Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun: A Revolutionary Painter

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, 1755–1842). Self-portrait, 1790. Oil on canvas; 100 x 81 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Corridoio Vasariano, Florence (1905)
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, 1755–1842). Self-portrait, 1790. Oil on canvas; 100 x 81 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Corridoio Vasariano, Florence (1905)

Tuesday, March 1st at 7 p.m.

Living during the late 18th century, one of the most turbulent periods in European history and one in which women were essentially excluded from the official French Painting Academy, Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun defied the odds. A mostly self-taught but extremely talented artist, she achieved incredible success, even becoming, by her mid 20s, the favorite portraitist of Marie Antoinette. Forced to flee France during the upheaval of the Revolution, Vigée Le Brun lived in exile for several years, earning a comfortable living for herself and her daughter Julie by painting European heads of state. The painter’s fascinating, cosmopolitan life story is the the stuff of movies, avant la lettre.  In honor of both Women’s History Month and the Metroprolitan Museum of Art’s wonderful monographic exhibition of Vigée Le Brun’s work (running from Feb. 15-May 15), we celebrate this exceptional artist and cultural figure.

About the presenter
Over the last 12 years, art historian Larissa Bailiff has worked as an educator and instructor for MoMA, teaching more than 25 in-gallery courses. Her specialty is modern European art and culture, especially that of France and Spain. In recent months, Larissa has been developing content for a new immersive arts-education and technology company called WoofbertVR.

College Funding and Planning

Image courtesy of flickr user juanillooo / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Image courtesy of flickr user juanillooo / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thursday, March 3rd from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Planning for college can be difficult, confusing and costly. Don’t go it alone. This is a great opportunity to learn how to make the right college choices and maximize your funding and financial aid results, as well as how to better prepare for SAT & ACT exams and achieve higher scores.

You will learn about:
•    SAT & ACT Prep Courses. Courses help students successfully prepare for SAT & ACT exams. 
•    College Profile Reports. Personalized report specially generated for your family that includes your student’s chances of enrollment at up to 10 colleges.
•    Merit Based Scholarship Eligibility.  This personalized report detailing merit scholarships your student may be eligible to receive.  
•    FAFSA & CSS Profile Form Completion.  Every year simple mistakes are made while filling out financial aid forms that cost families thousands of dollars. Don’t let this happen to you.
•    College Funding Analysis. This analysis will determine if your out-of-pocket college costs can be efficiently reduced.

About the presenter
Michael Alimo (CRPC; CLU; ChFEBC) is a 30 year industry veteran. For the past 15 years, financial service advisor Mr. Alimo has served clientele around CT & New England at his USA Financial & Tax Services, LLC. Committed to giving back to the community via educational workshops, Mr. Alimo has hosted many seminars for groups at libraries, churches, and social organizations about a variety of financial and planning topics.

Senior Moments: Metro North: From First to Worst

Image courtesy of flickr user mtaphotos / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Image courtesy of flickr user mtaphotos / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thursday, March 10th at 3 p.m.

How did the best commuter railroad in the US suddenly become subject of Federal safety investigations after a series of derailments and collisions claimed lives? Why is Metro-North’s survival crucial to real estate prices in Darien? What’s the future of rail service along CT’s “Gold Coast”?

It’s a story of political intrigue, corporate malfeasance and corruption befitting a cheap novel… but it’s all true. Darien resident and long-time commuter advocate Jim Cameron spins the tale of “Metro-North: From First to Worst”.

About the presenter
Jim Cameron moved to Darien in 1991 and, as a commuter he saw first-hand the deterioration of service on Metro-North. Rather than just “getting mad”, he did something about it, joining the “Connecticut Metro-North Rail Commuter Council”, created by the CT Legislature, on which he served for 19 years, four of them as its Chairman. In 2014 he resigned and formed a new effort, The Commuter Action Group. He is member of the Representative Town Meeting in Darien CT, is Program Director of the town’s TV station, Darien TV79, and is author of the newspaper column, “Talking Transportation” which now runs in 25 newspapers across the state, including the Darien Times.

Writer's Workshop

Photo by jjpacres / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Photo by jjpacres / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thursday, February 18th at 7 p.m.

Come join The Writer's Workshop, a monthly class for writers of any genre.  A constructive atmosphere greets aspiring writers as they learn and understand a reader's perspective of their work.  While many in the group have dreams to publish, that is not a requirement.  Presently we have fiction, memoir, mystery and thriller, short story, personal essay, and poetry writers.  Let's put pen to paper and get writing!

Presented by Laura Cavers, who recently received an MFA in Creative Writing from Manhattanville College. At Manhattanville, Laura was assistant editor to the college's award-winning literary magazine, Inkwell.  She is currently working on her first novel, Bellwethers.

For those interested in joining the Writer's Workshop please come 15 minutes early to meet the workshop leader and learn the Workshop guidelines.  She will meet you just outside the Writer's Room on the second floor.

Passport Days

Photo by clappstar | CC BY-NC 2.0
Photo by clappstar | CC BY-NC 2.0

Saturday, February 20th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Get your passport at Darien Library! We will process and accept new and renewal applications. We will provide all the paperwork. We will not be able to take passport photos at our February Passport Day. Passport Photos in Darien can be done at CVS and Big Shots. Specifications for passport photos can be found here.

What to Bring: Birth Certificate, Naturalization Certificate, one color 2’’ by 2’’ photo, a valid photo identification (such as a driver’s license) with a front and back photocopy of the ID, and personal check/money order or debit/credit card for payment of the passport fee.

Minors under age 16 cannot apply for a passport by themselves.  Both parents/guardians must appear in person and provide consent, authorizing passport issuance to the minor.  If one parent/guardian is unable to appear in person, then the application must be accompanied by a signed, notarized Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent from the non-applying parent/guardian.  More information on passports for minors can be found here.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Gabbin' With Grandkids

Image designed by Lisa Nowlain.
Image designed by Lisa Nowlain.

Wednesday, February 10th at 3 p.m.

Register

Long distance grandparents can stay in touch with new technology like Skype and Apple’s FaceTime. We will show you how to utilize these technologies to read your grandkids a cherished book or just gab about what’s good. The first ten participants will receive a limited edition tote bag filled with some of our favorite story books!

 

One-Day Robot Camp

Photo by marcogomes | CC BY 2.0
Photo by marcogomes | CC BY 2.0

Saturday, February 13th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Register

A fun-filled day for anyone looking to try their hands at robotics. At the conclusion of this event, participants will leave with a working autonomous robot that they built and programmed that day. Learn soldering, DC motor theory, and Arduino programming. No coding experience necessary.

This class is limited to Darien residents, those employed full-time in Darien, or Friends of the Darien Library who contribute annually at the $300 level.

Sewing 101

Image courtesy of Chandni Thawani
Image courtesy of Chandni Thawani

Tuesday, February 23rd from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Register

Always wondered how to get started on fun DIY projects with a sewing machine? Hoping to get reacquainted with a beloved machine?

In this workshop you will learn how to:

  • Thread the machine & bobbin
  • Understand machine parts
  • Use sewing tools & terms
  • Investigate new book group websites
  • Sew a straight line

Feel free to bring your own machine for a hands-on approach. Our instructor can help you learn to use and troubleshoot your specific machine. A few sewing machines will be available for demo and shared use.

About the presenter
Chandni Thawani is a graduate of Parsons the New School for Design and Designer of Chaandu, a Collection of Indian & Elephant inspired smart and functional fashion. Visit her at chaandu.com. She is passionate about eco-clothing and design and enjoys teaching Sewing and Repairing Clothes as a way of preserving the health and value of your clothes.

Learn a Language

Learn a language with Mango Languages!
Learn a language with Mango Languages!

Tuesday, March 1st at 6:30 p.m.

Register

Interested in learning Farsi? Want to practice using your French? Come experiment with a lively, interactive method to make the learning fun, engaging, and impactful. Brush up on a foreign language or experiment with a brand new one using digital resources available with nothing but a Library card. No foreign language experience necessary, just a willingness to try!

Men's Tailoring Class

Photo by jeremybrooks | CC BY-NC 2.0
Photo by jeremybrooks | CC BY-NC 2.0

Tuesday, March 1st from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Register

Keep finding that your favorite garments have holes, rips or are poorly sewn? Learn how to alter, patch or adjust your clothing for wear and tear instead of throwing them out or paying too much for a quick fix.

In this workshop we will cover:

  • Hand sewing
  • Sewing buttons
  • Iron-on patches
  • Iron-on hems

Please bring in a pair of pants or shirt that needs altering, patches and quick fixes.

About the presenter
Chandni Thawani is a graduate of Parsons the New School for Design and Designer of Chaandu, a Collection of Indian & Elephant inspired smart and functional fashion. Visit her at chaandu.com. She is passionate about eco-clothing and design and enjoys teaching Sewing and Repairing Clothes as a way of preserving the health and value of your clothes.

 

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