Q&A: ‘Art in the Windows’ Kicks Off Friday

A partnership that brings together the New Canaan arts and business communities is set to kick off a popular annual exhibition this week. “Art in the Windows” is a storefront exhibition organized by the Carriage Barn Arts Center in partnership with the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. They’re hosting an Art Stroll Kickoff event at Elm Street and South Avenue from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 2. 

We put some questions to Carriage Barn Executive Director Hilary Wittmann ahead of the launch. Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: What is ‘Art in the Windows’ and what is its history in New Canaan?

‘We Are Thrilled’: Earth Garden Finds New Home on South Avenue

One of New Canaan’s best-loved local businesses has found a new home downtown. Located for the past decade in The Playhouse, Earth Garden opened Friday at 13 South Ave., formerly a tobacco and cigar shop. “We are thrilled we found a storefront and it’s actually working out really well,” owner Nancy Kline Gorkin said. “We were able to put a sign on the fence in front of the old shop, which the town agreed to let me do, directing people to the new location and of course we’ve let people know through social media,” she added. “We had a very good turnout for Valentine’s Day—I would say our foot traffic was as good if not better.

Local Holiday Shopping Boost: Town Designates Free Parking in Municipal Lots Through Dec. 27

The town has designated free parking in all municipal lots through Dec. 27, officials say. Members of New Canaan’s Parking Department are placing signs on meters in town to let shoppers know they don’t need to pay. Carl Franco of Francos Wine Merchants on Elm Street said he was “very happy that the Chamber of Commerce worked out with the town free parking for all municipal lots.”

“I think that will be very inviting for the shoppers to give one last boost to all the merchants in town,” Franco said. The designation, which took effect Monday, follows an unexpected loss of some parking and traffic difficulties late last week due to utilities work on Elm. 

Laura Budd, executive director of the Chamber, said the “last few days before Christmas are very important to our retailers.”

“The Chamber and the municipality wanted to remove all barriers to our residents and visitors who are shopping local for all their last-minute holiday gifts,” Budd said.