Amateur Hour at the Institute Library

Amateur Hour, No. 15: UNDERCOVER PSYCHIC!

Featuring Mark Edward
Hosted by Jack Hitt

Join mentalist Mark Edward as he reads the minds of our audience members and then reveals the magic--of fortune telling, tea-leaf reading, seancing, palmistry, and crystal ball gazing. On Friday, November 14, unleash your inner soothsayer and become the seer you always wanted to be. (Head scarves not included.)

Friday, November 14, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Doors open at 6:30

Library Members $10 Admission,
Non-Members $15

Tickets available online at

Collectible limited editions of posters signed by Mark Edward, Jack Hitt, and Joshua Foer will be available for sale following the event.

Amateur Hour, the Institute Library's monthly series curated by Joshua Foer and Jack Hitt, explores the passions and pursuits of America's most inspiring fanatics, obsessives, tinkerers, and collectors.

Amateur Hour is made possible through the generous support of CT Humanities, Faxon Law Group, and Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR). VQR is now publishing a section on selected Amateur Hour installments in every issue: pick up a copy at Atticus Bookstore or read one online at www.vqronline.org!

Storytelling at the Institute Library

Storytelling Workshop Series

Final Workshop:
November 6, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

Lead by led by Arnie Pritchard, a storyteller from New Haven and longtime member of the Connecticut Storytelling Center.

Free to all.
Library Members and guests encouraged to attend.
Click here to learn about joining the library.

Register for free at

Everyone is a storyteller. You create, pass on, and interpret stories every day - when you tell a friend about your day, update the boss on your current project, or tell your grandson what his mother was like as a child. This fall, the Institute Library and the Connecticut Storytelling Center will offer a workshop series to help participatns become more intentional and thoughtful about how they tell stories. Each participant will have the opportunity to choose a brief story to tell, and we will help each other hone our stories. Your story may be based on your own experience, it may be a traditional folktale or legend, or you may find another genre.

The workshopswhich will build on each other, will be held from 6:30-8 P.M. on four Thursdays, September 25, October 9 and 23, and November 6. We hope participants will join us for all four workshops! Sign up in advance for the workshop series by registering for any one of the four nights at storytellingatthelibrary.eventbrite.com.

On November, 13, the Institute Library will present a “Tellabration!”, a public storytelling show. We hope to help prepare workshop participants so that they will share their stories then!

Institute Library Presents
Tellabration! A Celebration of the Oral Tradition

Storytelling performance as
Culmination of Arnie Pritchard’s workshop

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Free.

Join us for this fun event celebrating library members and friends, and their stories, and benefitting the Connecticut Storytelling Center.

Tellabration at the Institute Library

The library's "tellers" are: Edward Bednar, Alex Bragg, Stephanie Fitzgerald, Saul Fussiner, Lisa Lochner, Wendy Marans, Sharen McKay, and Cynthia Parker. MC: Chris McArdle.

Tellabration is a mammoth storytelling event - and that's no Tall Tale! It's a storytelling phenomenon, made up of dozens of storytelling happenings all over the world. Its purpose is to introduce adults, as well as children, to the pleasures of the oral art of storytelling.  It is one of the programs offered by The Connecticut Storytelling Center, based at Connecticut College in New London.

A full listing of Tellabration sites in Connecticut with dates and times can be found by logging onto http://www.connstorycenter.org/tellabration.htm or by calling The Connecticut Storytelling Center at 860-439-2764."

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, starting September 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.