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TODAY'S FAMILY & KIDS ACTIVITIES IN FAIRFIELD-JAN 27

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by Directories Editor January 27, 2014

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Daily activities for kids and the family are abound in Fairfield County! Whether you want to spend the day with your children at a zoo, a museum, or just outdoors, we've got it all here. Want to see what's going on next weekend or when you have those few days off? Check out the NY Metro Parents' calendar!

Maker Mondays - Westport Library
January 27, 2014 - Westport

Geek out at the Library on Monday afternoons. Each Maker Monday features a different hands-on, creative activity, such as stop-motion animation, tinkering and making cool stuff. Register online for each workshop. Join any time. Each week's workshop will be announced the week before. For grades 6-9.

Whodunit? Book Club - Wilton Library
January 27, 2014 - Wilton

Children in grades 2 and 3 will meet and discuss mystery books as a group. The book for January is Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise. Snacks will be provided, and there will be fun detective activities. Parents and guardians must remain in the Library.

Play and Tea - The Clover Hill School
January 27, 2014 - Norwalk

Come for a visit and have a sip of tea while your children play in a nurturing classroom. Learn about Mixed-Age Kindergarten for children 3-6 years old, and the Growing Together program for moms, dads (and caregivers)and children 2 months to 3 years old. Find out about the benefits of early childhood education inspired by the Waldorf Philosophy.

Pack Chat for Kids (ages 4-8) - Wolf Conservation Center
Through January 31, 2014 - South Salem

An excellent introduction to wolves for families with young children. Kids learn about the mythology surrounding wolves and the important role of wolves in the natural world. Guests will visit Ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, and Zephyr, as well as the center's other endangered wolves. Don't forget a camera. Pre-registration required. Jan. 1 and 12 at 11am; Jan. 5 and 25 at 2pm.

ART OF THE AUTOMOBILE - Westport Library
Through February 08, 2014 - Westport

Visit this exhibit of photorealistic paintings by Weston artist Ken Scaglia celebrating the elegant lines and polished surfaces of classic cars. Through February 8, 2014.

Exhibition: Eye to I...3,000 Years of Portraits - Katonah Museum of Art
Through February 16, 2014 - Katonah

The curatorial staff of the Katonah Museum of Art is developing an exhibition of portraiture that will represent diverse cultures and span more than 3,000 years of history and art. "Eye to I...3,000 years of Portraits" is not intended as an encyclopedic account of portraiture; rather, it will use portraits to explore the myriad ways that individuals look at and understand imagery. Each of the 60 portraits on display will offer interpretive copy from a range of individuals - scholars, teachers, actors, doctors, politicians, art collectors, and community members - explicating the work from their personal perspective. Visitors will be invited to add their own responses as well. The conceptual framework for this show is based on the premise that in art, as in life, there is no single piece with a meaning that is objective, value-neutral, or accessible to all. The importance assigned to an art object corresponds to the viewers' perspectives, which vary according to language, culture, socialization, education, and other aspects of their personal histories. The portrait genre in particular presents multiple layers of interpretation and represents a broad sampling of eras, media, and artistic periods. The earliest works on display will be a carved Egyptian bust of Amenhotep III, dating from 1,500 BC, and a marble sculpture of a Roman priest (AD 125). From there, the exhibition moves forward to feature portraits from Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America to contemporary American artists who create portraits in astounding ways. The artists included are Diane Arbus, Chuck Close, John Singleton Copley, Gustave Courbet, Edward Curtis, Eric Fischl, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Duane Hanson, Oliver Herring, Byron Kim, Vik Muniz, Alice Neel, Shirin Neshat, Julian Opie, Pablo Picasso, Gordon Parks, Martin Schoeller, Cindy Sherman, Auguste Rodin, Edouard Vuillard, Andy Warhol, and Kehinde Wiley, among others. On view Oct. 27, 2013 through Feb. 16, 2014. Museum hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays: 10am-5pm; Sundays: 12-5pm. Closed Mondays.

TIDAL POOLS - Greenwich Art Society Gallery
Through February 19, 2014 - Greenwich

Smooth stones softened by the raging pacific ocean is the inspiration for the artists Half Moon Bay at Moss Beach collection. This beautiful location, south of San Francisco, is an exciting venue that reveals patterns and textures in the stones with swirling sea currents. January 5-February 19, 2014.

Casting call: Ridgefield BandJam 2014 - Ridgefield Playhouse
Through February 22, 2014 - Ridgefield

Casting call for middle and high school rockers who have a chance to win Ridgefield BandJam 2014. RidgefieldBandJam.com has all the details on how to enter this year's American-Idol style competition before the entry deadline on Saturday, February 22. Live tryouts for the 16 semi-finalist bands will be on Monday, March 10, for middle school bands, and on Tuesday, March 11, for high school bands at The Ridgefield Playhouse. Finalists in both categories will compete for the coveted titles on Sunday, April 27.

Winter Farm Bingo - Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Through February 28, 2014 - Stamford

Pick up a copy of the new Winter Farm Bingo in the Bendel Mansion Museum Building and visit Heckscher Farm to see how the animals adapt to winter. Find five in a row to make BINGO and turn your sheet into our Front Desk for a prize. December 1-February 28, 2014.

The Mayor's Gallery presents 'Restoration' A pictorial journey of the African American experience by Robin J. Miller - Government Center
Through February 28, 2014 - Stamford

The artists goal is to take you on a pictorial journey of the African American experience. Color, texture and visual rhythms characterize his dunique style of mixed media collage.

The Mayor's Gallery presents 'Restoration' A pictorial journey of the African American experience by Robin J. Miller - Government Center
Through February 28, 2014 - Stamford

The artist's goal is to take you on a pictorial journey of the African American experience. Color, texture and visual rhythms characterize this unique style of mixed media collage. Although some of the works have quilt in the title, they are not made of fabric. They are paper story quilts. The artist wants the viewer to look at the art and see the elegance, strength, faith and inner beauty of a people who have been devalued throughout history, yet continued on with dignity and grace. January 7-February 28, 2014.

A BILLION BRICKS: LEGO T-Rex, Turtles & Trains! - Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Through March 02, 2014 - Stamford

Bill Probert & I LUG (LEGO Users Group) NY returns for a fifth season with a LEGO? landscape of epic proportions. "BILLions" of bricks recreate the subterranean world of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a prehistoric park with T-Rex and velociraptors. Subways, trains, roller coasters, and mine trams will chug, spin, whirl and speed across a multi-level imaginary world built completely of LEGO? bricks. Peek into the new underground portals as subway cars whiz by before your eyes. Custom-designed LEGO? houses will offer visitors a glimpse into the abstract and fantastic architectural potential of the LEGO? brick. December 14-March 2, 2014.

Inside the Artists' Studios: Small-Scale Views - Bruce Museum
Through March 16, 2014 - Greenwich

This exhibition features scale model constructions of artists' studios created by four artists -- Joe Fig, Richard Haas, Lori Nix and Jimmy Sanders -- who also work in painting, printmaking, and photography. December 14-March 16, 2014.

Dear Diary: Update All - Neuberger Museum of Art
Through March 16, 2014 - Purchase

With the advent of social networking and mobile communications, the diary has evolved from private medium to a forum for public consideration and collaborative thought, where the personal becomes a platform for social interaction, reflection, and activism. A new exhibition at the Neuberger Museum of Art addresses private versus public space, how we connect and interact, as the personal and private are merged with the public. "Dear Diary: Update All," will be on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College from January 4 through March 16, 2014. The exhibition of 20 international artists and 30 artworks explores how artists express their individual and collective identities, and the relationships among memory, document, and fiction. The mixed media exhibition presents work that uses online data, remembrance, handiwork, genetics, gaming, and Google to mark the discord, beauty, and banality that occur each day. According to Jacqueline Shilkoff, the Museum's Curator of New Media, Dear Diary will be "an exciting forum for ideas and interaction." Adding another dimension to the show, students from Purchase College, SUNY will be on site during Museum hours to engage in conversation with visitors about the exhibition as well as help them navigate the show and interact with the artwork. "The artists express an astounding range of poetic philosophical expressions," Shilkoff adds. Among the artworks in the exhibition is the installation "A Charge for Privacy" (2013), an electronic phone charging station created by Nick Briz, Paul X. Briz, and Ramon Branger. The work is intuitive, featuring the familiar routine of charging a phone battery and offering viewers to charge their phones. The artists, however, introduce a barrier: an agreement to the terms of use for this charging station. From this entry point, our digital history stored in our phones creates voluntary (and involuntary) representations of ourselves. Another piece, Editor Solitario (2011) by Colombian artist Oscar Munoz, focuses on the interrelation of images and memory, exploring the ephemeral and vulnerable nature of human life. It is a black-and-white projection onto a table depicting photographs: formal portraits and family snapshots, celebrity photos, painters' self-portraits, postmortem photos, and police sketches. An unseen subject extends an arm to place photographs on the table, removing some, exchanging others, pausing, covering, and quickly removing them. Munoz combines personal and cultural histories, merging found images of the living with found images of the dead in an ambiguous narrative of individual and national memory, loss, and hope. Other artists and collaborators in the exhibition include: Kannan Arunasalam, Chloe Bass, Nick Briz, Paul X. Briz, Ramon Branger, Victor Castro, Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, Chris Collins, Eric Eberhardt, Zach Gage, Mark McKenna, Amanullah Mojadidi, Molleindustria, Oscar Munoz, Laura Splan, Aalam Wassef, YoHa with Matthew Fuller. Generous support for "Dear Diary: Update All" is provided by Marcy Kahn. Additional funding is provided by RBC Wealth Management, the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and the Purchase College Foundation. The Neuberger Museum of Art will present various programs in conjunction with the exhibition.

Exhibition: Oysters, Pearls of Long Island Sound - Bruce Museum
Through March 23, 2014 - Greenwich

Found in estuaries around the world, oysters are a favored delicacy for humans and play a valuable role in ecosystems and economies. These unassuming mollusks have sustained Native Americans, cleaned polluted harbors, provided critical habitat, and created waterside cultures. Explore the science and natural history of oysters, particularly the Long Island Sound's native Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. November 2 - March 23, 2014.

Cleve Gray's Threnody: Forty Years - A lamentation on the loss of life in the Vietnam era - Neuberger Museum of Art
Through March 23, 2014 - Purchase

Forty years ago American artist and abstract expressionist Cleve Gray was commissioned to create a site-specific painting for the inauguration of the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College in 1974. Threnody (1972-73), the 22-foot tall, 250-foot long artwork in 28 panels, turned out to be an extraordinary project - a lament for the dead on both sides of the Vietnam War. At the time, college students across the country were demonstrating against the conflict in Vietnam, a war they felt to be unjust and inhumane. Gray saw the significance of the Museum's location on a college campus. An active anti-war advocate himself, Gray saw this as an opportunity to support the students and express his hope for humanity's spiritual and emotional healing. As part of the Neuberger Museum's 40th anniversary celebration, Gray's monumental artwork will once again be on view, in "Cleve Gray's Threnody: Forty Years," organized by assistant curator, Avis Larson. Generous support for "Cleve Gray's Threnody: Forty Years" is provided by the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and Purchase College Foundation. Threnody features 28 contiguous panels installed in the museum's Theater Gallery, effectively converting it into a cathedral with tall vertical forms engaged in a "dance of death and life." "Threnody considers opposites - male and female, love and hate, conflict and peace," notes Larson. She points out that Threnody continues to have an impact on viewers forty years after it was first exhibited. "In many ways we are facing similar issues relating to war and the loss of innocent lives, in addition to the many other situations we have to confront here in the United States, such as gun violence." A "threnody" is a classical song of mourning, a lamentation. In 1975, when explaining the piece, Gray wrote: "I felt that tragedy had been manifested more intensely during those years and in the preceding decade than at any other time in American history. Iniquity, futile death, and destruction surrounded us with little relief. This sense of tragedy in the sixties and seventies insisted itself upon me as the subject matter for the walls I had been asked to paint in the Neuberger Museum, for I felt that the heroic space encompassed by these walls required a heroic subject." Threnody marked a turning point in the artist's investigation of a radically simplified, vertical image, and the large-scale calligraphic gestures that became the hallmark of his mature paintings. To prepare, Gray created several hundred color studies and over 100 figure studies over a period of about 18 months. About his approach to large-scale logistics, Gray wrote that he "had a 20' x 20' easel constructed...it had a hoist so that it could be raised to the vertical position." In addition, he used very large brushes, sometimes janitors' push brooms, and plastic swimming pools in which to mix his paints. Rhythmically spaced motifs in the 28 panels suggest a diversity of imagery, and most vividly, perhaps, a procession of solemn dancers. "The depiction of tragedy often requires an element of hope, so I chose a positive red for the central figure of the 'apse' wall. Unexpectedly but inevitably this figure became the climactic point of the room. In the midst of death it had to offer the hope of life, just as blood is both the palpitating fluid of life and the fleeting evidence of death." Larson believes that the reinstallation of Threnody "impresses upon us the need for humanity's spiritual and emotional healing as we now face the devastation of current wars and the loss of life on both sides. Threnody offers our students and the general public a place conducive to contemplation and meditation." Threnody is part of the Neuberger Museum's permanent collection, and has been exhibited from time to time, most recently in 2007, and before then, shortly after 9/11. On view from January 12 through March 23.

'Tornado Alley' - Maritime Aquarium
Through April 03, 2014 - Norwalk

This film invites the audience to follow along with a daring team of "storm chasers" as they work to understand the origins and evolution of tornadoes. Sean Casey, star of the Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers" reality series, leads this mission to document one of Earth's most awe-inspiring events - the birth of a tornado. Through April 3, 2014.

Great White Shark - Maritime Aquarium - IMAX
Through April 03, 2014 - Norwalk

No other modern animal may command both fear and fascination as much as the great white shark ? but The Maritime Aquarium's new IMAX?film suggests, instead, that these predators mainly need help and respect. This film unravels the mystery of the creature by telling the true story of its role atop the oceanic food chain. "Our mission is to change people's attitudes toward the great white," said Steve McNicholas, co-director of the film. "It's not the menacing, evil predator it's made out to be. It's simply performing its crucial role at the top of the ocean's food chain. Great whites are not monsters any more than the polar bears or lions that we revere." The 40-minute film takes viewers around the world to great-white hotspots and examines the animals through the eyes of several people whose lives and work have become inextricably linked to the great white, including shark expert Michael Rutzen, who openly scuba dives among them. October 11-April 3, 2014.

In The Dark: Animal Survival Strategies - Bruce Museum
Through April 13, 2014 - Greenwich

In this immersive, entertaining, and family-friendly exhibition, people of all ages will discover how animals, including humans, adapt to living in the dark. The show features natural dioramas of caves, deep soil, nighttime forest and desert, along with mechanical, electronic and digital interactives. This exhibition is organized by the Cincinnati Museum Center. January 25-April 13, 2014.

Touch A Jellyfish - Maritime Aquarium
Through April 20, 2014 - Norwalk

The Maritime Aquarium is turning conventional beach wisdom upside down, by inviting its visitors to do something they've been told not to do all their lives: touch a jellyfish. This special exhibit will let visitors safely touch live moon jellyfish, one of the most common species in Long Island Sound. Open weekends, holidays and school vacation weeks January 18–April 20.

Exhibition: Six Ladders - Katonah Museum of Art
Through April 21, 2014 - Katonah

Bright swaths of vibrant colors transform the Katonah Museum of Art's exterior in its newest outdoor exhibition, "Six Ladders," by artist Andrea Lilienthal. Lilienthal created a series of giant bamboo ladders for the Museum's stately Sculpture Garden that are whimsical and enigmatic; their brilliant colors electrify the natural surroundings. Five ladders, with their cheerful colors and playful patterns, lean against the Museum's enormous spruce trees in various positions and at different angles. On the building's facade, a sixth, 30-foot ladder extends just short of the roofline - its form and ribbons of color energizing the wall and lending sculptural dimension to the flat expanse. Each of the ladders are hand-constructed from sturdy commercial bamboo, harvested in China, and painted with high-gloss outdoor enamel paint from Holland. Their surfaces are smooth and reflective, in contrast to the course-textured tree bark. According to Katonah Museum of Art Curator Ellen Keiter, "These are not functional structures - their bottom rungs are too high to mount and the ladders fail to reach the top of their intended destinations. These are instead beautiful works of art; Andrea Lilienthal responds to the inherent geometry of ladders and the repetitive rhythm of their rungs. She finds beauty in their simple, minimalist construction." "Lilienthal's ladders instill a sense of wonder and suggest that seemingly unreachable goals can be attained," she says. Keiter explains that bamboo is a hollow-stemmed, woody plant that "bows, sways, and splits, so slight imperfections, even substantial cracks, add distinctive character to each ladder. No two ladders are painted the same, yet their similarly saturated hues coalesce into a lively visual harmony." She adds, "The bands of luscious color wrap around the bamboo like candy confections, and bright confetti patterns alternate with stark black-and-white designs. A causal link exists between the artificial colors and the natural bamboo. On one ladder, Lilienthal painted white rings around the growth nodes of the bamboo; on another, the nodes demarcate the lengths of painted blue and orange sections." Says Lilienthal: "These magnificent and mysterious trees [at the Katonah Museum of Art], whose tops are not even visible, dwarf the people and furniture below. In response to their super scale, I chose the ladder, a form with human scale and multiple readings: utilitarian ancient, mythic, and universal. The severe and stately trees support the bamboo ladders in an implied partnership; rooted and stable, the trees assist the ladders in their attempt to ascend. But ultimately, how do you mount an 80-foot Norwegian spruce tree? My answer was to climb it with imagination, affirming our connection to the natural world." Lilienthal has used bamboo in her artistic practice for several years. In earlier installations, she aligned multiple painted, wrapped, or taped bamboo poles along a wall - works awash in color, but still relatable in size. However, her current exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art is in keeping with the majesty, diameter, and spacing of the giant spruce trees. Adding to the intrigue of this exhibition are enlarged photographs of the Garden's spruce trees displayed in the Museum's two west windows adjacent to the lone 30-foot ladder. On first impression, the images appear as reflections. In this way, Lilienthal reinforces the relationship between the ladders and the trees while further playing with the viewers' perceptions and expectations. Historically, ladders carry rich and universal associations. In many faiths and fables, ladders are a symbol of ascent, of travel, of reaching upward. In modern times, they represent progress and growth, allowing us to reach higher than we would otherwise be able to go. Ladders symbolize elevation: from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, and from the material to the spiritual. They are featured in art from prehistoric cave paintings to contemporary times. Jacob's Ladder, the metaphysical passage between heaven and earth, is mentioned in the first book of the Bible, and is represented in such disparate media as Renaissance paintings and popular video games. There is a popular African-American spiritual, "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder," Eric Carl's beloved children's picture book, "Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me," and innumerable colloquialisms regarding "the ladder of success." On view through April 21, 2014 during Museum hours: Sundays: 12-5pm; Tuesdays through Saturdays: 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays.

Sensory Jump Time - Pump It Up Norwalk
Through June 30, 2014 - Norwalk

Pump It Up has partnered with Autism Speaks to offer Sensory Jump Time, a program for all children on the autism spectrum. They have created a sensory-friendly environment specific to the Sensory Jump Time program. Children who attend have the opportunity to make new friends, jump, slide and play sensory-friendly games within a controlled, safe environment. This program is open to children on the autism spectrum and their siblings only. Advanced registration is encouraged as this program is not open to the general public in order to provide a safe environment for the children. Pump It Up is a proud supporter of Autism Speaks. The program takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Fun & Games with Miss Melissa at Pump It Up Norwalk - Pump It Up Norwalk
Through June 30, 2014 - Norwalk

Children enjoy a select mix of games, stories, crafts or other fun filled activity depending on the theme Miss Melissa has planned for that day. Takes place Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Story and Animal Program - Earthplace
Through August 10, 2014 - Westport

Children 5 and younger can visit Earthplace every week for story time and an animal encounter. Thursdays and Fridays year-round.

Meerkats - Maritime Aquarium
Through December 31, 2014 - Norwalk

Meerkats are members of the mongoose family that live in social ?mobs? in the Kalahari Desert, in the southern African nations of Botswana and South Africa. No mere cats, meerkats are fascinating for living in structured but cooperative societies, including a foraging strategy where adults take turns standing guard upright on their hind feet, watching for predators, while the others eat. The meerkats? exhibit offers opportunities for climbing, digging and exploring, with several feeding locations to keep them on the alert for incoming crickets. A viewing bubble lets visitors pop up right among the meerkats.

Animal Feeding at Earthplace - Earthplace
Through January 01, 2015 - Westport

Ever wonder what you feed a turkey vulture? Curious about how a box turtle chews with no teeth? Join Earthplace staff in the Animal Hall and Connecticut Birds of Prey exhibit for scheduled feeding times. Earthplace staff will be able to answer all your questions while giving each of the animals their daily meal. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays watch the animals in Animal Hall get fed. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays it's time to feed the Birds of Prey. The activity takes place year-round.

Toy Boat-Making Workshop - Maritime Aquarium
Through December 31, 2015 - Norwalk

Visit the toy boat-making area on weekends for a fun 20-minute boat-building project. Build and decorate a toy sailboat to take home as a special keepsake of your visit. Saturdays and Sundays year-round.

Creating Community: Exploring 375 Years of Our Past - Fairfield Museum and History Center
Through December 31, 2015 - Fairfield

This new, hands-on exhibit invites visitors to look inside a Native American wigwam, climb into an American Revolution fort, decipher spy code, and learn how factories fueled the area's growth. Young and old alike will enjoy learning how people worked, lived, and built a community over time by exploring original objects, individual stories, and engaging activities. October 27-December 31, 2015.

Africa: From the Desert to the Sea - Maritime Aquarium
Through December 31, 2015 - Norwalk

Explore the aquatic wonders of Africa, including amazing fish from the Nile River, the lakes of Africa's Great Rift Valley and the Red Sea. Species highlighted include exotic air-breathing lungfish that can survive for a year if their waterhole goes dry, and colorful cichlids and coral reef species that shine in shimmering rainbows.

Born to Be Wild - Maritime Aquarium
Through April 03, 2024 - Norwalk

Academy-Award winner Morgan Freeman lends his voice to this film which follows orphaned baby orangutans and elephants, and the people who rescue and raise them for eventual release back into the wild. Through April 3,2014.


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