Q&A: NCHS Annual Art Exhibition Opens This Week at Carriage Barn 


Through Our Eyes XI

New Canaan High School’s annual exhibition, Through Our Eyes XI” (see sample gallery above) opens Friday at the Carriage Barn Arts Center and runs through April 1. There’s an opening reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. We put some questions to the Carriage Barn’s executive director, Hilary Wittmann, ahead of the show. Here’s our exchange:

New Canaanite: “Through Our Eyes XI,” the annual New Canaan High School exhibition, opens this week at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. Tell us about how the show comes together in terms of curation and submissions, and the partnership between your organization and NCHS.

Hilary Wittmann

Hilary Wittmann: This exhibit is a collaboration between the Carriage Barn and the NCHS art teachers Maggie Pennoyer, Jenn Sinski and Kimanne Core. The student work that’s included in the show represents the most original and successful pieces in various media over the past year. About a month before the exhibit the Carriage Barn reviews and chooses pieces to use for our marketing and PR materials, and then we create groupings of work based on themes, the mediums or subject matter in preparation to hang and display the work throughout the gallery. The Carriage Barn’s exhibition committee will also be selecting and giving a special award at the opening on Thursday.

How would you describe the quality and range of work/media that visitors can expect to see in Through Our Eyes XI?

Anna Cuesta, “Jar Still Life,” Pastel

It’s just amazing to see the technical skills many of the students have achieved, but also the range of creative expression through photography, digital media, ceramics, mixed media and so much more. Several pieces in the exhibit have won awards at the state and regional level, but every piece tells a story about that student. Creating art is such an important form of self-expression and communication. Exhibiting this work in a professional gallery setting shines a light on these student artists, and highlights the artistic opportunities available to New Canaan High School students and their excellent teachers. 

What would you say to a town resident who hasn’t yet seen an exhibition at Carriage Barn Arts Center but is thinking about checking this one out?

Katey McGloin “Splash”

Absolutely anyone will appreciate this exhibit! Of course many family members and friends come to see the show, but many artists and collectors come from beyond New Canaan each year to see this show. We especially encourage families to bring younger children to see and be inspired by this exhibit. Many of the pieces are for sale too, so it’s a great opportunity to buy original artwork and further encourage these students.

What are the hours that visitors can drop in to view the exhibition? What about if they’d like to bring a group through?

Carriage Barn Arts Center

The gallery is open from 10am-3pm Wednesday-Saturday and Sundays 1-5pm — admission is free! We welcome groups to meet up at the Carriage Barn during these hours, or call to schedule a visit. 

What else, if anything, would you tell our readers about the new NCHS exhibition or about the Carriage Barn?

The “Through Our Eyes” NCHS exhibit is one of about ten produced at the Carriage Barn each year. Exhibits range from open shows for member artists to juried shows centered around specific themes or mediums that feature celebrated artists from beyond the local area. As a community arts organization, we also offer classes and workshops for adults and kids, lectures and tours, live performances — there’s really something for everyone who enjoys or wants to learn about or participate in the arts. We encourage everyone to come visit and get involved!

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