Holiday Shopping 2023: The Glass House Design Store

For this new installment of our local holiday shopping series, we visited  The Glass House Design Store at 199 Elm St. There, we spoke to Dominica Baharian, manager of the Design Store and the Visitor Center, and Christa Carr, communications director for The Glass House. Here’s a transcript of our conversation. ***

New Canaanite: Could you please give us an overview of the Design Store? What can people find here and how does it fit into The Glass House program?

‘Through Your Looking Glass’ Student Social Justice Art Showcase Opens at Carriage Barn Arts Center

The number of students contributing their work to an annual social justice art exhibition doubled in its second year, organizers say. Launched by Stand Together Against Racism or “S.T.A.R.,” in partnership with The Glass House and Carriage Barn Arts Center, the exhibition— titled “Through Your Looking Glass” —saw student contributors increase from 21 in its inaugural year to 45 this year, according to S.T.A.R. Founder Fatou Niang. “I’m amazed,” Niang told amid the buzz of an opening reception held Saturday at the Carriage Barn, where crowds of people took in dozens of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, mixed-media pieces and other art work contributed by students and professional artists brought in as a special part of this year’s show. “I’m amazed because we all know art has a power of reflecting society,” Niang continued. “And the mirror that these kids have sent us through their art is just stunning.

Greg Sages, Longtime Executive Director of The Glass House, To Step Down

Greg Sages, with characteristic modesty, views the eight years that he’s led The Glass House as executive director in terms of the organization’s larger goals and history. 

When the historic Glass House building and campus on Ponus Ridge opened to the public in 2007 following the deaths of Philip Johnson and David Whitney, the then-director’s priority was “getting the place open,” Sage said. The second director was from the art community and had strong ties to Manhattan galleries and architects, and focused on those connections in raising the visibility of The Glass House. 

For Sage, “the most important thing was integrating the site into the fabric of New Canaan,” he said. “My predecessors had not focused on that effort,” Sage said. He added that he and Christa Carr, The Glass House’s director of communications, “have been pretty active in local organizations and also we set out to do a number of partnerships with other not-for-profits in town including the library, the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society, Grace Farms, S.T.A.R in this past year, and others.”

“And I think we have maintained a very positive reputation in the museum community with visitors coming from around the country and from around the world,” he said. Sage recently notified his employers at the National Trust for Historic Preservation that he’s stepping down as director.

‘Through Your Looking Glass’ Exhibition Opens at New Canaan Museum & Historical Society

Jose “Joey” Diaz, a Norwalk resident and ninth-grader at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford, originally planned to portray a hand reaching out in his submission for an art exhibition that opened this weekend at the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society. But “I kind of messed it up,” Diaz said Saturday from a second-floor gallery at the Oenoke Ridge nonprofit organization, standing near his acrylics-and-markers work titled “We All Bleed Red.”

“And I turned it into something else, which was a fist,” Diaz said. “I did a lot of blood on the knuckles and everywhere. It kind of shows how much people suffer, from police brutality, hate crimes. All of that.

Local Business Q&A: Design Store of The Glass House

In this installment of our Q&A series spotlighting local businesses, we hear from New Canaan’s Christa Carr of The Glass House, whose Design Store is open 24/7 online and in-person at 199 Elm St. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays Dec. 4, 11 and 18, as well as Dec. 20 to 23. 

Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: Before we get to The Design Store itself and what you have to offer shoppers this holiday season, talk to us about how the 2021 season is going for The Glass House.