Events, gatherings, & outings:
What to see and do this month
Recent Paintings by Robert Jessel
Robert Jessel has been painting full time for over 40 years having resided in New York City. He currently lives in Hoboken, NJ and Torrington, CT. From 1970-73 his formal training at the Kansas City Art Institute was perceptual, and recently his work has become a bonding of perception and imagination. Jessel’s influences over the years have been Cezanne and the European modernists, and earlier painters such as Rembrandt and Titian. He works with oil and acrylic, and is actively showing in Connecticut and New York City venues. Robert is also an adjunct professor of fine art at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday 1 – 5 pm
Five Points Annex Gallery
17 Water Street
& Other Paintings About Litchfield”
Works on Paper
Peter Cusack is proud to present an exhibition of recent works called The Pageant of Summer And Other Paintings About Litchfield. The Pageant of Summer is a series of oil paintings on paper that as Peter says, “suggests the experience of summer passing through my garden as I notice the movement of light, the sun, and the rhythms that nature manifests.” Along with the Pageant series, Peter will show a related body of work based on his experiences living in Litchfield. These works are both objective observations and subjective musings.
Peter Cusack is a publisher, producer, writer, and painter. He is the founder of Cornwall Contemporary Art (COCOA) and has degrees from Syracuse University and Ecole Albert Dufois. His work can be found in the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, the New York Transit Museum, and the United States Air Force Art Collection.
His thoughts on art and drawing appear in “An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers” by Danny Gregory, and “Drawing Inspiration: Visual Artists At Work” by Michael Fleishman. Visit his website at petercusack.com.
Jamie Gagarin Art Gallery
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South Street
The Art of Eric Forstmann
Here and There is a show on realist artist, Eric Forstmann highlighting his recent work. For two months in 2019, he held a prestigious residency at the Vermont Studio Center and much of the work will be from that experience. Other paintings created at his main studio in Torrington, Connecticut. will be included.
Eric Forstmann was born in Warren, CT and studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He has had five one man shows at the following institutions: The Butler Institute of American Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Mattatuck Museum, Evansville Museum of Art and Brenau Galleries at Brenau University. His work has also been featured at the Norman Rockwell Museum and Artis-Naples, The Baker Museum.
His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, American Art Collector and in 2017 Litchfield Magazine named him one of the “25 Most Influential People” in Litchfield, County Connecticut.
Eric Forstmann’s art is in the collections of Mattatuck Museum, Kemper Museum, Taubman Centers, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, to name a few.
Eckert Fine Art
12 Old Barn Road
This program consists of three weeks of coached sessions, twice a week in 8-person boats. Come as an individual or form a team with co-workers, friends, or family. A percentage of what we take in will go to White Memorial. The grand finale Community Challenge is on Saturday, August 3, consisting of a fun day of racing and refreshments.
Cost: $225 per person, includes race and party
Litchfield Hills Rowing Club
1 North Shore Road
A Journey from Africa
Maasai Collections was founded by Elizabeth Warner, a modern nomad who splits her time between Litchfield, CT and Africa. Warner was raised in Kenya, a place that stole her heart at a young age. Throughout her travels, Warner would always circle back to Africa- the origin of Maasai Collections and her childhood wanderlust. Surrounded by rich wildlife and the Great Rift Valley, it’s no wonder why Warner founded Maasai Collections here, amongst a welcoming community of Maasai people.
Maasai Collections is a curated assortment of sustainable, ethically sourced goods from Africa and beyond. Elizabeth Warner has traveled the hidden corners of the world to find exceptional, soulful materials for fabrication and continues to collaborate with Maasai women to create (almost) one-of-a-kind tribal chic handmade designs…fashion with a human touch.
The shop at Privet Lives will showcase pieces that create a unique story, influenced by Warner’s journey from Africa. We’re talking everything but the kitchen sink… bags, kaftans, shoes, accessories, curiosities, art and furniture. And if you can’t make it to Africa in the immediate future, Maasai Collections will transport you there.
When we first discovered Maasai Collections, it was love at first sight. Learning the story behind Maasai Collections, as told by Warner herself, was icing on the cake. Her story is genuine and reminds us that Maasai Collections is more than just a curated selection of objects and clothing. It’s about collaborating with communities to create ethically sourced goods, uncovering your journey, and taking the road with more curves.
13 East Shore Road
Ben Franklin’s House
with Author Daniel Mark Epstein
Ben Franklin is the most lovable of America’s founding fathers. His wit, his charm, his inventiveness – even his grandfatherly appearance – are legendary. But this image obscures the scandals that dogged him throughout his life. In The Loyal Son, award-winning historian Daniel Mark Epstein throws the spotlight on one of the more enigmatic aspects of Franklin’s biography: his complex and confounding relationship with his illegitimate son William.
A fresh take on the combustible politics of the age of independence, The Loyal Son is a gripping account of how the agony of the American Revolution devastated one of America’s most distinguished families. Like Nathaniel Philbrick and David McCullough, Epstein is a storyteller first and foremost, a historian who weaves together fascinating incidents discovered in long-neglected documents to draw us into the private world of the men and women who made America.
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing.
Daniel Mark Epstein is the author of biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Aimee Semple McPherson, Nat King Cole, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, as well as nine volumes of poetry. His verse has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review, among other publications. The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded Epstein the Rome Prize in 1977 and an Arts and Letters Award in 2006. Daniel lives in Baltimore.
Thursday, August 1, 7 – 8 pm
Registration is required.
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South Street
Craven Contemporary is pleased to announce its latest show “Conversations With Alex Katz”. Alex Katz (born 1927) is an American figurative artist well known for his large scale depictions of landscapes, flowers and portraits. The show “Conversations with Alex Katz” comprises five unmistakeable portrait prints by Alex Katz spanning the 1970s to today each paired up, or “in conversation”, with work by another artist. The other artists are Elad Lassry, Paul Sepuya, Alex Prager, Henry Taylor and Tony Oursler. Paul Sepuya is included in the current Whitney Biennial and Henry Taylor is included in the current Venice Biennale. Alex Prager is a gallery favorite who has appeared in many shows at Craven Contemporary. All the artists have work in prestigious private and museum collections including the Whitney, Guggenheim and MoMA. The show will run through Sunday, September 8th.
4 Fulling Lane
& Friends Art Show
Norfolk Artists & Friends (NAF) presents its 11th Annual Art Exhibition at the Battell Stoeckel Gallery in Norfolk. In previous years, the art show was a three-day event, but this year, for the first time, NAF is opening the exhibition with a Sneak Preview on Thursday, August 1 from 5 – 7 pm.
The NAF exhibit features work of its member artists as well as nine guest artists and is sponsored by the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. The show includes paintings, sculpture, drawings, mixed media works, photography, jewelry and more. Artists will donate a portion of proceeds from art sales to the Music Shed Restoration Fund.
The Norfolk Artists & Friends show runs concurrently with Weekend in Norfolk, a three-day celebrations of music, art and nature.
Sneak Preview: Thursday, August 1, 5 – 7 pm
Gala Opening Reception: Friday, August 2 5 – 7:30 pm
Other Gallery Hours: Saturday, August 3, 12 Noon – 5 pm and Sunday, August 4, 11 am – 4 pm
Battell Stoeckel Gallery
Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate
at the intersection of Routes 44 and 272
Tom Hlas is having a solo show at the Norfolk Hub in Norfolk. This art exhibit features 17 smaller abstract paintings created on wood panel.
Thursday, August 1, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Friday, August 2, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday, August 3, 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday, August 4, 11 am – 4 pm
2 Station Place
860.542.7185, ext 250
Summer Concert Festival
The New Baroque Soloists will delight music lovers again on four Fridays starting July 26 at 5:30pm in the Historic Meeting House at the Washington Green.
On August 2 the conclusion of Telemann’s “Airs” from “Musique de Table” will be played, also concertos by Vivaldi and Bach.
G.F. Handel fans will be delighted to hear the “Herdringen Suite” for Trumpet, Oboe, Violin, Cello and Basso continuo on August 9. Also performed will be concertos by Albinoni, Quantz and Bach.
The finale of the WFM Summer Concert Festival on Aug. 16 will feature Bach’s First Brandenburg Concerto, performed with horns, oboes, strings, and basso continuo, also a quartet by Quantz, a concerto by Handel, and a sinfonia by Bach.
The audience is invited to a reception with the musicians after the concerts, with bubbly and snacks.
Fridays, August 2, 9 & 16: 5:30pm
Historic Meeting House at the Washington Green
First Congregational Church
Capture the graceful, large blossoms of Hemerocallis, Latin for “Beauty for a Day.” In this one day step-by-step workshop the focus will be on portraying the colorful blossoms using a variety of watercolor techniques including layering washes of vibrant color. The watercolor workshops at Hollister House Garden are taught by Betsy Rogers-Knox.
Betsy received a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from NYBG in 2006. Her work has been widely exhibited in the United States and at the Royal Horticultural Botanical Art Show in London where she was awarded the Silver Gilt Award. All levels welcome.
Friday, August 2, 10 am – 3:30 pm
Hollister House Garden members $95;
Registration is required
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
At Hollister House Garden
As the light fades and day turns to evening enjoy the company of friends and the beauty of the garden. Come, have a glass of wine and delight in the intimate outdoor spaces, bordered by dramatic hedges and overflowing with exuberant plantings. A prefect start to a summer weekend.
August 2, 6 – 8 pm
$10 per person includes a glass of wine
cash or check only.
Reservations are not required.
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
‘Mad To Live’
Standard Space is pleased to present ‘Mad To Live,’ an exhibition of paintings and photographs by Purdy Eaton.
Purdy Eaton’s background in biology and epidemiology inform her investigation into humans’ interaction with the natural world. While Jack Kerouac used ‘mad to live’ to describe the only kind of person that interested him, it also applies to many of the animals she depicts. Masses of pigeons; a solitary bear; alert, fleeing rabbits are all depicted in detail and juxtaposed against colorful, abstracted landscapes. They look back at the viewer with inscrutable gazes; they might be unimpressed, or wary, or a portent of something more ominous. Snippets of partially-obscured text prompt the viewer to look deeper and add to the surreal nature of her work.
Purdy Eaton was born in Lafayette, Indiana and lives and works in New York City and Sharon, CT. She earned her M.F.A. from Hunter College, an M.P.H. from Yale University, and a B.S. from Indiana University. She is represented by Nancy Hoffman Gallery (NY) and has shown at Heike Moras Art (London), Institute for Sustainable Cities (CUNY), Hudson Valley MOCA (Peekskill, NY), and many more. She received an Artist’s Grant, Vermont Studio Center in Johnson and Green People’s Choice Award, City University of New York, and her work is included in the collection of 21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.
Standard Space showcases artists from the city and “upstate,” as well as to help the area develop as a cultural and artistic destination, where working artists can come to gain perspective on their pursuits, take inspiration from the creative community and the picturesque surroundings, and create and show new work in a welcoming and energizing environment. Mad to Live runs from Friday, August 2 to Sunday, August 25.
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 3, 5:30 – 8 pm
Standard Space Gallery
147 Main Street
Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibition of NYC artist and master colorist Steven Miller opening Friday, August 2 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm and continuing through Saturday, August 31, 2019.
Miller has felt compelled towards abstracting images in media including print, digital, computers, electronic photography and pop culture into oils on canvas. The work he produces is all about color, form and things that appear to be simple on the surface but have a much larger and more complex reality.
Steven Miller has had exhibits NY, LA, Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Berlin & Cologne. Miller has an MFA Parsons School Design. He is a Drew University/Parsons School of Design Scholar, Vinalhaven/Posey Foundation/Helena Rubenstein Fellow. Public collections include Bayly Art Museum, Savannah College of Art/Design Museum, Chase Manhattan Bank, Google & Instagram.
Opening Reception: Friday, August 2, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
At the Hen’s Nest
Beth Levine will have an opening at The Hen’s Nest. Beth is a multimedia artist and will be showing her sculptures, wall hangings, and jewelry.
Beth Levine is from Sherman, Connecticut. She received her BFA from Syracuse University and an MS in counseling from Hofstra. Beth worked in graphic design in New York for 15 years, and while a practicing counselor used art in therapy.
Opening: Saturday, August 3, 1-4
The Hen’s Nest
2 Green Hill Road
Perform at the Owl Wine Bar
This fabulous duo is back by popular demand! Singer Abby Layne and singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Alper put on a great show on the terrace of the Owl wine Bar in New Preston. They will be playing some new songs guaranteed to please even the most discriminating guests. Sit back, have a drink and some delicious small plates and enjoy the music.
Saturday, August 3, 5:30 – 9 pm
18 East Shore Road
At Arethusa Farm
This year’s event is on Saturday, August 3rd and will be hosted by Arethusa Farm in Litchfield. This dinner makes it possible for nonprofit Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities, Inc. to provide support to our local farmers and communities with programming throughout the year.
Saturday, August 3, 5 pm
For more information about this year’s event and past successes, please visit: shc-ct.org/farmers-table
Twelve Moons Coffee House
On Saturday, August 3, 2019 Twelve Moons Coffee House welcomes Austin & Elliott. Based in Western Massachusetts, folk duo Austin & Elliott is comprised of singer/songwriters Chris Elliott (voice, acoustic guitar) and Lisa Austin (voice, hand drum, 6-string banjo). “Dark and irreverent” (Radio Nowhere), their original songs tell stories of love gone wrong and death done right. With driving rhythms, bracing harmonies, and thought-provoking lyrics, Austin & Elliott have performed their “fun original take on folk” (CBS Boston’s Best Singer-Songwriters) since the early aughts on stages around their native Northeast.
Too indie to be folk, too folk to be indie? Austin and Elliott tap into traditional folk with a modern outsider’s sensibility. With his thought-provoking, often irreverent lyrics, Chris Elliott’s songs reach for both scathing irony and genuine beauty. Adding Lisa Austin’s blended harmonies, this tension is dramatic. After years of performing on their own as solo artists, they began collaborating in 2003. Since then, they’ve deepened their musical partnership, incorporating new instrumentation such as bass, hand drum, and six-string banjo, and honing their twin vocal attack.
Their second CD, the 5-cut Truth That Hurts, is their first full-band effort, produced by Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Mark Erelli) and featuring guitarist Duke Levine (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jonatha Brooke) and bassist Paul Kochanski (Resophonics). Also available is their debut CD 13 Songs Plus: 21 songs performed in stark, powerful fashion, about which Greg Grant of the Online Folk Festival has this to say: “Just two voices and an acoustic guitar, but the songs are impressive, particularly the mythic folk ballad “Blackwater Dam,” which has a timeless quality difficult to achieve.”
Saturday, August 3, 7 – 10 pm
Twelve Moons Coffee House
The Center on Main
103 Main Street
Tricky Problems and More!
with Cameron Bove
Back by popular demand, a gardening Q&A with Cameron Bove! What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than talking about gardening tips with an expert? Cameron Bove will be answering questions and dispensing advice about harvesting your vegetables and dealing with any gardening pests and problems unique to the Northwest Corner of Connecticut.
This is the time of year when many of us feel as though we are drowning in veggies, so as an added bonus, Cameron, who is also a gifted home cook, will share the recipes and techniques used in some of her favorite vegetable-based dishes.
Cameron Bove is the Head Horticulturist at Arethusa Gardens in Litchfield. Arethusa Gardens grows organic, heirloom and heritage vegetables and fruits that are sold at its farm stand and served in many local restaurants including Arethusa al Tavolo and Arethusa a Mano. Cameron has been a passionate organic gardener for nearly two decades.
Sunday, August 4, 1 – 2 pm
Registration is Required
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South Street
Author Talk & Signing
The Hickory Stick Bookshop invites you to join them and author Camila Calhoun for a discussion and signing of her book, The White Moth: Three Generations at a Tuscan Villa (Troubador, $25)in Washington Depot.
The White Moth is an intimate, riveting portrait of life at a farm villa in Tuscany, from the challenging times of fascism and foreign occupation in the 1940s to the idyllic farm-to-table times in the 1970s. A generational saga of longing, loss and displacement, the book is also an American woman’s tribute to her Italian husband and mother-in-law.
While championing Alda’s courage, optimism and resilience despite heartbreaking loss, the author also celebrates her own idyllic times spent harvesting and falling in love with her friend at his farm villa in the 1970s. The book explores the interconnected stories of three generations of women who marry into the Rafanelli family and reveals the importance of place and the tender relationship between women. It is also the story of the changing roles and status of women and challenges the stereotype of the often maligned role of a mother-in-law.
Camilla Calhoun left her job at a museum in New York City to follow her dream of living and writing in Italy. From the mid-1970s she lived for four years at her friend Aldo Rafanelli’s Tuscan villa where she harvested grapes and olives, sowed wheat, wrote essays, and ran a flower shop in Florence. She and Aldo eventually married and had their first child before moving back to New York. Ever interested in the connection to and loss of place, Camilla is working on an historical novel based on her published essay, A Town Called Olive, about her ancestors uprooted by the building of the Ashakan Reservoir, the source of New York City’s drinking water. Recently she wrote a collection of essays about the love and loss of Aldo in 2016. The author lives in Tarrytown, New York, with a view of the Hudson River. She relishes spending time with her two sons and two grandsons, and with family and friends.
If you are unable to attend this event, you may reserve a signed copy of The White Moth by calling The Hickory Stick Bookshop.
Sunday, August 4, 2 pm
The Hickory Stick Bookshop
2 Green Hill Road