The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown (SCAN) will have Alain Picard, an acclaimed portrait artist, demonstrating painting a portrait of a model at its meeting-program on Wednesday, August 27. Alain Picard, highlighted as one of the “20 contemporary artists on the rise” by The Artist’s Magazine in 2004, cites Sargent, Degas and Sorolla among his artistic influences. He earned a BA in illustration from Western CT State University and went on to study at the Art Students League in New York City. He has won numerous awards, published a book and DVD series, and currently serves as president of the Connecticut Pastel Society.
The third annual Newtown Arts Festival will feature over two weeks of outstanding cultural programming involving a number of local organizations that have partnered with the commission to create a townwide celebration of the arts.
“The Commission’s purpose is to foster the arts in Newtown,” said Laura Lerman, chairperson of NCAC. “This year, we reached out to a number of organizations around town to help us punctuate the breadth of and depth of cultural offerings which Newtown is fortunate to have.” Terry Sagedy, chairman of Newtown Arts Festival, said the goal this year was “to involve as many groups as we could. “After successfully expanding the event to eight days in 2013, the further expansion just seemed to take its natural course,” Mr Sagedy continued. Newtown Arts Festival events will begin September 5, with the two-day signature Arts Festival returning to Fairfield Hills September 13-14. Events will then continue until September 21.
Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu will open the 37th annual Newtown Friends of Music season with a recital at Edmond Town Hall Theatre on Sunday, September 28. The 2014-15 season will continue with performances by Johannes String Quartet, Violinist Alexi Kenney and Pianist Yannick Rafalimanana, The Faure Piano Quartett, The Henschel Quartet, and The Dorian Wind Quartet with guest Pianist Spencer Myer. Recitals will take place on Sunday afternoons in the theater of Edmond Town Hall.
"The Artificial Jungle" by Charles Ludlam opens September 5 at The Little Theatre, home for Town Players of Newtown. A comedic spoof of film noir classics such as "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and "Double Indemnity," "The Artificial Jungle" The Artificial Jungle focuses on bored, beautiful housewife Roxanne Nurdiger (being played by Olivia Carr), who is tired of tending to nontalking parrots and piranhas in the pet shop she runs with her greedy husband Chester (Timothy Huebenthal). Enter the dubious Zachary Slade (Brian DeToma), who upon responding to the Help Wanted sign in the window, manages to insinuate himself into the family and into Roxanne’s heart.
Silvermine Arts Center will present a special faculty exhibition, Thursday, August 21, through Thursday, September 11, in Silvermine’s Sara Victoria Hall, with an opening reception scheduled for Thursday, August 21, at 6:30 pm. Among the teaching staff showing at the exhibit are two artists from Newtown, Rachel Morris and Joanne Conant. To coincide with the faculty exhibition, the arts center will also host an open house Sunday, September 7.
Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company and Big Buddha Cigar Lounge will co-host a Community Craft & Tag Sale on Sunday, September 14, from 9 am to 4 pm. The event will be presented at each host’s location: 34 Hawleyville Road and 27 Hawleyville Road, respectively.
Twenty Newtown teenagers and five chaperones traveled to Loveland, Colo., the final week of July, repairing homes damaged during flooding there last fall. “The week was filled with struggles and triumphs, learning and mentoring, a little time for play, and lots of hard work,” said Rick Haylon, chairman of Ben's Lighthouse. Upon arrival the Newtown contingent was divided into two work groups, working at two different homes. One home required drywall replacement on the entire first level, “plus a heavy dose of landscaping tasks,” according to Mr Haylon. A mile down the road, the second work group assisted with replacement of decking, flooring, roofing, and other jobs.
Residents are invited to celebrate 90 years of open space preservation and protecting Newtown’s rural character by Newtown Forest Association (NFA) when members host a Sunset Wine Tasting on Saturday, September 6. Small fare, a jazz trio, silent auction and, weather permitting, a spectacular sunset will all be part of the event scheduled to run from 4 to 8 pm at Holcombe Hill Wildlife Preserve, 55 Great Hill Road. Tickets are $35 per person.
Every single person involved with this summer’s 12.14 Foundation musicals, from the executive production team led by Newtowner Dr Michael Baroody and Director Michael Unger, to the crew, cast, adult volunteers, and even those who turned out for one or all the performances of 101 Dalmatians: The Musical and A Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream owe themselves a standing ovation. The accomplishments achieved in the rehearsal spaces and on the stage of Newtown High School would have been classified as a smashing success if all involved had six months to prepare, but as the curtain opened on the final performance of the Foundation’s world premier Shakespeare musical, Dr Baroody said it best. “It’s awe inspiring,” Dr. Baroody told the closing night audience August 10. “They did in weeks what takes months or years... with kids ... and Shakespeare."
English actor Robert Donat played the title role in the 1939 feature Goodbye, Mr Chips, alongside Irish actress Greer Garson in her first MGM film. Based on the novel by James Hilton, Goodbye, Mr Chips tells the story of a man’s life transformed by pupils and colleagues during his lifelong teaching career, and especially by an idyllic romance. On Sunday, August 31, the Edmond Town Hall Theater will screen Goodbye, Mr Chips, as the next offering in the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission’s celebration of films released in 1939. Continuing through the end of the year, the 2014 Sunday Cinema Series celebrates what many film enthusiasts consider the greatest year in film history.