Montmartre: Outdoor art show returns to Darien on Saturday, Sept. 22

Art by Nobu Miki

Grove Street Plaza will once again host an open air art show all day Saturday, Sept. 22, featuring local artists. This is the fourth annual Paris-style exhibit which last year drew over 600 people. The rain date is Sept. 29.

The show, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., features local painters, photographers, ceramicists, plus live chamber music. For the first time, a local sculptor will be live, at work, on the plaza throughout the day.   

The event will echo the plein air feel of Montmartre, explained Nobu Miki, the Darien modern folk artist who conceived and organized the French-themed day. Montmartre is a hill overlooking Paris where Impressionism originated around 1870. “This is not an arts and craft show,” Nobu said. “It is fine art, outdoors.”

Most works will carry a price tag of less than $500. “The talent invited to show on the plaza command far higher prices for their larger, commissioned and gallery work,” Nobu said. “But this one special day is homecoming, a reunion for many of them.”

Ring’s End Bridge by John Coots.

A portion of the day’s sales, which last year totaled $12,000, will benefit the Darien Library art gallery. There is no admission charge.

Exhibiting artists are Sandra Aldrich, Britt Bair, Lauren Chisholm, John Coots, Andy Davis, Alex Dolan, Stephen Fritsch, Judith Lambertson, Nobu Miki, Nanci Natale, Jon Puzzuoli, Jan Raymond, Eunice Roy, Chet Saur and Kathleen Weinstock.

Another talent will be Andrew Barnett Davis, a sculptor who teaches at the Silvermine Art School in New Canaan, and who has volunteered his time at the Darien Senior Center for over 20 years. In his youth, Davis apprenticed under master craftsman Giovanni Bedini in Carrera, Italy. Out of his Bridgeport studio, Davis’ installations span the globe. His masterwork “Mountains, River, Sea” is on permanent display in the Museo del Bozzetti in Pietrasanta, Italy.

Throughout the day, young musicians will play classical chamber music. All are students of Aikiko Silver of Darien, whose career as a violinist began as a child prodigy in Japan before her Juilliard training. She is the founder of the Chamber Music Institute, a two- week summer music festival at the University of Maine. Aikiko’s students often advance to elite music schools and, later, occupy principal chairs in orchestras here and abroad.

A scene from a previous Darien outdoor art show at Grove Street Plaza.

All tips dropped into the open violin case at the musicians’ feet will be donated to the Darien Library.   

A plein air café alongside the plaza will feature French baked goods by Sono Bakery.   Situated permanently in the plaza itself are the NEAT coffee shop which will feature cafe au lait. Also, the Melting Pot’s bar will open at noon for Happy Hour.

Use of the Grove Street Plaza and promotion for the day was made possible by the Glassmeyer family and David Genovese of Baywater Properties. HAN Network, publisher of The Darien Times, donated advertising and editorial content to publicize the event. Laurel Bank contributed to defray set-up expenses.  

Event website: Artshow-Darien.com