pick of the week: Art al Fresco

When was the last time you came upon something so striking it literally took your breath away?  For me, it was last week, on the lower level of the Rogers Free Library in Bristol.  I had just shepherded my children out of the Children’s Library and we were heading for the stairs to the main floor when I saw it: birch trees in three, a beautiful artwork hanging at the end of the hallway.  It actually stopped me in my tracks. 

That’s one of the wonderful mysterious things about art, the way you can connect with a piece on such an individual, intimate level.  Someone else might walk right past these birch trees, completely unaffected.  I want to buy this piece, I want to see it every day, I want to rearrange my house to make a place for it to live. 

This is just one of the reasons why I love to visit art galleries – you never know what’s waiting for you just around the corner.  This weekend the gallery experience moves outside, when the Bristol Art Museum hosts its annual Art al Fresco, on the fence in front of Linden Place on Hope Street in Bristol, Sunday July 31st from 10am ’til 4pm

Perhaps you’ll stumble upon a piece that takes your breath away …

How to Recognize a Good Education

“I soon learned a basic truth about the arts: students involved in arts education are learning about things far beyond the art they study.” -Rafe Esquith, Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire

This weekend marks the midpoint of summer vacation for those of us with school-age children in the house.  So, while I will continue to set aside the back-to-school Lands End catalogs and ignore the Staples ads in my inbox, there are some reminders of the fast-approaching new school year that I don’t mind reading now, at the height of summer:

“Music Education is Education”                                                                                                     by David M. Prentiss, president & CEO of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra           July 9, 2011  SouthCoastToday.com

“If I told you that I knew a way to improve the reading and math skills of children, keep them from dropping out of school, and make them more likely to go to college — and that my method was really fun too — would you be interested to learn more about it?

Or, if you didn’t want to take my word for it, how about listening to Rafe Esquith, an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles whose students all come from homes where English is not the primary language spoken in the household. Rafe has been recognized as one of the most dynamic, inspiring and effective teachers in the United States. He has received more teaching awards than you can shake a stick at. In his book, Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire, this is what Rafe has to say about educating kids …”

To read more, click here.  Our thanks to Missy Labonte for letting us know about this insightful essay!

sometimes an invitation gets you through the door

I don’t know how I missed this little gem, from one of my family’s most adored children’s book author/illustrators, Peter Reynolds.  But now that I’ve found it, I couldn’t wait to share it with you, because sometimes we just need permission to let our inner artist join the pARTy! 

click the link to read Peter’s invitation: The Stellar Cafe: You’re Invited! 

‘North Star’ artwork on this web site copyright by Peter H. Reynolds/ FableVision

pick of the week: Warren Art Festival

Wander around Burr’s Hill Park in Warren this weekend for the 20th annual Warren Art Festival.  Dozens of artists will be displaying their work, and three artist’s demonstrations are planned.  Oh, and there’ll be great seafood and music, too, since the art festival is held in tandem with the Warren Quahog & Seafood Festival!  The fun begins at 10am on Saturday July 16th and Sunday July 17th; read more about it in this article published by the East Bay Newspapers, or simply click the image at left.

BIG Art Stroll Sunday

The Bristol Independent Galleries (BIG) are hosting an Art Stroll this Sunday from noon ’til 5pm.  Meandering along the shady streets of downtown Bristol, and stopping here and there to see some lovely art, sounds like a blissful break from the busy workweek.  Visit seven downtown galleries and vote for your favorite piece of artwork for a chance to win a raffle prize, usually a gift certificate to a local restaurant, store, or other local business.  The galleries are listed below; you can hit them in this generally north-to-south order or design your own walk, perhaps ending at your favorite downtown restaurant (or ice cream shop!).

  • Uncommon Art, 736 Hope Street
  • Mosaic Art Works Gallery, 60 1/2 Oliver Street
  • The Knotty Dog, 31 Bradford Street
  • The Sea Star, 39 State Street
  • Gallery Eleven Fine Art, 11 State Street
  • Hope Gallery, 435 Hope Street
  • Bristol Art Gallery, 423 Hope Street