New Pond Farm art show is open to the public

Babette Bloch with her steel sculpture that greets guests as they enter the Education Building at New Pond Farm. — Janis Gibson photo

Babette Bloch with her steel sculpture that greets guests as they enter the Education Building at New Pond Farm.
— Janis Gibson photo

The New Pond Farm Art Show opened with its largest preview to date, with more than 125 people in attendance Friday, May 29. Conducted in the farm’s spacious Education Building, visitors were greeted outside the door by Babette Bloch’s stainless steel floral sculpture before ascending the staircase to view more than 100 works of art in various mediums from some 50 artists in the two upstairs rooms. A dozen portfolios were also presented.

Appetizers and beverages were shared in the Common Room, which is also hosting the silent auction for the duration of the show, and on the wraparound porch. John Holden provided gentle guitar music during the evening and New Pond Farm board vice president John Campbell gave a quick greeting, thanking everyone for attending as well as reminding them of the range of program offerings and volunteer opportunities at New Pond.

The art show is free and will remain on view through Saturday, June 13; hours are 10 to 5 Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 on Sunday. In a something for everyone exhibition, price points ranged from $25 to $12,000, with a portion of the sales proceeds shared with New Pond for its educational programs. A number of sold dots were in evidence by evening’s end.

New Pond Director Ann Taylor called the art show “one of the highlights of our 30th anniversary celebration.” She added, “It is a treat; it brings new people to New Pond Farm and allows New Pond Farm to make new friends. Also, having watched many of the artists paint on our 102-acre site, it is fun for the staff to see the finished product.

“Kris [Holm, art show chair] does an amazing job pulling it all together and she and Joanne Bryant hang the show, with assistance from Kris’s husband Dan Smith, who built the lattice work that holds many of the paintings, and their daughter.”

First Selectman Julia Pemberton, who has attended the alternate-year art shows since they began in 2007, said, “New Pond Farm is a treasure; it is amazing to have something like this so close. I encourage anyone unfamiliar with it and all it offers to come and check it out.”

In describing the presentation, Ms. Holm said, “The show has mostly familiar Redding artists who love the farm and keep coming back, but to celebrate our 30th anniversary, we wanted to include the larger community, so we expanded the scope of this art show to include works of the many universal themes of nature, which are found not only on the farm, but throughout the surrounding regions of Connecticut, New York State and New England. These artists with their varied backgrounds and styles share a common passion for the beauty and celebration of nature found everywhere.

“We are very grateful to our artists who generously share a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their artwork with New Pond Farm to help support out education programs which serve over 6,000 school children, and adults, every year,” she said.

Among the crowd favorites were Jimmy Grashow’s colorful, intricately cut and pieced Corrugated Rooster (recently returned from a museum tour and happy to be back on a farm, Ms. Holm noted) in a case in the Gathering Place, and Robert Sauber’s large cow portraits, presented in both rooms.

Other popular local artists with work are view are Kathy Anderson, Peter Bergeron, Muci Clemens, Susan Durkee and Pam Reese, as well as Ms. Holm and Ms. Bryant.

The final day of the show, June 13, is also the day of the For the Love of Gardening garden tour, co-sponsored by New Pond and the Redding Garden Club, from 10 to 4, which includes eight gardens. See separate article elsewhere in this issue for more information.

New Pond Farm Education Center is at 101 Marchant Road, at the bend in Umpawaug Road. For additional information, or 203-938-2117.

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