Darien to become a Parisian canvas
Twenty local artists will try to transform a section off town into Paris for an all-day outdoor exhibit at Grove Street Plaza on Saturday, Sept. 26.
“Artists at Grove Street Plaza,” will feature framed canvases, prints, photographs and ceramics. Some of the painters will work at their easels from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Darien Arts Center. The rain date is Oct. 3.
“For one autumn day, we hope to bring Paris to Darien,” explained Nobu Miki, the Darien modern folk artist who conceived and organized the day.
Montmartre is the 400-foot hill in the northern section of Paris where bohemian painters like Renoir, Picasso and Modigliani lived and worked from 1872 to 1914 in the shadow of the white-domed Basilica of Sacre Coeur.
“An outdoor setting like Grove Street Plaza is perfect for a pop-up art event where the whole day will be alive with shoppers and working artists, food and music — all surrounded by beautiful paintings, photography, prints and ceramics,” Miki said.
Unlike modern Montmartre, the Artists at Grove Street Plaza will demonstrate their brushwork but will not knock out 10-minute pastel portraits of passers-by. “The participating artists are either for-real professionals or Sunday painters with solid local reputations,” Miki explained.
Miki recruited the artists with a suggestion to keep the price on most sale items to less than $500 “to make the artwork reasonable and accessible.”
Miki said a goal of the outdoor group exhibit is to grow to achieve standing alongside Darien’s many important outlets for local talent, such as the Darien Arts Center’s June exhibit, the on-going monthly exhibits in the Darien Library’s gallery level, the periodic open studio exhibitions of the Wilson Avenue Loft Artists (WALA) in Norwalk, monthly featured artists at Atria, and the big annual June fund-raiser in Rowayton for the Community Cooperative Nursery School (CCNS).
“I miss the annual fall EMS Post 53 exhibit,” Miki said. That mega-fund-raiser for the youth Explorer Post’s emergency medical services which held its last exhibit featuring 400 paintings by 100 artists in November 2008. “With the crash in the art market in 2008, Darien has needed a replacement for that showcase event, and I dream this open air exhibit could become that successful in years to come.”