On Saturday, September 30, artist in residence Keng Sen Chong (Malaysia) and his wife, Ang
Ang, joined OMSC staff member Ray Sola and about 10,000 honeybees at the 18 th Annual
Brooksvale Fall Festival in Hamden, CT.
Keng Sen says, “Even though we live in the city back home in Malaysia, we have always loved
the countryside. So when we were able to go with Ray to a local fall festival and see the bees and honey from his apiary, we were naturally excited.” He further commented that he was “excited to learn about beekeeping. Now we can add that to the list of self-empowerment projects we can bring back to the Malaysian ethnic churches.”
Enjoying the rural setting and the crisp fall temperatures, Keng Sen quickly set about sketching the scenes around him while Ang Ang assisted Ray in educating festival attendees on the benefits of honeybees to the environment. While there, Keng Sen met local artist Kirsten Walker, a former park ranger at Brooksvale Park. He also took the opportunity to learn from other presenters in attendance and particularly enjoyed his conversation with colonial wood worker Jim Vibert. He remarks, “I was impressed by his knowledge and desire to keep alive traditional skills that once erected the barn and sheds dotting the park.” Summing up their experience at this local festival, Keng Sen and Ang Ang agree that “true to our expectations, we had a great time.”