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Stairwell Gallery |  Musical Journey Concert |  SingOut! CT Concert |  Eating Healthy Presentation |  Conversational Spanish Class |  Washington Garden Club Lecture |  Classic Book Discussions |  Book Basement |  e-Readers at the Gunn |  Museum Passes |  Search the Museum's Catalog |  Connecticut Room |  Junior Library Programs

View Our Event Calendar!

In the Stairwell: Bloom! "Painting Partners" Group Show

Nine artists who have been painting together for years are welcoming in spring with a new collection of floral paintings from April 9 to May 21.

The group who call themselves "The Painting Partners" met years ago in a class taught by noted watercolorist Marija McCarthy at the Washington Art Association. After she retired, they continued to paint together weekly at the Litchfield Community Center.

The artists enjoy working alongside one another both socially and academically. "Marija impressed upon us the need to look at our paintings objectively giving positive feedback and also offering careful constructive criticism. At the end of our sessions during critique of work, we are not "easy" in our comments", says one of the artists, Diana Swoyer.

They find the group dynamic comfortable, energizing and unusual. Although their styles vary greatly, they have mutual respect and a common goal: support, while learning and growing artistically.

They continue to paint together not only because they like each other but because they find that the enthusiasm and continued learning environment encourages each of them to paint more often and more deliberately.

"I always go home with an uplifted feeling -- ready to paint some more," says Carol O'Toole, another painter. "I seek out honest criticism from my colleagues and come away with a heightened appreciation of the various approaches among us and a greater understanding of where I need to go with my own work."

"Painting is a solitary endeavor but to find friends to paint with can be very stimulating and helpful. The mutual celebration of each of our talents and abilities is what it is all about," adds Diana.

The artists include Diana Swoyer, Bethlehem; Nancy Rainsford Pistone, Roxbury; Roz Benedetto, Torrington; Jan Grody, Warren; Sandy Dolinsky, West Cornwall; Carol O'Toole, Washington Depot; Maryellen Furse, Warren; Hitchy Rahilly, Northfield; and Kit Sagendorf, Roxbury.

For more information,contact Sharon Morrissey at gunnstaff@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.


Next Up in the Stairwell: Botanical Watercolors

We will have a special show of botanical watercolors by international award-winning artist Betsy Rogers-Knox. Betsy's show, titled "The Beauty of Botany," includes her exhibit shown last February in London titled "Milkweed Through the Seasons" at the Royal Horticultural Botanical Art Show where it won the Silver Gift Award. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, May 28 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.. The exhibit will be on display from May 28 to July 9 and may be viewed during normal library hours.

Art meets ecology in a series of paintings that dramatizes the intertwining lives of the milkweed and the monarch butterfly whose larvae consume only milkweed leaves. As milkweeds are eliminated by herbicides, land development and climate change, monarch population in the eastern US has diminished by 90% over the past 20 years. "I hope that calling attention to the plight of the milkweed plant — and the colorful butterflies dependent on it — will help promote the long-term survival for both," says Betsy.

Besides her recent exhibition in London, her work has appeared throughout the U.S. She attended the School of Visual Arts in New York as well as Garland College in Boston and holds a certificate in botanical illustration from the New York Botanical Garden. She has taught botanical illustration at conferences and workshops throughout the country and teaches drawing and watercolor in Bethlehem, CT where she lives.

For more information, visit the artist's website at www.rogersknoxart.com or call 860-868-7586 or email the library circulation desk, gunncirc@biblio.org.

A Musical Journey Concert

On Thursday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. local musicians, pianist Sandra Simpson Kleisner and violinist and violist Larry Deming, return for an eclectic performance of classical music.

The concert, "A Musical Journey," explores the works of four composers, representing four different countries, spanning two centuries, with four distinct perspectives. Ms. Kleisner and Mr. Deming will feature selections by Frederic Chopin (Poland, 1810-1849), Josef Suk (Czechoslovakia, 1874-1935), Astor Piazolla (Argentina, 1921-1992) and Antonio Carlos Jobim (Brazil, 1927-1994).

Ms. Kleisner has been active in the New Milford area as a music teacher, pianist, accompanist and voice coach. She has enjoyed serving on the Fineline Theatre Arts faculty since its beginning. As a piano teacher, she offers students training in music reading, technique, theory and ear training. She is also a music teacher at the Kent Center School and musical director at the Roxbury Congregational Church. To learn more about Sandy, visit www.finelinetheatrearts.com.

Mr. Deming has played violin in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, was Concertmaster of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra for five years, and is first violinist of the Deming String Quartet. Mr. Deming has played with many musical luminaries and he loves to arrange, compose, conduct, perform and teach many types of music. For more information visit www.musiclessons-musicschool.com.

For more imformation about this program, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.

Spring Fling with SingOut! CT

On Sunday, May 1 at 2:00 p.m. Connecticut's Premier Glee Group for Young Voices, SingOut! CT, will present a Solo Concert.

Talented members of this Ensemble will perform individual selections from Broadway, Art song and Popular Music. Additionally, the A Capella and Boys Division will debut repertoire to be performed in June at the annual Spring Garden Concert. With the sounds and colors of May Day, this musical Spring Fling will bring May to your doorstep.

SingOut! CT is comprised of singers aged 8-18 and currently has both Training and Performance Divisions. Founded in August of 2012, this group has established itself as a creative force in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut and beyond. Last summer the group debuted at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, as guest artists for the Daughters of the American Revolution's Opening Ceremonies. An annual Holiday Show and Spring Garden Concert have become anticipated Calendar Events as part of their general schedule. SingOut! CT dedicates itself to offering education in the choral and vocal arts to enlighten, inspire and elevate both its members and its audiences.

Artistic Director, Alecia Evans is a graduate of San Francisco Conservatory and North Carolina School of the Arts. She performed in Broadway and National Tours and was a Conductor for the renowned Piedmont Choirs in California which trained young vocalists for musical careers. She has sung professionally for over 30 years as a soloist and in musical theater and concert work. Ms. Evans lives in Warren CT with her daughter Eva, who is a member of SingOut!

For more information visit www.singoutct.org, and for further information about the program, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.

Eating Healthy Presentation

Have you ever found yourself standing befuddled as you faced a grocery store display or puzzling over food labels riddled with fine print and confusing claims? Have you ever wondered which diet is best or what is the healthiest item on a menu? Have you ever thought there just aren't enough hours in the day for healthful cooking and exercising? Michelle Sisk, a registered dietitian-nutritionist and nutritional science teacher at The Gunnery, will help navigate the answers to these questions and more. Ms. Sisk, who will be introduced by local Health Coach, Deb Andrews, will deliver an informative presentation "Finding Food: Amidst the Packaging, Portions, Packed Aisles & Temptations." This program will be held on Thursday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Topics covered will include: food groups to build a healthy plate, portioning without distortion, taking the confusion out of grocery shopping, reading food labels, making the best choices when dining out, choosing whole foods over fad foods, and strategies for finding time to prepare healthful foods and to get moving. We will discuss what is food and what isn't, how much and how often we should eat, which real foods fuel our bodies best, and how to overcome the gimmicks out there. An inclusive, whole foods lifestyle approach will be emphasized. Questions are welcome!

Michelle has worked at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Connecticut, counseling clients on an outpatient basis for nutrition-related issues such as cardiovascular disease, weight management, gastrointestinal disorders, eating disorders, diabetes, and food allergies and intolerances.

For more information visit nourishistheword.wordpress.com For more imformation about this program, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.

Ruth Jaffe's Conversational Spanish Class

By popular demand Ruth Jaffe returns to lead a conversational Spanish group for all. The 4-part series will take place on Mondays at 2:00 p.m. on May 9, May 23, June 13 and June 27. Participants are welcome to join all or some of the sessions.

This is the ideal opportunity for those who wish to learn basic conversational Spanish, as well as for those who wish to strengthen their verbal skills in the language. All ages, stages and levels of proficiency in Spanish are welcome. The gatherings will take place in the casual, relaxed setting of the Reading Room of the library, inviting spontaneity of interaction. Structured guidance and individual, as well as group, feedback will be focal elements of each meeting. Be prepared to conquer your linguistic reticence and take a leap into ESPAÑOL!

Ruth Jaffe is a psychoanalyst/psychotherapist in private practice in Washington, CT, and since last year retired from her practice & teaching in NYC. Her academic background, particularly in her native Argentina, includes the teaching of languages from elementary through college levels. As a teenager, she attended the renowned Instituto Nacional del Profesorado en Lenguas Vivas, from which she graduated with a teaching degree prior to her acceptance at the School of Medicine of Buenos Aires University. She later came to the U.S. on a scholarship to study Psychology — and the rest 'es historia.'

Ruth is an avid reader and can often be seen in the library. She is also an accomplished artist.

Washington Garden Club Lecture

On Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. Washington Garden Club is sponsoring an appearance by author, journalist and golf historian, David Owen, for a presentation entitled "Golf in the Garden: How the First Commercial Nursery in the South became the Home of the Masters."

A storied tournament and a storied setting, the Masters Golf Tournament is defined by beauty of its plantings. Shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War, a horticulturist and landscape architect named Prosper Julius Alphonse Berckmans planted a double row of magnolia trees along a dirt road leading to an old plantation that he and his father, a Belgian nobleman, had bought the year before. Today, that road is called Magnolia Lane, the main entrance of the Augusta National Golf Club and the home of the Masters golf tournament. It’s the most storied driveway in sports.

The Berckmanses introduced 100 varieties of azaleas to the United States. The vast, gnarled wisteria vine which defines the Augusta National’s clubhouse is said to be one of the first ever planted in this country. The privet hedge that now surrounds much of the club’s property is descended from ten cuttings the Berckmanses imported from France around 1860.

Prosper Berckmans died in 1910. Nevertheless, many of the flowering plants that bloom at Augusta National during Masters week are descended from Berckmans stock. Indeed, since the early 1930s, when the club and the tournament began, Augusta National has been known almost as much for its gardens as for its golf.

David Owen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a contributing editor of Golf Digest. His books about golf include My Usual Game, The Chosen One, and The Making of the Masters. He and his wife, Ann Hodgman, live in Washington, Connecticut. Visit www.davidowen.net

For over 100 years, the Washington Garden Club of Washington, Connecticut has developed the knowledge and love of gardening, enhanced the natural beauty of our community through civic plantings, and promoted the conservation of our natural resources. WGC has been a member of the prestigious and influential Garden Club of America since 1917 and the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut since 1972. For more information visit HREF="http://www.washingtongardenclubct.org/">washingtongardenclubct.org.

Classic Book Discussions: Strong Women, Bad Choices

Kathy Kehoe, Washington CT literary enthusiast, is leading spring book discussions entitled Strong Women, Bad Choices. The discussions scheduled are Persuasion by Jane Austen on Tuesday, April 19 at 4:30 p.m. and Edith Wharton's The Mother's Recompense on Tuesday June 14 at 4:30 p.m.

The discussions celebrate novels by two of classic literature's most revered female authors and explores how two heroines deal with the consequences of their questionable choices.

Jane Austen's heroine Anne Elliot has succumbed to family and social pressures and breaks off her engagement to her beloved naval Captain Wentworth, producing in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. Persuasion begins eight years later and examines the consequences of Anne's actions.

Edith Wharton's heroine Kate Clephane of The Mother's Recompense has left her husband and baby daughter in New York while she follows her younger lover to Europe, only to be recalled to America by her daughter, now an adult. What Kate learns upon her return to the United States is surprising and heartbreaking. How she deals with this revelation is heroic.

Participants will explore how significant life choices are made and how individuals deal with these choices. This is not a lecture series and participation will be encouraged.

Kathy Kehoe is an avid reader who is an active member of several book groups in the Litchfield area. A former educator and advertising executive, Kathy is thrilled to share her enthusiasm for Austen and Wharton with members of the community. When asked how she is able to belong to multiple book groups, Kathy explains that "insomnia is a reader's best friend!" Kathy led a former Gunn Library book discussion on To Kill a Mockingbird during its 50th anniversary year celebration.

Copies of the books will be available at the circulation desk. For more informaiton, contact Margaret Ferguson at gunnprograms@biblio.org or 860-868-7586.

Book Basement

Open weekdays 10:00 to 4:00, Saturdays 10:00 to 2:00
Consider Bringing Your Own Bag. Thanks!

Come in and browse the newly added fiction, non-fiction, biography, history and children’s books. The history has been organized into major wars as well as American and European categories and more. There is an entire wall of new fiction. The new stock includes "specials" — frequently collectible and highly sought after titles priced far less than what can be found on internet book sites. A large collection of books about antiques will be featured, among which the series, American Furniture by Luke Beckerdite, is covering 1993 to 2010. A selection of Irish literature includes many signed books of poetry. There is a section of local authors and many are autographed.There are thousands of books on varied topics and for every age. Since the Book Basement is constantly restocking, if you don't find something one day, come in another to find additional titles that have been added. It is a bibliophile’s cornucopia!

Call the library for further information at 860-868-7586.

e-Readers at the Gunn

Six Nook e-book reading devices have been added to our junior library collection, featuring titles for children and independent readers. Three are black and white models, with illuminated screens yet no glare in sunlight, and three are full-color tablets, perfect for younger picture book readers as well as movie-watchers with a Netflix account.

Four Amazon Kindle e-book reading devices continue to circulate from our adult circulation desk. Residents 18 years or older with a current library card may borrow an e-reader, and a Borrower's Term of Agreement must be signed. The e-reader program is made possible by a generous donation from the Shea family.

Museum Passes

Looking for a fun day trip? Museum passes are free to check out for for a three-day loan to Gunn patrons.

New Britain Museum of American Art — Free admssion for four people. (One adult must accompany children under 16). Pass is valid for general admission only. Additional fees may apply to special exhibitions, events and programs. Library pass cannot be used for Docent-led tours.

Wadsworth Atheneum — the ARTpass offers free general admission for up to two adults and two children (ages 6-17).

The Junior Library has more passes.

Explore the Connecticut Room

Looking for your ancestors? Want to learn more about your house? Is there something here in Washington that you've always wondered about? To explore the resources available in both the Connecticut Room and the Museum, please call 868-7756 for an appointment.

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