Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery
One Spring St.
Chester, CT 06412
Not only do you get to view Leif Nilsson’s fabulous art gallery featuring his own original paintings as well as his wife Caryn B. Davis’ photographs, but this artist always has something going on. Whether it is a folk duo performing at the studio or a concert in his lush garden, this is a great date site for art lovers because you get art and entertainment in one. Check the website for the many events scheduled at the studio, the gallery and the garden. Since Chester is such a beautiful riverside community, the trip here from anywhere is a scenic treat.
994 State St.
New Haven, CT 06511
City Gallery in New Haven is a fail-safe date for art lovers who want to attend the latest in art and exhibits and then catch a terrific dinner at one of New Haven’s many fine restaurants. For more than a decade, City Gallery has been functioning as an “artist run gallery” that features contemporary art and exhibitions of “painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, papermaking and mixed media.” These genres rotate monthly, so there’s always something new to see. Since the gallery is located on Upper State Street, it’s easy to find many fine shops to browse and many fine restaurants to complete the art-centered date.
188 Main St.
Old Saybrook, CT
By far one of the most fun art dates is available at Artisans Harbor in Old Saybrook. Here’s a gallery featuring a venue for artists at a reasonable cost to showcase their work in many different mediums. Included in this unique venue is everything from paintings, sculptures and pottery, to jewelry, textiles and wood. Located in close proximity to the Katherine Hepburn Theatre and many restaurants, this facility also offers “Harbor Nights Parties.” This means that while visitors sip wine or their beverage of choice (BYOB), they can also create their own masterpieces. The facility offers a party platter of cheese and crackers, complete with grapes, plates, cups, smocks, canvas and paints and brushes for $39. Guests provide their own creativity and/or take advantage of advice from instructors.
123 Washington St.
S. Norwalk, CT 06854
Here’s a date site that art lovers will never forget. Just visiting Galerie SONO is a treat. The 5,000-square-foot gallery flaunts gorgeous maple floors and a ceiling that reaches 16 feet high. With a grand piano properly placed in this setting, music is a frequent accompaniment to the collectible art featured here. With antique, specialty shops and restaurants nearby as well as the Maritime Center right down the block, this is one art gallery that turns an ordinary date into a classic. Last year this gallery hosted an event with musicians from the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra.
42 Main St.
Torrington, CT 06790
Artwell Gallery located in Torrington is a fine artists’ collective. It offers gallery space for exhibition as well as educational opportunities and community involvement. Here’s a gallery that also offers music, theater and a fun paint party on the third Friday of every month when artist Jennifer Wyzykowski guides guests through a two-hour session of creating their own masterpieces. It’s BYOB and $35 cash or check per person. In addition to this fun event, don’t be surprised to find the Desultory Theatre Club mingling and melding into this fun art scene, which is perfect for an artsy date night.
Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.