wantaposterFriday, September 23 at 7 p.m. at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. in Centerbrook
What do a former Vermont residence of a Phish band member, a 96-foot custom motor yacht, a loft inspired by the relationship between Judaic Mysticism and Quantum Mechanics, law offices using strategies similar to those of architect/artist Gordon Matta-Clark (with a bit of the “Terminator” thrown in) and a penthouse combination in “one of the 10 most haunted buildings in New York” have in common?  The answer is New York-based architect Stephen Wanta, who will begin the ninth year of the Library’s Architecture Lecture Series on Friday, September 23 at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. in Centerbrook. This program is free and open to all. There is parking behind the office and also at Spencer’s Corner.

Among Mr. Wanta’s commercial projects are film and sound production facilities, restaurants, numerous private law offices, and showrooms and trade show exhibition booths for the home furnishings industry. The firm has also designed several museum stores, their pop-up locations and retail outlets. Mr. Wanta has designed and executed well over 100 residential projects with budgets from less than $100,000 to over $5 million in New York City, with a number of others across the country and in Europe.  The firm is just completing its second long-range motor yacht project; built in Xiamen China and commissioned in Florida.

Stephen Wanta received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980 where he received the Reynolds Aluminum School Prize in 1979 and 1980 and The American Institute of Architects Certificate of Merit. He has worked at the offices of Machado & Silvetti, Rafael Vinoly Architects, and at Peter Marino Architect and Associates. Mr. Wanta has taught and lectured at a number of schools, including Columbia University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Please call the Essex Library to register or for more information at (860) 767-1560.










Friday, June 10 at 7 p.m. to be held at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. Centerbrook

Novelist, essayist, humorist, critic, magazine editor and memoirist, Christopher Buckley, whose books have been translated into sixteen foreign languages will chat with former New York Times Book Review Editor Sam Tanenhaus about his latest novel, The Relic Master. Buckley has worked as a merchant seaman and White House speechwriter. He has written for many newspapers and magazines and has lectured in over 70 cities around the world. The Seattle Times has called Christopher Buckley “America’s greatest living political satirist.” Christian Science Monitor says Buckley “is the Nation’s best humor novelist.” Tom Wolfe says Buckley’s “one of the funniest writers in the English language.” He was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence. Sam Tanenhaus is currently writing a biography of Christopher Buckley’s father, William F. Buckley, Jr. Seating is limited, please call the Library to register.

ramstadtrollstigenTuesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. to be held at Centerbrook Architects 67 Main St. in Centerbrook

We are very proud to present acclaimed architect Reiulf Ramstad at Centerbrook’s office on May 17th at 7 pm. Ramstad’s firm, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, has earned an international reputation for boldly simple architecture that strongly connects to its Scandinavian context and landscape.

Mr. Ramstad’s Oslo-based firm achieved notoriety for its design of the Trollstigen Visitor Centre, in Møre of Romsdal, Norway. Completed in 2012, this facility is one of the earliest and largest structures among the the now-famous Norwegian Tourist Routes. Set in a stunning natural environment, it exemplifies how the deep understanding of a place can lead to innovative modern architecture. The firm has gone on to produce a wide range of pioneering projects that have attracted international accolades, including the Architizer A+Awards Firm of the Year in 2015.

Mr. Ramstad earned professorship from The Oslo School of Architecture and was a regular thesis advisor and juror. Recognized professionally as a board member of the National Association of Norwegian Architects, he has served on juries for domestic and international architectural competitions. In recent years, following awards and publicity of his firm’s projects, he has lectured around the world. He will receive an Honorary Fellowship into the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows at the AIA National Convention in Philadelphia this May.

The lecture will be held at Centerbrook’s office, located at 67 Main Street in Centerbrook, Connecticut. Space is limited, so please call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 to register.



Sunday, April 3 at 1 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall

The possibilities are endless with container gardening!  The gardener’s choices include everything from the container to the plants, and experience is essential when making decisions.  Barb has been creating container gardens both at home and at White Flower Farm for over 20 years, and no one knows more about which plants are tried and true and which are promising new introductions. Current trends in container gardening will be covered, so the audience can be sure their creations will be fashionable! Heartfelt thanks to the Essex Garden Club for co-sponsoring this program!

Nursery Manager Barbara Pierson has been with White Flower Farm for 17 years. A graduate of Cornell University, with a degree in floriculture and ornamental horticulture, Barb developed a passion for plants at an early age at her parents’ nursery. She’s now a frequent guest on national and local radio and television, and interviewed as a gardening expert by national publications.


Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m.

Susan Strecker’s debut novel, Night Blindness was released by Thomas Dunne Books in 2014 and garnered rave reviews: “Strecker builds fine portraits.” ―Kirkus Reviews; “the characters will pull you in.” ―Booklist; “a powerful beginning and characters who are easy to connect with.” ―Library Journal. Nowhere Girl, Strecker’s next novel with Thomas Dunne Books, seems destined to make her a household name for thriller readers who enjoy strongly-detailed characters and page-turning plotlines. Kirkus Reviews praised Nowhere Girl as “compulsively readable.” Join John Valeri, Hartford Books Examiner, in a conversation with Strecker about her latest psychological thriller. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Buy your copy ahead of time for $19 at the Library, beginning March 1. Refreshments will be served. This program is free and open to all.


5 Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. March 17, 24, 31, April 7 & 14

We’re very honored to welcome back Prof. Timlin; his seminars have been unanimous crowd pleasers. This seminar will explore the poetry of the 19th century’s two greatest American poets. Together, Whitman and Dickinson created an original American poetic tradition as distinct from Britain and Europe’s traditions. They are two of the most remarkably original poets whose influence still resonates deeply with today’s poets around the world.

Ringrose & Freeman - Dan Ringrose and Jeanne Freeman

Thursday, March 3 from 7-8 p.m.

Come celebrate all things Irish as the Essex Library proudly presents the celebrated musical duo Ringrose & Freeman for an evening of Irish and Celtic music.

This unique Celtic duo combines fiddler Jeanne Freeman, whose playing has been described as effortlessly virtuosic, — and singer/guitarist Dan Ringrose, whose voice has been called “stunning.” Together, they bring a lively freshness to traditional and original tunes and songs, along with stories, poetry, and humor.  Both are on the faculty of the Connecticut Academy of Irish Music and have been featured on Connecticut Public Television, at the Greater Hartford Irish Festival, and in many other venues.


Saturday, February, 27 10:30-12 p.m.

Get hands-on teaching from the professional photographers of Visual Appeal Studios whose thorough knowledge and endless patience for questions make them popular guest instructors. Learn to take full advantage of the technology in your camera. We’ll go around the mode dial and learn what each mode is used for and how to best apply it to your photography. Additionally, the class will cover the basics and buttons used for exposure and create an understanding of how to use shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to capture beautiful photographs.


barns1The Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series continues its eighth season with Architect Charlotte Hitchcock presenting: “Historic Barns / Modern Farms” on Friday, February 19 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall.

Architect Charlotte Hitchcock helped pioneer a survey of historic barns beginning in 2005 with the goal of finding and documenting barns around the state, which were thought of as endangered relics of a vanished way of life. They discovered that farming in Connecticut is alive and well in this time of local food movements. And historic barns are an integral part of the trend. This illustrated talk will draw on Charlotte’s experience with Historic Barns of Connecticut, a project of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation made possible by support from the State Historic Preservation Office, Department of Economic and Community Development, and funds from the Community Investment Act of the State of Connecticut. Charlotte will focus on barns that are in use on working farms – dairy and egg farms, grass-fed beef, and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms growing vegetables and fruits.

Charlotte Hitchcock is recently retired from her job with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation after working at the state-wide non-profit preservation organization since 2009. During two years as a volunteer and six years on the staff, she visited most of the 169 towns and many of the smaller village centers in Connecticut in search of barns and other historic places.  Charlotte has worked in various roles as an architect, parent, high school teacher, and architectural historian. She has earned degrees in art history, architecture, and mathematics education. She lives in the Westville neighborhood of New Haven, in a 104-year-old Craftsman cottage.

This program is free and open to the public though advance registration is highly recommended for this event; please call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560. The Essex Town Hall is located at 29 West Avenue in Essex.


Whispers Of The Past

SOUL OF THE LANDSCAPE celebrates the beauty and spirit of our woodlands and waterways, as seen in Whispers of the Past and its breathtaking view along the Connecticut River. Wnek’s work captures the light and details one might expect from a painting—which is no accident. He has long been inspired by the purity and innocence of the American landscape as portrayed by the 19th century Hudson River painters. “I strive for that same warm light, the luminous or stormy skies, to invoke a charm or a mood,” he explains.

Wnek’s photographs often reveal the story of the landscape—its whisper of bygone days, the intrinsic cycles of nature. With a focus on local scenes, this exhibit speaks to the beauty that surrounds us, the coastal vistas and woodland spaces that are unique to our state. In a familiar kaleidoscope of colors, see the rising and setting sun, the harmony of sky and land, the collusion of rock and sea. As Wnek explains, “I am intrigued by the soothing compositions and repetitive patterns that collectively reveal the Divine at work.”

Featured in this exhibit is Silver Glade, an image of trees on a ridge near Meriden. It recently won the Salmagundi Club of NYC’s 2015 “Henry O’Connor Award” for excellence, portraying the gentler, quieter landscape of New England. It is that voice of New England which Wnek most hopes to capture in his photographs, “those intimate moments of our own landscapes” waiting to be revealed.

This exhibit and sale will run for the month of Fenruary during the Library’s regular hours. A percentage of the proceeds of sales will be donated to the library. For more information, please call the Library at (860) 767-1560.

For more information about photographer Peter Wnek, visit www.PeterWnekPhoto.com.