June 19, 2013
Written by David DesRoches, Hersam Acorn Newspapers
Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:31
“At the end of the day, Newtown is still this small, quiet little community which drew families here in the first place.”
Kristen Marshall knows what Newtown is. She also knows what it’s not. A mother of three young children and a Sandy Hook resident for the past eight years, the Ridgefield native said if nothing else, the December tragedy that shook her town has brought her community closer together.
“It’s a kinder, warmer place than ever before,” she said.
Written by Janis Gibson
Thursday, 25 April 2013 12:37
The idea of conducting a conference in Ridgefield for writers has been percolating for years in the mind of writer and editor Adele Annesi. When she met Ridgefield author Chris Belden, who is also a teacher and workshop leader, while studying for an M.F.A. in creative writing at Fairfield University, and began picking his brain on the subject, he shared her enthusiasm for the idea. They decided to give themselves a year to plan; in determining who would help, they turned to Fairfield faculty and other writers they knew.
The result of their collaboration will the first Ridgefield Writers Conference, a daylong event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Main Street. The conference will include a continental breakfast, keynote address, morning and afternoon workshop sessions, morning and afternoon panels on publishing and media, agent consideration, post-conference networking and evening readings. The evening session will be open to the public.
“We wanted to produce a conference that is more literary than usual, geared toward serious writers, providing hands-on help and in-depth time in workshops,” said Ms. Annesi. “We want to have an environment where writers can be nurtured, especially if they are at a pivotal point in their work. Participants should have something in progress that needs shaping.”
Mr. Belden liked idea of attendees being immersed in all aspects of writing for the day, noting, “We want to provide same breadth of coverage as weeklong conferences. Each participant selects one workshop of two sessions — two hours in the morning, two in the afternoon — and will do in-class writing as well as attend two panel discussions with publishing professionals and meet agents.”
Written by Sally Sanders
Thursday, 25 April 2013 00:00
A special exhibit at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center this weekend will celebrate Arbor Day as members of the Yama Ki Bonsai Society of the greater New York Area show 75 unique bonsai trees. Society members will be on hand to answer questions during exhibit hours: Friday, 1-4, Saturday, 10-4, and Sunday, 11-4, in the Bendel Gallery and Great Hall.
A traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony will be presented on Saturday at 1 (advance registration required) and there will be a hands-on demonstration of bonsai techniques on Sunday at 1. The museum is at 39 Scofieldtown Road and admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students 18+ and $5 for children 4-17; for more information, visit stamfordmuseum.org or call 203-322-1646.
The New Canaan Society for the Arts will present its annual juried art exhibition, with work in all media except photography, opening Friday, April 26, with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Carriage Barn Arts Center in Waveny Park. Awards will be presented to 13 prize-winners at 6:30.
The show juror is Dr. Jill Deupi, founding director and chief curator of the Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield University. She selected Marcia Spivak’s steel sculpture, Second Chance, to receive the Betty Barker Best in Show Award.
Spectrum 2013 will be on view through May 24; gallery hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 11-4. For more information, call 203-972-1895 or visit carriagebarn.org.
Written by Janis Gibson
Thursday, 11 April 2013 10:52
When first gazing upon the 60-by-40 photos created by Fran Gormley of Greenwich, the viewer is not quite sure what is being seen. Some images are vibrant in color, others muted in tone; still others are a blend of the two. Textures give clues: swirls, crackles, sweeps; definitive lines and blending. They seem like things of nature, perhaps blowups of crystals, minerals, snakeskins or shells, but they are none of these.
Rather, the viewer sees what Ms. Gormley sees when she looks through the lens of her camera while flying in a single-engine plane or helicopter over some of the most remote regions of Earth. After selling her marketing company in 2000 — she continues to work as a branding consultant — Ms. Gormley decided to take photography from a hobby to serious pursuit, studying first at the International Center of Photography, then at the Toscana Photography Workshop in Italy. Her vision is to create abstract painterly work with the camera. Simplicity is the mode and intent: Ms. Gormley eschews embellishments, be it with paper, imaging editing or cropping.
In 2006 she was in the Camargue region in southern France photographing the salt marshes from the ground. “The pictures were beautiful, full of pinks, reds and oranges... and on my last day there someone suggested we go up in a single-engine plane. Now I have a crazy fear of heights, but I was too intrigued not to go. We were opening windows, hanging out of them... I threw up three times. But it was a fascinating, unbelievable two-hour experience. After we came back down, I couldn’t wait to go up again.”
Written by Lois Alcosser
Thursday, 04 April 2013 13:29
What we see as useless stuff, Maria Heller sees as recyclable ingredients for a lamp, a chess set, a sculpture, an aquarium. Her eyes and her fingers understand that what would normally be considered worn out and ready for the waste basket can become an objects of art.
Old spools of thread, worn-out gloves, faded upholstery fabrics, washed out pantyhose, the bottoms of soda bottles, artificial fingernails, twigs and shells are collectibles for future use. In her small upstairs studio, shelves are filled with jars of buttons, used postage stamps, hairnets, pebbles.
Written by Janis Gibson
Thursday, 28 March 2013 12:49
KT Carter’s collection of Boehm porcelain sculpture, a portion of which is on view at the Mark Twain Library in Redding through April 14, began with a chance encounter on eBay.
About three years ago, then recently widowed and living in Hanover, N.H., Ms. Carter was scrolling through eBay as a way of filling her time — “Something I later discovered is quite common among widows and widowers,” she said — looking for American Belleek porcelain pieces, when a picture of a beautiful bird, a large white ptarmigan, caught her eye. “I fell in love with it and knew I had to have it; I had no idea of what I was getting into,” she said with a laugh. “When it arrived it was bigger and grander than I expected and I wondered, whose is this?”
The maker was Edward Marshall Boehm (1913-1969). A former investigative reporter, Ms. Carter began researching Boehm (pronounced Beam) and learned he was a self-taught sculptor who had studied animal husbandry and bred cattle before the war, was in charge of a rehabilitation program for the Air Force in Pawling, N.Y., during and after the war where he taught vets natural history and began “fiddling with clay” in the arts and crafts room. He married Helen Franzolin in 1944 and “they joined forces; she fought to get his work shown in an era of European ceramics.”
Written by Lois Alcosser
Friday, 22 March 2013 10:40
On March 23 in New Haven, when Orchestra New England performs the premiere of composer Joseph Russo’s Second Symphony, the composer will be in the orchestra, playing double bass. This is not unusual for Joseph Russo, who’s lived in Weston for the past 20 years. His musical life blends composing, performing and teaching.
Mr. Russo believes that music is an essential part of being human and his life reflects that. As a composer, he is most interested in writing music that will be enjoyed by the audience, not so esoteric that it fails to communicate emotionally and certainly not with the banality of “elevator music.” He cherishes melody and he is passionate about the creative pleasure he stirs in listeners. He says that much of his music has been written for musician friends. His versatility is quite remarkable. Among his many compositions are a flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet; a trio for trumpet, French horn and trombone; a double brass quintet; triple flute and oboe; and flute, oboe and bassoon, most written for friends, near and far.
In his Second Symphony, there is a solo written for his friend Patrick Smith, timpanist/percussionist. Mr. Smith notes that hundreds of years ago, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart also wrote for friends. “Now they are considered masterpieces. Perhaps, hundreds of years from now, Joe Russo’s music will still delight and inspire listeners.”
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