Saturday: Montmarte — European-style outdoor art festival returns to Grove Street Plaza Saturday
Grove Street Plaza will host an open air art show all day Saturday Sept. 23 featuring 20 local artists. This is the third annual Paris-style exhibit, which last year drew 800 people. The rain date is Sept. 30.
This year’s 9 to 5 festival features top local painters, photographers and ceramicists, live chamber music, floral still life arranging, a strolling magician, an impromptu youth exhibit, and on-the-spot French language lessons for kids.
Darien’s fine art exhibit 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 bohemian painters worked from 1872 to 1914 near the Basilica of Sacre Coeur.
Artists will keep the price of most sale items to less than $500.
A portion of the day’s sales, which last year totaled $15,000, will benefit the Darien library art gallery and the Darien Arts Center (DAC). There is no admission charge.
Throughout the day, a dozen young musicians will play classical chamber music. All are dedicated students of Akiko Silver of Darien, a Julliard-trained violinist whose career as a performer and a teacher has spanned the globe.
Grand Central Terminal is depicted in this work by Darien’s Chet Saur, one of the local artists featured in this Saturday’s outdoor art festival.
Tips you might drop into the open violin case at the musicians’ feet will be donated to the Darien Library.
Joe Lamorte of Darien, who teaches watercolor painting at the Darien Arts Center (DAC), will do live demonstrations throughout the day. Lamorte is a career artist with a long career in advertising as an illustrator and art director.
Same-day youth artwork will be exhibited. The “Darien Future Artists Show” invites students 18 and younger to turn in their work on the day of the event to the exhibit booth marked “Darien Arts Center.” The work will be hung immediately on site by DAC executive director Amy Allen, arts director Beth Cherico and board members.
Crayon-wielding children ages 3-10 may color posters of Paris landmarks at the Literakid Language Programs table, where they will also learn basic related French vocabulary. Literakid is a foreign language institute teaching French, Spanish and Chinese to students and corporate clientele, often at libraries in Fairfield County.
A plein air café alongside the plaza will feature French baked goods by the SoNo baking company. Situated permanently in the plaza itself are the NEAT coffee shop which will feature cafe au lait in the morning hours, and the Melting Pot fondue restaurant, which will offer happy hour priced drinks and Cheese and chocolate fondues.
Flower arranging demonstrations will be conducted by Jaime Hayes of the Gardener’s Center & Florist of Darien.
Also, Magician-Entertainer Steve Dane will be on hand. Dane grew up in Darien and graduated from UCONN with an Acting Degree. He enjoys performing sleight of hand magic & mental miracles (for all ages) throughout the NYC metro area.
Young artists under 18 years of age are encouraged to bring their artwork to the second annual future Darien artists show, part of the Artists at Grove Street Plaza event, taking place on Saturday, Sept. 23 in Grove Street Plaza in Darien. Young artists will have their work displayed throughout the day without judging or selling. Entering the show is free and one work is allowed per participant. Any media on unframed paper, no larger than 12” X 16”, is accepted. Young artists should bring their work to the Darien Arts Center table in the Grove Street parking lot between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23.
Each participant will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize donated by the Darien Arts Center.
Now in its third year, the artists and Grove Street Plaza exhibit adds to a thriving local art scene. The Darien Library’s gallery level is still well-subscribed and attended as are the periodic open studio exhibitions of the private Wilson Avenue Loft Artists (WALA) in Norwalk, monthly featured artists at Atria, and the June fund-raiser in Rowayton for the Community Cooperative Nursery School (CCNS). The big, biennial Darien Arts Center show was staged this year in June, supplementing its abundant course offerings in both the exhibiting and performing arts.
Also, the Rowayton Art Center, the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, and the Geary Gallery on the Post Road — all provide a big support for local talent.
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. Darien Rowayton Bank contributed to defray set-up expenses.
Event website: artshow-darien.com.