A Valentine's Day stroll through the New Britain Museum of American Art

Published on Sunday, 21 February 2021 18:32
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


The late artist Helen Frankenthaler once said that anything is possible. It’s all about risks, deliberate risks.

As they experienced her works inside the New Britain Museum of American Art this Valentine’s Day, couples were inspired not by her words, but by the distinct feelings conveyed through Frankenthaler’s abstract expressionism.

The NBMAA invited lovebirds to take a Valentine’s Day Stroll inside the museum Sunday. They took home miniature bottles of Prosecco, heart-shaped chocolates and discount cards for a stay at West Hartford’s upscale Delamar hotel this month.

Jordan Simmons planned his and girlfriend Melissa Wojcicki’s visit around their special Valentine’s weekend stay in the area.

The couple lives in Norwich and this was their first time stepping into the galleries inside the NBMAA.

“I was looking for things to do this weekend and I found this and thought it would be fun,” Simmons said. “So far I like it. We just got here.”

They strolled through the galleries hand-in-hand, drawing inspiration from the ink compositions of Shantell Martin and Frankenthaler, both featured in the 2020/20+ Women @ NBMAA series, running through Sept. 26, 2021.

Visitors and staff continue to follow covid-19 protocol, which includes limited capacity in galleries, facial coverings and maintaining six feet of distance between groups.

Hand sanitizer pumping stations are situated in every corridor and gallery.

“We’re still following covid protocols but everyone coming through seems to be having a good time,” said Kate Obedzinski, of visitor services. “This has been the busiest weekend we’ve had in a while.”

The installation of works by the late Frankenthaler, a painter whose lifelong mantra was “no rules” – opened Feb. 11 in the Stitzer Family Gallery. The exhibition will be up through May 23.

“Lots of people are seeing it this weekend for the first time,” Obedzinski pointed out.

Mike Marques and his girlfriend Rebecca Maloney came to experience NEW/NOW: Shantell Martin, in the William L. and Bette Batchelor Gallery.

“We’ve been meaning to come,” Marques said. “We don’t visit as often as we’d like.”

On Saturday, families with children went home with a Valentine’s Day craft, courtesy of the museum’s educational department.

“We gave out 28 yesterday and we still have more left, so we’ll be handing those out over the next few days,” Obedzinski said.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at edrzewiecki@centralctcommunications.com.

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Sunday, 21 February 2021 18:32. Updated: Sunday, 21 February 2021 18:34.