Wonders Wandered

A lfred Carlton Gilbert would approve.

When A. C. was around, the labyrinthine Fair Haven complex now dubbed Erector Square—after the iconic Erector Sets the once-soaring A. C. Gilbert Company invented and produced there—was a house of wonders, where imaginative adults worked out ways to enthrall new generations of kids.

sponsored by

Brothers in Arts presented by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra

Now full of artists in private studios, not toymakers in company offices, a house of wonders it remains. And thanks to the third and final weekend of this year’s City-Wide Open Studios bonanza, held at Erector Square this past Saturday and Sunday, we’ve got proof, above. (To see uncropped, higher-fidelity versions of these and other photos, check out the email version.)

Photo Key

1. Abbie Rabinowitz with her painting “Spiral Dance” (in progress), commissioned for a home exterior in Milford.
2. Side-stacked paintings by Mark Williams.
3. Painted and encaustic works by visiting artist Amy Arledge.
4. Paintings by Jan Cunningham, reflected in mirror.
5. Ceramics by Claudine Burns Smith.
6. A view from the former office of legendary toymaker/inventor A.C. Gilbert.
7. Lisa Hess Hesselgrave in front of her paintings “Difficult Child” and “Jumprope, Pink Room.”
8. Handmade fiber work by Jennifer Davies.
9. Partial views of “The Sorrow of the Salmon,” “Last Gasp” and “Sound View Swarm” by Jacqueline Jones.
10. A lamp by Sideways & Askew with pottery by Hayne Bayless.
11. Inedible asparagus and lemon wedges by Nancy Carroll, on a tray by Hayne Bayless.
12. Portrait of Amy Winehouse by Dionel Altreche.
13. “One Word” by Kathryn Frund.
14. Biomorphic work by Joseph Saccio, who stands to the left in the background.
15. One of two such screen printing arrays inside Left Hand Print Shoppe (which shares space with the Erector Brewing Collective).
16. Works on paper by Liz Pagano.
17. Detail of “A Colony of Drifters” (foreground and middle ground) by Lani Asuncion.
18. Paintings from Scott Paterson’s Barcelona and New York series (and possibly others).
19. A close-up of the huge pivot window in the stairwell to the A. C. Gilbert Company’s old executive hallway.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped in no small part by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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