CT River Book Cover webThursday, February 28th at 7 p.m.

Connecticut River From the Air chronicles the 410-mile course of New England’s greatest river as it flows from the Canadian border to Long Island Sound.  Hundreds of stunning aerial photographs with dynamic captions and narrative present the history and natural splendor of this extraordinary waterway. Beauty and wonder can be found in historic canals and bridges as well as twists and bends in the River, ship wrecks, rock formations, and even sand patterns on the River bottom. From naturally formed ox-bows to cornfield mazes, hidden valleys, quaint villages, industrial cities and sweeping vistas, these wonders of the River are the true treasures of this amazing waterway and its surrounding landscapes. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

Author, historian, Jerry Roberts has spent his career digging up the past, discovering history’s untold stories and bringing them to the public through books, documentaries and exhibits. He has served as executive director for several major museums in New York and New England. He likes to say that history is the best reality show ever produced.

Pilot, photographer, Tom Walsh is a senior captain for a major US airline. When not flying across oceans at six miles high, he pilots his own small aircraft, low and slow, chronicling coastlines, rivers, small towns and big cities for a variety of clients through his own company, Shoreline Aerial Photography.

Bald Eagles In Connecticut

February 19, 2019

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Image courtesy of Paul J Fusco

Saturday, February 23rd at 2 p.m.

Did you know bald eagles usually mate for life? Did you also know that the female bald eagle is larger than the male, or that bald eagles hold the record for the largest nest? Please join us at the Essex Library for an illustrated lecture on bald eagles by Richard Taylor, Master Wildlife Conservationist from the CT DEEP Wildlife Team. The presentation will include the history, range, habitat, diet, nesting, breeding and recovery of bald eagles in Connecticut.

Richard Taylor is a retired Human Resources executive who formerly worked for General Dynamics and Computer Sciences Corporation.  Richard has had an interest in wildlife and fisheries his entire life and since his retirement, he completed Connecticut’s Master Wildlife Conservationist program and is now active volunteering and presenting programs on wildlife to libraries and non-profit organizations. He has a passion for education and continuous learning and has served as a Chief Learning Officer, a member of the Federal Committee on Apprenticeship and Rhode Island Vocational Council and has degrees and certifications from SCSU, RPI and Cornell.

This illustrated lecture is FREE and open to the public. For more information on our programs, see our Adults’ Featured Events page here: http://www.youressexlibrary.org/adult-services/adults-featured-events/

 

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Saturday, February 9th at 4 p.m and Wednesday, February 20th at 4 p.m.

For fans of Chicago’s Lurie Garden, New York’s High Line or any of Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf’s other revolutionary garden designs, the Essex Library will screen the new documentary, “Five Seasons” twice in February.  Award-winning filmmaker Thomas Piper captures Oudolf’s “New Perennial” movement designs through the year and immerses viewers in his creative process including the beautiful abstract sketches, theories on beauty and ecological implications of his ideas in this 75-minute film. Viewers will enjoy discussions taking place through all fours seasons in Piet’s own gardens at Hummelo, and on visits to his signature public works in New York, Chicago, and the Netherlands, as well as to the far-flung locations that inspire his genius, including desert wildflowers in West Texas and post-industrial forests in Pennsylvania.

As a narrative thread, the film also follows Oudolf as he designs and installs a major new garden at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, a gallery and arts center in Southwest England, a garden he considers his best work yet. Piet Oudolf has radically redefined what gardens can be. As Rick Darke, the famous botanist, says to Piet in the film, “your work teaches us to see what we have been unable to see.” Through poetic cinematography and unique access, Five Seasons reveals all that Piet sees, and celebrates all that we as viewers have been unable to see.

Many thanks to the Essex Garden Club for their support with these screenings.

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Sunday, September 16th at 3 p.m.

Author and gardening expert Tovah Martin tells us our gardens could be so fulfilling, if we plugged in. Created to coincide with the publication of Martin’s latest book, The Garden in Every Sense and Season, this lecture explores the garden on all levels. Learn to garden with eyes wide open, ears to the ground, and hands outstretched. Tailored to the current season to make the experience dynamic, this lecture will lead attendees through an odyssey of exploration to awaken the senses and arouse their abilities of perception. Sharing advice and ideas to deeply enhance the gardening experience while also incorporating a “Smellathon” to help get nostrils in gear, this lecture is beautiful and fun as well as highly practical.

An accredited Organic Land Care Professional through NOFA, Tovah gardens fanatically and organically both indoors and throughout her seven-acre Connecticut garden. People, Places, Plants magazine called her “one of the top 10 most influential educators in gardening” and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society honored her with its Gold Medal “for extraordinary service to horticulture, especially greenhouses and indoor plants.” Martin has written more than a dozen gardening books and served as garden editor for Victoria Magazine. In addition, her articles appear in a broad range of magazines and periodicals. She is a repeat guest on the CBS Sunday Early Show. She also teaches houseplant cultivation to Master Gardeners and lectures extensively throughout the country.

Copies of The Garden In Every Sense and Season will be available for purchase and signing.

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Friday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Essex Library

Augie Pampel will describe his work as the Tree Warden of Essex including planning and planting of trees around town. In addition, and just in time for planting this spring, Augie will talk about best practices for selecting and planting healthy, beautiful trees in your own yard. Bring your tree questions!

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Have you ever wanted to share the stories of your life with your family but don’t know where to start?  Research has shown that sharing your lifestory can bring an increase in self-esteem, resolve past conflicts and promote successful aging.  The Sharing Our Stories presentation reviews the different lifestory methods of Reminiscence, Life Review, Guided Autobiography, Memoir and Personal History to help you determine how you want to tell your story. The goal of the program is to help people see how sharing stories can help to make sense of the past, gain insight for the future and connect generations.  This informational meeting will be presented by Ellen Luby, a gerontologist, on Monday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m.  Sharing your unique LifeStory can be a wonderful, meaningful and fun experience!

This presentation is free and open to all. For more information, please call the Essex Library.

DDdigitalFriday, January 12 at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects

In recent years, the effort to use native plants has become a subject of such great controversy among the landscape architecture community that it’s become something of a flashpoint, a source of such disagreement that merely hearing the words ‘native’ and ‘plants’ in the same sentence can cause reasonable, seasoned professionals to curl their lips in disdain.  New York Landscape Designer Diana Drake hopes to use this opportunity to share why she considers it important, from an ecological standpoint, to use native plants, and to talk about some of the differences inherent in designs that take advantage of using them.

Diana Drake has worked as a landscape designer for two decades, managing large and small public projects with the firms of Judith Heintz Landscape Architecture and Wallace Roberts & Todd in New York City, specializing in selecting the best-suited plants for outdoor spaces, whether campus, park, public plaza, rooftop garden or residential property.  Since 2013 she’s been working cooperatively with Judith Heintz and Napat Sitisara as sassafras55. Her commitment to using native plant species deepened as she taught planting design at Columbia University with Darrel Morrison, adding to her earlier stint at the Center for Plant Conservation, and her hands-on training at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.  With sassafras55, Ms. Drake currently is involved with the all-native plantings of East Midtown Plaza in Manhattan, the Queens Borough Municipal Parking Field, and the Kearny Point Industrial Park Landscape in New Jersey. Throughout this entire period, she’s been learning first-hand via her experiments in her garden lab in Old Lyme. She holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design.

This Essex Library program is free and open to the public. Centerbrook Architects is located at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook. Please call the Library at 860 767-1560 to register or for more information.

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Monday, January 8, 2018 at 7 p.m.
Following the Romantics, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood took up four thematic arenas which were newly spiritualized since 1790: 1) the late Medieval Catholic past which the Pre-Raphaelites elevated to the highest level, 2) Woman as a refined, emotionally and spiritually intelligent object of male devotion, 3) an unsullied, pre-industrial Nature usually shown as a refined garden, a pastoral meadow, or a lush forest, and 4) the Arts themselves, especially music, poetry, painting, and architecture. Burne-Jones’ Le Chant d’Amour combined all four arenas in a particularly rich composition. Historically, it returned to an imaginary chivalry where “true love” existed far from mercenary London with its modern marriages of convenience. In its gender configuration, it placed a pure, glowing, aristocratic woman on an artistic pedestal against a distant cathedral and flanked by two male worshippers. As a landscape, it removed itself from the ugliness of modern London into a twilight arcadia combining a garden and a pastoral meadow. And aesthetically, it featured music, the art form universally hailed in the nineteenth century as more spiritual, universal, and emotionally charged.

This program is FREE and open to the public.

 

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Sam Tanenhaus

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Michael Pressman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Essex Library

The Emmy Award-winning documentary, Best of Enemies, recounts the legendary debates between conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. and liberal Gore Vidal held in 1968 by ABC Television as part of their coverage of the national Democratic and Republican conventions. The film captures the dramatic context of American politics and culture that year and shows how the rancorous sparring in the debates inaugurated a revolution in television programming that not only survives but thrives today. Following the screening, Sam Tanenhaus, who appears as a commentator in the film, and Michael Pressman will discuss the Buckley-Vidal debates in the context of the ’68 election and the political issues of the day, how it was covered by the media, how the tenor of the debates and ratings for ABC affected future television coverage and gave rise to a Point/Counterpoint-style of television programming, and how the debate degenerated into the infamous name-calling.

Sam Tanenhaus, the author of bestsellers “The Death of Conservatism” and “Whittaker Chambers,” is working on a biography of William F. Buckley Jr. He was editor of the New York Times Book Review from 2004 to 2013.

Michael Pressman spent more than 30 years as a national broadcast journalist for both ABC News and NBC News, on programs that included: ABC News 20/20, Dateline NBC, the Brokaw Report, and the Today show. Mostly working in “long-form”—news magazines and documentaries—as a producer, director, and writer, he is the recipient of the Overseas Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Award, Emmy, and Cine Golden Eagle awards.

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Image: Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, designed by Rem Koolhaas (OMA, 2015).

 

Friday, October 20 at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St., Centerbrook

Centerbrook Architects Principal Jim Childress, FAIA takes the audience on a whirlwind illustrated tour of some of the best architecture, new and old, from Cuba, St. Petersburg and Moscow. Enjoy images of wonderful examples of mid-century modern houses in Cuba, and some of the best contemporary architecture in Russia including the Boris Eifman Dance Academy, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and the renovated French Impressionist wing of the Hermitage Museum.

Jim Childress has won more than 60 design awards including the American Institute of Architects 1998 Architecture Firm Award. In 1994, he was selected as one of the decade’s “40 National Architects under 40” by the Architectural League of New York and Interior Magazine.  He was invested, for design, into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2001 and recognized for Professional Achievement by the Rhode Island School of Design at their 2005 Commencement. He is a long-standing member the National AIA Committee on Design, serving on its Advisory Group and as the 2015 Chair.