Art on View: Nobuko Miki

Image courtesy of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist

On display Thursday, March 17th through Monday, May 2nd

Come view the work of Nobuko Miki, modern folk artist. The gallery is located on the Library's Lower Level.

Nobu is a native of Tokyo, Japan. She never thought she would be an artist — she graduated with a degree in psychology from Waseda University in Tokyo and then went on to work for a major Japanese cosmetics company to do market research. While she is not classically trained, she always jokes that her psychology background helps her understand what people want to see in a painting.

She first moved to the United States in 1994, soon fell in love with American Folk Art, and started studying decorative painting, a style that makes heavy use of patterns and is painted mostly on wooden surfaces. She didn't speak English very well and had two young sons at the time, but her 75-year-old teacher Rachel Stephans took her under her wing, and they remained very close until Rachel's death 14 years later. 

She moved with her family to Darien, Connecticut in 2003, where she established her art business and her unique Modern Folk Art style. Since then, Nobu has painted scenes of the New England countryside and the towns of Darien and New Canaan in Connecticut. She has designed the cover of the Darien Parks & Recreation Department brochure since 2008, and many local nonprofits have used her works to raise money. She has established herself as one of the most recognizable and beloved artists in Darien.  

Nobu has been commissioned by many to paint house portraits, and in addition, she has launched a line of dog portraits, inspired by her labradoodle, Princess Fiona.

She has two sons, aged 26 and 22.

Short Stories for Summer Days

Carroll Stenson
Carroll Stenson

Tuesday, May 3rd at 3 p.m.

We're back! Our popular discussion series continues with a line-up of stories especially selected to offer insight into the human condition and provoke thoughtful conversation. Please join us and share with other short story enthusiasts.

Stories are available for pickup the week before each meeting.

Film Screening and Discussion: 'No Letting Go'

Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:30 p.m. - No Letting Go (2015) Starring Cheryl Allison, Richard Burgi, and David Schallip; NR; 144 minutes. Following the screening of the film, there will be a Q&A with producer/writer Randi Silverman.

No Letting Go, based on a true story, is a feature drama that follows one family’s journey to understand and to cope with the erratic behavior and emotional instability of their middle son, Tim. The family’s world starts to unravel as they discover that their son’s increasing fragility is due to mental illness. No Letting Go is a powerful film that gives voice to millions of families who suffer alone and in silence. This poignant film honestly depicts the potentially devastating impacts of mental health disorders, which affect 1 in 5 children in the United States every year.

For more information, please watch the film's trailer.  Check out what else we're screening.

About the presenter
Randi Silverman is the Executive Producer and Co-Screenwriter of No Letting Go. She has lead community-based awareness campaigns and support groups on the issue of child and adolescent mental health. As the mother of a child with a mental health disorder, she has experienced first-hand what it is to bring a family of three children through this challenge.

Randi is the co-Founder and Director of Parent-to-Parent Support Group, a support network for parents raising children with issues of anxiety, depression and/or mood disorder. Parent-to-Parent has served over 400 families in the New York City Tri-State Area since 2011. Earlier community work includes serving as Vice-Chair and Chair of Byram Hills C.H.I.L.D., a committee of the local Parent Teacher Association supporting families with children of various abilities, and serving on the Board of Directors for the Rosenthal JCC (Pleasantville, NY) as Chair of their Special Needs Department. A former practicing attorney, Randi helps parents advocate for the educational needs of children of all abilities.

The Darien Library is proud to cosponsor this event with the Community Fund of Darien and Laurel House.

Acting Auditions

Catherine Lindsey Workshop Auditions
Catherine Lindsey Workshop Auditions

Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:30 p.m.

The Catherine Lindsey Actors/Playwrights Workshop, now in its 24th year, will be holding acting auditions for roles in their public performances. The playwriting workshops will conclude with a public performance at the Library on Sunday, May 22nd at 2 p.m.

Auditions are open to all. Playwrights are looking for a diverse group of adult actors to play parts meant for those in their late twenties through early eighties. Rehearsals will then take place in May through the performance.

The plays selected for performance are:

An Assignation by Jim Gordon
Belt For It by Lisa Power
Invisible Fence by Terry Steimer
Sometimes I Cry by Nicholas Troilo

The Actors/Playwrights Workshop welcomes Actors’ Equity actors and non-Equity actors to participate, brings together local and regional playwrights and actors, and encourages a collaborative effort to create new plays and present a public-staged reading. Co-founded by the late Catherine Lindsey and her husband Robert, the workshop introduces original plays in progress to be developed in a workshop environment with the goal of the public-staged readings. Catherine Lindsey was a beloved friend of the Library and director of Darien Library Theater for over 25 years. The memorial workshops offer actors and playwrights the opportunity to work together to create original theatrical works in a supportive and creative environment culminating in the staged readings of short scenes from full-length plays, one-act plays, musicals, and monologues.

Digital Design: Photoshop

Tuesday, May 3rd at 7 p.m.

Registration for this class is full. To add yourself to the waitlist, please email marents@darienlibrary.org

Interested in learning how to edit images, for work or fun? Whether you are a startup, graphic designer, blogger, or editing family photos, Photoshop is the go-to program for image editing.

We will cover:

• Basic Tools
• Lighting
• Color
• Background
• Layers
• Shortcuts
• Formats (saving files)
• and answer any questions

Books by the Fire

Share what you love!
Share what you love!

Wednesday, May 4th at 11 a.m.

Books by the Fire is the Anti-Book Group. Instead, we're a Reading Group: you pick what you want to read, watch, or listen to. Join this long-running group and be the first in the know about what's new and hot during this informal conversation. Current attendees are on the hunt for industry secrets for brand new titles as well as obsure, you may have missed them titles. We only ask that you share what you're reading and loving too!

Join us every Wednesday, through May, by the First Floor Fireplace.

What Are the Biggest Mistakes Female Entrepreneurs Make & How to Avoid Them

Photo by Flazingo Photos / CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo by Flazingo Photos / CC BY-SA 2.0

Wednesday, May 4th from 6 to 8 p.m., check-in starts at 5:30 p.m.

Register

This workshop provides valuable insight into how female entrepreneurs’ sabotage themselves and why this happens.  During this workshop, we will explore some of this behavior and give insight into how to avoid it.• How do Credit Reporting Agencies develop, and store your credit information and how long is it kept on file?

• What  it takes to be a successful entrepreneur
• Differences between male & female entrepreneurs
• Ten tips to keep your business flourishing
• First Impressions

About the presenter

Kathy McShane is the founder of Ladies Launch Club whose mission it is to make entrepreneurship available to all women.  She runs Mastermind Accountability, Incubator and Peer-to-Peer Workshops. She has been honored for her work by:  Bill Gates for innovation in the workplace, CBS Small Business Hero, and Women of the Year from NAWBO. She is an adjunct professor at New York University. She recently released her book: The Survivor Guide for Female Entrepreneurs.

This workshop is presented by SCORE Fairfield County.

Art on View: John Coots

Moonlit Arrival, courtesy of the artist.
Moonlit Arrival, courtesy of the artist.

On display Tuesday, May 3rd through Monday, June 13th
Please join us for an art reception Friday, May 6th from 6 to 8 p.m.

Local landscape and still life painter John Coots will exhibit his oil paintings in the Lower Level Art Gallery.  Showing recent work, this will be his first solo show since he last exhibited publicly at Atria’s Gratia Gillespie Gallery in January 2012. 

About the artist
John Coots has taken painting classes for 20 years at the Silvermine Art School in New Canaan, studying with Alex McFarlane, David Dunlop,  Kirill Doron, and Claire Watson Garcia.  Coots paints contemporary still life and local landscapes.  He is a self-described “precocious hobbyist” who most admires the art of Sir Winston Churchill “because Churchill found time to paint while doing other things.”

Coots publishes two dozen weekly newspapers in small towns scattered around New England.  His career in journalism started in college at the Yale Daily News.  After business school at University of Virginia, Coots spent twenty years running newspapers for a large publicly-traded corporation until 1994 when he started his own company.

John and his wife Sandy have lived in Darien for 26 years and raised their four boys here.

Friday Night Feature - 'The Lady in The Van'

Friday, May 6th at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. - The Lady In The Van (2015) Starring Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Alan Bennett, James Corden, Frances De La Tour, Dominic Cooper; Rated PG-13; 104 minutes; Presented with Captions for the hearing impaired.

In 1973 London, playwright Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) develops an unlikely friendship with Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a homeless woman who lives in a van in his driveway for the next 15 years.

For more information, please watch the film's trailer.  Check out what else we're screening.

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

Small Space Gardening and Container Solutions

Saturday, May 7th at 10 a.m.

Many bountiful harvests can be enjoyed if you know the best varieties of seeds/plants and the right containers to get the job done with ease. We will discuss soil and aeroponic options available to help you enjoy growing some of your favorite vegetables, herbs and even fruit – right from your small spaces or to supplement your larger garden.

About the presenters
In 2012, Christine Segalas and Mark Gaulke formed Homegrown Harvest LLC.  The company's mission is to help people grow their own food with ease whether it's on the front porch, balcony, rooftop or backyard. Mark and Christine are committed to providing families with the knowledge and know-how so they can enjoy the multitude of rewards in growing their own homegrown harvests. Both are certified instructors in the Square Foot Gardening (SFG) method from the Square Foot Gardening Foundation. Christine Segalas is an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP) as certified by the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association (CTNOFA)