New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


In New Britain at the NBMAA We Remembered

Well over 300 New Britain area residents DID indeed remember — remembered their friends, relatives and colleagues who lost their lives on that horrible, historic day 10 years ago — by attending the New Britain Museum of American Art’s tribute to the 10th anniversary of those terrorist attacks on our nation on 9/11/01. Nearly every town in Connecticut held memorial ceremonies to honor that fateful day – speeches, masses, candlelight services, etc – but New Britain opted not to go the traditional route. Our city chose the creative side of the human spirit – art and theater – as the catalysts to express our sentiments. Unfortunately, this reporter could not attend the special matinee performance of “The Guys”, a short 9-11 based play presented at the Hole-in-the-Wall Theater downtown, because he was busy partaking in the events at the museum.

They came in shorts and sandals, they came in dresses and ties, nobody was crying, nobody was laughing. There was patriotic music (the noted pianist Paul Bisaccia), but no wine or hors d’ouevres this time at the museum. The afternoon was intended to be a somber affair, but the overall mood prevalent on everyone’s face was one of overwhelming pride, respect and admiration for the two artists whose unusual works were being featured in the day’s lectures.

The first hour was dedicated to Bridgeport’s Dalton Ghetti, who has had exhibitions on display at NBMAA since April 2010. “3,000 Teardrops” is exactly that — 3000 tiny, painstakingly carved teardrops from the graphite of pencils (!) that Ghetti created over the decade (averaging one a day!) to honor each and every person who perished on that miserable morning. I say you can’t get more disciplined or innovative than that! Patrons were awestruck.

The second hour was devoted to Graydon Parrish’s gigantic “Cycle of Terror and Tragedy” painting that has, in essence, dominated the Batchelor Gallery in recent years. For those whose concept of great art is totally aesthetic (pretty seascapes, baby animals, etc), the piece comes across as morbid, abstract and very disturbing in its graphic realism. But, one has to dig beneath the surface, and what a treat it was to have the actual artist himself explain in great detail every image, every color scheme, every figure, and all the symbolisms and messages to be “interpreted” in this monumental allegorical work! Art appreciation classes in school were never so interesting or informative! Like Picasso’s “Guernica”, this one’s an eyeful.

For further cultural stimulation, please contact the NBMAA at 860-229-0257 or visit There is always something going on, almost daily.