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Arts & Culture

Top Places To Buy Local Art For Less Than $100 In Connecticut

November 19, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: brookfieldcraft.org

Photo Credit: brookfieldcraft.org

Ever since starving artists swapped art for food, there has been a loving relationship between restaurants that feature local artists’ work for sale. You can get some really good deals on the artwork that is sold in such eateries. It’s unlikely that one can travel too far without running into such a restaurant. However, there are places where one least expects to find art, jewelry, photography and home décor items for under $100. Discovering such treasures at unexpected locations is as delightful as unwrapping a surprise gift.
The Abbey of Regina Laudis – The Monastic Art Shop
273 Flander Road
Bethlehem, CT 06751
(203) 266-7637
www.abbeyofreginalaudis.org

Shhh! You’ll probably speak very quietly when you first arrive at the Abbey of Regina Laudis tucked away in the beautiful woodlands of Bethlehem, Connecticut. As the home of Roman Catholic nuns, there is a sense of tranquility that you experience from the moment you set foot on these hallowed grounds. But wait, as you take in the pastoral scenes of this beautiful country monastery, you will suddenly come upon the Monastic Art Shop. Here you will find everything from pen and ink drawings to “candles, woven and knitted goods and iron work hand-forged at the Abbey.” It’s almost impossible to walk away from this treasure trove without purchasing a CD of these beautiful women of God chanting.

Heritage Village
1 Heritage Way
Southbury, CT 06488
(203) 264-9644
www.heritagevillage.org

Heritage Village in Southbury is a retirement community for active 55-plus aged citizens. “Active” is the key word here and you need only to drive along the winding scenic roads to come upon the art studio. You will find paintings and drawings as well as samples from their woodworking and metalworking shops. When the studio has an exhibit, you can bet that people will travel far and wide to scoop up a treasure. However, there is also a gift shop where you will be hard pressed to leave empty handed.

Related: Top Spots For Glass Art In Connecticut

Brookfield Craft Center
286 Whisconier Road
Brookfield, CT 06804
(203) 775-4526
www.brookfieldcraft.org

Located in an historic mill building on the banks of the Still River, which flows with a mighty roar, sits the Brookfield Craft Center. Here people with a bent for arts and crafts will explore their talents and luckily for visitors, their work is often featured in an exhibition and retail gallery. You will “ooh” and “ahh” about the gorgeous handmade jewelry, where you can find that perfect pair of one-of-a-kind earrings at a very reasonable price. Of course, it will take you some time to discover them because you’ll be distracted by the blown glass, wood-carved home décor items and so much more.

Fife n’ Drum Gift Shop
59 N. Main St.
Kent, CT 06757
(860) 927-3618
www.fifendrum.com

The Fife n’ Drum Gift Shop is located on the grounds of the renowned Fife n’ Drum Restaurant and Inn. What could be better than spending a day in Kent, hiking along the Kent Falls and then dining at this historic restaurant and inn? Of course, many Connecticut Yankees will travel here just to see what the latest treasures are in Audrey Traymon’s gift shop located on site. You will find everything from jewelry, scarves, candles, frames and silk flowers to linens, home décor and much more. Best of all, there’s a year-round Christmas tree shop.

The Bruce Museum Gift Shop
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830
(203) 869-0376
www.brucemuseum.org

While anyone would expect to find great art in an art museum, not everyone would expect to find the stunning selection of unusual gifts that are available in this museum’s gift shop. Time will slip away as you take in the unique jewelry, the rocks and mineral collectibles, the children’s educational toys and books as well as silk scarves and far too many beautiful accessories to list. It’s a must see and impossible to leave without buying some small treasure.

Related: Top Up-and-Coming Artists In Connecticut

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.

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