Book Signing and Author Talk

All Eyes Are Upon Us
By Jason Sokol

Thursday, December 11, 2014, at 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Admission is free; books are available!
Refreshments will be served.
Jason will sign copies,
talk about his book, and take questions.

Order in advance by e-mailing home@institutelibrary.org to save 25% off the cover price of $32; buy full-price at the door.

All Eyes Are Upon Us "complicates and confounds widely accepted narratives of victory over racism and of racism's devious resilience...This honest, conscientious book inventively 'weaves together these warring strands' of a nation that, as Sokol puts it, 'has been able to achieve stunning progress' but is still 'unable to absorb the new story it has authored.'"

Jason Sokol at the Institute Library

With "sharp research and insights," Sokol "exposes the troubled truth about the North's racial integration." -Kirkus Reviews

“Jason Sokol’s account of the struggle for racial equality in the Northeast following World War II reveals a region that has, paradoxically, served the nation as a model of idealism, yet clashed fitfully, sometimes violently, over whether and how to translate those ideals into action. What makes Sokol’s study so fascinating—and important—is the way it challenges the ‘mystique’ of Northeast progressivism while also charting that mystique’s shaping impact on a region committed to closing the gap between democracy and discrimination. All eyes should be upon Sokol’s illuminating new history.” - Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

“All Eyes Are Upon Us is an original and insightful exploration of the recent history of America’s paradoxical racial soul: simultaneous promise and advance on one side, and disillusionment and retrogression on the other. Highly deserving of a wide readership, this is an engagingly written examination of the history of racial politics in the Northeast as a lens to illuminate this enduring tension.” - Waldo Martin, Morrison Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley

Jason Sokol is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire and the author of There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights. He worked in journalism for several years, including stints at the New Haven Advocate and The Nation. Sokol lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Connecticut and Regional Insights:
-The book contains a chapter on Hartford, tracing the entwined histories of black politics and black poverty. This centers on Thirman Milner, New England’s first black mayor–who was elected eight years before New Haven’s own John Daniels.

-Another chapter explores Senator Abraham Ribicoff’s crusade against northern segregation, including Ribicoff's 1970 speech–“The North is guilty"–and his audacious plan to integrate every urban school system.

-Learn about Jackie Robinson’s (often failed) attempts to buy a home in the Connecticut suburbs, the campaigns and career of Senator Edward Brooke, and the struggle to integrate Northeastern schools.

TEMPEST at the Institute Library

December 6, 2014 through January 17, 2015

Curated by David Borawski

The Gallery at the Institute Library

Opening Reception
Saturday, December 6, noon until 2
Open to the public during regular library hours.

Please visit the Gallery at the Institute Library for TEMPEST, curated by David Borawski and featuring works by David Borawski, Chris Cox, Olu Oguibe, Alyse Rosner, Margaret Roleke, and Gil Scullion.

Listen Here at the Institute Library

Listen Here: "Love is All Around"
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, at 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Steve Almond's "The Soul Molecule," and Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory"
Join the Facebook event HERE.

Check back for dates in 2015!

The Institute Library, New Haven Review, and New Haven Theater Company are pleased to announce the return of Listen Here, the short story reading series in which actors from the New Haven Theater Company read short stories chosen by New Haven Review editors. Join us for the reading, coffee/tea, and snacks, capped off by a half-hour "talk back" at the end with the performers and editors.

Read coverage of recent past events in the series: October's "Spooky Little World" and November's "Bitter Sweet."

Curated by Catherine Vanaria

The Gallery at the Institute Library
Opening Reception
Saturday, October 18, noon until 2

Open to the public during regular library hours
October 18 through November 29, 2014

Twelve area artists are featured in this unusual group exhibition that explores the meaning of an anonymous antique photo album.

Missing Links at the Institute Library
Anonymous source photo album page, photographer(s) unknown, c. 1920s

"Robespierre Unleashed," mixed media, Andrea Zimmermann © 2014

According to Vanaria’s curatorial statement, “The artists and writers participating in Missing Links were asked to create their own stories and interpretations based on an anonymous early-20th century photo album found at a flea market. The unidentified materials, separated from their original context, have become a springboard for new narratives.”

Catherine Vanaria is Chair of the Art Department and an Assistant Professor of Photography at Western Connecticut State University. She co-owns Connecticut Photographics and Still River Editions in Danbury, CT.

The individual works created by the artists and writers use diverse media to get their ideas across, and the end result blurs the lines between photography, sculpture, painting, collage, installation, writing, and sound.

The artists are: Chris Durante (Redding), Jim Felice (Danbury), Gene Gort (West Hartford), Brigid Guertin (Danbury), Lys Guillorn (Shelton), Diane Zaleta Hassan (Danbury), Stacey Kolbig (New Fairfield), Victor Pasquale (Mount Kisco, NY), Lori Robeau (Torrington), Elyse Shapiro (Norwalk), Catherine Vanaria (New Fairfield), and Andrea Zimmermann (Newtown).

"This Year's Model,"
photographic print, Gene Gort © 2014

Artists’ towns of residence, bios, and website

Chris Durante (Redding, CT) Chris Durante is an artist, educator and framemaker. He is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University (Danbury, CT). For the past thirty years he has operated a framing business in Danbury. This endeavor has allowed him ample opportunity to pursue his artistic whims unencumbered by the vagaries of the gallery system. That being said, he would certainly entertain any and all offers. In his spare time he can be found in the kitchen whipping up a fabulous fritatta.

Jim Felice (Danbury, CT) is a painter and sculptor who explores the relationship between natural phenomena and manufactured environments. He has exhibited throughout Westchester and Fairfield Counties in solo and group exhibitions including: A-Space Gallery, (West Haven, CT), Scott and Bowne, (Kent, CT), The Bartlett Arboretum, (Stamford, CT), The Time Warner Building (NYC),The Stamford Museum and Nature Center (Stamford, CT), Zoe and Floyd Gallery (Seymour, CT), The Sculpture Barn (New Fairfield, CT), Silvermine Guild Gallery, (New Canaan, CT), Hiram Halle Memorial Library (Pound Ridge, NY), The Gallery at Onatru (South Salem, NY), Northern Westchester Center for the Arts (Mt. Kisco, NY), and Colby College (Waterville, ME).

Gene Gort (West Hartford, CT) is an artist, video producer and educator whose work aims to make the quotidian significant. Simple things are elegant, challenging and revelatory. His use of technology in this transformation focuses on the awareness of its role in determining meaning. His work has shown in galleries, museums and festivals internationally. He is Professor of Media Arts at Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, a program he designed and directs.

Brigid Guertin (Danbury, CT) is a working historian, who imagines the past in a riot of colors! A graduate of Marymount College and The George Washington University she is a fan of historic textiles and more modern reproduction fabrics.

Lys Guillorn (Shelton, CT) is a multi-disciplinary artist, photographer, writer, and musician who lives in Shelton, CT. She has several records of original music, the most recent of them was released in November 2013 and is titled Winged Victory. In 2012, her projection installation “Factory Girls" was part of LAMP (Light Artists Making Places) in New Haven, Connecticut and the Bridgeport Art Trail in Bridgeport, CT. In early 2014, her black and white Holga photographs were featured in a two-artist exhibition at the Gallery at Still River Editions, Danbury, Connecticut. She is a professional photographic printmaker and digital restoration specialist.

Diane Zaleta Hassan (Danbury, CT) serves as the Research Specialist at the Danbury Museum & Historical Society. As a writer, historical researcher and genealogist, she spends much of her time locating missing links for others. She's thrilled with this opportunity to creatively express her passion for the past and the countless, untold stories that lie therein.

Stacey Kolbig’s (New Fairfield, CT) artwork is a thematic exploration of duality. Focusing upon the roles we assume and the roles we release, the connections we make and the disconnections that result there of, she visually emphasizes the commonality of our shared experience. Media and disciplines break apart and reconfigure in her processed based exploration of theme, subject and material. Stacey has exhibited throughout the northeast and has received a BA in Studio Art (Sculpture) and a BA in Graphic Design from Western Connecticut State University. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Art from the same institution. Stacey lives and works in Connecticut.

Victor Pasquale (Mount Kisco, NY) is a writer and photographer. His poetry collection Fourteen Threadless Needles was published in 2012. Pasquale's photography has been shown in a number of solo exhibitions, most recently, at the Still River Editions Gallery in Danbury, Connecticut. He lives with is family in New York State.

Lori Robeau (Torrington, CT) was born on the heels of the hippy era in 1971 in Detroit, Michigan. One of her earliest and most memorable experiences was living in an old converted ice cream truck and caravanning around many of the western states with her then hippy-gypsy parents. Today, Lori is an interdisciplinary artist exploring ideas about subjectivity and the disjointed relationship between human kind and the natural world. Her work has been acquired by numerous private collectors and has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions throughout the Northeast including The Duxbury Art Complex Museum, The Warwick Art Museum, The Slater Memorial Museum and The Pearl Street Gallery.

Elyse Shapiro (Norwalk, CT)is a teacher and commercial photographer. Elyse began her career as a photojournalist in late 1970’s working for the Westport (CT) News and affiliated newspapers of the Brooks Community News group for more than 12 years. She has been teaching Photography for 20 years starting at The Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT and now including Western Connecticut State University in Danbury,CT.

Catherine Vanaria (New Fairfield, CT) is a photographer, master darkroom technician, and educator. Her work is included in the Polaroid Collection, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame collection, as well as many private collections, and has been included in numerous group shows throughout the northeast United States including the Aldrich Museum (Ridgefield, CT). Her personal work has been published in XTC: Song Stories (Hyperion, 1998), Exposure: Special Edition, extended booklet accompanying Robert Fripp's re-release (Discipline, 2006).

Catherine is the Chair of the Art Department at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT where she teaches Photography and co-owner of Connecticut Photographics/Still River Editions. Vanaria graduated from Hartford Art School with a BFA in Photography, and Savannah College of Art and Design with an MA in Digital photography and from the Art Institute of Boston with MFA in Visual Arts (Photography). She lives in New Fairfield, CT.

Andrea Zimmermann (Newtown, CT) is a freelance writer, photographer, librarian, and artist who lives in Newtown, CT. She has written for the New York Times, regional magazines, and is the author of two local history books. She is writing a book on the history of the Danbury Fair that will be published by History Press in 2015. Between assignments, she is working on a mystery novel.

Tea Time at the Institute Library

Thursday Tea Time

Socialize with members and staff

Every Thursday through December 4, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Open to current library members. Please join us Thursday afternoons this fall for tea and conversation with other members and staff. Visit the library or our website to become a member or renew.