The third annual ArtsFest, presented by the Silvermine Arts Center of New Canaan, will feature a sculpture walk through the center's grounds and a performance of "A Tale of Two Nations" featuring Maracatu Nacao Estrela Brilhante and Nation Beat.
The festival takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10. The free outdoor event includes a photo exhibition and artist talk, a performance and parade, and hands-on art activities and demonstrations.
"A Tale of Two Nations" is a combination of contemporary percussion with the music and dance of one of Brazil's oldest music groups. Estrela Brilhante ("Bright Star") is dedicated to celebrating and performing traditional maracatu, a propulsive and dramatic rhythm that hails from the country's culturally rich northeast region. There will be an outdoor concert at 3 p.m. featuring a full performance, followed by a parade.
Leading up to ArtsFest, Silvermine will be offering two workshops. Participants of both workshops will take part in the parade at ArtsFest.
A drumming workshop will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8, or Friday, Aug. 9. Participants, who will learn the basics of the drumming style of northeast Brazil, should bring any Brazilian percussion instruments they may have. The instructor will be one of the leaders of Estrela Brilhante, Mestre Walter, assisted by Jorge Martins and Scott Kettner. The fee for the workshop, which is open to teens and adults, is $90.
A costume workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 8 and 9. Open to all ages, participants will create traditional costumes for Maracatu drumming and dancing. The school will provide the needed materials. Participants are asked to visit www.silvermineart.org or call 203-966-9700 for an optional supply list with items such as sequins, feathers, and blue, white, gold, red or yellow fabric. Although not required, the school needs to know if attendees will be brining their own sewing machine. The instructor is Queen Marivalda, one of the leaders of Estrela Brilhante, assisted by her dancers. The fee is $150.
Registration for both workshops can be done at www.silvermineart.org or by calling 203-966-9700, ext. 22.
As part of the festivities, there will be an artist talk and book signing at 2 p.m. with award-winning photographer Jason Gardner, whose work is on exhibit in the Silvermine Galleries Viewing Room Aug. 7 to 25. The exhibit is an illustration of the culture, music and rituals of the authentic, folkloric Carnaval Festival in Pernambuco, Brazil.
From 2 to 5 p.m., there will also be a variety of hands-on activities for children and adults led by the faculty of the School of Art, as well artist demonstrations. Free hands-on activities include plein air painting, portrait drawing, pottery and felting. Artist's demonstrations include pottery, printmaking and glass working.
Various food vendors will be on hand offering a variety of options from hamburgers and hot dogs, courtesy of Silvermine Market, food from Brazil and ice cream.
The Silvermine parking lot will be closed and participants will be shuttled to the campus from nearby parking areas.