Exhibits & Speakers
We host a variety of art exhibits and lectures throughout the year, please see our event calendar page for upcoming events.
Down on the Farm
By Britt Bair and Lisa Thorén
April 27-June 2, 2017
Plein aire artists and friends, these two women are kindred spirits who turn to the great outdoors when looking for inspiration. Traveling to Block Island and all corners of Connecticut and Rhode Island they’ve discovered that they work better together rather than alone. Often they challenge each other by assigning themselves a palette of limited colors, or to quickly capture the sun setting by completing a painting in under ten minutes. One rainy trip they decided to paint the dreary, gray landscape in fauve colors, using a playful pop art palette–opposite of what the day felt like.
Their styles depicting nature are not the same but their enthusiasm is, and that is why Britt and Lisa are creative companions, down on the farm or at the shore or where ever their journey takes them.
Mary Morant Art Exhibit
“Living by the water inspires me every day. I feel lucky to be surrounded by the colors of nature and it’s ever changing light. Having lived in France and Holland, the sky was always an important part of French and Dutch painting—and life—evoking several different moods. The places I have lived have become a part of me and what I value. My paintings are an attempt to share with others the images that stay with me even after I leave.”
Designer and painter, Mary has been involved in the visual arts for over 30 years. After earning her BFA from the University of Georgia, she spent ten years in New York City as an art director working on the IBM account. She pursued her painting at night at the Art Student’s League studying under David Leffel.
Having spent six years in Europe, Mary studied painting at the Louvre Museum in Paris. In Holland, she studied under Marike Bok in the Hague. Back in the States since 2001, Mary continues to paint locally in her studio at 861 Boston Post Road in Darien, CT.
Mary’s work embraces a variety of subject matter from landscapes to still lifes to figural themes. Lately, she has been involved in printmaking focusing on oysters and oystering. She loves the organic beauty and quality that printmaking surprises us with.
Mary’s work can be found throughout Fairfield County in several galleries, offices and homes as well as in private collections in Georgia, Montana, New York, France, Switzerland, and Holland.
For more information, please visit marymorant.com.
Donna Collins Art Exhibit
Donna Collins, a local painter and trained landscape architect, presents a group of paintings celebrating nature and landscape. She works in oil referencing the colors, shapes and rhythms of the natural world, using both observation and imagination.
Sustainable Landscaping Lecture
After opening remarks from Laura di Bonaventura, Director of Sustainability at Greenwich Country Day School and a board member of the Nature Conservancy of CT, Karen Hughan of Good Gardens spoke about native plant species which support a diverse ecosystem, and Dan Hageney of Connecticut Green Landscaping discussed composting and organic lawn care.
Birds and Butterflies Lecture
Dave Winston from the Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary gave insight into local birds and butterflies in our community. He discussed supporting these species, their role in our environment and the food chain. Cindy Ryan from the DCA Bird Sanctuary and Chris Filmer from the Darien Land Trust were available to answer questions.
Howland Blackiston, author of Bee Keeping for Dummies, spoke about the vital role bees play in our food chain, how we can support this incredibly important species and some of the fundamentals of backyard bee keeping. This final lecture was in collaboration with the Garden Club of Darien.
An Exhibit By Michael Schley
Michael Schley, a long-time Darien resident, presented over 30 original black and white prints of images from Provincetown to Prague, New York to California and many from right here in Fairfield County. Michael gravitated toward photography at a young age and enrolled in his first photography and darkroom classes under Robert Cygan during his sophomore year at Darien High School. Upon graduating in 1991, he received an award honoring his excellence in photography. After working as a photographer’s assistant and darkroom printer, Michael went on to study at The New England School of Photography in Boston. It was during these years he discovered his true passion for the medium. Using large and medium format cameras, Michael still prefers to shoot only on film and to hand process and print all his work in the darkroom. He has traveled throughout the United States and also into Europe, most notably to Prague. In 2004, he self-published a book of these images titled ’The Heart of Prague’. Michael’s work is a blend of architectural and nature themes. The photographs he creates are personal journeys through which he seeks poetic expressive images through light and form.