An artistic soldier of discarded ideals

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

At Sunday’s New Canaan Silvermine Art opening I had optimism for good change.

I had discovered the youthful group Vampire Weekend with its original lyrics and sort of Raga/Steely Dan musical feel the night before and I felt hopeful change because of this positive group. But I was soon to have my hope fade again.

The Silvermine Art Center was originally the Silvermine Artist Guild. I don’t know why they changed the original classy name. I felt the same vibes that were there when it was an accredited junior art college, yet I was no longer a young art student and the old art farts were now young art farts. I eventually cut my way though the atmosphere to meet and reacquaint myself with great people.

So many remembered the Art Barn, with talking on founding of Silvermine Guild in 1923 with the last survivors of the Cos Cob Artist Colony involved. We talked about one of the last members of the Cos Cob Artist Colony also helping start the Art Barn in 1962.

That was when I started to lose the new, optimistic feelings because of the Art Barn’s loss to Greenwich and the country. I could not help but flash to meetings at Town Hall from when John Margonot forced the Art Barn’s closure to the Peter Tesei/GEMS team putting the last nail in the Art Barn’s coffin.

This was compounded by Tesei’s promise of implementing some of my plans to help people still going nowhere.

So, art being the better part of man, I checked with our Historical Society and I was very disheartened to find that there’s little on the last days of Cos Cob artists’ lives. There’s nothing on the Art Barn, but a few clippings.

All those Dorothy Freedman stories at the Greenwich Time on the Art Barn but now there’s almost nothing available from those that store Greenwich history.

I did not ask about the Coastal Watch Tower. That I considered to be the most Idealist Symbol in Greenwich!

I suppose I am an artistic soldier of discarded ideals.


Jim C. Reilly

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