- Archie Tillinghaus, “New England Farm.” Department of Developmental Services, Southbury Training School
Art for Everyone – The Federal Art Project in Connecticut
March 16 – April 21, 2013
During the Great Depression, scenes of life in Connecticut were forever captured on canvas through the Federal Art Project, the visual arts division of the Works Progress Administration that was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide economic relief for the unemployed. For the first time in the nation’s history, the federal government hired hundreds of artists and paid them an hourly wage for art that was pleasing to the eye and that could inspire faith in democracy. In Connecticut, 173 artists were given the opportunity to receive compensation for their talents, documenting scenes of everyday life in the state.
This exhibit began as a joint project between the Connecticut State Library and the Mattatuck Museum to identify and document WPA artists, create an exhibition and publish a catalogue. The Fairfield Museum exhibit features over 20 Connecticut artists whose work was placed in public places, including courthouses, state hospitals, sanatoriums, post offices, schools, and libraries, and helped to broaden the idea that art should be enjoyed by everyone.
Westport WPA Art Committee by Ralph Boyer
Art for Everyone: WPA in Westport
Wednesday April 10 7pm
at the Westport Public Library, McManus Room
Join us for a presentation and discussion on the rich history of the Federal Art Project in Westport. Stemming from President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935, the project employed thousands of artists to create commissioned works for schools, libraries and public buildings. Speakers will include Eve Potts, former Chairman of the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection (WSPAC) / WPA Art Rescue Committee and Kathie Motes Bennewitz, Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection. Discover the fascinating story of how these public art treasures were lost and found. Moderated by Chris Timmons, participants will include Judy Gault Sterling, treasurer of WPA ART RESCUE Committee, Katie Chase, WPA Art Rescue Committee, Ann Sheffer and Joan Miller, registrar of the WSPAC.
April Vacation Programs & Events!
Art for Everyone! Art Workshops
Tuesday, April 16 – Thursday, April 18 10am – 12pm Ages 7 – 11
Each session $12 for members; $15 for non-members, supplies included. RSVP by calling 203-259-1598.
Explore the museum’s latest exhibition featuring paintings of Connecticut scenes inspired by the landscape and the shore. Create an art project based on each day’s theme.
Tuesday – En Plein Air: Paint your own landscape outside with oil pastels!
Wednesday – Beachscapes: Create mixed-media artwork inspired by the sun and sand!
Thursday – Summer Scenes: Make a bright and sunny collage of your favorite summer pastimes!
Family Workshop: Storms at Sea
Wednesday, April 17 1pm – 3pm Free with admission.
Drop by the museum to view the Art for Everyone exhibit and enjoy a fun art activity. Create your own stormy scene with watercolors and collage!
Thursday, April 18 10am – 11am Free with admission. Recommended for children 5 and up and their caregiver.
Cozy up with a springtime story in the galleries with museum volunteer Barbara Lucia.
Family Storytelling: Story Palette
Friday, April 19 2:30pm
Free with admission. Recommended for families with children age 5 and up.
Storyteller Carolyn Stearns presents a selection of art-related stories with an activity accompanying each story. She’ll “make a simple story you’ll never forget.” Enjoy stories such as the CT Charter Oak, The Boy Who Drew Cats and more.
En Plein Air Workshop
Sunday, April 21 2pm – 4pm Supply fee for Members: $10; Non-members: $15.
Recommended for adults and young adults 15 years and older.
Take inspiration from nature as artist and teacher Deborah Bassino leads this hands-on painting program. Artists have painted outdoors, or en plein air, for hundreds of years. In this workshop, get all of the art supplies that you need to create your own landscape of historic Fairfield.