Community news in Darien: Art show, ‘Nutcracker’ dancers, author talks, holiday songs and more

Museum of Darien looks back to the 1960s

The Museum of Darien is returning to the 1960s with a new art exhibit called “It’s a Mod, Mod, Mod World!”

The Champagne Art Show Opening and Holiday Gala for the exhibit will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3. Tickets are $40 for museum members and $50 for nonmembers.

The event will feature work by a collaborative of artists from Fairfield County called The Concepts Group. The exhibiting artists will include Donna Collins, Carol Conze, Cate Leach, Pam Lindberg, Jane Lubin, Mary Manning, Karen Neems, Lisa Thorén and Meg Tweedy. The artwork will be for sale.

The paisleys, swirls and bright colors that came on the scene during the hippy-era of the 1960s inspired the artists’ paintings, prints and collages.

The Museum of Darien will display costumed mannequins in fashions from the 1960s, and guests are encouraged to wear their hippest threads from the 1960s and the 1970s.

The show was inspired by a counterculture comeback during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people binge-watched “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Madmen” and other TV shows set in the 1960s, said Lisa Thorén, organizer of “It’s a Mod, Mod, Mod World!”

The show is dedicated to Babs White, who recently retired after 50 years as the curator of the Museum of Darien’s costume collection.

Space is limited for the opening gala. Registration is required by visiting museumofdarien.org or calling 203-655-9233.

The Museum of Darien, formerly the Darien Historical Society, is located at 45 Old Kings Highway N. Its gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays or by appointment. The art show will be on exhibit through Jan. 13.

DAC to present ‘Scenes from The Nutcracker’

The Darien Arts Center will present its annual show of “Scenes from The Nutcracker” in its Weatherstone Studio.

The hourlong show, performed by students in the DAC’s dance companies, is narrated and geared for younger audiences.

Children can sit up close for the show and are invited to meet and greet the dancers after the show. The 2021 production will feature new dances and colorful costumes that will delight audience members of all ages.

“Scenes from ‘The Nutcracker” has been a favorite in Darien since 2002. Bonnie Gombos is the choreographer.

Performances will be at 3 p.m. Dec. 11, Dec. 12, Dec. 18 and Dec. 19. Tickets are $20 each and are available at darienarts.org. Call 203-655-8683 with any questions.

The Weatherstone Studio is located at 2 Renshaw Road behind Darien Town Hall.

Jingle Belters sing at tree lighting

The Jingle Belters, a singing group from the Darien Arts Center, recently performed Christmas carols on stage while Santa Claus greeted the crowd at Darien’s annual tree-lighting event on Nov. 28.

Take a peek at Jasper Johns art exhibit

The Darien Library invites all art enthusiasts to a virtual program at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, that will take a look at “Jasper Johns: Mild/Mirror,” an exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York City and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“Jasper Johns: Mild/Mirror” is the largest survey to date of the artist’s work, including paintings, prints, sculpture and photography.

In the program, art historian Page Knox will explore John’s most iconic images and provide a primer for the exhibitions. She is an adjunct professor in the art history department of Columbia University.

To register for the free event, visit darienlibrary.org/event/5462.

Hit the ski slopes through book talk

The Darien Library and the Barrett Bookstore will host a virtual conversation with author Heather Hansman at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Hansman will discuss her latest book: “Powder Days: Ski Bums, Ski Towns and the Future of Chasing Snow.”

The book explores the sport of skiing at the intersection of climate change, gender, race, economics, psychology and snow science. The story is woven together for a joyride through skiing’s myths and legends.

To register for the free program, visit darienlibrary.org/event/5393.

Art meets literature in author talk

The Darien Library and the Barrett Bookstore will present a virtual conversation at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, with three authors whose work bridges the gap between art and literature.

Jonathan Santlofer, author of “The Last Mona Lisa;” Michaela Carter, author of “Leonora in the Morning Light;” and Natasha Lester, author of “The Riviera House,” will speak about their experiences as writers and artists.

The three authors will also dive into how their works of fiction are influenced by paintings and art history.

To register for the free event, visit darienlibrary.org/event/5444.

String quartet to play at Mather Homestead

The Mather Homestead is welcoming back the Con Fuoco String Quartet instrument group at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, for a holiday concert.

The quartet is made up of four musicians from the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians: Gia Lin and Nicole Razhanskiy on the violin, Ambika Grover on the viola, and Ami Matsushita on the cello.

Thy will perform an hourlong program, including Beethoven String Quartet in C minor and Mozart String Quartet in C Major as well as a selection of Christmas Carols.

The concert will be held the Elizabeth W. Chilton Education Center, also known as the barn, on the Mather Homestead property at 19 Stephen Mather Road in Darien.

Tickets are $20 for Mather members, $25 for nonmembers and $10 for students. Patron tickets for $100 are also available to support the Homestead’s ongoing music series.

For tickets and more information, visit matherhomestead.org.

Saint Luke’s hosts a capella holiday concert

The Friends of Music at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Parish in Darien is presenting a holiday concert by New Consort, an a capella ensemble founded in 2015, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.

The hourlong concert is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted.

The program, dubbed A Close Harmony Christmas, will feature classic holiday gems as well as new Christmas songs.

Saint Luke’s Parish is located at 1864 Post Road in Darien. For more information, visit saintlukesdarien.org.

Darien Junior Football League gives back

More than 100 players and coaches from the Darien Junior Football League picked up trash Nov. 27 at the Darien High School football stadium, including on the field, bleachers, concession area and the surrounding area.

The volunteers came from the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade teams.

The event has become a tradition for the Darien Junior Football League, giving the kids an opportunity to give back to the community while ensuring that the stadium is left in good shape.