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News : Entertainment Jul 26, 2013 - 7:15:02 AM

3rd annual ArtsFest at Silvermine Arts Center

By Silvermine Arts Center

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The colorful and traditional costumes for Maracatu drumming and dancing as they perform A Tale of Two Nations featuring Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante and Nation Beat.
Silvermine Arts Center, in New Canaan will host their 3rd annual ArtsFest on Saturday, August 10th from 2-5pm. Come stroll the grounds and Sculpture Walk, and enjoy A Tale of Two Nations featuring Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante and Nation Beat, a combination of contemporary percussion with the music and dance of one of Brazil’s oldest and most respected music groups. This free outdoor event is a fun-filled day for all ages, featuring a photo exhibition and artist talk, a performance and parade, and hands-on art activities and art demonstrations.

Leading up to ArtsFest, Silvermine will be offering two special international workshops. Participants of both workshops will take part in the August 10th parade at ArtsFest with A Tale of Two Nations featuring Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante and Nation Beat.

A one-day Drumming workshop will be offered on two different days, Thursday, August 8th or Friday, August 9th from 5:00-7:00pm. Workshop participants will learn the basics of the Afro-Brazilian drumming style of Northeast Brazil. Participants should bring any Brazilian percussion instruments they may have, and/or bells, shakers, and their “basiest” percussion instruments. The workshop is open to teens and adults. The workshop fee is $90 per person and the instructors will be one of the leaders of Estrela Brilhante, Mestre Walter, assisted by Jorge Martins and Scott Kettner.

There will be a two-day Costume workshop taking place on Thursday and Friday, August 8th and 9th from 10:00am-1:00pm. Open to all ages, participants will create traditional costumes for Maracatu drumming and dancing. The school will provide the needed materials. Check our website or call the school office for an optional supply list with additional items, such as sequins, feathers, and blue, white, gold, red or yellow fabric. Not required, but please let the school know if you can bring your own sewing machine. The instructor for this workshop is Queen Marivalda, one of the leaders of Estrela Brilhante, assisted by her dancers. Cost for this two-day workshop is $150.

Registration for both workshops can be done on-line at under Events or by calling 203-966-9700 ext. 22.

Estrela Brilhante (“Bright Star”) is dedicated to celebrating and performing traditional maracatu, a propulsive and dramatic rhythm that hails from the country’s culturally rich Northeast region. With their focus on choreographed movement to energetic inspiring music; and colorful elaborate costumes, their presence will be a dynamic and explosive way to celebrate our 3rd Annual ArtsFest, as well as engage an even broader and more diverse audience. There will be an outdoor concert at 3pm featuring a full performance of A Tale of Two Nations featuring Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante and Nation Beat followed by a parade which will include workshop participants from the School of Art and Norwalk Housing Authority.

Also part of the festivities surrounding ArtsFest, will be an artist talk and book signing at 2:00pm with award-winning photographer, Jason Gardner. An exhibit of his works will run from August 7th through August 25th in the Silvermine Galleries Viewing Room. The exhibit is an illustration of the culture, music and rituals of the authentic, folkloric Carnaval Festival in Pernambuco, Brazil. The project shows the rich cultural heritage of Pernambuco, an area often overlooked by international visitors.

Beginning at 2:00pm and going until 5:00pm, there will also be a variety of hands-on activities for children and adults led by the distinguished faculty of the School of Art, as well artist demonstrations. Let your creative side play and become part of the creative process. Free hands-on activities include: Plein Air Painting – Discover the act of painting outdoors and the art of landscape oil painting on Silvermine’s beautiful campus. Bring your paints and easel to join in, or just observe; Portrait Drawing – Participants can work in charcoal or pencil to develop and learn their compositional skills while working directly with a portrait model; Pottery Exploration – Come play with clay. All ages will enjoy getting their hands dirty working with stoneware clay. Learn the techniques and tricks to create your own piece of pottery; Fusion Felting – Discover the magical process of felting and learn about the materials and techniques, along with the unlimited possibilities, of fiber arts felting; Open Air Installation – All ages can create an installation in nature’s environment. Working outside with a variety of natural and recycled materials, create one-of-a-kind monsters climbing trees, bushes and creeping through the grass; Express Yourself: Painting Large – Explore the limitless possibilities of working large while you feel the sheer joy and freedom to express yourself. Participants will paint from their imagination while working with a large brush and paper tacked to the wall; Making Magic with Watercolor, Oil Pastels & Salt – Painting with watercolor, we will make some magic combining this media with oil pastels and salt. The oil pastels create a cool resist (similar to batik) and the salt gives a fun sparkle and star-like effect; Monoprints with Water-Soluble Crayons – Learn the fun, easy and creative process of monoprinting. Participants will paint with special water-soluble crayons onto a Plexiglas plate and then pull their print through the press onto paper. You will then embellish your prints with collage and mixed media materials; and Graffiti Art with Pastels – Graffiti is actually an art form with vivid color, tumbling names and images. Participants will work with craypas on either large paper or sidewalks. Explore this exciting art form. There will be wonderful artist’s demonstrations for you to enjoy as well throughout the day, such as pottery wheel throwing, printmaking, and glass working.

And, don’t miss the opportunity to see the current exhibits in the Galleries which will run through September 7th. “Kites” is an exhibition premiering a new body of work born of the collaboration between New York artist, Charles Hinman and master printer, Gary Lichtenstein. The Guild Group Show: “Where are We (going)? is an exhibition of works by Silvermine Guild Artist members organized and curated by New York independent curator and artist, Emily Cheng.

This year, the Silvermine parking lot will be closed and participants will be shuttled to the campus from nearby parking areas. Also new this year will be various food vendors offering a variety of options from hamburgers and hot dogs (courtesy of Silvermine Market), food from Brazil and of course, ice cream!

This tour of Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and the CT Office of the Arts. Tour sponsor is American Airlines.

For more information about ArtsFest and the various activities, call 203-966-9700 ext. 22 or visit our website at

About Silvermine Arts Center
Silvermine Arts Center located in New Canaan, Connecticut is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Located on a four acre campus, the center consists of a nationally renowned artist guild, award winning school of art offering multi-disciplinary art classes for all ages, an art and fine crafts shop and galleries, offering over twenty contemporary and historic exhibitions annually. The center also provides innovative free and subsidized arts education in Norwalk and Stamford schools through its outreach program, Art Partners; and hosts a lecture series, performances, and special programs throughout the year. Silvermine Arts Center is a nonprofit organization.

Silvermine Arts Center Mission
Grounded in the belief that art is vital to the spirit, creativity and wholeness of human beings, the mission of Silvermine Arts Center is to cultivate, promote and encourage growth through the arts; to showcase and serve artists; and to foster arts education and appreciation opportunities for the greater community.

Gallery Hours: Silvermine Galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday, 12p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1pm to 5 p.m. For more information, call (203) 966-9700 ext. 20 or visit the website:

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