The Carriage Barn Arts Center is Open

The Carriage Barn Arts Center starts the 2015-16 season with a fresh face, both administratively and structurally. In July, the New Canaan Society for the Arts hired a new Executive Director to run the Carriage Barn, a community-focused art association and gallery. Valerie Garlick, the new Director, has close to a decade of experience running galleries and exhibits in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Serena Gillespie, NCSA Board President, shared, “Valerie comes to us with terrific and relevant experience from both the non-profit and commercial art worlds. We are excited that her expertise will expand the scope of visual and performing art at the Barn and increase the connection to the community.”

In her most recent post as Visual Arts Manager of Real Art Ways in Hartford, Valerie supported emerging and established artists in sharing their work with the community. She also facilitated innovative programming to allow others to explore, learn, and engage with art.

“I’d like to do that here as well, while still preserving the historic character of the building and maintaining its atmosphere as a home to a very special group of artists and their audiences,” Valerie said.

The Carriage Barn’s physical structure has also been improved over the summer months, while remaining true to its rich history.

Constructed in 1895 under the direction of the owner, Thomas Wells Hall, the barn originally housed five vehicles, an Irish donkey cart, eight driving horses, and a pony named Cricket. It included a hayloft and apartments for the coachmen. Nine years after it was built, it was sold to Lewis Lapham, who renamed the estate after the Waveny River in England where his family once lived. In 1913, the roof of the barn caught fire and was rebuilt. The building, however, remained substantially unused until its revival by a group of New Canaanites in the Seventies as the cultural center that stands today.

This year, the town undertook the project of replacing the entire barn roof in keeping with the style and architecture of the Waveny Estate – a much needed renovation set in motion four years ago. The new slate roof better equips the Carriage Barn Art Center’s to carry out its mission of promoting the visual and performing arts, and enriching the community through exhibitions, education, and cultural experiences.

In addition, with generous grant support from the New Canaan Community Foundation, the New Canaan Society for the Arts initiated extensive repair and painting of the interior gallery space, making lasting improvements that will benefit the Barn’s exhibitions and programming.

Valerie shared, “The enthusiasm of our numerous artist members and the diversity of their practices are a wonderful resource to be shared with each other and with the New Canaan and surrounding communities.”

The 38th Annual Members’ Exhibition, showcasing over 130 works of art by members of the New Canaan Society for the Arts, is on view now through October 24th. An Annual Meeting and an Artist Walk and Talk will take place on Sunday, September 27th at 1pm, and Madera Winds Quintet will present a free concert of classical chamber music, Saturday, October 3rd

About the New Canaan Society for the Arts:
 The mission of the New Canaan Society for the Arts, Inc. is to promote the visual and performing arts, and to enrich the community through exhibitions, education, and cultural experiences, and to operate the Carriage Barn Arts Center. The Carriage Barn Arts Center offers artists opportunities to exhibit their work in an exceptional gallery space in a unique nineteenth-century stone barn.

The Carriage Barn is open September through June, Wednesday – Saturday, from 10 am – 3pm and Sundays from 1 – 5pm.

Entrance to the Gallery is free and all exhibitions are open to the public. To learn more, visit 

Carriage Barn Arts Center, 681 South Avenue | P.O. Box 1044, New Canaan, CT 06840 / 203.972.1895

Image courtesy Carriage Barn Arts: Pictured left to right: Carl Rothbart, Assoc AIA, Partner, Architectural Preservation Studio, PC, William Oestmann, Superintendent of Building & Fleet at Town of New Canaan DPW, Robert E. Mallozzi III, First Selectman, Town of New Canaan and NCSA Advisory Board, Serena Gillespie, President, NCSA Board of Trustees, Valerie Garlick, Executive Director, NCSA.


Submitted by New Canaan, CT

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