Denison Homestead to hold en plein air painting event this weekend

Denison Homestead Museum in Mystic is seen Jan. 27, 2010.  Each of the rooms in the home built in 1717 has been restored and decorated to a different era in the lifetime of the house. The house museum is holding an en plein air painting event this weekend. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Denison Homestead Museum in Mystic is seen Jan. 27, 2010. Each of the rooms in the home built in 1717 has been restored and decorated to a different era in the lifetime of the house. The house museum is holding an en plein air painting event this weekend. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Mystic — The Denison Homestead Museum will host an event this weekend that is expected to attract 20 en plein air artists who will paint the historic home on Pequotsepos Road, its barns, fields and rock formations.

The artists will begin painting late Saturday morning and finish about 3 p.m. On Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m., the homestead will hold a champagne reception for people to view and buy the paintings created by artists organized by Stonington borough artist Howard Park.

Museum Curator Penny Havard said that the last time an en plein air event was held at the homestead was back in the 1930s, when owner Penny Gates sponsored them. A small exhibit at the museum features paintings and sketches done at that time.

Havard said that in the midst of her research about the homestead, which dates back to 1717, she became very interested in Gates. She said Gates was widowed in 1923 after just three years of marriage. But she said Gates went on to become a founding member of the Mystic Garden Club and a patron of the Mystic artist’s colony, which attracted major impressionist painters. She died in New York City in 1941.

“We thought this would be a nice way to honor her,” said Havard, adding the museum also is recreating her extensive gardens on the west lawn.

Havard said the museum is planning its second annual recreation of King Phillip’s War on Sept. 29 and 30, which will feature Native American and colonial re-enactors staging battles and camping on the museum grounds. She said details of that weekend’s events still are being finalized but likely will include a seminar and speaker. The 14-month war in what is now New England between colonists and their Native American allies and other tribes began in 1675.

“No one else is doing this, telling the story from this period,” she said.

 j.wojtas@theday.com

Drew Shuptar-Rayvis, right, of New Milford, a member of the Schaghticoke First Nation tribe portraying a Mahican tribe warrior, and Dan Bosques, left, of Ansonia, a member of the Taino Tribe portraying a Paugussett tribe warrior, and Chris Numssen, center, of Saugerties, N.Y., a member of the Seneca tribe, chat while at their camp while participating in the King Philip War re-enactment at the Denison Homestead in Mystic on Oct. 1, 2017.  The re-enactment will return this year. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Drew Shuptar-Rayvis, right, of New Milford, a member of the Schaghticoke First Nation tribe portraying a Mahican tribe warrior, and Dan Bosques, left, of Ansonia, a member of the Taino Tribe portraying a Paugussett tribe warrior, and Chris Numssen, center, of Saugerties, N.Y., a member of the Seneca tribe, chat while at their camp while participating in the King Philip War re-enactment at the Denison Homestead in Mystic on Oct. 1, 2017. The re-enactment will return this year. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

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