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Local Wisdom: After-Hours Gatherings at Greiser’s

Join Us for Four Evening Talks in Spring 2024

Easton  is a hive of accomplished people with unique talents. Ever since our November 1, 2018, opening day, we’ve aspired to provide a place for all the interesting and interested people in our community to connect.

Local Wisdom is our occasional after-hours event series now in its second season at Greiser’s. On these evenings, we provide small bites, beverages (non-alcoholic, but byob is permitted), and a relaxed forum where you can get to know your neighbors, including some of Easton’s most creative and innovative residents. Each event will include a short lecture — think TEDTalk — and plenty of time for conversation with our featured guests, all of whom are plucked right from our customer list.   

All events are from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. $20 ticket includes small bites and a beverage.

Seating is limited. Advanced registration required.

Wednesday, March 27
INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER STEVE COZZOLINO (click for tickets)
“HOW A TOASTER CAN SPARK JOY

Menu: Toast Points with Seasonal Spreads & Dips

As the founder of the NYC design agency Cozzolino Studio, Easton-based industrial designer Steve Cozzolino is the creative mind behind many favorite household appliances and tools including the All-Clad toaster and Belgian waffle maker, the Cuisinart toaster oven, the Kitchen Aid curlin tea kettle, Mr. Coffee espresso makers, and numerous Nambé gourmet kitchen tool designs. Early in his career, he was part of the team that designed the legendary Swiffer for Procter & Gamble. For the past four years, Steve has also been a cast member, design judge, and presenter on the ByDesign suite of CBS Primetime television shows.

Steve’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Fortune, the MOMA Design Store, and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. He was honored by the City of New York for “Excellence in Design,” and has won professional accolades including the Red Dot, Global Innovation, Good Design, IDEA, and Housewares Design awards. He holds numerous design patents.  

At Greiser’s tonight, he’ll talk about the power of design to spark joy, why he believes empathy is one of the most powerful tools for designing and developing relevant, compelling experiences for all, and how Artificial Intelligence can complement the design process.

After dividing their time between NYC and Easton for several years, Steve, his wife Pam, and their teenage son Nick made Easton their full-time home last year.

Thursday April 11
PAINTER, PRINTMAKER, WRITER TAMMY NGUYEN (click for tickets)
“MAKING ART IN EASTON

Menu: Vietnamese Grazing Board

Tammy Nguyen making paintings in her Easton studio for her ICA Boston show. Left to right, “Ralph Waldo Emerson” and “Ngo Dinh Diem.” Photo by Natalie Ivis for The New York Times

Tammy Nguyen is a multimedia artist based in Easton whose work spans painting, drawing, printmaking and book making. Intersecting geopolitical realities with fiction, her practice addresses lesser-known histories through a blend of myth and visual narrative. She is the founder of Passenger Pigeon Press, an independent press that joins the work of scientists, journalists, creative writers, and artists.

Her work is currently on display in London, and was recently featured in a show at the ICA Boston. In a December, 2023, profile, The New York Times called Tammy Nguyen “a maximalist … driven by questions, not certainties.”

Tonight, Tammy will discuss the ins and outs of her artistic process, recent and upcoming shows, and how living in Easton with her husband Davey and daughters Penny and Olive has transformed her practice.

Wednesday, May 8
COACH, AUTHOR & NONPROFIT LEADER MIKE EVANS (click for tickets)
“BROKERING PEACE THROUGH BASKETBALL

Menu: A Cultural Mix of Game Day Appetizers

Mike Evans is the the author of The Belfast Blazers: The Journey of an American Basketball Coach in Ireland, and founder and executive director of Full Court Peace, a Connecticut based not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing kids from different socioeconomic backgrounds together. FCP, which evolved from Evans’s experiences in Ireland, creates meaningful opportunities for interaction between boys and girls ages 10 to 18, both on and off of the basketball court.

“Our youth lack ample opportunities to interact with one another, to truly understand one another, and to forge friendships across racial and socioeconomic lines,” Evans says. “We are effectively raising children who will promote the status quo — a nation divided by race, class and income. The farther we slide away from each other, the less unified we are as a society, and the less prepared our children are to be socially competent citizens of this society.”

Mike, who lives in Easton with his wife, Alexandra, and their 9-month old daughter, Hannah, will talk this evening about his work in Northern Ireland, first playing and then coaching basketball, and how his experience getting teenage Protestant and Catholic teammates in Belfast to see eye to eye led to his formation of a nonprofit that’s breaking down barriers to peace in communities around the US and world. Copies of his book will be for sale.

July Date TBD
JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR DAN SLATER (click for tickets)
TELLING THE BIRTH STORY OF AMERICA’S IMMIGRANT UNDERWORLD

Menu: Snacks of the Lower East Side, Circa 1900

Join us to celebrate the publication of local author Dan Slater’s new book, The Incorruptibles: A True Story of Kingpins, Crime Busters, and the Birth of the American Underworld.

A graduate of Colgate University, New York Film Academy, and Brooklyn Law School, Dan has written for more than a dozen publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, GQ, and the New Yorker. His last book, Wolf Boys, which the New York Times called “unforgettable” and the Chicago Public Library named a best book of the year, is being adapted for a TV series by 101 Studios and director Antoine Fuqua.

Meanwhile, his story about a rabbinic gang is in development at Paramount TV and George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures.

Raised in Minnesota, Dan lives in Easton with his wife Sophie and their sons, Silas and Felix.

At Greiser’s this evening, Dan will share his journey researching and retelling the birth story of our country’s immigrant underworld and sign copies of his new book.

Space at Greiser’s is limited. Advanced registration is required. Tickets, $20, are available in-store or online here. We’ll serve a topical menu of small bites and softdrinks at each event. BYOB is welcome.

To learn about future events in our Local Wisdom series, please subscribe on our homepage to our email newsletter, the Flying A.

Artistry of Karen Kent: Quirky Owls and Colorful Still Lifes

Local Artist’s Oils, Acrylics and Mixed Media Art on Exhibit at Greiser’s Thru Year’s End

OPENING RECEPTION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 6:00 PM

Twenty recent works by Fairfield artist and Greiser’s customer Karen Kent will brighten the store’s rooms and walls through the end of 2023. Kent is a lifelong artist who earned a bachelors degree in fine art and architecture before embarking on a career as an interior designer crafting homes with balance through fabric, color, furniture, and accessories. After nearly three decades, Karen turned to focus full time on creating striking, vibrant large scale paintings.

Works on display and for sale at Greiser’s include vibrant floral still lifes ranging in size and complexity from Kent’s 12×12-inch acrylic-on-board still life “Garden Roses” ($100) to her 36×36-inch acrylic-on-canvas “Buzzing Bee” ($2,400). Her delightful mixed media owl series includes, pictured above from left to right, “Grumpy,” “Bashful,” and “Sneezy” each 24×18 inches ($750). Other pieces featured in the current exhibit at Greiser’s include landscapes, figurative studies, and animals including a heron, a Golden Retriever, and a pair of elephants.

Karen is an exhibiting member of Rowayton Arts Center and New Haven Paint and Clay. She is also a member of Carriage Barn Arts Center, Westport Arts Center, Westport Arts Collective, Greenwich Art Society, the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, and Ridgefield Guild of Artists.

Join us and the artist at 6pm October 19 for an open house and reception. See all works for sale online at Greiser’s and learn more about the artist on her website.

Discovered Light: The Final Photographs of Geri Gould

Opening Reception Thursday, May 4, 2023 at 6:30 PM

Geri Gould received her first camera at age eight from her father, Joe DiCuffa. He was a professional portrait photographer in New York City and provided a solid foundation of training and inspiration.

Her photography has been exhibited and recognized by the Easton Arts Council, Citizens for Easton, Black Rock Art Guild at Burroughs Community Center, Harborview Market and Framemakers Gallery.

Greiser’s Coffee & Market is privileged to partner with Kit Briner, Geri’s longtime love and companion, to show the final series of Geri’s work, “Discovered Light.”

After Geri passed away in January 2023, fellow Easton artist Robert Brennan assisted Kit in curating Geri’s this exhibit, which will be on display from May 4 through late June. All images are for sale in the store and online here.

This is how Brennan described Geri’s images and talent:  

Geri Gould was an artist who happened to use a camera. Like Claude Monet and so many other painters, Geri was on a continuous and relentless search for the light, and in the process, she discovered the shadows, thus starting a visual dialogue of elegance, intrigue, mystery, and poetry.

The light streams in through the window, is interrupted by the leg and side of the gate leg table. The shadow is cast on the wall as a silhouette. The artist chooses what to save and composes by distilling the visual elements of shape, line, texture, and value into powerful, simplified abstractions, not unlike Robert Motherwell’s paintings, inspired by the shadows cast by the “El” upon the Manhattan streets below.

Engaging in some kind of alchemy, Geri makes shapes dissolve into mystical visions, works of ambiguity, mystery, and beauty wherein the viewer is treated to a most sophisticated visual, mental, and emotional journey in which the artist simply but not simply, shows us what she found in the most common everyday occurrence of the sun shining through the window.

The interplay of the light and the dark has been the “stuff” of painters, poets, musicians, philosophers, and all variations of mankind since the first questions posed regarding the night and the day. As there can be no music without silence between the notes, there can be no elegant shadows unless the light is also present.

Geri Gould’s gift to us is in a plain, but not so plain symphony of shadow and light, composed over time in the finest tradition of art making, the passionate search to find beauty and meaning in the often missed light that may cast itself even across our bathroom wall.

Please join us for an opening reception to celebrate the art and life of Geri Gould at Greiser’s on Thursday, May 4, 2023 at 6:30 PM.

Artist About Town: John Forgione’s Plein Air Paintings Return to Greiser’s

Opening Reception Thursday, February 9, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

The “old” Greiser’s, painted by John Forgione in 2018, two months before the “new” Greiser’s opened Nov. 1.

Easton is and has been home to many a famous artist.

Louise Bourgeois so loved her country home here that she sculpted a marble replica of it. Another globally known sculptor, Frederick Shrady, lived in Edna Ferber’s former estate on Maple Road. Naturalist painter and writer James Prosek developed an intense interest in fish as a child here and has since made a home in Easton with his own family. And now, NYC street artist Paul Richard rides around town on a vintage bicycle.

Yet part-time plein air painter John Forgione is arguably the most visible artist in Easton.

Weekdays, Forgione runs a digital marketing agency. But on weekends when the weather cooperates, he is a fixture of Easton’s open spaces. With his easel, oils, brushes, and canvas, you might find him in the orchard at Trout Brook Valley, amid the sunflowers on Adams Road, or capturing scenes at one of Easton’s bucolic farms; Gilbertie’s, Maple Row, Sabia’s, and Sport Hill Farm are among his beloved subjects. And he has been commissioned to capture on canvas several historic local homes.

Forgione also enjoys setting up his easel in other scenic Fairfield County spots, as well as on the water in Rhode Island, Barbados, Hawaii, and Positano. He’s even painted standing in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Easton painter John Forgione on the Brooklyn Bridge

But Easton is his home, and, contrary to the stereotype of the solitary, reclusive painter, Forgione is notably social. He and his wife Cara, parents of three JBHS grads, rarely miss an event at Greiser’s. They both participate in Easton Arts Council shows. And he’s been known to arrive at local parties and bars with his latest painting in tow for show and tell. He loves to talk about art and process.

On a recent Sunday afternoon at Greiser’s, Forgione engaged fellow painter Paul Richard in an animated conversation about canvas stretching techniques and employing the golden ratio in landscape painting. Richard said he thought he recognized Forgione from an Instagram post that pictured a painter on the street in NYC. Indeed, Forgione had attracted attention from passersby in October when he painted a scene at the corner of 21st Street and 9th Avenue in Chelsea.

On the day he bumped into Richard, Forgione was at Greiser’s to take some measurements. He’s getting ready to install a new exhibit here in February. It’s been nearly four years since he hung his paintings on the walls of the “new” Greiser’s, during our first year in business.

Back then, when space was even more limited than it is today, he hung his art on a wall in the kitchen — our “Galley Gallery” — and we invited guests to squeeze past the chest freezer and hand sink to view it. This time, we’re thrilled to be able to offer him professional hooks on art moulding in our dining room.

Come see how much we and the artist have grown over the years!

Opening reception Thursday, February 9, 2023, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, with musical entertainment by Mike Miles. Free admission. All artwork will be for sale. Overflow parking will be available across the intersection at the Congregational Church.