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CONNECTICUT COAST

DESTINATION CONNECTICUT COAST

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f you’ve ever taken the train between Boston and New York, you might have found yourself contemplating the coastal marshes, beaches and quaint train stations of the Connecticut shore, as it’s known by the locals. As cities, marshes, meadows and towns shuttered past the window, you may have wondered about life here. This stretch of the Atlantic seaboard boasts a wealth of creative energy—making the Connecticut shore the perfect destination for your next art-centric getaway. It’s impossible to go wrong when choosing a starting point. Greenwich, a cosmopolitan city less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan, is a great choice. Thanks to its status as one of the top-earning commuter cities nationwide, Greenwich is the place to shop. It offers everything from unique boutiques to designer labels. It’s also home to the prestigious Bruce Museum, known for combining art with science and hosting exhibitions of broad appeal. The current show, And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations (through April 24), uses colorful African-American story quilts to celebrate heroes ranging from Phillis Wheatley to Frederick Douglass or the Tuskegee Airmen. On May 14, Electric Paris opens with an illuminating exploration of the 19th-century “City of Light,” and the varied ways in which artists of the Belle Époque responded to modern, urban night. If you enjoy history, head east toward Old Greenwich and explore the exhibits at the Greenwich Historical Society. The sea plays

Thimble Islands, Branford, CT. Photo courtesy of morguefile.com.

a significant role in Greenwich’s history. Since the town’s founding in 1640, commercial trade and passenger transport boats have plied Long Island Sound. With the rise of pleasure boating, new maritime pursuits appeared on the horizon, and yachting became both a sport and a pastime associated with the lifestyle of the tycoons who built their great estates in the area. The Greenwich Historical Society’s exhibition, Close to the Wind: Our Maritime History, opens March 30 with a collection of maps, photographs, maritime instruments and paintings that highlight coastal

Connecticut’s seafaring roots. If you’re looking for a gracious and luxurious stay, check in at the boutique hotel Delamar Greenwich or its sister property, the Delamar Southport. Both offer spa services and amenities that will make you feel like royalty. In Greenwich, you can enjoy harbor-front balcony views, or view the land from the water in a private cruise. Intimate excursions for two to six passengers are available in season on the Whisper, or, take up to 100 guests on board the Prudence, the oldest working steamboat in the nation. In Southport, original

EDWARD KOREN THE CAPRICIOUS LINE February 5 - April 8, 2016 bellarminewag.eventbrite.com

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CONNECTICUT COAST contemporary art—some available for purchase— decorates each guest room, continuing the visual feast as you rest after a day of gallery hopping. Delamar’s acclaimed restaurants, presided over by executive chef Frederic Kieffer, offer a delicious indulgence to any day. L’escale (Greenwich) transports the tastes and aromas of southern France to coastal Connecticut, while Artisan Restaurant, Tavern and Garden (Southport) serves the best of New England cuisine. Nestled in the heart of nearby New Canaan, Handwright Gallery and Framing exhibits a fine collection built upon decades of experience in the field. The cozy space contains a wide array of (beautifully framed) works by international, emerging, and regional artists. Handwright features local landscapes, such as the work of the classically trained Norwalk painter Dana

Fabulous Animals: The Illustrated World of Robert Lawson April 7 – September 18, 2016

Goodfellow. For more contemporary art, follow the banks of the Silvermine River to the Silvermine Arts Center, one of Connecticut’s preeminent visual arts institutions. There is enough to see and do here for even the most insatiable art enthusiast—whether it’s a stroll on the sprawling sculpture walk, enrolling in an art class or workshop, or viewing one of the more than 20 annual, award-winning art exhibitions. If you happen to be passing through New Canaan after May 1, book a tour at The Glass House— architect Philip Johnson’s modern masterpiece— set on a stunning, 49-acre National Trust Historic Site that holds 14 structures, including the Brick House, the Ghost House, Da Monsta, and the Studio. The estate also offers a permanent collection of important 20th-century art, including works by Frank Stella, Cindy Sherman, and

Bruce Nauman. Continuing to the southeast, stop in Westport—a perfect setting for those coastal sunsets. Horizontal sunlight slants through the brick buildings on the west bank of the Saugatuck River, turning reflections in the water copper-red. During the day, experience a charming, seaside blend of quaint bridges, tree-lined drives, and seafood on Riverside Avenue. Enjoy more than the view at the Westport Arts Center, a non-profit organization and gallery that has delivered world-class, thought-provoking and creative programming for adults, kids and teens at all levels of expertise for more than 40 years. Old Hollywood reigns at the Arts Center in the exhibition NOIR (March 18–April 23)—Ann Chernow’s ode to the leading ladies of 1930s and ‘40s film. Chernow uses multiple techniques

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CONNECTICUT COAST to beautifully recreate the eloquent mystique of black and white film on paper. If you can bear to leave the shoreline, a quick journey past the budding maples and red oaks along Route 7 to Danbury offers a worthwhile detour. In the foothills of the Berkshires lies Western Connecticut State University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA). The SVPA is an important part of the area’s artistic community, providing access to more than 150 performances, gallery exhibitions, and guest artist appearances throughout the year. Housed in a stunning, state-of-the-art facility, SVPA gives Western Connecticut State University students the opportunity to work alongside an outstanding faculty of internationally recognized artists, directors, designers, performers, and scholars in a highly inspiring and professional environment.

Luckily for visitors, many of the events at SVPA are free, so check its calendar. Back on the shore, the city of Fairfield contains a double dose of excellent museums. Head to the Fairfield Museum and History Center for Fabulous Animals: The Illustrated World of Robert Lawson, opening April 7. Known for his gently witty illustrations in the classic children’s books Ferdinand the Bull and Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Lawson was the only artist and author to have won both the Caldecott and Newberry Awards. Lawson lived and worked in Westport, CT, so this exhibition truly celebrates the area’s history as a flourishing art scene. If you are in Fairfield before spring, the Bellarmine Museum of Art is hosting a playful, illustration-based exhibition through April 8. Edward Koren: The Capricious Line showcases the

J. ALDEN WEIR May 7 — September 11

2016

Ten/Forty Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum

through May 29 Generously supported by The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company and Bouvier Insurance

The Spring House, Windham, c. 1910-1919, J. Alden Weir. Estate of William B. Carlin.

Lyman Allyn 625 Williams Street, New London, CT 06320 A R T M U S E U M 860.443.2545 • www.lymanallyn.org

• 118,000 square feet of high-tech instructional & performance space • Home of Music, New Media, Theatre and Visual Arts majors • Fall ’16 applications being accepted • Contact (860) 465-5286 or visit www.easternct.edu/admissions EASTERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY

In the Lion’s Den: Daniel Macdonald, Ireland and Empire Through April 17, 2016 Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum 3011 Whitney Avenue • Hamden, CT www.ighm.org • 203-582-6500

96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT • 860.434.5542 FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org

www.easternct.edu/arts

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CONNECTICUT COAST talented comic artist whose work has amused us from the cover of The New Yorker magazine for decades. Of course, Koren’s engaging drawings are only one of many reasons to visit the museum, which resides in the lower level of Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Hall. This manor house from the 1920s is complete with a courtyard that is both grandiose and impeccably proper—a bit of English aristocratic charm on the East Coast. Also, don’t forget that Fairfield University runs the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery, a dynamic space now hosting Don Gummer: The Armature of Emotion: Drawing and Sculpture (March 3–June 11). Anyone who visited the Bellarmine last summer will remember artist Jan Dilenschneider’s show, Dualities. Dilenschneider is a Connecticut painter whose treatment of the landscape combines harmonious color juxtapositions with

impressionistic brushstrokes. Her views of warm meadows and golden marshes present the coast as a locus of overwhelming beauty. This appreciation of restorative places overflows the paintings and takes a real effect in the world through the Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts with the Institute of International Education. The award provides funding for artists living in repressive states to spend time at a host university and create work in a safe space. Dilenschneider’s paintings can be found internationally in Paris at the Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier, which is showing her work at this year’s Art Paris Art Fair (March 31–April 3). For a change of pace, continue to Bridgeport at the mouth of the Pequonnock River. Home to more than 144,000 residents, Bridgeport is the most populous city in Connecticut, attracting

new residents with its 21st-century repurposing of historic mill buildings into luxury apartments and an abundance of cosmopolitan resources. Top among these is the Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA), home to a collection of works by modern masters like Matisse, Picasso, Christo, Klimt, and Rauschenberg, as well as impressive holdings in photography, ancient art, and Asian and Oceanic art. Established in 1967, the permanent collection is on continuous display throughout the 300,000 square foot facility. The HMA also organizes changing exhibitions, featuring local, national and international artists of acclaim in the Burt Chernow Galleries. The nearby City Lights Gallery stages provocative exhibits by local artists as well as those from the region and around the world. City Lights is the lead organization of the Bridgeport Art Trail, a city-wide

Deborah Quinn-Munson, On Shore, Pastel 13.5 x 21”

Susan Powell Fine Art Contemporary Realism

Representing over 35 nationally-acclaimed artists 203.318.0616 679 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT 06443

www.susanpowellfineart.com

Close to the Wind: Our Maritime History

March 30 – September 4, 2016 www.greenwichhistory.org

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CONNECTICUT COAST open studio weekend that draws a crowd of contemporary art lovers every November. A contemplative and unforgettable experience waits 30 minutes away in Hamden at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University. Born out of late Quinnipiac alumnus Murray Lender’s conviction that understanding the Great Hunger is critical to understanding the Irish experience, the museum houses the only collection of art based on the Great Hunger by noted contemporary Irish and Irish American artists as well as period paintings by some of Ireland’s most important 19th-century artists. The museum’s current show, In the Lion’s Den: Daniel Macdonald, Ireland and Empire (through April 17), is reviewed on page 61. Another easy trip from Bridgeport, Madison, CT, is home to Susan Powell Fine Art, a gal-

lery specializing in contemporary realism and impressionism. Visitors will be captivated by the fine caliber of technique expressed by the artists represented. Monthly exhibitions feature both nationally-known artists and exciting new talent. In business for more than 30 years, Powell is also a consultant for 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, providing personalized services to help clients build their collections. Any art-themed sojourn along the shore is enhanced with a stay in the charming villages of Old Lyme and Essex. Redolent of old New England, these towns are nestled on the banks of the Connecticut River, occupying a distinct place in American art history as longstanding artist colonies. In the early years of the 20th century, Florence Griswold ran a boardinghouse that eventually became the center of the Lyme Art

Colony. Today, the house exists as the Florence Griswold Museum, preserving this bit of art history and displaying a collection of tonalist and impressionist painters. The museum also holds important pieces from the Works Projects Administration era, celebrates female artists in Connecticut from the past to the present day, and has paid special attention to abstract work produced by artists affiliated with nearby Yale University. Ten/Forty: Collecting American Art at the Florence Griswold Museum (through May 29) spotlights the museum’s evolving collecting practice under Jeffrey Anderson, who is celebrating his fortieth year as director. The Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts— a division of the University of New Haven focusing on illustration, sculpture and painting—is ideally situated amidst a cultural hub of artist

Organized by Cincinnati Museum Center, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the Women of Color Quilters Network

January 16 – April 24, 2016

Bruce MuseuM

Greenwich, cT | www.brucemuseum.org

Lucy Terry Prince: The Griot’s Voice (2012) Peggie Hartwell Summerville, South Carolina 47.5 × 48 in. Materials: Cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton thread, nylon thread Techniques: Hand appliqué, machine appliqué, machine embroidery, machine quilting

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CONNECTICUT COAST colonies (dating back to 1899) in Old Lyme. It is Next to Essex lies the hamlet of Centerbrook, also home to a vibrant gallery space that should where you can find Spectrum Gallery and Store, definitely figure on your itinerary. Join painter an expansion of the Arts Center Killingworth, Dora Atwater Millikin for a reception and lecture a non-profit organization that has served the on March 24 or peruse an impressive array of Connecticut coast since 2004. Spectrum is a emerging artists’ work on display in the 40th contemporary space showcasing regional and Annual Student Exhibition through April 2. national artists and artisans, both emerging and In nearby Essex, The Cooper & Smith established. In addition to exhibiting painting, Gallery opened just last year at the head of sculpture and photography, the gallery includes Main Street. The space, once home to the village a store that offers fine crafts. As part of the Arts grocer, is gorgeous. Its tin ceiling is a nod to the Center’s ongoing mission to attract and suppast, but it has been chicly repurposed as an art port local and regional artists, Spectrum Gallery gallery for the future. The gallery encourages and presents two six-week shows for artists parpromotes emerging talent alongside established ticipating in the center’s annual arts festivals in national artists looking to expand their market, Connecticut. The Annual Summer Arts Festival, on emphasizing painters whose work is informed Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19, takes place by disciplines. the Essex Town Green. Artdrawing-based NE adMar/April16v.3B.qxp_Layout 1 1/22/16 4:02on PM

silvermine a r t s

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You cannot travel the long stretch of Connecticut shore without feeling rejuvenated by the beauty of water lapping against the land, whether it’s the Atlantic or one of the countless rivers that feed into it. What better way to celebrate this than a visit to the Connecticut River Museum in Essex? The museum sits on the picturesque Steamboat Dock, near the mouth of the Connecticut River. Enjoy the waterfront campus with a picnic lunch and a chance to do some bird watching, or, if you’re really feeling adventurous, climb aboard a replica of the Turtle submarine and find out what it was like to be a submarine pilot during the American Revolution. (That’s right, the world’s first submarine attack occurred in 1776.) Similar to the Greenwich Historical Society, the Connecticut River Museum’s three

Discover ART in Bridgeport. Visit City Lights Gallery at our new home this summer, downtown Main Street Bridgeport, CT. citylightsgallery.org

John Altoon:

Selections from the About Women Portfolio

FEBRUARY 28 - MAY 13

1037 Silvermine Road New Canaan, CT www.silvermineart.org

SAVE THE DATE: for the Bridgeport Art Trail, November 10-13, 2016. Tour artists studios and venues city-wide. Stay connected to the Bridgeport art scene year-round at: bridgeport-art-trail.org

Discover Bridgeport Art

Artists top l-r: Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli, Jesus Villarreal, Second row: Rick Reyes, Third row: Tom Brenner, Alicia Cobb, Bottom: Emily Larned

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CONNECTICUT COAST floors of exhibition space celebrate river industry, culture, yachting and maritime paintings, but it also includes historic hunting and fishing folk objects from the lower river valley. The feature exhibit for 2016, Invaders: They Come by Land, Air and Water opens April 1. Connecticut offers so many opportunities to peek into the state’s artistic past. The venerable Lyman Allyn Museum, founded in 1926 by bequest of New Londoner Harriet Upson Allyn, holds a truly impressive permanent collection of more than 15,000 paintings, prints, sculpture, and decorative arts behind its neoclassical façade. For a dose of American impressionism, A Good Summer’s Work: J. Alden Weir, Connecticut Impressionist will showcase works by J. Alden Weir, Childe Hassam, Emil Carlsen and John

Singer Sargent, all created in eastern Connecticut. The exhibition will be on view beginning May 7. If you are looking for another easy detour to a collegiate location, drive inland to visit Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic. The fine arts are thriving there, where students study everything from music and theater to new media and fashion design. Their recently inaugurated Art Gallery (see Gallery FlashPoints, page 12) inspires visitors this spring with Spectra, an exhibition exploring identity though light and related phenomena, from March 10 through April 21. The gallery is located in the university’s freshly minted Fine Arts Instructional Center, which also contains three performance venues. Our final stop could also be our first! Mystic welcomes visitors with a relaxed ethos, heralding

spring with its outdoor charm, and offering many lovely surprises for the art enthusiast. Courtyard Gallery is a unique and intimate gallery space with brick walls and European influence. A true treasure, it is filled with work by regional and national painters and sculptors, as well as rotating exhibitions, in a space reminiscent of old world private galleries. All told, the coast offers enough art and culture to fill anyone’s getaway. As a welcome winter’s thaw eases into the north and spring blooms across the coast, consider joining the centuries of New England artists who have traveled here for inspiration. From Greenwich to Mystic and many points in between, the days are well spent touring art galleries and museums, followed by a sunset on the horizon. —Olivia J. Kiers

Peggy Root, Hemlocks at Trout Lake, oil on linen, 50" x 40". In the collection of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

LYME ACADEMY COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS ENGAGE WITH THE ARTS AT LYME! • • • • •

HANDWRIGHT

Artist Lectures each month Studio courses and workshops for adults Pre-College classes for high school students Summer residencies Exhibitions by renowned artists

Visit our website to learn more and to register online: www.lymeacademy.edu

GALLERY & FRAMING 93 Main Street New Canaan, CT 203-966-7660 www.handwrightgallery.com

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Destination: Connecticut Coast  
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