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The DAC Joins the Online Learning Movement

posted Apr 2, 2020, 10:43 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Apr 2, 2020, 10:50 AM ]

With our facilities closed to the public, due to health and safety mandates, we've expanded our current offerings for students through online video communications. All music lessons, visual arts and dance classes are now taking place live and online while Darien schools remain closed. DAC directors and students have quickly adapted to this new way of teaching and learning, and the DAC is providing new opportunities for students of all ages.

Dance students have started attending the more than 40 dance classes offered by the DAC via Zoom. Reflecting on recent days, DAC Dance Director Bonnie Gombos commented, “It is a new way for the students to learn, but our dancers are adapting quickly. We greatly appreciate the support and involvement of all who have made our online classes come together and the patience and flexibility of students and parents as DAC faculty and staff adapt to today’s challenging realities. Online classes will continue until we are back in the studio, which can’t happen soon enough. Our teachers dearly miss all of our students and can’t wait to resume classes in person. But until then, the dance will go on!”

Juanita Bosee, DAC Music Director, was initially reluctant to the concept of remote learning. “The coronavirus forced me to do something I was uncomfortable with, but I am so happy I tried it. The kids are engaged and I’ve seen progress in all 30 of the students that I taught this past week. With more free time on their hands, kids are practicing more and they are learning that playing a musical instrument is a gift they will have for the rest of their lives. Parents of students are extremely grateful for the effort put into helping their kids continue learning. Both students and parents are happy that there is some normalcy and structure in their lives. I am proud of the students’ and my own resilience and that of my fellow colleagues in all the disciplines taught at the DAC.”

In addition to regularly scheduled classes, DAC Visual Arts Director Emily Altman, has added several upcoming virtual drawing and painting workshops for all ages that take place via Zoom, “We’ve been encouraged by positive feedback from students and parents, and are happily providing ways for the community to stay creative as we move forward.”  

Afternoon Doodles Workshops, brand new for grades 3 and up, are taking place on Wednesdays, April 8, 15 and 22, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Artist and instructor Nancy McTague-Stock will lead classes using household items to create fun projects that include drawing, collage and more. Fee for each workshop is $10.

New live virtual workshops for adults include Coffee and Draw with artist and DAC instructor Joel Flora, who will lead a series of drawing exercises while participants sketch objects of choice in their own homes. This workshop takes place on Thursday, April 9 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. 
From the Kitchen with Nancy McTague-Stock takes place on Tuesday, April 21 from 10-11a.m. McTague-Stock will lead participants on how to draw a still life, using anything from the kitchen, whether it is a bowl of fruit or flowers, or whatever is on hand. Fee for each adult workshop is $10.

Drumroll Please...

posted Apr 2, 2020, 10:29 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Apr 3, 2020, 10:58 AM ]

We are happy to announce the winners of the fifth 
Pic Darien Smartphone Photo Contest and that the slideshow is ready for viewing! Once again, we are floored by the incredible photos (close to 500!) submitted to this contest that was open to all, with no age restrictions and Darien residency not required. 

Feast your eyes and make your day a little brighter by viewing this 
breathtaking slideshow!  









And now...THE WINNERS!

Darien Bicentennial:
Student Winner: Jane Murphy
Adult Winner: Erika Teresko

Sports:
Student Winner: John Cavoli
Adult Winner: Linda Romanowski

Food:
Student Winner: Brynn Forlizzi
Adult Winner: Catherine Morris

People:
Student Winner: Jane Murphy
Adult Winner: Lee Smith

Pets:
Student Winner: Whitney Olsen
Adult Winner: Catherine Morris

Landscape:
Student Winner: Trevor Cooper
Adult Winner: Katie LeBesco

Seascape:
Student Winner: Trevor Cooper
Adult Winner: Sophie Cirillo

Abstract:

Student Winner: Sadie Mossa
Adult Winner: Lee Smith

Architecture:
Student Winner: Miranda Roche

Adult Winner: Chris LaJaunie

Nature & Flora
Student Winner: Kaitlin La Du
Adult Winner: Milissa Knightly

Congrats to all! 
Your incredible photos are inspirational!


Jon Zagrodzky, Megan Dey, Gary Morello, Ali Curtis, David Wagner and Jeffrey Wyant generously judged the contest, a fundraiser for the DAC. 
Check back soon for a slideshow of the winning photos and commentary from the judges!

Sophia Enters the Fairy Realm, Original Ballet for All Ages

posted Mar 4, 2020, 10:48 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Apr 2, 2020, 10:46 AM ]

Update: New date TBD.

Darien Arts Center students and members of the DAC performance company will present Sophia Enters the Fairy Realm, a new original children’s ballet.

Sophia Enters the Fairy Realm is geared toward a younger audience. It is an ideal way for those interested in learning how to dance, to see one of many DAC performance opportunities provided for dance students. All ages are welcome to attend, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children. The show runs for approximately one hour. 

Pictured is Sophia Condon in the production.

Ladies Night Out, Celtic Script, Ukrainian Egg Decorating

posted Mar 2, 2020, 5:24 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Mar 17, 2020, 5:55 AM ]

Adults, join us for fun and creativity!  

DATE TBD     
$45.00  
Get into gear for spring and summer with an art filled evening where you will learn to paint beautiful sunflowers based on the paintings of Van Gogh. DAC painting instructor and artist Stephanie Lush-Mastriano will lead this vibrant and exciting workshop that is open to beginners or seasoned painters. A beautiful sunflower still life will be present, and the class will learn how to create their own interpretation of the beautiful scene. All materials will be provided, all levels welcome.

Monday | 7:00-9:00PM
Remaining classes: Mar. 30, April 6, 13, 20 & 27

$295 plus $35 Registration Fee
Uncial lettering was commonly used by Latin and Greek scribes from the 4th to the 8th century AD. Students may use it to write their favorite Irish proverb or even a bawdy limerick and will be introduced to Celtic Knot Design. Constructed using a grid method, ornamental Celtic knot borders and elements are typically complete loops without any beginning or end. Early on, these designs were used mainly for decorative purposes. Over time, people began interpreting them as the crossing of physical and spiritual paths, and as symbols for eternity and the endurance of life, love and faith. We will cover how to construct the basic basket-weave patterns from which students may develop their own individual designs, perhaps as decorative borders around their Uncial calligraphy to create truly unique Celtic works of art.

Thursday, March 26 | 6:30-9:30PM
$95. 
A delicate craft thousands of years old, the “pysanka” is a Ukrainian egg decorated with traditional folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word ‘pysanka’ comes from the verb ‘pysaty,’ meaning “to write” because the intricate designs are not painted, but rather written on the egg shell with melted beeswax. Every symbol and color applied has its own specific meaning. It is believed that some pysanky could even protect households by trapping evil spirits deep within spiral motifs. Other geometric designs were stylized representations of wishes: pine needles for eternal youth, the sun for long life, antlered deer for prosperity, poppies for beauty, birds for fertility and wolves’ teeth zig-zags for loyalty and wisdom. Why not try your hand at making a pysanka? Join us at the table and write your own story on your own eggs! Eggs and materials provided.

New! Calligraphy: Celtic Knot & Script (Uncial)

posted Feb 21, 2020, 5:55 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Feb 22, 2020, 5:15 AM ]

A variation of which was used in the famous Book of Kells created in 800AD, Uncial is a majuscule script (written entirely in capital letters). Uncial lettering was commonly used by Latin and Greek scribes from the 4th to the 8th century AD. As we learn the script, students may use it to write their favorite Irish proverb or even a bawdy limerick. During the latter half of the course, students will be introduced to Celtic Knot Design. Constructed using a grid method, ornamental Celtic knot borders and elements are typically complete loops without any beginning or end. Early on, these designs were used mainly for decorative purposes. Over time, people began interpreting them as the crossing of physical and spiritual paths, and as symbols for eternity and the endurance of life, love and faith. We will cover how to construct the basic basket-weave patterns from which students may develop their own individual designs, perhaps as decorative borders around their Uncial calligraphy to create truly unique Celtic works of art.


With MOKI KOKORIS
Adults | Monday | 7:00-9:00PM
Mar. 9-April 20 | 6 classes | No class April 13

$295 plus $35 Registration Fee

“Pysanka” - UKRAINIAN EGG DECORATING WORKSHOP

posted Feb 20, 2020, 6:48 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Feb 20, 2020, 6:50 PM ]

Join us for this exciting new workshop!   
A delicate craft thousands of years old, the “pysanka” is a Ukrainian egg decorated with traditional folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word ‘pysanka’ comes from the verb ‘pysaty,’ meaning “to write” because the intricate designs are not painted, but rather written on the egg shell with melted beeswax. Every symbol and color applied has its own specific meaning. It is believed that some pysanky could even protect households by trapping evil spirits deep within spiral motifs. Other geometric designs were stylized representations of wishes: pine needles for eternal youth, the sun for long life, antlered deer for prosperity, poppies for beauty, birds for fertility and wolves’ teeth zig-zags for loyalty and wisdom. Why not try your hand at making a pysanka? Join us at the table and write your own story on your own eggs! Eggs and materials provided.

Thursday, March 26 | 6:30-9:30PM
$95. 

Digital Photography Classes for Adults & Kids

posted Feb 7, 2020, 5:29 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Feb 7, 2020, 5:29 AM ]

Improve your digital photography skills with professional photographer & DAC instructor, Brien Adams!  Introduction to Digital Photography for adults takes place from March 4-25, on Wednesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. In this month-long class, adults learn the basics of taking beautiful digital photographs using their iphones or digital cameras. Topics covered include point and shoot techniques, photo editing, uploading to a computer, and using Instagram and social media to display photos. Fee for this class is $125.
Digital Photography for grades 5-8 runs through April 24th on Fridays from 4:40-5:40 p.m. Students learn to use their digital device to capture amazing photos. Photography skills covered include the rule of thirds, filling the frame, negative space, scale and focal point. Call the Darien Arts Center at (203) 655-8683 to sign up for this class, which takes continuing registration.

Spring Break Camp

posted Feb 3, 2020, 5:27 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Feb 13, 2020, 12:17 PM ]

Sign up now for school break fun!    
Introduction to Fashion for grades 5-8 takes place from April 6-10, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Students are introduced to the art of fashion design and use learned techniques to create their own piece of clothing. Fee for Introduction to Fashion is $350.

Ladies Night Out! Glass Earring & Pendant Jewelry Making: February 6th

posted Jan 21, 2020, 9:58 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Jan 21, 2020, 3:59 PM ]

Join us for fun & creativity with friends! BYOB wine & refreshments and carve out some time for YOU!   

Thursday, February 6 | 7-9PM   
$75.00    
Learn all the steps of the glass fusion process including glass cutting with Dorothy Hafner, award winning artist and designer. Compose fused glass pendant necklaces or earrings using a rainbow assortment of colored, metallic and patterned glasses supplied by the artist from her personal collection. Each student makes 3 separate designs. Silver bails and cotton cords are provided or bring your own chains. Finished pieces are ready for pick up at the Darien Arts Center in 2 weeks.


Thursday, March 12 | 7-9PM
$45.00
Get into gear for spring and summer with an art filled evening where you will learn to paint beautiful sunflowers based on the paintings of Van Gogh. DAC painting instructor and artist Stephanie Lush-Mastriano will lead this vibrant and exciting workshop that is open to beginners or seasoned painters. A beautiful sunflower still life will be present, and the class will learn how to create their own interpretation of the beautiful scene. All materials will be provided, all levels welcome.







Thursday, April 23rd | 6-9PM
$75.00
Bring your friends and join the DAC for a fun Fashion Night Out! In this 3 hr workshop, participants will learn how to design and create their own pajama pants, and leave the workshop with their masterpiece! Materials and sewing machines will be provided. 





SO WE THINK WE CAN DANCE Tickets Available Now

posted Jan 17, 2020, 6:16 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Jan 17, 2020, 11:55 AM ]

Our student-run production, consistently a sell-out, is back for its ninth year! Totally produced by DAC dance students, ages 10 to 18, So We Think We Can Dance returns to the DAC Weatherstone Studio with performances on Saturday, February 1st at 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 2nd at 2 p.m. Eighteen DAC student choreographers with 40 dancers, manage all stages of creation and execution, and choreograph and perform approximately 18 dances that encompass many different styles of dance. 


The DAC dance program is proud to provide this one of kind opportunity for students to produce a show from start to finish. So We Think We Can Dance was the brainchild of past DAC students, some who have moved on to pursue careers in dance. They envisioned using the skills they had developed from years of dancing at the DAC, to express their individuality in their very own dances, while having a chance to shine. It has proven to be a great success, beyond selling out audiences. According to Amy Allen, DAC executive director, “So We Think We Can Dance truly fills us with pride. Our students utilize years of practice, to create, choreograph and produce an entertaining show. It empowers creative thinking and builds confidence. They really put their hearts into this, as well as a lot of time and effort. I can’t wait to see this year’s performances.” 

DAC dance students, Samantha Gombos, Mackenzie Swift and Eva Larino are producing the 2020 show.

Tickets for So We Think We Can Dance are $15 and the show runs for approximately 2 hours. 

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