Five questions for...Arianne Faber Kolb
DARIEN — Arianne Faber Kolb has her hand in many different arts organizations around Fairfield County and the country.
The New Canaan resident is an art historian and curator and has worked at the Carriage Barn Arts Center in Waveny Park, the Phillip Johnson Glass House, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and written several books, including two on New Canaan.
Kolb’s most recent endeavor brings her to Darien as she prepares to judge the 58th Darien Art Show and Sale in June.
See the art
The 58th Darien Art Show and Sale offers cash awards and is open to Darien Art Center students and children and adults who live or work in Darien. Nonresidents may also enter the show with a donation to the organization.
Registration for artists is available at darienarts.org until May 22. Artists needing help with online registration may call the DAC office at 203-655-8683 or visit the DAC office at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Town Hall, for assistance.
The show will be open for public viewing every day from June 3 to 10, from noon to 5 p.m.
Q: What’s your background in art?
A: I’ve been doing that since college.
I got a PhD in art history and worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty Museum.
My field has been old master paintings (any art from before 1900), specifically Netherlandish paintings, and I’ve really kept up writing, researching and teaching and more recently, I’ve been more into contemporary art. I’m really into contemporary Cuban artists and promoting their work and going into a more modern era, but I’m always into old masters.
Q: How did you get involved with the Darien Art Show and Sale?
A: They contacted me not too long ago and asked if I would judge a show and I think many of these art centers in Fairfield County are wonderful centers for promoting local artists and engaging the community and getting them more involved in art and also having great art programs that I think are wonderful enrichment. I was the executive director of the Carriage Barn Arts Center, so I know what it’s like to run a small community art center, and I think these nonprofits are wonderful. I’m happy to help out.
Q: What do you look for when judging a show?
A: It’s hard to say. It’s tough.
Judging is sometimes tough, but it depends whether you’re picking works and narrowing it down. You’re looking for quality, a work of art that might make a statement or an artist doing something different and new. In this show, there’s a wide variety in background. You want to give as many artists as possible the opportunity to exhibit while maintaining quality.
Q: What is different about art in this area versus art in other parts of the country?
A: In Fairfield County alone, we have really a wonderful range. Really, there’s so many incredible museums from the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, the Aldrich Museum (in Ridgefield) and then you have centers with such a rich history like Silvermine, the Carriage Barn, all these wonderful organizations that have been created by groups of artists.
It’s amazing they’ve put these organizations together as pure volunteer and these young organizations are wonderful for giving younger artists opportunities they might not get. You can see an impressionist exhibit here and then see a local artist down the road. This area is rich in talent and I love this artist community.
Q: What do you like about art?
A: It’s one of those things where you know it. I didn’t go to college planning to get into this field, but I had one course (art history 101 at Middlebury College) and one professor and he changed everything.
It was a new way of looking at art and it changed everything.