Willimantic's name apparently comes from an Algonquin word for swift running water. That swift running water ran cotton thread mills from the 1800's until 1985 when the American Thread Company picked up and shifted to North Carolina. This frog atop a spool is one of a pair at the entrance of the bridge over the river, greeting visitors to the town.
The town is also home of Eastern CT State University, where Ruth Anne Olson (www.fiberartbyruthanne.blogspot.com) and I went to view the current exhibit at its Akus Gallery, Chahar Ghesmat: Iranian Women Create. It was thought provoking work from four Iranian women curated by Elizabeth Peterson, Director of the gallery.
Whilst on campus Elizabeth recommended we visit the library where a huge weaving of Helena Hernmarck is hanging. "Open Door Open Book" was a public commission installed in 1998 and is, indeed, imposing!
Finding out that in a previous life I had given presentations on Australian Aboriginal Art, Elizabeth suggested we walk over to the Student Center too. There we were surprised to see an enormous contemporary art painting by Salt Water Murris. "Quandamooka Dreaming" is a celebration of life in the Moreton Bay area.
The day was full of unexpected, wonderful art. Serendipity, indeed!