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TODAY'S FAMILY & KIDS ACTIVITIES IN FAIRFIELD-MAY 11

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by Directories Editor May 11, 2013

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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!

YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN - Fairfield Theatre Company
May 11, 2013 - Fairfield

Charlie Brown just wants to win the heart of the Little Red-Haired Girl, while Snoopy and Linus want to daydream. Meanwhile, the rest of the group battles book reports, kites, baseball and comical misunderstandings. This classic Broadway Musical is based on the iconic characters of Charles Schulz. Directed by Morgan Weitz. Book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner

Mother's Day Weekend Garden Party - New York Botanical Garden
May 11, 2013 - Bronx

Celebrate the opening of the Native Plant Garden and treat mom to a beautiful green retreat. Play lawn games such as badminton and croquet, fly a kite, and have a picnic among the Garden's spectacular spring color. A professional photographer will be on hand to snap pictures for you to take home. Kids can enjoy hands-on nature activities and create a greeting card for the occasion. Live musical accompaniment provided.

Family Art Project: Sachets and Floral Fantasy for Mom - Wave Hill
May 11, 2013 - Bronx

Honor Mom with paper flowers and unique floral gifts, including fragrant sachets filled with lavender, tied with ribbon and bows, and decorated with buds and other natural material. Admission to the grounds is free until 12pm.

Playland Opening Day - Rye Playland
May 11, 2013 - Rye

Get ready to zoom, spin, splash, swing, and soar your way through acres of amusement park rides from the cooling log flume, to the famous Dragon Coaster, and all your other favorites, as Playland Amusement Park in Rye hosts its opening day, Saturday, May 11. The fun gets underway with a parade and entertainment beginning at 11am and rides opening at noon. Special opening day admission is $15, which is good for unlimited rides until the park closes at 7pm. Admissions go on sale at 10:30am. The opening celebration begins with strolling entertainment at the Fountain Plaza at 11am, followed by the traditional parade with the Port Chester High School Marching Band accompanied by local dignitaries, staff, and Playland's mascot, Coaster the Dragon. Grab a seat in front of the Music Tower Theater stage to hear the band Reunion perform hit sounds from the '50s, '60s, and '70s. at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. Unique, science-based entertainment will leave children and their families laughing and mesmerized at "Mad About Science," the featured act in Kiddyland for two shows at 4:30pm and 5:30pm. Playland's Kiddyland DJ will also entertain with the "Play it DJ" show, in four performances at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, and 6pm. Kids will move, groove, and be smooth as the DJ plays their favorite dance tunes. Admission Prices: - $15 Weekends: May 11, 12, 18 and 19: $15 unlimited rides; $15 Junior (under 48") - Starting Friday, May 24: $30 unlimited rides; $20 Junior (under 48") Spectator admission (no rides) is free for Westchester County residents and $10 for non-residents. Season Passes: - $95 for unlimited rides all season, with a $15 discount for Westchester residents. - $35 for spectator admission all season (no rides), for non-residents of Westchester County. Acceptable proof of Westchester residency is a Westchester County Park Pass; New York State driver's license or non-driver ID; or a photo ID or report card from a Westchester County school. Playland's pre-season schedule is 12-7pm, Saturdays and Sundays until Memorial Day weekend, after which the spring schedule begins. For the season schedule go to ryeplayland.org or call the park at 914-813-7000. Use the website link to join the Playland E-Club and receive valuable discounts all season long. Rain date for opening day is Saturday, May 18. Note: In a piece of great news, the boardwalk will be open on May 10th. The boardwalk suffered major damage during Hurricane Sandy and a major section of the boardwalk - from the Pier Restaurant to the miniature golf course - had to be completely rebuilt. That section was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. While the entire boardwalk will be open to the public this weekend, some sections closer to the pool will be closed on certain days during the month to finish repairs.

Beauty and the Beast - The Ridgefield Playhouse
May 11, 2013 - Ridgefield

Follow the story of a prince who has been transformed into a Beast and a young woman named Belle whom he imprisons in his castle. To become a prince again, the Beast must love Belle and win her love in return, or he will remain a Beast forever.

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive -
May 11, 2013 - Fairfield

Residents of Fairfield can leave non-perishable items by their mailbox to be picked up that day by mail carriers, who will bring them to the Operation Hope for distribution. Operation Hope, located in Fairfield, is a homeless shelter and community kitchen.

International Migratory Bird Day Annual Bird Walk & Bird Breakfast - Greenwich Audubon Society
May 11, 2013 - Greenwich

Join this annual Audubon tradition when people of all ages rise and shine in search of birds and signs of spring. After the spring birding, return to a hearty, home-cooked 'bird breakfast' prepared by volunteers. Meet in main parking area to hike. RSVP required for breakfast. RSVP to Ted at x230.

Marine Life Study Cruises - Maritime Aquarium
May 11, 2013 - Norwalk

Join the crew of the research vessel Oceanic for an educational and scenic trip of the sound. Aquarium educators put participants to work in collecting and examining animals from all levels of the water column: plankton gathered at the surface (and viewed with a video microscope), crabs and worms grabbed from the muddy bottom, and a variety of fish, crabs, lobsters and surprises brought up in the trawl net. Advance reservations recommended. Go online or call ext. 2206 to for more information or to purchase tickets.

TEEN MAKER SPECIAL: Learn to Sew - Westport Public Library
May 11, 2013 - Westport

New England Fashion Design Association helps students sew their own beach cover-up. Register online.

Kids Story Time - Celebrating Mothers! - Fairfield University Bookstore
May 11, 2013 - Fairfield

Children ages 3-5, accompanied by an adult, celebrate mothers with a story and a craft. Call or email [email protected] to reserve your child's spot.

RINGLING BROS. AND BARNUM & BAILEY? PRESENTS BUILT TO AMAZE - XL Center
May 11, 2013 - Hartford

The audience is invited to witness the circus machinery as it is assembled from shipping crates and watch the international cast of performers as they prepare for the show. Audience members learn hip dance moves during the dance party, try on custom designed costumes, learn circus skills like juggling from the famous Ringling Bros. Clown Alley and even have the opportunity to witness and win a one of a kind masterpiece created by Asia, Ringling Bros. very own painting pachyderm. Once the set is in place, 110 of the world's performers representing 17 countries along with 95 exotic and domestic animals create never-before-seen heart pounding performances that include the Tower Tumblers a troupe of competitive aerial athletes from the Ukraine and whirling unicyclists from New York City. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Outdoor Adventures: Go (and Glow) in the Dark - Stamford Museum and Nature Center
May 11, 2013 - Stamford

This all-new program explores the many things that glow in the dark, from the stars featured in the Two Artists Look at the Sky exhibition to the animals that use bioluminescence in their daily lives. Participants are turned into fireflies and can make their own spark in the dark. After a hike on the trails, return to the Overbrook Nature Center for a chance to paint glow-in-the-dark masterpieces under black light. Participants are asked to bring a flashlight. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

The Fairfield County Children's Choir presents: The Miracle of Singing - Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
May 11, 2013 - Fairfield

More than 300 young singers in grades 4-12 perform their 2012-2013 concert season accompanied by special guest Nick Page, a song leader and collector of folk tunes from around the world.

Accessibility Day - Stepping Stones Museum
May 11, 2013 - Norwalk

Free admission for families with children who have special needs. An Open Arms program.

Around the World Performance Series - Stepping Stones Museum
May 11, 2013 - Norwalk

Abantu Mu Buntu Children's Music Troupe performs. Through costume, singing and dance, these young performers transport you to their homelands of Uganda, a place rich in culture and spirit.

Drop-in Mother's Day Crafts - Wilton Library
May 11, 2013 - Wilton

Children of all ages can stop by during regular library hours and make a craft to take home to Mom for Mother's Day.

Susan B.Komen Race for the Cure - Sherwood Island State Park
May 11, 2013 - Westport

Events include a 5K Race, 5K and 1.5K Walks, a Kids' Short Run and Kids' K and a Survivor Breakfast. There will be food, entertainment and plenty of giveaways from our sponsors.Seventy-five percent of Komen Connecticut's net revenue supports local breast health programs across Connecticut and the remaining 25% is invested in research to find the causes and cures for the disease. None of the money raised in Connecticut goes to support Komen National administration. For each of the past three years, Komen Connecticut has funded over $1 Million in community grants to local organizations providing lifesaving services for women in need across our state. These grants currently support breast cancer programs in Fairfield County, including: Norwalk Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Stamford Hospital, St. Vincent�s Hospital and CancerCare, among others. Go online to download a registration form.

Festival of the Arts - Quassy Amusement Park
May 11, 2013 - Middlebury

School jazz bands will perform on Carousel Theatre stage. Walkway chalk art competition for students.

Framed: Step into Art - Stepping Stones Museum
Through May 12, 2013 - Norwalk

Children can enter the framework of famous paintings and experience art by as they physically enter a scene and are encouraged to interpret, express and connect with art. They can ride a giant chicken attached to a wagon, set up a camp in the Canadian Rockies, prepare dinner for a group of hungry farmers. They can become an art gallery director, selecting and exhibiting art in their own gallery, as well as explore the exhibit through Art Hunt Cards. The exhibit was produced by the Minnesota Children's Museum for the members of the Youth Museum Exhibit Collaborative (YMEC). Through May 12, 2013.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Presents 'Built To Amaze!' - XL Center
Through May 12, 2013 - Hartford

The audience will be met with over the top feats of strength, agility and courage. Circus performers from across the globe blend athleticism and bravery. Elephants, tigers, acrobats and awe-inspiring aerialists are engineered into one performance.

The Panoramic River: the Hudson and the Thames - Hudson River Museum
Through May 19, 2013 - Yonkers

In the late 18th century, British artists developed the large-scale panorama, which became a popular form of entertainment in Europe and the United States. The Hudson River Museum's exhibition, "The Panoramic River: the Hudson and the Thames," explores the panoramic vista as the ideal expression for a new, all-embracing way of seeing the landscape that influenced how the public and artists perceived it as well. By the early 19th century, painters such as Robert Havell Jr. worked to express this panoramic perspective in their choice and depiction of vistas. Havell and other artists in the exhibition such as Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey, and John Kensett, favored the chain of cities, suburbs, and countryside along these two rivers, where horizontal planes and historical associations gave form to both artistic and cultural expression. "The Panoramic River" features loans from museums, galleries, and private collections. Museums lending paintings include: Baltimore Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Fenimore Art Museum, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College; Maryland State Archives; Metropolitan Museum of Art; The New-York Historical Society; and Princeton University Art Museum. "The Panoramic River" is organized by Hudson River Museum co-curators Bartholomew Bland, Director of Curatorial Affairs, and Laura Vookles, Chief Curator of Collections. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with additional essays by Pat Hardy, Curator of Paintings, Prints and Drawings, Museum of London, and Geoff Snell, Doctoral Student, University of Sussex and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England. The exhibition and the accompanying catalogue have been made possible by a generous grant from the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Inc. On view through May 19, 2013.

Playland Pre-Season - Rye Playland
Through May 23, 2013 - Rye

Get ready to zoom, spin, splash, swing, and soar your way through acres of amusement park rides from the cooling log flume, to the famous Dragon Coaster, and all your other favorites! Admission Prices: - $15 Weekends: May 11, 12, 18 and 19: $15 unlimited rides; $15 Junior (under 48") - Starting Friday, May 24: $30 unlimited rides; $20 Junior (under 48") Spectator admission (no rides) is free for Westchester County residents and $10 for non-residents. Season Passes: - $95 for unlimited rides all season, with a $15 discount for Westchester residents. - $35 for spectator admission all season (no rides), for non-residents of Westchester County. Acceptable proof of Westchester residency is a Westchester County Park Pass; New York State driver's license or non-driver ID; or a photo ID or report card from a Westchester County school. Playland's pre-season schedule is 12-7pm, Saturdays and Sundays until Memorial Day weekend, after which the spring schedule begins. For the season schedule go to ryeplayland.org or call the park at 914-813-7000. Use the website link to join the Playland E-Club and receive valuable discounts all season long.

Manolo Valdes Monumental Sculptures - The New York Botanical Garden
Through May 26, 2013 - Bronx

Drawing inspiration from the natural landscape of the Botanical Garden, seven towering sculptures by acclaimed Spanish artist Manolo Valdes showcase the relationship between art and nature.

NIGHTWATCH: The Art of Greg Mort - Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Through May 27, 2013 - Stamford

Greg Mort, a Maryland artist with a well-established national reputation, has his eyes firmly in the sky in this selection of original artworks. Mort conveys his awe, respect, and love of nature in his artworks, which can be found at the White House, the Smithsonian Institution and in the collection of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA). February 16 - May 27, 2013.

THE PRINTS OF ETIENNE LEOPOLD TROUVELOT - Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Through May 27, 2013 - Stamford

Etienne Leopold Trouvelot (1827 ? 1895) had a career as an astronomical artist, after a disastrous career as an entomologist. He introduced the Gypsy Moth to North America accidentally, in 1869. Trouvelot?s exacting details and nuanced shading produced imagery that rivaled even the finest and most technologically advanced photographic images of the time. Today, Trouvelot?s works endure as the most detailed and meticulous illustrations of celestial phenomena ever complied. Included in the exhibition will be images as varied as the Planet Jupiter, The Great Comet of 1881 and the Partial Eclipse of the Moon.

Lure of the Ocean: The Art of Stanley Meltzoff - Bruce Museum
Through June 02, 2013 - Greenwich

This new art and science exhibition features approximately 30 paintings by Stanley Meltzoff, the master of portraying fish in their environments -– from the New Jersey shore to the shallows of the Caribbean and the deep Atlantic waters. February 9-June 2, 2013.

Italian artist Francesco Clemente - Yale School of Art 32 Edgewood Avenue Gallery
Through June 02, 2013 - New Haven

Enjoy 30 paintings by the artist made during extended trips to Brazil between 2006 and 2008. April 1-June 2, 2013.

Beyond the Bed: The American Quilt Evolution - Katonah Museum of Art
Through June 16, 2013 - Katonah

Quilts have evolved dramatically in form, fashion, and function during their long and distinguished history. In this exhibition Jean Burks, senior curator at the Shelburne Museum, will explore the wide range of quilts intended as bed coverings, articles of clothing, furniture accessories, wall decoration, and finally, three-dimensional room sculpture. Illustrating a variety of techniques, designs, and cultural styles, the pieces selected will showcase the work of North American quilters working from the beginning of the 19th century to the present. February 24 through June 16, 2013. Major funding for this exhibition was generously provided by The Coby Foundation.

Born to Be Wild - Maritime Aquarium
Through June 20, 2013 - 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 June 20, 2013.

The Last Reef: Cities Beneath the Sea - IMAX Theater, Maritime Aquarium
Through June 20, 2013 - Norwalk

Coral reefs are considered exotic, distant places with little or no connection to our everyday world. Yet every reef is a living city beneath the sea, with a parallel existence to ours. Maritime Aquarium audiences will recognize scenes from New York City as the film compares reef communities to human communities. The film?s imagery immerses audiences in reef communities, among familiar dolphins, sharks and rays but also lesser-known species, such as crocodile fish, colorful nudibranchs and delicate flatworms. January 18-June 20, 2013.

Sharks - IMAX Theater, Maritime Aquarium
Through June 20, 2013 - Norwalk

This film offers an unflinching look at the ocean's ultimate predator with an emphasis on why shark populations are dropping. A sea turtle with a British accent help make this a family-friendly show, even for the youngest members. January 18-June 20, 2013.

Stag Kids Reading Club - Fairfield University Bookstore
Through July 14, 2013 - Fairfield

Students in grades 1-8 are invited to join this incentive based reading program in partnership with the Bridgeport Bluefish and Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Read a minimum of 5 books and write one original book review between April 14 - July 14, 2013 and receive one free ticket to the Bridgeport Bluefish game on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 1:05pm. Additional tickets are available for purchase for $10. The Stag Kids Reading group will meet the players before the game for a private autograph session, run the bases after the game and a public announcement will acknowledge the students' reading success. One lucky member chosen at random will get to throw out the first pitch. Other raffle prizes include two free tickets to any Quick Center Performance Series Event (no expiration date) and a $25 Gift Card to the Fairfield University Bookstore (no expiration date).

IMAGES 2013 - Fairfield Museum and History Center
Through July 21, 2013 - Fairfield

Fairfield Museum and History Center's fifth annual juried photography exhibition features a solo photography exhibition by internationally renowned photographer and Connecticut native, Phil Trager. May 3-July 21, 2013.

IMAGES 2013 and Solo Exhibition by Philip Trager - Fairfield Museum and History Center
Through July 21, 2013 - Fairfield

Fairfield Museum and History Center's fifth annual juried photography exhibition features a solo photography exhibition by internationally renowned photographer and Connecticut native, Phil Trager. IMAGES has become a highly-regarded exhibition to celebrate the exceptional work of 60 talented photographers from New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. May 3-July 21, 2013.

Meerkats - Maritime Aquarium
Through September 02, 2013 - 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. Through September 2, 2013.

Sensory Bounce - BounceU
Through September 28, 2013 - Stratford

This is a program for children and adults with sensory integration dysfunction, autism, and other disabilities with a sensory component. Teachers work on balance and coordination, auditory and tactile sensitivity, strength building, motor coordination, cooperative play, turn-taking, and social and verbal skills. Through September 28, 2013.

What Is It? Technologies and Discoveries of the Victorian Era - Lockwood-Mathews Mansion
Through October 06, 2013 - Norwalk

Victorian era gadgets, technologies and breakthroughs will be on display to introduce visitors to mid-to-late 19th century inventions and discoveries in many diverse areas including communication, transportation, manufacturing, medicine, food and recreation. Audiences might be surprised at how some of the historic breakthroughs are still relevant today. April 17 2013-October 6, 2013.

Eggs-hibition: Unscrambling Their History - Bruce Museum
Through October 20, 2013 - Greenwich

This new exhibition will delight visitors with an array of eggs. From food to children's fairy tales, Fabergé eggs to pharmacology, Eggs-hibition explores the evolution of the egg, its prominent inclusion in creation myths worldwide, the complex simplicity of its design, and the inspiration it imparts to artists who have painted, bejeweled, photographed, and written about them. March 23-October 20, 2013.

Tours - Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate
Through November 11, 2013 - Sleepy Hollow

Kykuit, the six-story stone house and rolling hilltop estate that served as home to four generations of Rockefellers, is open to visitors beginning Saturday, May 4, through Sunday, Sep. 30, and Nov. 1-11. Open daily Oct 1-31. Kykuit's modern and classical art collection, architecture, and expansive gardens are consistently rated the top attraction in the lower Hudson Valley, and draw tens of thousands of visitors annually. Kykuit, which means "lookout" in Dutch, includes a six-story stone house, multiple terraced gardens, art galleries, outdoor classical and modern sculpture, and commanding Hudson River views. Its hilltop location overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades is 500 feet above sea level. Visitors to Kykuit learn the story of the Rockefellers, beginning with John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, whose business acumen made him the richest man in America in his day. He later became the country's first great philanthropist. By his death in 1937, he had given away more than half his fortune through various philanthropic programs. Visitors can choose from four tours: Classic, Grand, Timesaver, and Selected Highlights. The Classic, ideal for first-time visitors, is a shorter experience than the comprehensive, three-hour Grand. Besides the mansion, both of these tours include time in Kykuit's art galleries, gardens, and Coach Barn, with its collection of horse-drawn carriages, vintage automobiles, and equestrian equipment. The 90-minute Timesaver is ideal for those on tighter schedules, while Selected Highlights maximizes time in the gardens. Visitors can buy tickets online in advance, choosing the exact tour, time, and date they want to visit. Tickets are on sale at hudsonvalley.org. Historic Hudson Valley recommends advanced ticket buying, particularly for weekend tours, which fill up quickly. Besides online, tickets may be purchased by calling 914-631-8200 (service charge additional) or at the Kykuit Visitor Center at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow. All tours start at the Kykuit Visitor Center; doors open at 9am.

Echoes of Egypt: Conjuring the Land of the Pharoahs - Yale Peabody Museum
Through January 04, 2014 - New Haven

This exhibition will take you on a journey through two thousand years of fascination with ancient Egypt, the land of the pharaohs. Visitors will enter through a reproduction of the Egyptianizing gateway that is the entrance to New Haven's Grove Street Cemetery (designed by Henry Austin in 1839), and then discover how a culture that flourished thousands of years ago has impacted our own world. Echoes of ancient Egypt appear in art, architecture, and literature around the world from ancient Africa to medieval Europe and the Middle East, to modern North America. April 13, 2013-January 4, 2014.

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.


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