‘Va Va Vroom’ Opens at Carriage Barn Arts Center [PHOTOS]

Dozens of patrons of a widely anticipated new show at Carriage Barn Arts Center got a sneak peek Saturday evening during a special Patron Preview Opening Reception. “Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle” will run April 19 to June 14, with the correlating Monaco Grand Prix Fundraiser (tickets here) scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 16. Featuring contemporary paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures by 35 artists from Connecticut and New York as well as vintage advertising posters, motorcycles and car models, the show celebrates the 1895-built Carriage Barn’s own heritage as the Lapham family’s garage for horses, carriages and cars. With live tunes from New Canaan Music playing in the background and three vintage motorcycles from Buzz Kanter on stage, guests mingled over small bites and wine on a picture-perfect evening, greeted by a row of classic cars outside including from Caffeine & Carburetors (it’s on tomorrow morning, downtown) founder Doug Zumbach and “The Drive through Waveny: A Vehicular Timeline” series of poster boards, from Rose Scott Long of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance.

‘More Than a Career’: New Canaan’s Buzz Kanter and His Motorcycles

New Canaan resident Buzz Kanter purchased his first antique motorcycle around 1986—a BSA M20, from a man selling three of the classic World War II bikes in the pit of a racetrack in New Hampshire. Though only in his early-30s at the time, the Stamford native already was a veteran of New England’s motorcycle scene and circuit. A decade earlier, Kanter had walked away from high-speed racing following an accident on a track in Bridgehampton, N.Y.: A fellow racer, who would spend six months in hospital, crashed into him as they headed into a corner at 130 mph. “I finished the season and said, ‘I’m done,’ ” Kanter, 60, recalled Thursday morning from the gallery at Carriage Barn Arts Center, standing near one of the vintage motorcycles he has acquired since that day in 1986. “And I started playing with antique bikes.

Carriage Barn Arts Center Co-Directors To Step Down following Season

The co-directors of Carriage Barn Arts Center will step down from their roles at the end of June, marking the end of a highly successful two-season run that has seen the Waveny-based organization create lively new exhibitions, launch an annual fundraiser and forge strong bonds with local artists and partnerships with businesses and community agencies. A posting for the job of executive director, held since June 2013 by New Canaan’s Eleanor Flatow and Arianne Kolb, was listed on FCBuzz one week ago. Reached by NewCanaanite.com, Flatow and Kolb said they’re committed to Carriage Barn Arts Center for a widely anticipated spring exhibition and fundraiser, as well as Art in the Windows, which will kick off May 30 with “Pop Up Art Day!” downtown. “We have had two terrific years,” Kolb said. Board President Serena Gillespie said in an email that the board appreciates all that Flatow and Kolb have done in two seasons and will seek to hire a single full-time director to succeed them.

Va Va Vroom: Carriage Barn Arts Center Embraces, Celebrates Waveny Heritage in Upcoming Exhibition

Since starting as co-directors of the Carriage Barn Arts Center 18 months ago, Eleanor Flatow and Arianne Kolb have noted how visitors to the Carriage Barn gallery react strongly when they learn of its original function at Waveny. Though locals tend to know well the grounds, mansion and individual outbuildings at the park, Kolb said, the way that those pieces fit together and tell the story of the Lapham family—the longtime owners of the property through the first half of the 20th Century, who kept horses, carriages and cars in the Barn—animates the familiar landscape and structures in new, profound ways. “When we explain what the space was used for, people have an ‘a-ha’ moment, where it makes sense in the bigger picture,” Kolb said. Starting next month, Carriage Barn Arts Center/New Canaan Society for the Arts will pay homage to that heritage in a new exhibition. “Va Va Vroom!

Did You Hear … ?

New Canaan readers voted by a 7-to-2 margin in favor of a proposal that would see the Pop Up Park in the final block of South Avenue in place continuously from Memorial Day to Labor Day. ***

Four longtime New Canaan friends and NCHS grads gathered to cheer on the Rams last Monday during the varsity boys basketball team’s Senior Night game vs. St. Joe’s. Pictured at left—standing in front local legend Wilky Gilmore’s jersey—are Tad Keating, Monroe Trout, Rob Lenihan and Matt Ready.