Winter is right around the corner, and while some embrace the season, others just try to get through it. For those in the latter group, great art can certainly help brighten a cold grey day. Fortunately, Connecticut has an abundance of galleries and museums that will be hosting art events this winter. From exhibitions and receptions to competitions and workshops, there is something for every art enthusiast to enjoy this season.
Festival of Trees & Traditions
600 Main St.
Hartford, CT 06103
Date: Dec. 5-14, 2014
Since 1973, Hartford has welcomed the winter season with the Festival of Trees at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Artists from across the state are invited to decorate Christmas trees in ways that go well beyond the usual bulbs and garland. Past creations have been inspired by nature, classic literature and artwork in the Wadsworth collection. This year’s trees will be exhibited from December 5 through the 14 and will be available for purchase, with the money funding the museum’s operations.
Robert Reitzfeld Exhibition
80 E. Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Date: Dec. 18, 2014
Robert Reitzfeld has become one of New York’s most talked-about abstract artists. His distinctive paintings are characterized by their blend of bright colors, and often incorporate figures from comics, popular culture and classic Americana. Ridgefield’s Watershed Gallery will sponsor a special showing of Reitzfeld’s work on December 18 at the Ridgefield Playhouse. The evening includes a reception with Reitzfeld, a wine tasting and a live music from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Tickets for the event cost $47.50.
Afternoon Studios: Painting With Movement
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main St.
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Date: Dec. 26, 2014
For the past half-century, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum has been the home for unique and challenging works from the world’s top modern artists. Through April 5, it will feature the exhibition “A Roll In the Way” from Kate Gilmore, a painter, sculptor and performance artist based in Brooklyn. Gilmore turns painting into exercise, dunking oversized or heavy objects in paint and then applying them to a large canvas. The museum will give visitors the opportunity to try out her methods on December 26 with its “Painting With Movement” class. Amateur artists are invited to make a creative mess by splashing and rolling paint on giant pieces of paper and fabric to create their own abstract masterpiece.
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830
Date: Jan. 11, 2015
Works of art and natural history exhibits have long coexisted inside Greenwich’s Bruce Museum, and the two are combined in “Exploring Antarctica,” a gallery of photographs taken of the continent by Diane Tuft. The exhibition runs through January, and on the 11th of that month, Tuft herself will appear at the museum for a panel discussion. The photographer will be joined by artist Elise Engler and four nature experts including state ornithologist Margaret Rubega. All will share their perspectives on and insights into Antarctica, and help Bruce patrons appreciate Tuft’s amazing photographs.
Mystic Arts Center
9 Water St.
Mystic, CT 06355
Date: Jan. 16, 2015
Mystic is known throughout the state for its popular aquarium and seaport, but its art center complete with galleries, classrooms, library and studio is just as impressive. It also hosts juried exhibitions, including one this winter with the theme “Home.” Participating artists may use any medium of their choosing to create a piece that defines their view of “home.” The opening reception for this exhibition will be held on January 16, and the works will be on display through the end of February.
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Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.