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.

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

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

Fractur Painting – January 15

Valerie Oliver will teach the traditional Fractur Painting method.

  • Location: Ashford Senior Center
  • January 15, 2022 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Fractur art by Valerie Oliver

Are you an AAC Member who would like to present a workshop?
Contact Darcie Boiano today, send an email with a subject line of “AAC Workshop” to

business tips for artists! digital art! drama! drawing! fiber art! mixed media painting! photography! dance! sculpture! writing! woodwork

Click Here for Printable Presenter Form
Click Here for Printable Presenter Requirements

If you have any questions, please text, e-mail Darcie Boiano with a subject line of “AAC Workshop” to


April 11 – Charles McCaughtry – PAINTING

An artists’ workshop for all levels of experience. Introducing a limited palette with a wide range of creative options, color and hue balance, saturation compatibility, neutral grays, and pigment density.

For your convenience we will use water media, watercolor or acrylic but the theory is applicable to all media.

Phone (860) 429-1016 for the material list and to sign up.

June 1 – Writing Stroll


A WRITING STROLL with Marian Matthews

June 1, 2019 10am to 2pm

Rain date: June 2, 10 am to 2 pm

To register please call Marian Matthews (860) 477-0318

Explore your inner creativity by participating in this low-stress but invigorating writing activity. No previous writing experience or drafts required–just bring something to write with and something to write on. We will meet at Storrs Center to start. Then with a small group, we will move around to various places in the area, Storrs and/or the University, taking the opportunity to write in each place.

The area provides inspiration in a variety of ways–through its rich history and architecture, its museums, activities in the various retail establishments, its beautiful natural setting and more.

Your writing also will be inspired by the mutual sharing of the work of your colleagues.

This fun activity will be led by Marian Matthews, Ashford resident, previous professor of education and Director of the High Plains Writing Project in New Mexico and the Central Connecticut Writing Project, now retired. She has over 20 years of experience in helping novice and experienced writers find their voices. Come find yours.

3rd Annual Delightful Dinner Dance

3rd Annual Delightful Dinner Dance

May 11, 2019, 6-10pm
Knowlton Memorial Hall – Ashford, CT

– Featuring Patti Tuite and The Allstars –

  • Full Catered Italian Dinner complete with vegetarian and gluten-free options. Followed by Anna Harding’s famously decorated and delicious cupcakes. BYOB beer and wine.
  • Musicians Patty Tuite and The Allstarswill grace the stage and entertain us as Knowlton Memorial Hall transforms once again into a decorated ballroom complete with twinkling lights.
  • The Silent Auction will offer beautiful works created by many local artists such as Charles McCaughtry, Suzy Staubach, Christine Acebo, Lance Arnold, Debra Gag, John Rettenmeir to name a few.

The proceeds from this fundraiser will go to…

  • Award Arts and Music Scholarships to EOSmith High School Students
  • Funding towards Community Arts Programmings and Initiatives
  • as well as, compensation to the poets and musicians who perform at our events throughout the year.

Tickets $30

For more information or to buy tickets…

  • Contact us on Facebook, by clicking here
  • Call our Chair, Deb Gag at 860-933-2987
  • or contact us directly through this site, by clicking here
  • Tickets will also be available at the Ashford Town Hall

The AAC is an offshoot of Ashford’s Our Town Our Future and will be four years old in October. We are affiliated with Windham Arts Org. and the Connecticut Office of the Arts. Our mission is to support all of the arts, local artists, and to bring the arts to our communities.Our mission is to support all of the arts, local artists, and to bring the arts to our communities.

AAC Writing Crawl 2018

AAC Writing Crawl 2018

During our AAC Writing Crawl, on June 9th, 2018, participants read their journal entries to the Puppetry Museum curator . Participants went to 5 inspiring locations in Mansfield Downtown to write for 15 minutes, then share with their individual members groups. We all met at the end to share the entire group of 9.