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Archive for June, 2016|Monthly archive page

July 1 “First Friday” Celebrated in the Center!

In Chester CT Events on June 29, 2016 at 1:22 pm
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“Natural Occurrences” by Deborah Weiss at ELLE Design Studio opens on July 1.

Begin the July Fourth Weekend with a bang!  Come to First Friday in Chester Center.

On this first of Chester’s First Fridays, the evening of July 1st brings art gallery shows, a trunk show, live music, the opening of the doors of Chester’s newest shop, The French Hen, and more.

The town is buzzing with anticipation about The French Hen, which has just moved here from Essex. On its Facebook page, the shop is described as “a gift boutique where you will discover the beautiful, unique and the curious. Lush with product and creativity, the store will delight your senses.”

Chester’s two other brand-new shops will also be open on First Friday. Strut Your Mutt at 29 Main St. will be hosting a “Yappy Hour” from 6 to 8 p.m. with wine for you and water for your dog. Homage Art Gallery and Café at 16 Main St. is having Teen Open Mic Night from 6 to 8 p.m.

ELLE Design Studio presents “Natural Occurrences,” paintings and works on paper, by Deborah Weiss during the month of July. The exhibit opens with an opening reception on July 1, from 5 to 8 p.m.  ELLE design is at 1 Main Street.

At Dina Varano Gallery, First Friday brings the opening of Dina’s jewelry collection for the summer, “Ocean Dreams.” The collection features white and light-hued gemstones with brushed sterling silver that is expertly and intuitively crafted into one-of-a-kind necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. The inspiration came from all things seen and felt at the beach: the light breezes, ocean waves, warm sunshine, and salty-fresh air.

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Mary Anne Delorenzo jewelry will be featured at Lark on July 1.

Stop in and take a look at the newly refurbished, resized, refeathered Lark on First Friday, July 1st. Owner Suzie Woodward says, “We are renewed, restored and reinvigorated by the rearranging, readorning and rebrightening of one of Chester’s enchanting shops.  Along with our recelebration for our grand reopening, MaryAnne Delorenzo will be hosting a trunk show featuring beautiful, handmade lamp work and sterling.”

All this plus live music on the Pattaconk Patio, great shopping at the Lori Warner Gallery, and the “Downtown Chester” art show at the Maple & Main Gallery (see separate story and images here).

More information will be posted on Facebook.com/VisitChesterCT.

Paintings of Chester Featured at Maple & Main Gallery on “First Friday,” July 1

In Art, Chester CT Events on June 23, 2016 at 5:22 pm

“Downtown Chester,” a show of original paintings done by Maple and Main Gallery artists depicting the center of town, will be at the gallery Friday, July 1 through Sunday, July 3.

Bob Dietz - "Maple Street"

Bob Dietz – “Maple Street”

An opening party will be July 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. to help kick off the debut of First Fridays in Chester. Other galleries and shops in Chester Center will also be having special events during the July First Friday.first friday logo 3
The paintings in the Downtown Chester show were mainly done during June,  a number of them from the gallery porch, in the street during the Chester Sunday Market and along the sidewalks.

Claudia Van Nes - "Always on Sunday"

Claudia Van Nes – “Always on Sunday”

The show will open Friday at noon until 8 p.m., and will remain open Saturday, July 2 from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Donna Dubreuil Favreau - Chester Sunday Market

Donna Dubreuil Favreau – Chester Sunday Market

Maple and Main is at One Maple Street in Chester; mapleandmaingallery.com; 860-526-6065; visit us on facebook and Instagram.

Chester “Walking Song” Video Wins Gold!

In Chester CT Events, Walking on June 3, 2016 at 3:08 pm

For years, the town of Chester knew the state was requiring that the Main Street Bridge be rebuilt, and this caused a lot of angst among merchants, selectmen, and residents. How would we cope with keeping the town center viable and reachable? Would the shops, restaurants and galleries continue to attract customers? Where would people park?

The selectmen required that the state do the reconstruction from the beginning of January 2016 until Memorial Day, to get it over with before summertime shopping and the Chester Sunday Market began. The town’s Economic Development Commission created a “Survival Guide” and held several planning meetings in an effort to minimize the impact on the business district.

Janet Cummings and Peter Good created the "Walking Town" decal and pewter ornament.

Janet Cummings and Peter Good created the “Walking Town” decal and pewter ornament.

Then, last fall the Chester merchants decided to meet the challenge head on. With a small group of creative merchants, Leslie Strauss wrote and recorded “The Chester Walking Song,” saying, “We are all so busy getting in shape on treadmills that we forget how much more enjoyable it is to get out there and ‘walk about.’ Chester Village shops, galleries and restaurants are, and will continue to be, more easily accessed than the average mall store. With parking lots within 70 steps, you can ‘walk right in and come hang out.’”

Annalisa Russell-Smith, of Chester-based Local Plant Productions, then volunteered to create a video of Chester Center with the song in the background.

Annalisa Russell-Smith filming in Chester Center. Photo by Al Malpa

Annalisa Russell-Smith filming in Chester Center. Photo by Al Malpa

As Leslie says, “Annalisa’s enchanting minute-long video reinforces the vibrancy of the village, and how accessible everything is to anyone willing to ‘walk right in, come hang out.’ The shops, galleries, restaurants and street scenes entice visitors of all ages to be sure to make Chester one of their New England favorites.”

This spring, Annalisa’s video was selected for a Gold Award by the Hermes Creative Awards, an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies. Hermes Creative Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

For more information about Annalisa Russell-Smith, go to http://www.localplanetproductions.com
Watch (and listen to) the Chester video here: https://vimeo.com/157448900. More information about the Hermes Creative Awards here: http://www.hermesawards.com.