Programs set on the juried art and how to buy art with knowledge

Have you been looking for a “just right” piece for that spot over your mantel? Perhaps your dining room needs a little “something special” to pull it all together?

The Mark Twain Library Art Show may be just the place for you. The annual art show opens on Saturday, Dec. 1, and continues for nine days, until Sunday, Dec. 9, for viewing and purchasing during regular library hours. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the library’s annual show, a sale of juried art in mostly oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels; and some sculpture and pottery — and it’s all in support of the library.

The art show features about 125 artists’ original works hung in gallery fashion, and some portfolios of prints. The show gives local residents the opportunity to view fine art, to purchase a favorite for their own enjoyment, or to buy as a special gift. A portion of each art sale directly supports the Mark Twain Library.

Thanks to the show’s venerable reputation for wonderful art at reasonable prices, it has been a draw for some of the area’s most talented artists for 40 years. Because this is a juried show, any artist may enter two works for consideration, with jurying to be held  Wednesday, Nov. 28.

Meet the juror

This year’s art show is once again being juried by the award-winning artist Charles Ray. Mr. Ray is a former director of the Silvermine Art School in New Canaan, and longtime Redding resident. His program “Behind the Scenes with Charles Ray” is back again by popular demand, and set for Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m.

This is an opportunity to stroll the library with the man who juried the show, and listen to his own unique and thoughtful perspective on this year’s art. Mr. Ray’s event continues to grow in popularity and draws a lively crowd each year.

Art buyer or collector?

Buying a piece of original art at the art show may be intimidating to some. A special lecture by celebrated art expert Tim Newton, on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m., is designed to help bridge the gap for those interested in learning how to be more than an art buyer — how to be an art collector.

Mr. Newton is the founder and curator of “American Masters,” one of America’s foremost art exhibitions and sales, held annually at New York City’s Salmagundi Club. For more than 130 years, the Salmagundi Club has served as a center for fine artists from New York and around the country. Through the years, the club has been the singular gathering place for some of the country’s greatest artists. Honorary members have included such luminaries as Sir Weston Churchill.

Intimidated? Don’t be. Mr. Newton will provide his audience with the skills to make decisions about purchasing art with knowledge and confidence.

Admission is free for all programs, but space is limited. Please RSVP at the front desk, by phone at 203-938-2545, or online at www.MarkTwainLibrary.org.

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