Monday, November 28, 2016

Orange artist's work to be displayed at Case Memorial Library

By Violet Nastri
The oil paintings of local artist Violet Nastri will be on display during December at the Case Memorial Library in Orange as part of the library's "Art in the Library" series, according to a release.
All are invited to join Nastri at an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

Nastri, an Orange artist, specializes in paintings that "capture the natural beauty of the outdoors," the release noted. "An avid drawer and painter since childhood," Nastri "has always had a keen eye for color and light. With a love for traditional oil painting, she today works to evoke emotion through landscapes set in some of her favorite places along the East Coast."

Nastri's current show "is an expression of the artist's love of New England with landscapes inspired by local farms, woodlands, ponds and streams. Her seascapes capture the many changing faces of the ocean. Whether the scene is of the crashing of a wave, or the calm of a marsh at sunrise, the viewer is transported to the moment, imparting feelings of calm and tranquility while staying true to the places represented. This show contains paintings using both plein-air and studio techniques to create scenes from Connecticut, Cape Cod and Maine."

Also: Nastri is a graduate of Fairfield University, where she studied art and interior design. After a 25-year career in interior design, she decided to focus exclusively on her lifelong love of painting. "She has continued to expand her artistic skills through studies with various Connecticut artists, and has achieved elected artist member status in the Madison Art Society, where her paintings have been shown in juried shows," the release said.

Nastri is a member of the American Society of InteriorDesigners and holds national interior design accreditation. Local interests include membership in the Garden Club of Orange and the Orangewood Woman's Club, the release said..

Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Race Brook School students and families give to those in need

By Valerie Anton
The students of the Race Brook School Student Council under the leadership of teachers, JoAnne Escandon and Pam Galatioto, organized their annual food drive this fall to benefit Fish of Greater New Haven, Inc. and the Orange Community Center, a non-profit food pantry that serves New Haven and Orange residents in food crisis.
Founded in 1968, FISH continues to help those who are homebound, elderly, disabled, unemployed or under employed (

The Student Council’s message for the food drive was, “As you count your own blessings, please support our community food drive!” The entire student body, with the help of their parents, whole-heartedly participated in donating over 600 pounds of non-perishable food items, including supermarket gift cards. The council members proudly presented the donations to FISH on behalf of the school. “ Working on the food drive is fun and hard work. I learned to always try your best to help others,” says fifth graders Sarah G.

The photo (above) shows enthusiastic student members who willingly dedicated their time and energy to collect the donated food items. Top row left to right the members are: Grace Mahon, Adana Blair, Katie Sim, Frankie Cavallaro; bottom row: Julie Chen, Julianna Barrett, Charlotte Pellegrino, Kayleigh Fitzpatrick, and Sarah Ginsberg.
The children from the town of Orange prove once again that they put their hearts into giving to those in need.
“Helping people in need made me feel great! My father always tells me it’s not the money that you give, it’s the time that you donate. I am very proud of the whole school for bringing in so much food to really help others,” emphatically states fifth grader Kaleigh F.
Editor's note: Valerie Anton is public relations coordinator for the Race Brook School Student Council. This is a guest post.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History bestows it highest honors

Sir David Attenborough, May Berenbaum, Naomi Pierce, Neil Shubin and Geerat Vermeij
received the Yale Peabody Museum’s prestigious Verrill Medal in a ceremony at Yale University
NEW HAVEN - Sir David Frederick Attenborough, the "renowned British naturalist, broadcaster and documentary filmmaker,"  was among five "giants in the fields of natural history and natural science to receive the Addison Emery Verrill Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the curators of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History", at a ceremony at the Yale Law School, according to a release.
"With the knowledge Attenborough could not attend the November ceremony, Peabody Director David Skelly traveled to London and presented the award to Attenborough on the occasion of his 90th birthday in May. The private ceremony was taped and kept under wraps until Friday when it was shared with the Law School audience."
Also in the release and presented unedited here:
Attenborough has devoted his life to celebrating and preserving wildlife and bringing it into countless homes worldwide via his nature documentaries. His celebrated Life series, beginning with Life on Earth in 1976 in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, collectively form a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on the planet. His practice of filming wildlife on location and at a respectful distance set the standard for the modern nature documentary. During his lifetime of achievement, he has received a myriad of honors. He was knighted in 1985, received the Order of Merit from Queen Elizabeth in 2002 and holds at least 31 honorary degrees from British universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.
Accepting medals in person were four eminent U.S. scientists: May Berenbaum ('75), Swanlund Chair and head of Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Naomi Pierce ('76), Hessel Professor of Biology and curator of Lepidoptera, Harvard University; Neil Shubin, the Robert R. Bensley Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago; and Geerat Vermeij (PhD '71), Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California at Davis.
Created in 1959 to honor “signal practitioners in the arts of natural history and natural sciences,” the Verrill Medal is the highest honor bestowed by the curators of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. It is named for Addison Emery Verrill, Yale’s first professor of zoology and one of the Peabody’s first curators, who described more than 1,000 species across virtually every major taxonomic group during a long and illustrious career. Through his efforts, the Peabody’s zoological collections became one of the most renowned in the United States.
Since the award’s inception, there have been just 18 recipients. They include Ernst Mayr, George Gaylord Simpson, G. Ledyard Stebbins, G. Evelyn Hutchinson, John H. Ostrom, Peter Raven, E.O. Wilson and Alison Richard.

Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Learn how you can help a dedicated NY Jazz ensemble

A new crowdfunding campaign has just been launched to raise money for Binghamton University’s Harpur Jazz Ensemble, according to a release.
"More than just a musical education, Binghamton University has been providing students with community, friendships, and connections that last a lifetime," the release said. "The Harpur Jazz Ensemble is a group of talented and passionate students who study and perform big-band repertoire for the community and student body."
However, despite "an enormous impact on the local community the group has seen an alarming drop in budget over the past year," the release said.  Therefore, "the launch of their crowdfunding campaign is to raise funds for new instruments, upgraded technology, and better rooms and furniture so they can continue to spark the love for music and its many intellectual benefits in others." 

"Our ensemble doesn't just give these kids an education in music theory, technique, and history. It's an education in community," alumni and crowdfunding organizer Ben Wood said, also in the release. “The friendships and connections we create are for life.” 

"The intent of the campaign is to raise funds for new instruments, upgraded technology, and better rooms and furniture so they can continue to spark the love for music and its many intellectual benefits in others."

"It [music] influences our emotions, makes us think in different ways, and teaches us how to work together,” Wood also said. “I would hate to see something so all-encompassing and vital be unavailable to all the students who share this passion for music."

Donations can be made through the Binghamton crowdfunding page:

Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Nick Bellantoni to share ‘Deeply Human’ archaeology stories

  : Albert Afraid of Hawk, 1899, Heyn Photographer (Courtesy Library of Congress NEW HAVEN — While Nick Bellantoni ,  emeritus   Co...