Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan will host its first Silvermine Arts Fest and the inauguration of the Sculpture Walk, Saturday, Sept. 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. Enjoy a fun-filled day with flash concerts by New York City based Asphalt Orchestra, acclaimed for its reinvention of the marching band repertoire.

The day will also feature Liz Joyce presenting her hilarious and contemporary Punch and Judy, plus a pottery sale and hands on art activities for all ages with the Silvermine School of Art Faculty. There will also be a special one day showing of "The Dancer Films: Nine Minutes," directed by Judy Dennis, based on Jules Feiffer's dancer cartoons. The outdoor event is free.

Liz Joyce, an accomplished puppeteer, writes, directs and performs a growing repertoire of works. She carries on the 300 year old tradition of Punch and Judy with an updated twist, engaging the audience while introducing them to the rich legacy of the art of puppetry and providing an introduction to the craft of puppet making. At the end of the show, the audience will be invited to come and "meet the puppets" where children and adults can see up close how the puppets are made and how they operate.

Other activities at Arts Fest will include the faculty of the School of Art who will be providing a variety of hands-on art activities for all ages, and there will be a pottery sale of wonderful works made by the faculty and students of the Silvermine School of Art. This is also the closing day for the current exhibits in the Silvermine Galleries, "Crossroads" and "Intuitive/Systemic Symmetries" and an opportunity to see a special showing of "The Dancer Films: Nine Minutes." "The Dancer" films is a collection of short films inspired by the legendary New York cartoonist, Jules Feiffer's beloved character, the modern dancer.

Director Judy Dennis translates six of Feiffer's memorable cartoons from the page to the soundstage, transforming the drawings into dance for film. Brought to life by Andrea Weber, "The Dancer" is an icon of optimism and earnestness. She captivates as she dances to celebrate a cycle of seasonal, emotional and political milestones.

Sculpture has been an integral part of the history of Silvermine Arts Center, beginning with our founding member, Solon Borglum. In support of the spirit of our roots, on Sept. 17 Silvermine is launching a public sculpture walk on the Silvermine grounds. The walk will feature a selection of key pieces in the permanent collection, along with loans from prominent present and past guild members and faculty including work by such artists as Ivan Biro, Drew Klotz, Diana Moore, Judith Steinberg and Jean Woodham. Each sculpture will be accompanied by signage and contextual information; and visitors will receive a brochure which will allow them to stroll the premises, and enjoy a self-guided tour.

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The day's highlight will be the two outdoor sets presented by Asphalt Orchestra, leading participants through and around the sculpture walk. The New York Times called Asphalt Orchestra "Part parade spectacle, part half-time show and part cutting-edge contemporary music concert ... the playing was coolly brilliant and infectious." The quirky ensemble, the brainchild of Bang on a Can and features Bang on a Can musicians, marches to an iconoclastic beat, eschewing typical brass-band fare for funky arrangements, from Frank Zappa to Charlie Mingus, and inventive new works. After their 20 minutes sets marching in and around the grounds of Silvermine, Asphalt Orchestra will present a special ticketed concert at 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 for members; $20 for non-members and $10 for children under 12.

For more information or to reserve tickets call 203-966-9700, ext. 22, or visit www.silverminart.org.

Silvermine Arts Center located in New Canaan, is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Located on a four acre campus, the center is comprised of a nationally renowned artist guild, award winning school of art offering multi-disciplinary art classes for all ages, a gift shop and galleries, offering more than 20 contemporary and historic exhibitions annually. The center also provides innovative arts education in Norwalk and Stamford schools through its outreach program, Art Partners, and hosts a lecture series and special programs throughout the year. Silvermine Arts Center is a nonprofit organization.

Grounded in the belief that art is vital to the spirit, creativity and wholeness of human beings, the mission of Silvermine Arts Center is to cultivate, promote and encourage growth through the arts; to showcase and serve artists; and to foster arts education and appreciation opportunities for the greater community.

Silvermine Galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 203-966-9700 ext. 20, or visit www.silvermineart.org.