Our Stories: 18 The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory

nutjmegThe Crayon Diary would not be here in its current form were it not for The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory. I was honored with an unofficial title of an artist in residence, an artistic ambassador if you will, and I’m profoundly honored to find new and interesting ways to share the Nutmeg Ballet story. It is also impossible to tell a 45 year story in a 6 inch by 8 inch frame so I felt this was an opportunity to share MY story with the Nutmeg (after all it is called OUR STORIES)!

nutmeg 1

The top left depicts Victoria Mazzarelli who won a gold medal as a dancer and who is now the Artistic Director of the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory.  To the untrained observer I may have gotten it right. To the trained observer, one can see some flaws with my depiction, the leg for instance is larger than it should be (something I’ve found I must continually work on-it may have more to do with my eyesight and the smallness of the “canvas”-the figure is only 3 centimeters by 4 centimeters). Still the movement depicted especially against the backdrop of the movement of the wind in light Van Gogh style captures a feeling I wanted to share.


nutmeg 2

The top right portion of the artwork is of the Nutmeg building which is inconic in its own right.  The logo on the side of the building was created by Roberta Boe (who is featured as #6 in the Our Stories Project) and it’s based on statues/figures created by sculptor Ann Scoville.  I’ve created just this view in a larger pastel with slightly bluer/darker colors for the sky and wanted to bring it here now. Those who many not be familiar with the goings on at the Nutmeg recognize and admire this building and understand that it represents something extremely important to the Torrington community.


nutmeg 3

In the far bottom right is a representation of my comic strip “The Crayon Diary” which often features stories involving ballet and the Nutmeg Ballet as inspiration. Surrounding that depiction in the bottom right is a view of a spy dance which I used as inspiration for artwork in an On Pointe profile piece about writer Jean Sands who wrote about the Nutmeg.  The article was published in the Register Citizen HERE. 



nutmeg 4

And finally on the bottom left is the representation of the artwork that started my connection with the Nutmeg. It is the crayon artwork of my son on my shoulders and I watching the dancers dressed in Nutcracker outfits during the Light Up Main event in 2013. I wrote about the event in the Crayon Diary HERE it was called Light Up Main, Light Up Hearts. This particular cartoon captured the joy of the dancers, joy of the audience in this wonderful holiday spirit of giving.

You see in 2013 I was still creating my artwork for out of state newspapers (and I still do to this day) and working on what was then In Torrington Today (a cartoon that became Nutmeg Junction) but I was writing about Torrington life (sporadically) using crayon as the medium (hence: the crayon diary).  After creating this art and art to celebrate the Nutmeg winning the T-Town Chatter award for Best Holiday Display in 2013, I met with Sharon Dante and subsequently the entire Nutmeg team and began to learn more about the fascinating history of the Nutmeg Ballet. The history of the Nutmeg is a history of our shared community. So many children from our community have danced in the studios there and the experience is rewarding and life changing.

As we continue together in this Crayon Diary journey, I wanted to make very clear that the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory has played a significant and important role in my own artistic journey and I enjoy knowing that very much.

To learn more about the Nutmeg visit Nutmeg Conservatory on the web.

and on facebook HERE



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