Celebrate culture, learn about art and stuff your face at Mill Brook

Can you think of a better way to spend the second Wednesday evening of every month than by learning a little something about art while enjoying a nice snack?

We didn’t think so. And you can do it right here in Concord when you get off the couch and check out Wednesday’s Wisdom Pot Luck at the Mill Brook Gallery, co-sponsored by the Kimball-Jenkins Community Art School.

The program entails a guest (usually someone related to art in some capacity) coming to speak to whoever wants to listen about art, and attendees are encouraged to bring a dish or dessert to share (if you forget, don’t worry about it – you’ll still be fed). It’s been running for a couple of years now, and although August was a bit of a slow month, Mill Brook owner Pam Tarbell said the popularity is picking up.

Tarbell, whose home doubles as Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, was the guest of honor at last month’s event, along with sculptors Joseph Gray and Rocco Carabonna. The point of the talks, Tarbell said, is just to provide a little information and a little relaxation for everyone.

“We’re not trying to sell anything to anybody, just trying to make it an interesting program,” she said. “Not many rules or regulations, just a relaxing time.”

Wouldn’t it really be a drag if there were a ton of regulations and it was not a relaxing time? Sure, glad that’s not the case.

The idea for Wednesday’s Wisdom came from a faraway land, probably somewhere you wouldn’t expect: Budapest.

Tarbell went there a few years back to visit some friends and while there, went to something called the Culture Club. No, not Boy George’s iconic and totally awesome ’80s band (sorry to all of you karma chameleons out there), but a more literal kind of culture club. The kind where people get together to show off their culture, often through art.

Tarbell was intrigued by this club and thought, “We could bring that to Concord so everyone (there) can enjoy it.”

So now if you go, you can tell your friends you went to a show inspired by the Culture Club! They’ll be so impressed.

If you go to the September installment, which will be held Sept. 9 at 6 p.m., you’ll meet Maine sculptor Antoinette “Toni” Prien Schultze.

Schultze is a trained opera singer, mother of four and passionate artist whose area of expertise is granite sculptures – quite fitting for an event in the Granite State. When she’s not chiseling or jackhammering away at the stone, she’s usually driving a trailer somewhere in the U.S. to deliver her pieces – she’s gone to Florida and Chicago, among other places.

In fact, the piece she’s standing with in the photo, called “Cultured Stone” (look, more culture!), will soon be headed to Josephine Sculpture Park in Kentucky.

She’ll tell whoever shows up about her experiences as a sculptor, as well as her life in general. If you’re lucky, Tarbell said, Schultze may even talk about helping deliver calves on her husband’s farm. And again, it’s a low-stress, relaxing time, not a preachy, stuffy kind of deal.

“Just show up,” Tarbell said.

“They can be artists, and artists do come,” she said about the kinds of people who usually turn out for the events. “But it’s open to the general public. We’re inclusive. Anybody is welcome.”

Going forward, Tarbell said she and Ryan Linehan, director of operations at Kimball-Jenkins, like the program the way it is and don’t plan on making any drastic changes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

“We enjoy the collaboration and it’s good for both of us,” she said.

Author: Jon Bodell

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