Letter: Farewell from Carriage Barn Arts Center Executive Co-Directors


Dear Members, Supporters, and Friends,

As the final exhibition of the season Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle has ended, so has our tenure as Executive Co-Directors of the Carriage Barn Arts Center. It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of our resignation, which was tendered to the Board of Trustees several months ago due to differing visions for the organization. These years have been some of the most rewarding in our careers. We have enjoyed collaborating with so many fine and talented artists, volunteers, and teachers, as well as prestigious jurors.

When we started as Co-Directors two years ago, our objective was to create a vibrant community arts center by raising the quality of exhibitions and programming, increasing awareness, and establishing a solid financial foundation for continued growth.

Our art shows, a balance of traditional annual shows with original thematic exhibits, introduced our community to a diverse range of art forms and approaches in keeping with our mission of “enriching our community.”

Every exhibition was unique and special in its own way. One of our goals was to re-introduce the history of Carriage Barn and Waveny, which was achieved through The Barn and Beyond and Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle. Furthermore, an art historical context allowed viewers to make connections between early and contemporary works in the Small Works! Show and The 35th Annual Photography Show: History and Process.

We are also proud to have fulfilled our educational mission by establishing the first consistent children’s art workshop program throughout the year and a lecture series featuring noted art experts.

Furthermore, our groundbreaking exhibitions attracted the attention of the local and regional media, resulting in Moffly Media’s award for Best of the Gold Coast Editor’s Pick and “Best Newcomer” on the Social Scene as well as three exhibitions featured in the Sunday New York Times.

Other memorable highlights include:

  • The restoration of the front courtyard to its original appearance and activating it with the dynamic and impressive sculptures of Drew Klotz, Carole Eisner, and Jerome Harris Parmet.
  • The re-establishment of a continuous relationship with the New Canaan High School art teachers and students and included students’ works in our shows
  • The Barn and Beyond exhibition with Kip Farrell’s barn survey and James Grashow’s cardboard monkeys swinging from the rafters!
  • The Big Show featuring massive interactive sculptures by Drew Klotz and abstract paintings by Audrey Klotz
  • Absolut Kuba!, which educated our community about Cuban contemporary art.
  • Small Works! featuring the first Rembrandt ever to grace the gallery!
  • Spectrum: Elemental Energies highlighting the renowned glass sculptor Henry Richardson and painter Domingo Zapata in conjunction with talented local artists
  • Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle, which juxtaposed art and vintage motorcycles!
  • The initiation of the first annual fundraiser in recent NCSA history
  • Collaborations with other non-profits (eg. Rotary Club of New Canaan, The Town Players of New Canaan at the Powerhouse Theatre, Caramoor, New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, New Canaan Library)

We could not have realized our vision without the generous support of our sponsors, local organizations, grantors, volunteers and friends. Such overwhelming community engagement and involvement was one of the greatest joys and rewards of working in this special place.

Thank you for helping us revitalize the inspirational space of the Carriage Barn by broadening the scope and quality of exhibitions and programming, building awareness, and realizing the potential growth of the organization.

With gratitude,

Arianne and Eleanor

The mission of the New Canaan Society for the Arts, Inc. is to promote the visual and performing arts, and to enrich the community through exhibitions, education, and cultural experiences, and to operate the Carriage Barn Arts Center.

2 thoughts on “Letter: Farewell from Carriage Barn Arts Center Executive Co-Directors

  1. Bravo! An amazing effort and a gift to the town. You have set the Carriage Barn on a great path and your shoes will be hard to fill.

  2. You both should be pleased by the innovative shows and public enthusiasm you have generated by working exhaustively for two years. We congratulate you both and wish you success in your next endeavors!

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