 14, 10am – 3pm. The Butterfly Festival. A variety of lectures, field walks, ID workshops, tours of Sharon Audubon’s new butterfly house, a native plant sale, as well as several activities for kids. Sharon Audubon Center. Entry: $10 adult, $5 child.
  • September 14, 3-4pm.  Exploring the West with John James Audubon: The Last Expedition, an illustrated lecture by Dr. Robert McCracken Peck, Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, Philadelphia. Tremaine Gallery. Followed by an opening reception of the exhibition Wild and Beautiful Creature: The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon, 4-6pm.
  • September 15, 12pm. Celebrating John James Audubon. Join us for brunch under a tent in a private garden, Sharon, where Dr. Peck will talk about Audubon as inspiration for conservation today. For details and tickets contact
  • September 26, 6.30-7.30pm. Audubon’s Art and Science: A Guided Tour, by Michael Foley, Director of Arader Galleries, New York. Tremaine Gallery.
  • September 28, 4-5.30pm. Minnie’s Land: Audubon’s Final Home, illustrated lecture by Matthew Spady (author of the forthcoming book Audubon Park: The Neighborhood Manhattan Forgot). Sharon Historical Society. Registration preferred
  • September 29, 4pm. John James Audubon’s Pictures in Prose, an illustrated talk by Eileen Fielding. For details and location contact
  • October 5, 3-5pm:  Drawing the Birds. Come and try your hand at drawing the Center’s raptors. Sharon Audubon Center. Please register via email to
  • October 6, 3pm, Audubon’s Life and Work: A Guided Tour, by Christopher Robinson, exhibition organizer. Sharon Historical Society. Registration preferred
  • October 12, 4-5pm Allen Blagden will lead a walk-through of his exhibition Inspired by Audubon: The Art of Allen Blagden at the Sharon Historical Society and discuss the wonders and difficulties of painting in the wild.
  • October 26, time to be announced. Adventures in Bird Photography, an illustrated lecture by professional bird photographer Sarah Blodgett. Sharon Audubon Center.

Second show:
The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon
Sharon Historical Society & Museum
September 14 – December 13, 2019

Accompanying Events
Tremaine Art Gallery:
Gallery talk with Dr. Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts and Senior Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia:  Saturday, September 14 at 3 p.m. followed by a reception from 4 – 6 p.m. Free and open to the public.

“Audubon’s Art and Science: A Guided Tour”, by Michael Foley, Director of Arader Galleries, New York. September 26, 6.30-7.30pm.


Sharon Historical Society & Museum
18 Main Street

The Tremaine Art Gallery
Main Building
The Hotchkiss School


September 10, 2019
Going to Mars?
Not so Fast

Ray Reich, a Washington resident and former Gunnery physics and astronomy teacher, will present Going to Mars? Not so Fast. This illustrated presentation will take place Tuesday, September 10 at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington.

There has been a fascination with Mars since long before the first steps on the moon. The Red Planet has been the subject of innumerable works of sci-fi and inspired countless dreams of adventure and exploration. Now, after decades of scientific breakthroughs, research and determination, we’re finally going to do it: humans are going to Mars. But maybe not so fast!  

The distance, time and speed needed for Mars manned missions cannot be merely scaled up from NASA’s successful Apollo program designed sixty years ago. Warp speed travel is fine for Star Wars, but hardly suited for the real world.

Ray details progress made to date, some of the difficulties encountered, expectations and the actual usefulness of a Mars base. After his talk Ray will be delighted to answer participant’s questions. 

Tuesday, September 10, 6:30 pm

Registration is requested.

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


September 13, 2019
The Wonders of Bird Migration
At Flanders

Interested in learning more about the wonders of bird migration? Why do birds migrate? Where do they go? What factors such as weather play a part in migration? How best to observe and track your own birding experiences?

On Friday evening, September 13th Flanders will be hosting Fran Zygmont, a local and longtime avid birder for a fascinating program on bird migration. With an extensive knowledge of birds, Fred has led hundreds of bird walks as well as domestic and international trips over the past 25 years and continues to do so with a focus on education and the enjoyment of birds.

Covered will be the myths of bird migration of older times and  the newest technologies now used to track bird migration, the latest research that help us to understand the whys and hows of migration, as well as the threats and challenges birds encounter during migration.

Zygmont will share some of his stories and experiences and provide expert birding insight,  tips, and links to those attending for their own journeys of enjoying, observing and tracking birds.

Fran is Past President of the Audubon Council of Connecticut, and Litchfield Hills Audubon Society Board of Directors. He maintains a life list of over 1,000 bird species – over 265 in Litchfield County and over 340 in Connecticut. Fran has participated in many bird censuses and, as a member of a team of five holds the Connecticut State “Big Day” birding record with 193 species observed in a 24-hour period. He is also a bird call imitator – able to imitate the songs and calls of over 40 common and uncommon birds in our region.

Friday evening, September 13, 6 pm

Cost: $10 members; $15 non-members
Register online

Flanders’ Studio
At the intersection of Flanders & Church Hill Road
203.263.3711, ext. 12

September 14, 2019
Calligraphy and Watercolor
Mini Art Retreat

The fine arts of watercolor and hand lettering come together in a full day of creating with friends.

Calligrapher Kathleen Borkowski and fine artist Leslie Watkins present a unique day of art instruction in classic watercolor and calligraphic technique, with all the supplies provided. Each attendee will receive individual instruction. A swag bag with gifts and supplies will be given along with the chance to win a prize. A delicious catered lunch will be served along with coffee, tea and treats throughout the day.

In the morning session Kathleen Borkowski will present pointed pen calligraphy. Participants will practice a sample alphabet using traditional tools and walnut ink, and will receive supplies to continue practicing at home.

In the afternoon, Leslie Watkins will instruct a watercolor workshop focusing on nature painting featuring butterflies as the subject, followed by a demonstration of how to combine calligraphy and painting into a beautiful collage that can be used as a note card or as framed art.

There will be a break for lunch, including vegan and gluten-free options, catered by award-winning chef Theresa Cannavo. No experience necessary, all supplies provided. The retreat takes place Saturday, September 14th, at Whiting Mills, Studio #508, in Winsted.

Leslie Watkins is a fine artist, gardener and writer. Watkins’ paintings have been exhibited in New York City, throughout New England and Japan. Leslie’s artwork has appeared in books, magazines and internationally on postage stamps. She has designed textiles, greeting cards, and Battersea boxes. Clients include Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Fine Gardening Magazine, Caspari and Tiffany & Co. Leslie offers art workshops in watercolor and papercrafting from her studio in Norfolk, CT. and is currently working on a series of online art courses.

Watkins owns Dandelion Gardening Arts, LLC, a garden design and maintenance business and is a CT Master Gardener. She writes and illustrates “Through The Garden Gate”, a monthly garden column. For more information visit: and follow her on Instagram @dandelioncottage

Kathleen Borkowski, specializes in custom calligraphy. Her work includes painting on paper and silk and book making. Kathleen has studied traditional and contemporary calligraphy for 30 years with master calligraphers and artists from the United States, Britain and Europe. Her work is on display in studio #508, at Whiting Mills in Winsted, CT, where she instructs students in calligraphy. Follow on Instagram @khborkowski or her blog:

Theresa Cannavo grew up with chickens and goats in West Hartland, CT. She learned gardening, canning, cooking and baking from her mom. In her parents’ shop, she began to make and repair furniture. Theresa now uses that knowledge in studio #506 at Whiting Mills in Winsted, where she continues the craft of upholstery, sewing and repairing furniture. In 2006, Theresa won $10,000 in the “Crazy for Cookies Challenge” on the Food Network and began a local cable show called “What’s Cooking Winsted”.
Continuing with healthy living, she pioneers a health breakthrough and teaches others how to “Biohack” their health with food and activation! Follow her on Facebook: Theresa P Cannavo

Saturday, September 14, 9 am – 4:30 pm

Cost: $140 for the day
(includes Workshops, Art Supplies, Individual Instruction,
Coffee, Tea & Treats, Catered Lunch, and Door Prizes & Gifts)
Limited to 12. For registration call or text 860-307-9364.

Whiting Mills
100 Whiting Street
Studio #508


September 28, 2019
American Mural Project
4th Annual Art of Work Gala

The American Mural Project (AMP) hosts its fourth annual Art of Work Gala on Saturday, September 28 in its Winsted, Connecticut, mill building, with the theme “Recycled Runway.” In addition to the highlight of the evening—the recycled wearable art runway show—the evening includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, light projections, a live band, dance party, and dessert.

The festivities begin at 6pm with a reception in AMP’s mill building, including open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres, offering attendees an opportunity to view the current progress of the mural installation. The runway show follows soon after and will showcase outfits, designed by individuals or teams, that are created out of at least 75 percent recyclable and/or trash materials. From 8 – 11 pm, the evening continues with the Nekita Waller Band, dance party, light projections by Joe Wheaton, and dessert.

See our feature article on the event here.

Saturday, September 28, 6 – 11 pm

 Tickets: Full evening – $175 or $100 for those under 21; Live Band & Dance Party – $50 or $35 for those under 21; VIP Ticket – $350

90 Whiting Street