Founded in 1903, New Britain Museum of American Art was designated the first museum in the country to be dedicated exclusively to American artwork. Upon its founding, wealthy industrialist John Butler Talcott endowed the museum with a hefty sum of gold bonds and bottled phoenix tears with which to purchase modern oil paintings. The collection blossomed to include other artistic media over time, and it now consists of more than 10,000 works spanning more than three centuries of American creative endeavor. The museum's permanent collections showcase works by noted American artists ranging from Norman Rockwell to John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt to Georgia O'Keeffe. Along with rotating exhibitions and borrowed collections, the museum showcases work by emerging artists.
The Paul Krot Community Darkroom at AS220 is the only black and white photo facility in Rhode Island offering affordable public access to skilled snappers and amateur aperture setters. Classes occur bi-monthly on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 7-10 p.m., and cover all the basics of manual 35mm shooting, such as shutter speeds, f-stop setting, ISO numbers, clutch popping, focal lengths, and minimizing glowy mouth. Class sizes are kept to five or fewer students in order to ensure each developing documenter gets personal attention. Once they've mastered the art of lens and light manipulation, students are ushered into the community darkroom to explore the chemical processes needed to advance their newborn negatives into fully mature prints in sizes ranging from 4" x 5" to 20" x 24".
The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center throws its visitors into the shark tank. And the tropical lagoon. And the salt marsh. As executive director Bryan DeLuca noted in the New York Times, the center (formerly Atlantis Marine World) is one of the most interactive aquariums in the area, which snagged it a place on Parents magazine's list of the 10 Best Aquariums for Kids. The Atlantis-themed aquarium’s educational exhibits combine myth with science as they bring guests face to gills with creatures such as eels, jellyfish, seals, and clownfish. In addition to its indoor and outdoor exhibits right on the banks of the Peconic River, the aquarium delights guests with aquatic adventures such as snorkeling or receiving a photo op and kiss from loveable sea lion Java, who still dreams of one day being turned into a beautiful princess.
Since the days of President Lincoln, Providence Picture Frame’s expert artisans have been assembling wood, metal, glass, and mats into stunning artwork displays. Staff usher in homeless pictures of all sizes, eager to measure, examine, and fit them with customized metaphorical mansions. Pricing for custom framing varies based on size, style, and materials used, starting at $50, with premade frames starting as low as $25 for an 11" x 14" frame. All work is performed on-site by highly experienced craftspeople and designers, who work with customers to provide options that fit with most budgets, like a carpenter waiting to whittle down square pegs until they fit into round holes.
With a dedication to each individual and family, the seasoned instructors at The Dance Factory teach students of any age a variety of dance styles, ranging from ballet and acrobatics to jazz and hip-hop. Kids can express themselves through free-form choreography in various dance styles, or take a more structured approach through the French traditions taught in ballet sessions. Hip-hop and modern/contemporary classes equip older children and adults with the steps to commandeer any dance floor or spontaneous public musical number, and students looking for more heart-pumping excitement can also bust moves in dance-inspired Zumba fitness classes. Preschool- and kindergarten-age classes are also available for budding dancers. Classes meet once a week Monday–Saturday.
Nestled in the charming and historic suburb of Farmington, the Hill-Stead Museum hosts a mixed-medium menagerie amidst a sprawling, 152-acre Colonial Revival estate. Hill-Stead's dynamic collection includes French Impressionist works by Monet and Degas, as well as notable works by Manet, Cassatt, and Whistler, as well as a bounty of prints, photographs, ceramics, furniture, and archival documents. Along with unlimited complimentary admission to the museum, members enjoy reduced admission to museum programs, a 10% discount on Museum Shop purchases, and a one-on-one painting lesson with the cheery spirit of museum founder Alfred Atmore Pope. Join other new members on Wednesday, June 8, for the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, where poet Tony Hoagland will pluck audience heartstrings with poignantly funny stanzas about life and heartache.