tree

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.

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Want to invite more wildlife to your yard? Join a park ranger and a wildlife biologist on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. for a how-to presentation on simple ways to bring birds, butterflies and other colorful creatures to your home. Learn what to feed birds, how to provide nest materials, which flowers to plant for butterflies – plus much more. With spring just around the corner, this is a great time to start planning! Free informational booklets and handouts will be provided to all attendees.

Kris Vagos works at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge as a Wildlife Biologist.  She grew up in southern New Hampshire and attended Boston College for her undergraduate work in Biology and Environmental Studies.  After school, Kris volunteered and worked throughout the United States and other parts of the world.  She was a research assistant at the University of New Hampshire and got her Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management.  Her thesis project focused on what makes non-native shrubs invasive in New England.  Before moving to Connecticut, Kris lived along the southern coast of Maine and worked for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

Shaun Roche is the Visitor Services Manager at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge where he focuses on education and outreach. Shaun grew up in Waterbury and attended Central Connecticut State University where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public history. He worked for the National Park Service at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York for more than six year before transferring to the Fish and Wildlife Service and coming back to Connecticut in 2011.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

Sunken Gold, The

On Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m., Connecticut author Joseph A. Williams will visit the Essex Library to discuss the true story of the HMS Laurentic, which, laden with 44 tons of gold bullion was sunk by German mines off the coast of Ireland during the Great War.  Britain desperately needed that sunken treasure, but any salvage had to be secret since the British government didn’t want to alert the Germans to the presence of the gold. Lieutenant Commander Guybon Damant was the most qualified officer to head the risky mission. As the war raged on, Damant was called off the salvage to lead a team of covert divers to investigate and search through the contents of recently sunk U-boats for ciphers, minefield schematics, and other secrets. The information they obtained, once in the hands of British intelligence, proved critical toward Allied efforts to defeat the U-boats and win the war. Williams, a historian, archivist and librarian brings this exciting, true tale of undersea diving and early 20th century naval operations to life in the Essex Library on Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. Copies of The Sunken Gold will be available for purchase and signing. 

Watch this book trailer about The Sunken Gold on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFwk4sQ-DbA

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is advised. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information.

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. 

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Currier and Ives print from c.1847, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

At the Essex Library, Tuesday, September 26th, at 7 p.m. This program is FREE and open to the public.
During the nineteenth century, when Yankee whale oil lit the world, men from more than thirty New England communities sailed the seven seas in the pursuit of whales, leaving their families behind for up to five years at a time. Meanwhile, new philosophies encouraging companionate marriages became popular in New England society. The combination of these historical phenomena meant men and women in nineteenth century New England whaling communities faced the daunting prospect of spending most of their married lives apart. That is until the 1840s, when a small group of married couples defied social and industrial tradition by going to sea together aboard whaleships. This illustrated lecture will focus on one of these remarkable couples— Captain John and Elizabeth Marble of Fall River, Massachusetts— using the letters and journals they left behind to tell a story of love, life, and loss at sea.

Amanda Goodheart Parks has been studying gender and marriage in the New England whaling industry for more than a decade. With undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and an extensive career in museum education, Parks is currently pursuing her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst while serving as the Director of Education at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT.

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Friday, September 22nd at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects
We’re honored to welcome Rhode Island School of Design Professor Jim Barnes as he kicks off the 10th year of our Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series.

Our experience of historic houses is most often framed by exterior appearances. We come to identify and understand historic time periods and changing styles of architecture through building forms, rooflines, materials, and even paint colors. These are the elements of a public realm accessible to all. Exterior patterns can build whole neighborhoods and clearly reflect our culture’s constantly shifting shared values.

We know less well interior spatial patterns, the private domestic realm hidden from view. Yet we know the power of interior spatial arrangement to convey cultural values. Room placement, stairway arrangements and fireplaces are among the many tools that architects and builders use to shape and express domestic life. This illustrated talk will address the changing styles of historic houses in an historic Providence neighborhood by comparing the shifting patterns of exterior forms and interior floor plans from the mid-19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

Jim Barnes is an Architect and Professor of Architecture at RISD. He lives with his wife Victoria in a Queen Anne period home in the Elmwood Historic District of Providence.

This program is free and open to the public. Centerbrook Architects is located at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.