Art, music and more at the Wood

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Jan. 28, 2011
Debi Freund of Bolton and Steve Light of Willington are taking home their new paintings by Doug AmEnde (far right).  The artist’s wife, Diane AmEnde, is on the left. Photo by Martha Marteney.
Debi Freund of Bolton and Steve Light of Willington are taking home their new paintings by Doug AmEnde (far right). The artist’s wife, Diane AmEnde, is on the left. Photo by Martha Marteney.

SOUTH WINDSOR - The Wood Memorial Library is currently hosting an art exhibition and sale of acrylic paintings by Doug AmEnde of Manchester. The exhibit is located the lower gallery of and will be open through Feb. 24.
“I have been doing this for 30 years,” said AmEnde at the Jan. 21 opening reception. Through the years, he has worked in different media and techniques, and his style evolved through this process. “Everything I’ve done is in my work today,” he explained, noting, for example, that the cross-hatching seen in his current paintings comes from his work in pen and ink drawings.
“To have colors like this on a day like today is really calming,” said Jane Patterson of Burlington. A co-worker of AmEnde’s, she found the texture of the paintings especially interesting. This was her first visit to the Wood. “It’s a great way to spend a Friday night.”
Debi Freund of Bolton owns one of AmEnde’s earlier, abstract pieces. “All his work is really exciting,” she said. “I love watching it evolve.” Freund added to her collection with AmEnde’s new piece, entitled “To the Bay.”
“I really like it when an artist can make you feel what the day is like,” said Dean Collins of Manchester.
Bobbie Cote of South Windsor noted that since retiring, she and her husband, Henry, have begun collecting art. They have purchased several pieces through the Wood, because they enjoy meeting the local artists.
“This has been our most successful opening,” remarked John Wadhams, executive director at the Wood. Purchases made at the Wood have only a 15 percent commission, which goes to the library, rather than the typical 50 percent commission charge by a gallery. This lower commission is reflected in reduced prices on the artwork.
There are several upcoming events at the Wood Memorial Library, which offers many programs through collaborations with other organizations. On Feb. 20, beginning at 2 p.m., the 30th season of South Windsor Cultural Arts Sunday Concert Series continues with Russian-born pianist Alexander Ghindin. In 1994, Ghindin was the youngest winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Since that time, he has had an outstanding solo and orchestral career, and has toured throughout the world. This will be his first appearance at the Wood Memorial Library.
“We’ve always enjoyed a very close partnership with the Wood Library,” said Sheryl O’Connor, president of the South Windsor Cultural Arts. “It’s a wonderful forum for the performers, and they love our audience.” The recital setting provides an intimate music experience for both the musician and the audience. The concerts remain free because of the generous sponsorship from individuals and businesses.
The Super Sixty Sportsman Club is hosting a Bluebird House-Making Evening on Feb. 21, starting at 6 p.m. According to club member Lionel MacDonald, the evening includes a talk on the lifecycle of the eastern bluebird and the assembly of the bluebird house kits. The cost is $15 per kit, and pre-registration is required. Participants must bring their own hammer. This program is open to children, 8 years old or older, and adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
The Riverwood Poetry Series is held on the last Thursday of the month through May, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The featured poet on Jan. 27 is David Leff, and on Feb. 24, Norah Pollard will share her poems. In addition to the readings by the featured poets, there is an open mike and refreshments.
In March, artist Burt Schuman will exhibit his wildlife paintings. “He’s a wonderful bird artist and a barn artist,” noted Wadhams. The Wood will also be coordinating a talk on barns with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Places. The artist’s reception will be held on March 4 from 5 to 7 p.m.
On March 12, the Wood will host a new program specially designed for young boys. “It’s the first year we’ve run the American Boy program,” said Wadhams. Starting at 2 p.m., the participants will learn how to identify animals by their tracks, first with a slide presentation and then a field trip behind the library. Participation in this event may qualify for a merit badge.
The Wood will be hosting its Tavern Night on March 18. The library fundraiser is held every two years. “This is a sit-down dinner upstairs in the library,” explained Wadhams. “It will be a wonderful dinner with serving wenches in historic costumers from the 1700s.” Vito’s Restaurant chef/owner Rob Maffucci will prepare the specially-designed tavern-themed menu.
For more information on the Wood Memorial Library and a complete listing of the upcoming programs, visit the website at or call the library at 860-289-1783. The library is open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and is located at 783 Main St.

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