The Arts Alliance of Woodbury will host its fifth annual Gala at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, at Old Town Hall, 9 Mountain Rd.
On hiatus since 2019, the event marks the post-pandemic return of this festive, cabaret-style evening celebrating the arts in Woodbury and surrounding towns, including visual and performing artists, authors, actors, directors and patrons.
“Let’s party!” said founding board member and past president David Bibbey, who will act as emcee for the evening.
“Built for a gathering, the AAW Gala in the historic Old Town Hall is a chance to really see each other, a chance to be together.
“We all do many things,” he said. “I am looking forward to taking a breath to celebrate our community’s creativity. I will BE there!”
The ticketed event will kick off with opening remarks and complimentary refreshments, including canapes provided by Good News Restaurant and Bar and wine provided by Country Spirit Shop.
Guests will enjoy musical entertainment by the Watertown-based T.J. Thompson Trio, performing jazz and blues.
T.J. Thompson has been a jazz pianist, composer, conductor and educator for more than 25 years throughout the Midwest, New Orleans, New York and New England. In 2018, his second album of original music, “Take Two: The Sounds of Playing,” won him the title of Jazz Artist of the Year from the International Music and Entertainment Association.
In 2000, he performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and was a featured artist on Branford Marsalis’ NPR show, Jazz Set. He has opened for and worked with such artists as Henry Butler, Mel Torme, Ed Thigpen, Nate Davis, Dave Liebman and Koko Taylor, and was a featured soloist on the Morgan Powell Jazz Album.
He is currently an instrumental music instructor at the Taft School in Watertown.
On behalf of the AAW Board, Mr. Bibbey will present the Arts Alliance of Woodbury Citizen’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts to Nadine Cascini and Jim Hinkle, owners of Studio Hill Gallery.
Nadine and Jim were brought together by a mutual love and appreciation for the arts. Growing up in Ridgefield, Jim started painting and drawing at an early age, influenced greatly by his artist father. Graduating from college with a degree in Art and French, his love of gardens and architecture led him to a 20+ year career in residential landscape design, but he increasingly felt called to create art.
As a child and a young adult, Nadine had the good fortune to travel extensively with her family. Her love of art developed directly from exposure to the arts in North America, Europe and Asia. She had been teaching history and political science when she met Jim. Together they began exploring Litchfield County for a place to start their dream of opening an art gallery, settling on a historic home on Woodbury’s Main Street South.
Nadine and Jim envisioned Studio Hill Gallery as an artistic gateway to Southern Litchfield County, a space to showcase all the arts in Woodbury and surrounding towns, as well as regional artists.
Partnering with the Arts Alliance, Studio Hill began offering arts events, including the Spoken Word Series, an inclusive, no-judgment space for all creatives to share their work. Long-term plans for the gallery include an artist-in-residency program, art classes and free community programming.
AAW Board member Cynthia Gillette said she nominated Nadine and Jim for their love of art, and for creating a gallery that brings artists of all levels -- local, regional and national --to the community.
“Their endeavors of showcasing artists, poets, sculptors and photographers have introduced these new and recognized works for viewing on a regular basis for all to enjoy and experience,” she said. “That’s truly what art is all about.”
The public is invited to attend the June 14 Gala. Dress is “smart casual.” Tickets can be purchased at www.artsallianceofwoodbury.org.
The Arts Alliance gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Carol Peck of Good News Restaurant and Bar and Deepakk Pherwaani of Country Spirit Shop, and support from Steven and Priscilla Price, Shaker Family Hyundai and Richard Snider.
The Arts Alliance of Woodbury is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization committed to fostering the arts in Woodbury and surrounding towns. The organization welcomes new members through a small yearly contribution.
Membership includes attendance to quarterly “meet and greets” featuring food and beverages and the talents of member artists. Past venues have included Flanders Studio, the Glebe House, the Leroy Anderson house, Good News Restaurant and Bar, Boston Pot & Tile Studio, Clapp & Tuttle, Studio Hill Gallery and beautiful homes and work spaces of AAW members.
AAW members are offered free exhibition space at summer Arts Walks and the opportunity to apply for artist’s mini-grants.