Door County Art Scene: Fairfield Opens “The Big Read: A Tom Sawyer Experience”

The Big Read Door County 2009 will involve a series of presentations, performances and activities at many of the peninsula’s best-loved venues, including the Fairfield Art Center in historic downtown Sturgeon Bay. At 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 22, the art center will unveil “The Big Read: A Tom Sawyer Experience” with an opening reception in its first-floor Main Gallery. It is open free to the public, and guests may enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres as they explore the show’s four distinct areas.

“We designed this exhibition to reflect Mark Twain’s 1876 classic’s continuing resonance with the public and its ongoing impact on contemporary art, from the earliest years of the 20th century until today,” said Walt Freckmann, the Fairfield’s executive director and curator. “A book is truly timeless when it influences readers more than 130 years after it was published, which Tom Sawyer continues to do.”

Door County artist Patty Clark with her mural for “The Big Read: A Tom Sawyer Experience.”

Also in conjunction with NEA’s The Big Read, the Fairfield will host a special "Tom Sawyer Children’s Day" from 10 am – 2 pm on Saturday, January 24. On this day, young guests will be able to wear Tom Sawyer or Becky Thatcher costumes and try their hand at painting the white-picket fence. Refreshments will be served, and parents are encouraged to bring cameras.

Then, at 2 pm on Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7, the Fairfield will be hosting The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book-discussion groups in the Main Gallery. The book discussions will be open free to the public.

"The Big Read: A Tom Sawyer Experience" will be on display through Saturday, March 14.

For more information call 920.746.0001, email [email protected] or visit