Article published Oct 7, 2010
Arts Center at Killingworth's Autumn Art Trail Returns Oct. 9 and 10
By Meredith Crawford Living Editor
If you think art is best created and enjoyed in solitude, the Arts Center of Killingworth's (ACK) sixth annual Autumn Art Trail is going to prove you wrong. The two-day event introduces artists and their audience to one another through a combination of open studio events and an outdoor arts festival.
On Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10, 12 artists and crafters will open their private studios to the public. A $10 pass grants weekend-long access to the studios, which are located within a scenic drive from one another in Clinton, Durham, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, and Madison. The accompanying, free Outdoor Arts Festival at Clinton Landing features even more artists and crafters, with more than 30 creative Connecticut residents scheduled to participate across both days.
ACK Artistic Director Barbara Nair sees the event's two pieces as working together to promote the non-profit organization's goal of encouraging arts appreciation among all ages.
The Open Studios allow people to "understand firsthand what inspires some of the shoreline's most prominent representational and modern painters, muralists, potters, illustrators, calligraphers, and fashion designers," says Nair. Meanwhile, the Outdoor Arts Festival will complement the focus on "the artistic process for each art form through discussions with the visiting public and demonstrations...Each afternoon there will be live music presented by Face Arts Music in Deep River...A jeweler is going to do activities with the kids...Well-known watercolorist Robert Noreika will do one of his lively painting demonstrations on Sunday at the festival at 12:30," to name a few highlights.
Nair recommends that people begin their Autumn Art Trail journey at the Clinton Landing festival, at which they'll find trail maps, passes for purchase, and even "insider information."
"Come to the Arts Center at Killingworth booth and speak to us," offers Nair. "We know the artists and have visited every studio. If somebody has something they're really interested in or has limited time, we can help them plan their route accordingly."
But be advised: Arts lovers will want to allot plenty of time to the outdoor festival, as well as the trail. Twenty-two artists will share their newest and best works (all for purchase) on both Saturday and Sunday at Clinton Landing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Virtually every artistic medium is covered by an impressive group that includes painters Dianne Gorrick, Gloria Nilsson, Jacqueline White, Robert Noreika, Sherrie Parenteau, Julianna Cameron, David Choate, and Bill Hosking; mixed media artist Elizabeth Billingsley; sculptor Corina S. Alvarezdelugo; jewelry designers Courtney Bussman, Jessica Dickens, and Dawn Lombard; Uruguayan wooden art and decorative home object designer Pietro Sagnulo; glass artists John Lindsay and Rhoda Pierce; fabric artists Patti Biller, Mary Lachman, Robin McCahill, and Helen Peterle; traditional Japanese hair ornament artist Laurene Gobrogge; and high-end knitting designer Kimberly Conner.
|Sea Urchin Trio|
stoneware, terracotta, porcelain
(c) Corina S. Alvarezdelugo
When you're ready to embark on the trail, the opportunities ahead of you are endless. At the first, most logical destination-that of Karen Green Recor's Clinton working studio-you'll find "vibrant, colorful canvases." A quick jaunt to Essex will reveal abstract expressionist painter and printer Robert DeBartolo and his working printing presses. In Ivoryton, there's Hayne Bayless's Sideways Studios, situated over the Falls River; painter and calligrapher Judith Barbour Osborne; and watercolorist and acrylic painter Jill Vaughn, for whom the gardens surrounding her studio are often the source of inspiration. On the Haddam portion of the trail, porcelain works by John Hull await. In Durham, trail-goers will discover fine art painter Terry Oakes Bourret and The Hobbit illustrator David T. Wenzel. Killingworth boasts the studio of award-winning realist painter Cora Ogden as well as Off the Wall Murals, painter Randy Davis's studio. You won't want to miss couture fashion designer Astrid Niemelaeinen's Killingworth studio, either-or your chance to try on some of her latest designs. And, in Madison, illustrator and Master Connecticut Teaching Artist Sanna Stanley will share the prints, etchings, and book designs that are inspired by her childhood in Africa.
Nair says the quality of work featured in this year's event "is really exceptional across the board," something she's particularly proud of given that the trail is not juried.
"The process of who ends up at the festival or opens up their studios is almost self-selecting in a magical way," she says, adding that the event has become an important opportunity for emerging artists who might not have enough experience to gain entry into a juried exhibit.
It's also an invaluable opportunity for people to gain a deeper appreciation for the artistic process.
Visiting the studios is not like "walking into a gallery or a museum," says Nair. "It's like walking into a person's private [space]...Because the artists are so comfortable in their own space, they can really share what they do; it's really a peek into their process...People are going to see paint brushes and paint, presses, pottery extruders and clay-the actual instruments that artists are working with in their studio when nobody's around...It's about how this artist thinks and what inspires them...It's very important for people to know about-that there is a process here and it's not really that mysterious."
And just in case you're not sold on the Autumn Arts Trail as an affordable, educational way to spend the first part of Columbus Day weekend, Nair has one more enticement: fall foliage.
"The trails you take to get to the studios are going to take you through some beautiful, colorful areas."
The Arts Center at Killingworth presents the sixth annual Autumn Arts Trail on Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10. Participating studios, which are accessible for a $10 all-weekend pass (free for children aged 12 and younger), will be open both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The accompanying, free Outdoor Arts Festival is at Clinton Landing, also on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited to a free opening reception for the weekend-long event on Friday, Oct. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Rose Room of Clinton's Andrews Memorial Town Hall. For more information, a full list of participating artists, and to obtain passes, call the Arts Center at 860-663-5593 or visit www.artscenterkillingworth.org. Passes will also be sold at the Outdoor Arts Festival.