Fall 2022 Poetry Workshop

Tony Paticchio, Ashford’s Poet Laureate, will be hosting a Fall 2022 Poetry Reading and Writing Workshop for up to ten participants via Zoom on the following six Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:40 PM:  October 5, 19, November 2, 16, 30, and December 14.

Sessions will begin with close readings and discussions of several selected poems, focusing for the most part (though not exclusively) on free verse by 20th and 21st Century poets, followed by readings and discussion of poems and short prose pieces composed by workshop participants.  We will generally have a theme for each session’s readings, and will consider and discuss not just the sense and meaning of the selected poems, but also how the poems are constructed, including, among other things, how word choice, meter, sound, tone, repetition, metaphor, line length, and speaker voice contribute to our experience of reading the poems. 

Writing participants may choose to follow the session theme, but are free to submit one to two pages of any new or revised work at each session. No prior experience reading or writing poetry is required. I will provide to all workshop participants a selected reading list of resources, as well as a glossary of terms we will want to be familiar with and use as we consider and discuss poems.

Participants:  This workshop is open to writing participants who are willing to share and workshop their own poems, as well as to those who are interested in reading and discussing poetry, but don’t now have work of their own to share.  Please indicate your preference when you contact me. 


Tea and Calligraphy: The Italic Hand

October 22, 2 to 4 P.M. Ashford Senior Center

Kathy Lepak is a calligrapher, graphic designer and illustrator. For over forty years her calligraphy has graced wedding invitations and envelopes, certificates, proclamations, and her own illustrated artwork, along with a wide variety of different calligraphic projects. Kathy has taught classes at Arts Center East, Vernon; the Coventry Arts Guild and the studios at Cheney Homestead Arts in Manchester.

Come join Kathy for a two hour excursion into the art of the calligrapher. She will be teaching the use of the broad-edged nib in the formation of each of the letters of the Italic hand. Exemplars will be provided, along with samples and guidelines. Also included in the student package is her booklet “Notes on Calligraphy”, basic materials used and a listing of online or local sources for materials.  A $5.00 fee for nibs and pen holders will be requested plus $5 class fee for non-members (members class fee $0.

Please make certain to indicate when you register if you are right or left handed, as it makes a difference in the pen nibs that she will supply to each student.

Sign-up for this workshop must be received by October 13 so that nibs and holders may be ordered.

During a short, mid-class break, tea and scones will be served.

You may register by emailing Kathy

Website:  www.kathleenlepak.com

Instagram:  instagram.com/kathleenlepak

Upcoming Events September-November


*AAC Annual Member appreciation meeting is at Knowlton Memorial Hall September 21st at 7:00 in place of our usual second Wednesday meeting. Please mark your calendar! The Babcock Band will perform and Pulitzer Prize winner (Political Cartoonist for Insider), Josh Adams will be our keynote speaker. There will be a short business meeting to talk about new positions for 2023.


*If you became a member before June of 2022, it will  be time to renew your membership in October. As it becomes closer we will be sending out registration forms.

*Our workshop program is returning beginning in October. We’ll keep you posted.

 *New event: AAC Members Show at the Vanilla Bean Gallery. We already have a list of 13 members who have responded. We will be hanging the show at the end of September. Date and time to follow. Let me know if you want your art to be included on the walls there.


*Deb will reach out to former vendors of the annual Holiday Artists Market early in August before opening spaces to others. It will be held two days (Nov. 19 and 20 from 10 – 4:00 at Knowlton Memorial Hall) which is designed for social separation with half the vendors each day as we did last year. Like last year, each artist will enjoy extra space for their displays. You might need to renew your membership in October. The spaces will be $30

Writer’s Crawl, June 18th

Writer’s Crawl, June 18, 2022, 10:30-1:30.
Meet at Storrs Center with Marian
Matthews, leader of the expedition.

Feel like being inspired through sharing your writing done in-the-moment and to the location with others? Then come to the Writer’s Crawl. We will be writing to art, nature, food, or whatever moves you. You do not have to be a writer to participate; just bring something to write with and something to write on. No pressure, no critique, just writing about whatever you want to write. Find the writer within you.
AAC members – Free, $5.00 for non-members.
[email protected] and

Plein Air Painting & Art Show

plein air and art show

So far, these wonderfully creative people are registered to show:

Painting by Deb Gag

Debora Aldo, mosaics
Lance Arnold, Glassware and Fairy houses
John Boiano, Pottery
Judy Doyle, original art
Debra Gag, paintings
Gretchen Geromin with Lauren Merlo, woodwork
Freitha Lawrence, artwork and her book
Dan Merlo, woodturner

Dana Monaco, fabric covered containers
Charles McCaughtry, paintings
Mike Metsak, HyHope soaps and lotions,
Dan Rackliffe, pottery
Jane Rackliffe, fused glassware
Mike South, luthier
Suzy Staubach, pottery, author
Kathy Weigold, weavings

The Ashford Arts Council is sponsoring A Summer’s Palette at Westford Hill Distillers from 10:00 – 4:00 on July 9th (Rain date 7/10). Artists will be drawing painting en plein air and others, including you, may stop by to join in. There will be a paint and paper table for those who wish to try their hand at en plein air. The location is incredibly inspiring, with an over 100-year-old home and a lovely pond. The lilies and other flowers will be in bloom. There will be live music, and drinks and snacks will be available. Several artists will be displaying their work and offering some for sale. We appreciate the collaboration with Margy and Lou Chatey who operate the distillery and are kind enough to share their beautiful location. The Chatey’s will be creating a signature beverage for the event. Lou will be talking about the history of the local area and a little about the distillery.

Spring 2022 Zoom Poetry Workshop With Tony Paticchio

Spring (starting in April 25th, 2022) Zoom Poetry Workshop With Tony Paticchio

Dates: Workshops will be held the 2ND & 4TH Monday each month from 6:30-8:00 PM, starting April 25th.  I’d like to keep this workshop open for as long as there is interest in continuing with it.  If and as writing slots open, I’ll look for new writing participants.

Participants:  Up to 6 writing participants who are willing to share and workshop their own poems.  I will also hold up to 4 additional reading only slots for those who are interested in reading and discussing poetry, but don’t now have work of their own to share.  Please indicate your preference when you contact me.    

We’ll read and discuss our own work, as well as poems by some of our finest contemporary and near contemporary poets, including favorite poets of the participants.   Our goal is to become more accomplished readers and writers of poetry.


Chair Caning Footstool Workshop

Chair Caning Footstool Workshop 4/27 & 5/4

Have you ever wanted to learn to cane chairs? This workshop offers you the entire 7-Step chair caning process by completing a 10” x 14” solid oak footstool during the workshop.
No caning or limited caning experience needed, just the desire to learn. After completing this class, participants will be able to cane chairs on their own and be the envy of friends and relatives.

  1. Register with Bob Johnson, an experienced and passionate chair caner and seat weaver at or 860-455-6503.
  2. Materials: Participants will purchase online a “Chair Caning Footstool Kit” .
    Kit cost $44.95 and contains all of the materials you will need for the class. Order as soon as possible.
  3. Class fee: free for AAC members; $5 for non-Members. (exact cash or check made out to Windham Arts Organization, In Memo line: AAC Workshop

Two-Session Workshop
Wed., April 27 and May 4, 6:30-8:30pm
Ashford Senior Center

Oct 2021 – Jan. 2022

 Workshops Oct 2021 – Jan. 2022

Fractur Painting method January 15, 2022

Poetry Workshop – Saturdays, October 9, 16, & 23

Ashford’s Poet Laureate, Tony Paticchio, lead a poetry workshop focusing on close readings of poems, including favorite poems of the workshop participants. They were looking to identify those features that contribute to the making of a successful poem. They paid close attention to discovering each poem’s form and structure; how it employs sound, rhythm, words, phrasing, and sentences; how it builds and releases tension; how it uses lineation and stanzas; and how all these features work together to convey sense and meaning.  

Stained Glass Ornaments – Nov. 3

We had a funtime making stained glass ornaments in time for the holidays! Participants chose from a few different designs (pre-cut) and learned to use the “Tiffany” method of copper foil and solder. They went home with
a finished piece, ready to hang! Contact Anna Harding for Spring pressed flower waitlist.

  • Location: Ashford Senior Center
  • January 15, 2022 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Knitting 101: Basic Scarf with Cathey Gidman

Knitting 101: Basic Scarf

with Cathey Gidman

Ever thought about trying to knit?
Come and begin the adventure! 

“To Knit” means to interlock loops of wool or yarns with needles or machine. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of knitting; including needle selection, yarn selection, and the two most basic stitches. The challenge in knitting lies in the development of consistency throughout your stitches. By mastering these two stitches, the knit stitch and purl stitch, the world of knitting opens. 

Cathey began knitting over four decades ago. While making her way through all types of knitting, today she is most known for her knitted socks and fingerless gloves. She calls her work ‘practical art’ as everything she makes is intended for use. Using yarns from bamboo and super wools, all her creations are machine wash and dry, “why have a pair of socks you cannot put into the washer and dryer?” she says. As the years go by, her style evolves, and the patterns will change, but her love for hand knit socks will always remain. 

Contact Cathey Gidman to Register
(860) 450 – 9153 or [email protected]

The workshop is FREE to members; $5 for non-members.
$10 Materials Fee for all participants (will take home yarn and needles)


November 7 – Fraktur Basics w. Valerie Oliver

Fraktur Basics Workshop
Early PA German Decorated Documents
Thursday, November 7th
with Valerie Oliver

 Valerie B. Oliver was born in Nashua, NH; she graduated from Classical H.S., Springfield, MA, received her BS in Mathematics from St. Lawrence Univ. in 1960 and MLS from McGill Univ. in 1961. Her professional career as a librarian began at the Research Labs Library at United Aircraft. Her many  years as a Reference Ln. at UCONN’s Homer Babbidge Library, culminated with the publication of her book,Fashion and Costume in American Popular Culture, a reference guideby Greenwood Press in 1996.  

  Her interests in early American decoration began in the early 1970s with teacher Florence Rainville of Uncasville, CT. She became an Historical Society of Early American Decoration (HSEAD) member in 1997, eventually serving as Connecticut Charter Oak Chapter Chairman, then as an HSEAD Trustee and finally as HSEAD President 2011-2012.  She currently serves as their Historian and as assistant editor of their journal The Decorator.  Her decorative painting work consists of country painting on metal and wood, stenciling, freehand bronze work, gold leaf work and reverse glass painting (all using historically documented patterns).  Reproducing old designs such as those seen on the 18th-19th c. Pennsylvania German decorated documents called frakturs  involves  work with a pen and with watercolor paints, a process  both easily and enjoyably performed.  The designs have many uses  i.e. cards, bookplates, letter heads or simply framed for display.

FREE for AAC members
$5.00 for Non-members
Contact Valerie for Materials List
To register, please email or call [email protected]