Torrington’s Five Points Center for the Visual Arts to host opening celebration


“It’s going to be wonderful to have people seeing what’s going on here,” said CEO Judith McElhone. “After years and months of negotiations, acquiring the campus and the building in the midst of a pandemic, to get into this building, we’re so excited to finally be able to start opening and getting started.”

The center is hosting an opening celebration in its new home on the old UConn Torrington campus and the public is invited. Tickets cost $ 100 per person, with profits going to fund renovations, programs and ongoing classes at the center.

The event is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 16 at 855 University Drive.

The Five Points Center for the Visual Arts purchased the former UConn Torrington campus in June 2020. Located four miles from the Five Points Gallery and the Five Points Annex on Water Street, renovations and upgrades to the property are in progress. courses and many spaces are already in use. .

“The renovations are necessary to create a vibrant educational facility designed for cutting-edge artistic exploration and community-driven arts activities,” said McElhone.

“When completed, the Five Points Art Center and a 90-acre art park, along with the downtown Five Points Center for the Visual Arts and emerging artist Launchpad exhibition spaces, will become an arts destination,” which will add considerably to the social fabric and economic health of our region and our State, ”she declared.

When the arts center is fully operational, artists and community members will have access to a variety of laboratories, including printmaking, alternative photography processing, ceramics, digital photography, video, sculpture, painting, drawing and manufacturing in 3D, according to McElhone. The centre’s 245-seat auditorium will be used for artist talks, documentary films and community events.

Tickets for a raffle for an Eric Forstmann painting, “A Summer Arrangement” are also available, with the drawing on October 16. Tickets cost $ 20 and the painting is valued at $ 16,000. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, art demonstrations and live music by the Waterbury Symphony will also be on offer to all guests.

The Robert Dente printmaking lab will provide limited and safe access to the public, according to McElhone. The 2,000 square foot studio will be outfitted to meet the needs of professional printmakers, interdisciplinary artists and members of the community interested in learning how to create images in this medium, McElhone said.

McElhone said she was especially proud of the Printing House, the old library in the campus building, with two floors.

“Everything is in place at the first level,” she said. “The mezzanine level will be used for screen printing, and it’s in progress, but the other aspects are ready. They’ll put bookmarks there that night so people can take something home.

Local banks sponsor various areas of the building.

“The children’s lab is sponsored by Union Savings Bank, the lobby by Torrington Savings Bank and the lounge by Thomaston Savings Bank. The print studio is Northwest Community Bank and Litchfield Bancorp, ”she said. “We are very grateful to the people who provided naming opportunities for the building. It made a difference.

Registrations for the centre’s undergraduate art classes are a bit slow, McElhone said, mainly due to concerns about COVID-19, but they are increasing.

“We had an outdoor painting class and a character drawing class, and the kids lab is up and running, and it’s going very well,” she said. “We believe that the number of course registrations will increase as the pandemic is brought under control. But everyone who has been here is delighted. They love the space and what we do.

Volunteers are valued, like City Council member Sharon Waagner, whose current project is the Arts Center Library, where more than 2,500 books have been donated, cataloged and preserved. More people are always needed, McElhone said.

“The more people in the community who are involved in the arts, the better,” she said. “It’s healing, it gives people hope and we encourage them to join us. There are many ways to help, whether it’s in the downtown galleries or in the arts center. Based on their expertise, we can find ways for them to help us.

Next summer, Five Points plans to offer a college preparatory program, to help college students build their portfolios. “There are some really interesting programs and workshops coming up,” McElhone said.

The arts center measures approximately 30,000 square feet with social distancing space. Food stations and bars will be set up throughout the building on October 16. Guests are requested to wear masks. For tickets and information on Five Points and the party, visit

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