Prompted by the discovery of a vandalized Bible in the Norwich Historical Society’s collection, 22 artists and poets respond to the theme “Mending the Spaces Between.” Their work responds to questions around how we can mend our world, find ways to listen, and work together. Every piece provides moments of reflection and contemplation. Exhibition dates: May 20– November 30, 2022

HISTORY: Reflections Unbound by Tracy Smith

The exhibit also shares what history we have pieced together about Norwich in 1848. We don’t know exactly what happened that brought about the cutting of the Bible. The history portion of the exhibit asks you to examine the evidence and share what you think might have happened.

Artists and Poets

Mary Brownlow
Maggie Burnett
Mary Jean Canziani
Nancy Cressmann
Kate Emlen
Luciana Frigerio
James Gardner
Mary Gerakis
Kelley Hersey
Antoinette Jacobson
Mon Kaczyk
Carla Kimball

Patty Piotrowski
Helen Rooker
Sarah Rooker
Barbara Russo
Sue Schiller
Richard Schnall
Margaret Sheehan
Lilian Shen
Tracy Smith
Lisa Solbert Sheldon
Stephanie Wolff

View the Exhibit Online

Exhibition Programs

World Story Exchange Camp and Youth Visions Exhibit

Campers explored Norwich as they worked with World Story Exchange to create art expressing their appreciations of their community and ideas for change. They began by examining how artists in our “Mending the Spaces Between” exhibit reflected on a better future and then spent several days exploring the natural and built environment in Norwich.

The campers’ photography and artwork appeared in an exhibit on our fence. Come on down and celebrate their arts and ideas. After the exhibit, students presented their ideas to town committees for possible implementation.

Many thanks to the Dorothy Byrne Foundation for supporting this camp, to Norwich Rec for organizing the kids, and to Scott, Lindsay and their World Story Exchange program for their teaching and visions for the world.

Voice Your Thoughts Through Encaustic Painting: Responding to the Desecrated Bible
with Mon Kaczyk

The art of encaustic painting can be traced back to the Greco-Roman Fayum mummy portraits found in Egypt. Encaustic comes from the Greek word enkaustikos, meaning “to burn in”, the process in which molten beeswax with damar resin and pigment is applied to a surface and fused by heat. In this workshop, you will receive a hands-on introduction to the encaustic process with a focus on collage, followed by your own creative exploration. Encaustic’s luminosity, translucency, and transformative ability are all compelling reasons to venture into a morning of expression.

On Friday evening we will explore the exhibited Bible with Sarah Rooker and then learn about the art of encaustic painting. Saturday morning we will respond to the Bible with encaustic collage, using words and emotions to encapsulate in layers of wax.

Adult workshop (held outdoors under a tent)
Friday, August 26: 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Saturday, August 27: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Mending: Then & Now
An Expressive Writing Workshop with Joni Cole
Co-sponsored by Norwich Public Library and Norwich Historical Society

History can repeat itself…or serve as a guide to how we can mend the rifts that distance us from our neighbors, weaken our community, and undermine our sense of well being. In this three-week workshop, we will use the device of a timed writing prompt to look back and forward. While the only obligation is for you to follow your pen and see what the prompt evokes, this form of “free-writing” often leads to surprising insights that foster personal growth and meaningful connections. No writing experience is needed at all, just a willingness to express yourself on the page and share without self doubt. In this safe and convivial space, you will be invited to be heard and to listen–the very roots of social activism and positive change. This workshop is led by author and writing instructor Joni B. Cole

6 – 7:30 pm at Norwich Historical Society

Mondays, September 19, 26, and October 3

Thought Keeping: A Bookmaking Workshop
with Stephanie Wolff

In today’s world, much of our communication is speedy and short and our note-taking happens through digital devices. This workshop focuses on another means of capturing ideas—paper and ink in a handbound book. We will decorate paper with simple patterns for a cover and sew a single-signature softcover pamphlet. Our books will have a pocket and a foldout. This small and humble book structure is great for keeping notes of all kinds (daily journal, sketches, observations), as well as publishing small editions of text and images. We will discuss ideas for its use, tools and materials, and how to personalize and elevate this simple book.

Participants will make one book and leave with a handout and materials to make a second one.

Adult workshop (held outdoors)
Saturday, June 25: 2:00-4:00pm, with Sunday as a rain date, same hours.