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Stairwell Gallery |  "Feed Your Spirit" Book Discussion Series |  Memoir Writing Workshop Series |  Everything Roses Floral Design |  Book Basement |  e-Readers at the Gunn |  Museum Passes |  Search the Museum's Catalog |  Connecticut Room |  Junior Library Programs

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    Joyful Color, acrylic, 30 x 40, by Ruth Kole Cargill

Stairwell Gallery: "Ode to Spring" —
Paintings & Drawings of Ruth Kole Cargill

Ruth Kole Cargill is featuring her "Garden Paintings" until April 19. These colorful acrylic works spring directly from her imagination to the canvas. These contemporary and imaginative works are full of color, light and warmth and will be a welcome sight at the end of this long winter. Also featured in this exhibit are pen and ink drawings which are free-flowing imaginative figures that appear to move with the music so prevalent in Ruthís life. To learn more about Ruth and her images, visit her website, www.ruthkolecargill.com.

Ruth Cargill lives in Bethlehem, CT, but she was raised in Bloomsbury, London. She grew up on Montague Street across from the British Museum and down the street from London University on Russell Square. Russell Square was a location of constant entertainment with "Punch and Judy" Shows, musicians and artists. If that wasnít enough to inspire a creative spirit, her home life fueled an artistic flame. Her father was an African Novelty Showman who went by the name Prince Zulamkah. She says of this period, "Our flat was filled with colorful African costumes and the theatrical presence of my father."

Ruth was encouraged to paint by her instructor at St. Martin-in-the-Fields School and was also encouraged by her family. After graduating, she spent ten years on the continent before coming to the United States. She attended Parsons New School of Design in New York City.

Her work has been shown at Bethlehemís Gallery 500 and Woodbury Library but most of the time Mrs. Cargill participates in the Art Festival circuit in the Northeast. The Stairwell Gallery will be the launch of her new season. She will be showing her work at the Wickford Art Festival in RI, Mystic Outdoor Art Festival in CT, New Hope Art Festival in PA and Scituate Art Festival, RI among others.

Ruth says of her art, "Design, color, texture and imagination are my strengths.... My art reflects the British, African and American cultural influences on my life. It is constantly evolving and swings from traditional to abstract forms. I love the creative journey."

For further information please call 860-868-7586 or email chartman@biblio.org.

Next Up in the Stairwell: Arthur Carter: Studies for Construction - Sculptures, Paintings, Orthogonals

    Orthogoanl Construction 12, 2010 - Acrylic on Stainless Steel 48 x 30 inches
We are honored to present an exhibition of sculptures, orthogonals and paintings by Arthur Carter. The exhibit will be on view from April 26 through June 21 with a reception and talk by the artist on April 26 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Mr. Carterís early years might seem like another personís full lifetime of events. He was trained as a classical pianist, majored in French literature at Brown University, served three years in the United States Coast Guard as a lieutenant commanding officer of an air search and rescue craft, then received his MBA in finance from Dartmouth, followed by a 25 year career as an investment banker.

In 1981, he started a new venture. Founding the Litchfield County Times and six years later the New York Observer, he began his career as a publisher. He was also the publisher of the Nation and the East Hampton Star. And in 2008, the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute was founded at New York University where Mr. Carter is a trustee and chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Faculty of Arts and Science. Mr. Carter has also held adjunct professorships in philosophy and journalism at NYU.

Now we come to the "art part" of Mr. Carter — the grid design and layout of the front page of his newspapers inspired him to reproduce that same theme but in a three dimensional format and using stainless steel. This was a material he had learned to master when he was in Officer Candidate School where he learned welding. Thus, sculpting became the latest statement of his polymath proclivities.

Untitled No. 1 - 2013 - Bronze 36 x 24 x 14 inches    
Artists naturally evolve and he was soon working with wood, clay and copper wire and then larger constructions in silicon bronze and stainless steel. Many of his larger pieces are on permanent public display in New York City. The fabrication process can take months to complete and involves all the complexities of a machine shop, but each piece begins with one common denominator, his sketch pad.

The Stairwell Gallery exhibit will include Mr. Carterís Orthogonals. A catalog of his exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art from the Fall of 2011, describes the pieces as follows: "Arthur Carterís bold new series, which he calls collectively the Orthogonals, offers a fine example of a mixed mode that channels the powers of painting and sculpture through the distinguished medium of the relief." These pieces are complex in their simplicity. They are strong, mathematical and like his other work, they vary in finish and are affected by the changing light and reflection. Carter has said, "My work focuses on simplifying and eliminating the excessive. The question is how does purity of design lend itself to making a beautiful and elegant piece?"

Arthur Carter maintains a production facility and design studio in Roxbury, CT. He has been a featured solo artist at many galleries, including the Tennessee State Museum, The Grey Art Gallery, 80WSE Galleries at New York University and the New Britain Museum of American Art. Mr. Carter is the author of two hardcover books, Arthur Carter: Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings (2009) and Arthur Carter: Studies for Construction (2012).

Gunn Memorial is most pleased to welcome this prolific artist who is still immersed in the world of manufacturing and finance around the world. Perhaps his philosophy can help unify this "polymath" for us. Mr. Carter has said, "The simpler the economics are, the better; if you donít understand it, you donít do it. Purity in both design and business function means never dilute, never diffuse, and never bloat."

"Feed Your Spirit" Book Discussion Series

Reverend Cheryl P. Anderson and Anne-Marie Davenport are leading an uplifting and in-depth book discussion series, "Feed Your Spirit." This five-part series focuses on personal and spiritual enlightenment. All are welcome to join the discussion at any point in the series. Copies of the books will be available at the circulation desk prior to each discussion.

The Reverend Cheryl P. Anderson is Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Washington. Her own eclectic spiritual journey ultimately led to a Masters of Divinity degree from Andover-Newton Theological School and ordination in the United Church of Christ. She has led the church in Washington for 17 years. Cheryl has led adult studies in the history of Christianity and the Bible as well as studies of other faiths including Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism. She is certified to lead Contemplative Prayer groups and retreats and regularly leads spiritual practice groups at the church. She has had training in Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana, Zazen, and Centering Prayer and her own 40-year meditation practice utilizes what she has learned from all of them to keep her spirit well fed.

Anne-Marie Davenport is a Spiritual and Bereavement Care Coordinator for hospice and a minister at the First Congregational Church in Washington, Connecticut. She holds a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Graduate Certificate in Women's Leadership from Hartford Seminary. She has facilitated spirituality, bereavement and book groups in both church and institutional settings. Anne-Marie likes to describe herself as "a spiritual mutt" and a Catholic-Evangelical-Congregational Yogi. Her spirituality is formed from many faith traditions, Kundalini yoga, life experiences, the 12 Steps and her work as a minister. She is interested in and open to everyone's journey. She lives in Washington with her husband Jim and their four children.

Subsequent dates for the other discussions planned on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. are May 12 and June 9. For more information, contact Margaret Ferguson at 860-868-7586 or gunnprograms@biblio.org.

One Life to Write — Memoir Writing Workshop

A four-session memoir writing workshop entitled "One Life to Write" will be conducted on four consecutive Thursdays: April 24 through May 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the library's Wykeham Room.

In this workshop participants will learn basic storytelling techniques to craft their personal or family stories with literary purpose. Through readings, discussions, and writing exercises, they will become knowledgeable on the elements and different aspects of writing a memoir with finesse and learn to organize their work so their stories "speak" to readers.

The four workshop sessions are:

The workshop will be taught by Washington, CT author, Amy Julia Becker. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of numerous books including A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, named by Publisher's Weekly as one of the best books of 2011. She is a regular blogger for Christianity Today. Her essays have appeared online in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Parents.com, First Things, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Hartford Courant, The Christian Century, Christianity Today, and Books and Culture.

Gunn Memorial Library thanks Connecticut Community Foundation for funding this Lifelong Learning Program. For more information, contact Margaret Ferguson at 860-868-7586 or gunnprograms@biblio.org.

Everything Roses Floral Design

We are pleased to welcome Loretta Stagen of Loretta Stagen Floral Designs for a floral design demonstration on Saturday, May 3 at 11:00 a.m. in the library's Wykeham Room.

Ms. Stagen will show how to create sophisticated, chic arrangements featuring a variety of exquisite roses including garden, floribunda, David Austen and single. After her demonstration, twelve lucky guests will be randomly selected to participate in a hands-on workshop and create an elegant rose topiary. Everyone else will learn by watching. The lucky twelve will take home their arrangements. All materials will be provided.

A professional floral designer for over twenty-five years, Loretta specializes in creative floral dťcor for weddings, parties and events. Her talent takes her throughout the Northeast, including Greenwich, Southampton, Block Island and points in between. She is known for her elaborate home decorations for the holidays and for her abundant summer container plantings. Loretta frequently lectures at garden clubs and also teaches floral design by appointment. Visit Loretta's website at www.lorettastagen.com.

For more information, contact Margaret Ferguson at 860-868-7586 or gunnprograms@biblio.org.

Book Basement

We are delighted to announce the reopening of the bookshop — The Book Basement — on Saturday, February 8th. On-going hours will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

We are currently having a sale on all fiction and cookbooks. Hard cover and paperback fiction will be sold at $5 a grocery size bag and cook books will be sold at half price. There are many beautiful books in great condition; shoppers are sure to find plenty to purchase. Be green and BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag).

The bookshop boasts an inventory of over 10,000 books that are continually organized on floor to ceiling bookcases, as well as a room full of tables. Donations of books continue to roll in and are added to every category from art, photography, antiques and design, fiction, history and childrenís books in addition to rare and out-of-print books. Media is also well represented with a large collection of music CDís, audio books and DVDís. Dedicated volunteers have been carefully shelving and "sprucing up" every nook and cranny and look forward to greeting shoppers.

Call the library for further information at 860-868-7586 or email chartman@biblio.org. Given the unpredictability of weather conditions, we recommend you call first to be sure the bookshop is open.

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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