Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

See Chester Through Artists’ Eyes

In Art on January 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm

CHESTER – “Only in Chester” is a special show of 40 paintings of Chester done by Maple and Main Gallery artists and on view in Maple and Main’s  Stone Gallery through Jan. 22.

"Maple Street in the Snow" by Rossitto

“Maple Street in the Snow” by Barbara Rossitto

A portion of all the sales will be given to Chester’s Emergency Fuel Fund, which is dependent on donations. The fund helps cover heating costs for residents who cannot meet their fuel bills.

"Chester Creek" by Claudia Van Nes

“Chester Creek” by Claudia Van Nes

The show depicts paintings of the downtown as well as creeks, barns, the riverfront and houses and should be of special interest to residents and everyone who loves the uniqueness of Chester.

"Chester Drive" by Ciardiello

“Chester Drive” by Cathy Ciardiello

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  More info at

"Glistening Waters" by Deborah Quinn-Munson

“Glistening Waters” by Deborah Quinn-Munson

Maple & Main Gallery to Open Holiday Exhibit

In Art on November 8, 2016 at 5:13 pm

The opening party for the Holiday Exhibit at Maple and Main Gallery is Saturday, Nov. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. with wine, appetizers, desserts and music by artist/musician Alan James.

"Cross Country" - BT Taylor

“Cross Country” – BL Taylor of Essex

From luminous landscapes to abstract collages, marine scenes to scenes from the creators’ imaginations, the show features over 200 paintings and sculptures by 54 established artists from all corners of Connecticut.

"Abstract in Orange #1" - Brown

“Abstract in Orange” – Diane Brown of Pawcatuck, CT

In Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery during November is a show of intriguing photographs by members of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club. Gallery artist Janine Robertson will be featured in a solo show in the Stone Gallery during December.

"High C" - Gary Jacobik of Deep River

“High C” – Gary Jacobik of Deep River

The Holiday Exhibit runs through January 22.

"A Thousand Words are worth a Picture" - Claudia Van Nes of Chester

“A Thousand Words are worth a Picture” – Claudia Van Nes of Chester

Maple and Main Gallery, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday and Thursday from  noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 860-526-6065; visit us on Facebook and Instagram.

"Blue Chain" - Annilie Skoog of Norwich

“Blue Chain” – Annilie Skoog of Norwich

Pianist Jeffrey Swann to Perform at Meeting House, Nov. 6

In Art on October 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm

jeffrey-swannInternationally acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Swann will perform at the Chester Meeting House on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. in the 43rd season of the Collomore Concert Series.

Swann’s performing career has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. After pursuing his graduate degrees at the Juilliard School, where he studied with the renowned Beveridge Webster and Adele Marcus, Swann came to the piano world’s attention winning first prize in the Dino Ciani Competition sponsored by La Scala in Milan and a gold medal at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Other top honors include the Van Cliburn and Chopin Warsaw Competitions, and the Young Concert Artists auditions in New York.

In addition to presenting recitals worldwide, Swann has performed in this country with the symphonies of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Minneapolis and worldwide with the orchestras in Rotterdam, La Scala, Rome, Prague and London.

Swann is a noted musical lecturer. The depth of his musical knowledge and his enthusiasm for teaching often leads him into spontaneous discussions of the music he is performing, much to the delight of his recital audiences. He continues to lecture regularly at the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, and at Wagner Societies in the United States and Italy. Swann has also served as judge at many competitions, most recently at the Utrecht International Liszt Competition.

Since 2007 Jeffrey Swann has been Artistic Director of the Dino Ciani Festival and Academy in Cortina d’Ampezzo; since 2008 the Adel Artist-in-Residence at Northern Arizona University; since 2010 Professor of Piano at New York University; and since 2012 Artistic Director of the Scuola Normale Superiore Concert Series in Pisa.

At the Chester Meeting House, Jeffrey Swann will perform the Schubert Sonata in G Major and Beethoven Sonata No. 29 (Hammerklavier). After the concert, stay for the reception with refreshments donated by The Wheatmarket, to meet the performer. Tickets cost $25 for adult; $5 for student. Tickets can be purchased online at using PayPal. For more information, check the website or call 860-526-5162.

Don’t Miss the 43rd Season of Collomore Concerts

In Art on September 23, 2016 at 7:05 pm

collomore 2016 a


For its 43rd season, the Robbie Collomore Music Series will offer all four of its concerts in the fall, between Sept. 25 and Nov. 27. They will be on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the Chester Meeting House, and now is the time to buy your season subscription!

Beginning the season, on Sunday, Sept. 25, is the Barbara and Edmund Delaney Young Artists Concert. Praised by “Classical Voice America” for their “sensational, powerhouse performance,” the Verona Quartet has set themselves apart as one of the most compelling young quartets in chamber music. Winner of the prestigious 2015 Concert Artist Guild Competition, they are the Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School, which will sponsor their Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall debut in May 2016.

For the past 37 years, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet has been making some of the most potent and popular Cajun music on the planet. Born out of the rich Acadian ancestry of its members, and driven by bandleader Michael Doucet’s spellbinding fiddle playing and soulful vocals, BeauSoleil is notorious for bringing even the most staid audience to its feet. They’ll be in Chester on Sunday, Oct. 16.

On Nov. 6, internationally celebrated pianist Jeffrey Swann, who has been called “a dashing virtuoso” by the New York Times, will play two of Beethoven’s and Schubert’s most iconic, monumental piano sonatas. Returning to the Chester Meeting House on Nov. 27 is profound songwriter, Chris Smither, who draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and philosophers. Reviewers continue to praise his dazzling guitar work, gravelly voice and songwriting.

Buy a season subscription and save money, plus you’ll be certain you will have a seat even when the concert is sold out. A subscription to all four concerts is just $75 (that’s four concerts for the price of three). Individual concert tickets cost $25. For students from elementary through graduate school, a subscription is $15. A student ticket for just one concert is $5. Tickets can be purchased online at using PayPal. All ticket-holders are invited to stay for a reception after the concert to meet the performers. For more information, check the website or call 860-526-5162.


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;; 860-526-6065; visit us on facebook and Instagram.

Sticks from the Past Create Art for the Present

In Art, History on March 31, 2016 at 7:53 pm

Sticks for em

What would you do if you were given a pile of 2-inch-long carved wooden sticks to reimagine? Not just any sticks, but sticks that are about 60 years old.

If you’re one of the area artists, sculptors, photographers, engineers, jewelers, designers (you get the picture), you’d turn those sticks into something unique and/or useful, decorative and/or functional, whimsical and/or practical.

Donna Carlson made jewelry, with a Vanadinite stone.

Donna Carlson made jewelry, with a Vanadinite stone.

All for the Creative Challenge hosted annually by the Chester Historical Society.

For this year’s Challenge on Saturday, April 9 (obviously named the Sticks Challenge), the Chester Historical Society uncovered in a local barn boxloads of short wooden manicure sticks made (probably in the 1950s) at the Bishop and Watrous Novelty Works, which used to be on Maple Street.

According to Bruce Watrous, whose grandfather started the business along with Oliver Bishop in the 1920s, “The manicure sticks were made from ‘orange wood’ (citrus wood, because it will bend without splintering), mostly from Florida orange trees. Wood was sent from Florida to Maine, turned into dowels and then to Chester. Dowels were cut to different lengths and hand finished with slants or points.”

Digital archival image, "Starry Night," by Bill Vollers

Digital archival image, “Starry Night,” by Bill Vollers

For the past six or so years, the Chester Historical Society’s Creative Challenge has invited area artists to use artifacts from Chester’s rich manufacturing history to create items for a silent auction and reception to raise funds for the Historical Society. There have been challenges based on hooks from the Brooks Factory, knitting gauges from the C.J. Bates factory, and even rusted pieces “unearthed” from the yard of one of Chester’s earliest houses.

The finished pieces of “sticks” art, jewelry, sculptures, photographs, etc. will be exhibited and sold by silent auction at the Historical Society’s Reception on Saturday, April 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Chester Meeting House.

The reception will feature hearty hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Chester kitchens served with wine and non-alcoholic beverages.

Tickets for the evening are $30. They can be purchased at Chester Gallery and Lark, both in the center of Chester, or by calling Sosse Baker at Chester Gallery, 860-526-9822. They may be available at the door, if they have not sold out.

Sosse Baker basket, based on old Native American design

Sosse Baker basket, based on old Native American design

All the proceeds from the event will benefit the preservation and showcasing of Chester history through the Chester Historical Society and the Chester Museum at The Mill. Information is available on the Society website, or at

Two New Exhibits Open at Maple and Main Gallery; Reception on Jan. 30

In Art, Chester CT Events on January 22, 2016 at 3:01 pm

The Winter Exhibit and the first Annual Juried Show at Maple and Main Gallery open Wednesday, Jan. 27 with a gala reception Saturday, Jan. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m.

"LL Bean Slippers in Florida" by Claudia Van Nes

“LL Bean Slippers in Florida” by Claudia Van Nes

The Winter Exhibit, featuring newly created works from 40 Connecticut artists, fills the first floor of the gallery, while paintings by artists chosen for the juried show are displayed in the Joslow and Stone galleries on the lower level of Maple and Main.

The juror is noted artist Robert Noreika, who chose 85 works from hundreds of paintings artists from Connecticut and surrounding states submitted for the new show.

Visitors will be able to view a versatile selection of landscapes, seascapes, still lifes, abstracts and highly original work in both shows.

Alan James will provide live music during the opening party on Jan. 30, and wine, appetizers and desserts will be served. Many of the artists represented in the juried and winter shows will be at the event.

Maple and Main’s two shows run through March 13 and the gallery, at One Maple Street in Chester, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Maple and Main artists are also showing 31 selected works at the Valentine H. Zahn Community Gallery at Middlesex Hospital’s Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook through March 18. That gallery is open during business hours every day.

Please visit the gallery on Facebook and on its website,

Summer Exhibit to Open at Maple & Main

In Art on July 12, 2015 at 6:49 pm
May I pour you a walk by Gray Jacobik of Deep River

May I pour you a walk by Gray Jacobik of Deep River

All new art from cutting edge to traditional is featured in the sixth annual Summer Exhibit at Maple and Main Gallery where a gala opening reception will be hosted by the gallery on Saturday, July 25 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The exhibition includes paintings and sculptures by 40 Connecticut artists, some showing at Maple and Main for the first time.

Sheep in the Meadow by Amy Knaggs of Chester

Sheep in the Meadow by Amy Knaggs of Chester

During the reception, popular musician Alan James will play, and from 6 to 7 p.m. there will be a wine tasting by the Chester Package Store. The gallery will also be serving wine and a selection of hors d’oeuvres including pizza during the evening.

Concurrently, the “Hats, Hats, Hats” show of paintings depicting hats in all manners and styles is on view in the Stone Gallery in the lower level of the gallery.

The show opens Wednesday, July 22 and runs through September 20. Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

More info at or by calling 860-526-6065.

Maple and Main Celebrates 6th Anniversary

In Art on May 23, 2015 at 4:08 pm

van nes -fishingMaple and Main Gallery’s Anniversary Exhibit opens Wednesday, May 27 with a gala celebration Saturday, May 30 from 5 to 8 p.m.

To mark the launch of its sixth year, Maple and Main will serve appetizer platters donated by both L&E and Good Elephant restaurants located across Main Street from the gallery. Cake, champagne and wine will also be offered.

The gallery will be filled with new paintings and sculptures by 38 Connecticut artists – the vast majority of which will be shown for the first time.

Maple and Main has come a long way since its start by a handful of artists, but it still adheres to the goal set six years ago: to show only original fine art in as wide a selection of styles and medium as possible.

The Anniversary Exhibit runs through July  19.

Maple and Main, at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 to 6 p.m. 860-526-6065; Please visit our facebook page and on-line gallery and website at

Chester Poets Reading at Meeting House

In Art, Library on April 23, 2015 at 8:37 pm

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Chester Library Board of Trustees is sponsoring its fifth annual poetry reading by Chester poets. The free program will be held Monday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House. Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the program.

Three published poets, all Chester residents, will read some of their work. They are Suzanne Levine, Tim Napier, and Ravi Shankar. In addition, winners of the library’s Chester Poetry Contest will read their winning poems.

poets 2015 web

Suzanne Levine’s poems have appeared in Drunken Boat, Bellingham Review, Stand Magazine (UK), Permafrost, Quiddity International Literary Journal, New Delta Review, Front Range and many other publications. Haberdasher’s Daughter, her first poetry collection published in 2010 by Antrim Press, was a finalist for an Eric Hoffer Award. Grand Canyon May Be Older Than Thought is the title of her second ms. Suzanne holds an MFA from Vermont College and is co-founder of Writing at the Mark Twain House in Hartford.

Tim Napier is retired and likes to write, so he has the time and opportunity to foist himself upon an unsuspecting public from time to time. He generally has a good time at it, but he says he has never done anything so hard: finding the right word arranged in the right order, with the right look and sound as well. Tim began writing poems, critically, in college under the tutelage of Lauren Stevens and Richard Glassman, then in graduate school he had the good luck of getting into a poetry class taught by William Meredith (Pulitzer 1989), which started an association that lasted until Meredith’s death in 2007. Tim has been published in the Aurorean poetry journal, edited by Cynthia Brackett-Vincent, and its sister journal the Unrorean, edited by Devin McGuire. Tim has also been published in Sailing the Mist of Time, a collection of prize-winning poems sponsored by

Ravi Shankar is the author of several books of poetry, including “What Else Could it Be” (2015), the National Poetry Review Prize winning “Deepening Groove” (2011), and the Finalist for the Connecticut Book Awards “Instrumentality” (2004). He co-edited W.W. Norton & Co.’s “Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond,” called a “beautiful achievement for world literature” by Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, and founded Drunken Boat, one of the world’s oldest electronic journal for the arts. He’s a Professor of English at CCSU and in the international MFA Program at City University of Hong Kong.

The program is free and open to all ages. For more information, contact the Chester Library at 860-526-0018.