Feb 13, 2014
08:18 AM
Arts & Entertainment

Paris in Plantsville: Gallery's Cafe With Starbucks to Debut in Art & Lattes Event

Paris in Plantsville: Gallery's Cafe With Starbucks to Debut in Art & Lattes Event

Where there’s fine art on display in an appealing gallery space, there should also be lattes and cappuccinos. If that’s not already a maxim, it should be.

And in Connecticut, any locus of fine art and fine coffee will tilt toward destination status when it’s located in a storied place—somewhere hip or historic, or both, somewhere that’s got a certain cachet.

One of those places—which may come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the heritage and intricacies of Central Connecticut—is the village of Plantsville.

Part of the town of Southington, it’s is tucked up against the Quinnipiac River, and it’s home to a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places that includes the landmark H. D. Smith Company Building. The firm, established in 1850, made carriage, coach and wagon irons, and drop-forged fine tools. Also nearby is the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.

All of that is a way of saying that Plantsville has the perfect atmosphere to be home to Paris in Plantsville (PiP), a fine art gallery that features the works of the region’s premier visual artists. It was launched by Sean Michancvyk (left) four years ago.

Through its exhibition space and classes for artists of all skill levels, the gallery bridges the gap between the aesthetic community and general audiences.

But something was missing—a place to relax, surf the web and enjoy coffee and something to eat.

Two years ago, the gallery took over the adjacent space in order create a café. What turned out to be a long process of renovations, and setbacks, began—and now, finally, the Gallery Café is ready to make its debut.

It features Starbucks beverages, alongside sweet and savory crepes and paninis, which can be ordered from the black-and-cream-colored bar in the corner. Patrons are encouraged to sit and sip at high-top tables and in upholstered chairs.

A grand opening event is being held for the café this Saturday, under the umbrella of Paris in Plantsville’s 1st Annual House Call, or open house, which runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Visit the gallery at 15 West Main Street (Route 10) and admire the work of featured artists while enjoying appetizers and a caffeinated beverage.

The work of Southington’s Clinton Deckert, Meriden’s Christine Ivers (whose work is shown at right) and Newington’s Rebecca Shemms will be on display. Other featured artists include Michanczyk, Ajay Brainard (whose work is shown below), Eric Stegmaier, Jeremy Lebediker, Jordan Deschene and Jackie Etling. (The PiP website links to the gallery’s artists.)

The event is an artists’ meet-and-greet, but also a way for “people who haven’t visited us in a while to see the progress,” Michanczyk says.

He hopes the Gallery Café will be a place where artists will congregate in Plantsville, something he believes is lacking in the small village with more appeal, and amenities, than most folks realize.

“Coffee shops, in general around the state, pull an artist community,” says Michanczyk. “I wanted to create a meeting place for artists to gather. There’s nowhere like that around here.”

During the year, the gallery space is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information on Paris in Plantsville visit the gallery's website. The phone number is (860) 426-1149, and PiP also has a Facebook page. PiP is located at 15 West Main St., which is also Route 10, and can be reached easily via Exit 30 on I-84.

Paris in Plantsville: Gallery's Cafe With Starbucks to Debut in Art & Lattes Event

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