September 25, 2017

Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce Scholarship Recipient from Old Lyme

From left to right, Alden Murphy and Abigail Nickell stand with Musical Masterworks scholarship winner Giovanna Parnoff at the piano.

Musical Masterworks and Community Music School are pleased to announce the recipient of the first Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas.

Giovanna Parnoff, already an accomplished pianist and exceptional sixth grade student from Old Lyme, was presented with the scholarship by Alden Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks and Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School.

“We are so pleased to honor Nancy’s memory with an award to one of her very own students, in partnership with another of her most beloved arts organizations.’ said Nickell.  Nancy Thomas was a devoted staff member of Musical Masterworks for nearly 25 years.   “It is particularly fortuitous that Giovanna, as a life-long student of Nancy Thomas, is the first winner of this scholarship; we couldn’t be more pleased,” added Murphy.

Giovanna has attended The Community Music School since she was six months old. She discovered her love of music through Kindermusik and Kate’s Camp programs and eventually started individual piano instruction under the tutelage of Nancy Thomas at the age of 3.

She has received perfect scores at the New London Piano Festival organized by the Middlesex/New London Chapter of the Connecticut State Music Teacher’s Association. Giovanna is a member of Mensa and Intertel, two high IQ societies and was recently inducted into the Junior Mensa Honor Society for her academic performance, leadership skills and volunteerism/community service.

Giovanna has been accepted into Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, Stanford University’s Gifted and Talented Program, and Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. She is a competitive foil fencer, and has been coached for six years by the Fencer’s School of CT.

Giovanna is an award-winning poet, having seen her work published in “The Mensa Bulletin” and “The Young American Poetry Digest.” She lives in Old Lyme with her parents, Dr. John Parnoff and Ms. Monique Heller, and her younger sister, Mattea, who is also a piano student at The Community Music School.

The Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas provides the tuition for a middle school student to take music lessons, 30 minutes each, for one full year at Community Music School.  The scholarship will be awarded annually for the next four years.  To be eligible, the candidate must be a student of classical voice or instrumental music and reside in Middlesex County or New London County.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.

Musical Masterworks brings to Southern New England world-class chamber music performances and outreach programs which attract, entertain, and educate a diverse audience. Now planning its 27th season, Musical Masterworks offers five weekends of performances from October through May in Old Lyme.  Learn more by visiting www.musicalmasterworks.org or by calling 860.434.2252.

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Final Day Today of Community Music School’s Free Preview Week

Community Music School, located at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook and 179 Flanders Rd. in East Lyme, welcomes the general public to visit during Free Preview Week Sept. 11 through 15. Children and adults can tour the School’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a free preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs for all ages including private and group lessons, adult cabaret, jazz ensemble, string ensembles, music therapy services, Kindermusik for babies and toddlers, and more.

During the academic year, Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Those interested in a 30-minute preview lesson are requested to call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.  The public is also welcome to observe any group class or ensemble during Free Preview Week.

For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org/programs or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Two New Exhibitions on View at Lyme Art Association

‘Below Zero’ by Thomas Adkins is one of the signature paintings of the New England Landscape Exhibition on view at the Lyme rt Association in Old Lyme.

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, will present the 2017 New England Landscape Exhibition, on view from Sept. 1 through Nov. 3, with an opening reception on Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.  Concurrently, in the Goodman Gallery, the American Society of Marine Artists will feature a show and sale of select works. Sculpture by the Society of Connecticut Sculptors will also be on display throughout the gallery.

“The 2017 New England Landscape Show focuses on the subject matter that inspired our founders, the Lyme Impressionists,” comments LAA Gallery Manager, Jocelyn Zallinger. “Each year we welcome a number of celebrated landscape artists to participate in this exhibition with our member artists, always making this a competitive and impressive show. Among the artists invited to participate this year are Peter Poskas and Neal Hughes. Come visit us in our historic galleries and enjoy this highly anticipated exhibition.”

This work by Morgan Samuel Price is a signature piece for the exhibition by the American Society of Marine Artists .

All exhibited work is for sale with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Lyme Art Association. From 5 p.m. on Sept. 8 to 5 p.m. Sept. 9, artwork may be purchased tax-free.

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the town’s historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

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Registration Open Through Today for Madhatters December Production

Madhatters Theatre Company is registering for their December production of ‘Scrooged, with a twist.’  Registration is open to students age 6-18 years.  Rehearsals begin on Saturdays in September at Lyme’s Youth Service Bureau in Old Lyme.

Performance week is Dec. 11-17 at Chester Meeting House in Chester.  Registration is open through Sept. 8.

For further information and to register, email: madhattersctc@aol.com or call (860) 395-1861  www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatt

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Cappella Cantorum Concert Registration Scheduled for Monday

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus by Madeleine Favre of Deep River.

Registration and first rehearsal for Cappella Cantorum’s 2017 Christmas concert will be Monday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River. No auditions are required.

All are welcome to join Cappella Cantorum and its new director, Simon Holt, to prepare for the Dec. 2 concert. Holt is also the artistic director of the Salt Marsh Opera and director of music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. He joins Cappella in its 48th year.

The program will feature Bach’s Cantata #140 (“Sleepers Wake”), Rutter’s “Gloria” and Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.”

Registration fee is $40; music is $20. Late registration will be Sept. 18, same time and place. Use the rear entrance.

For more information or to register in advance, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org.

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Tickets Now Available for 44th Season of Collomore Concerts in Chester

The Claremont Trio opens the 44th season of the Collomore Concerts on Sept. 24.

CHESTER — For its 44th season, the Robbie Collomore Music Series will offer all four of its concerts in the fall, between Sept. 24 and Nov. 26. These will be on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the historic and charming Chester Meeting House. It is now the time to buy your season subscription.

Beginning the season, on Sunday, Sept. 24, is the Claremont Trio, brought to Chester as the Barbara and Edmund Delaney Young Artists Concert. Called “one of America’s finest young chamber groups,” these three young women have performed worldwide to great acclaim, both as a trio and as individual soloists. One reviewer wrote, “Their exuberant performance and gutsy repertoire… was the kind of fresh approach that keeps chamber music alive.” Their Chester concert will feature sonatas by Bach, Debussy, Britten and Rachmaninoff.

Internationally renowned Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro pair up on classical guitar and bandoneon on Oct. 15.

In recent years, Jason Vieaux and Julien Labro have thrilled Collomore Concert audiences separately – Jason playing classical guitar in a solo concert and Julien playing accordion with the Detroit Hot Club. When the Collomore committee heard they had joined forces touring, playing the guitar and bandoneon, they jumped at the opportunity to have them return to Chester on Sunday, Oct. 15.  You can expect something “entertaining, fun, exciting, virtuosic in the unusual pairing of these two instruments. The program contains some modern classical, world music from Brazil and Argentina, and even some pop music.”

Latin Jazz comes to Chester on Nov. 5, with the Curtis Brothers Quartet featuring Ray Vega, percussionist.  The Curtis Brothers Quartet takes bold steps towards a modern Latin Jazz sound, fearlessly pushing their musical approach into new territories. Their unique rhythmic concept is what separates them from most other jazz quartets. All of their music, original or not, is based on the percussive concepts that they have accumulated through their various musical experiences.

And on Nov. 26, the soulful songs of the Gullah culture will be brought to life by Ranky Tanky, a five-piece band of native South Carolinians who mix the low country traditions with large doses of jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B. They’ve been called “infectious, intoxicating and exotic” with
“frisky and hypnotic rhythms with a bone-deep mix of spirituals and gutbucket blues.”

Buy a season subscription now and save money, plus you’ll be certain you will have a seat even when a concert is sold out. A subscription to all four concerts is just $98. Individual concert tickets cost $28. For students from elementary through graduate school, a subscription is $15 ($5 per concert). Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased online at www.collomoreconcerts.org using PayPal. All ticket-holders are invited to stay for a reception after the concert to meet the performers. For more information, check the website or call 860-526-5162.

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Salt Marsh Opera Presents ‘Opera in the Park’ Tonight in Old Saybrook

Sarah Nordin

Salt Marsh Opera presents their annual event of well-known opera selections and musical theatre, “Opera in the Park,” on Friday, Sept. 1, at 6:30 p.m. on Old Saybrook Town Green, adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street.

Bring family and friends, blankets and chairs, and even relax with a picnic dinner.

Professional performers Sarah Nordin, mezzo-soprano and Tyler Putnam, bass will delight you with glorious music under the stars.

Nordin has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, toured Japan, and the Geneva Light Opera Company.

Tyler Putnam

Putnam has appeared with Opera Omaha, St. Petersburg Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Little Opera Theatre of New York.

This event is free, but a $10 donation is suggested to cover expenses.

Rain date is Saturday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m.

For additional information, visit www.saltmarshopera.org

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Asch Retires from Cappella Cantorum After 47 Years, Simon Holt Appointed New Music Director

Barry Asch is retiring after 47 years at the helm of Cappella Cantorum.

Co-founder, music director, and conductor of Cappella Cantorum, Barry B. Asch, has announced his retirement from the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.  Asch has conducted the MasterWorks Chorus for 47 years during which time over 65 major choral works have been performed. 

The inaugural performance was March 1970 with Schubert’s Mass in E Flat.  Asch formed the popular Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus in 1977, and the SummerSings series in 1987.  Both events still continue.

The Eighth Annual Messiah Sing or Listen in 2016 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center was nearly filled to capacity.  This favorite holiday tradition was conducted and organized by Asch.  ‘The Kate’ will host the ninth annual event on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.

Group sessions and vocal classes have been offered to Cappella members with renowned soprano Patricia Schuman and tenor Brian Cheney.

Asch began Cappella Cantorum’s European Concert Tours in 1981.  The tours are currently organized by member Patricia Hill of Madison.

Simon Holt has been named the new Musical Director of Cappella Cantorum.

A highlight of Cappella Cantorum was performing five concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York City with Mid-America Productions.  This opportunity was initiated by Asch.

Cappella Cantorum has represented 20 communities throughout southeastern Connecticut.

Simon Holt, artistic director of Salt Marsh Opera and director of music at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, will be the new music director of the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus.

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Play Live Jazz at Shoreline Community Center’s Drop-In Session, Aug. 17

There will be a Live Jazz Session Thursday, Aug. 17, at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave., Old Lyme, starting at 7 p.m. Piano, guitar, bass and drum musicians are invited to drop by and jam all evening.

Bring refreshments, enjoy the music, and even dance if you want!

This is a fundraiser for the Community Center. The requested donation is $5.

For more information, call Rob at 860-710-1126.

This event is sponsored by the Sound View Beach Association, Inc.

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Paynter Fine Art Hosts Adi Dahlke Solo Show

Artwork by Adi Dahlke is on display in a solo show at Paynter Fine Art in Old Lyme.

Paynter Fine Art in Old Lyme presents a solo exhibition of new works by local artist Adi Dahlke from July 29 through Aug. 26.  The exhibition includes several pieces not previously displayed in a public setting.

Dahlke is a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2015.

Paynter Fine Art is located at 16 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

Gallery hours are 12 to 5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.

For more information, call (860) 322-9529 or email paynterfineart@gmail.com

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‘String of Pearls’ Plays ‘Summer Sounds’ Tonight at Lymes’ Senior Center

The ‘String of Pearls’ band will play at Lymes’ Senior Center, July 27.

Come and enjoy a summer evening at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd. for “Summer Sounds” — a five-week musical series.  All ages are welcome. Admission is free.

‘String of Pearls’ will present the fourth and final concert Thursday evening, July 27, starting at 7 p.m.  The band will play Big Band sounds

The Platinum Sponsor is Lymes’ Senior Center.

The Ice Cream Sponsor is the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee

Bring your chairs, blankets, dinner, etc. the performances will be held out on the lawn (weather permitting) or inside if the weather is inclement.

A free ice cream social will follow all concerts.

 

 

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‘Affordable Art’ by Local Seniors on Show at OL Town Hall Through August

This work by Jean McLean created during the art class taught at Lymes’ Senior Center is one of the signature pieces of the upcoming exhibition at Old Lyme Town Hall.

Students of classes from Lymes’ Senior Center under the instruction of local artist Sharon Schmiedel are hosting an exhibition of their artwork during the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival this year. 

Watercolor by George Kinser.

This year’s show is titled, “The Affordable Art Exhibit.”  

Students have been introduced to a variety of art mediums and encouraged to experiment, leading to an exciting and diverse show.

Artwork priced from $10 to $50 includes watercolors, drawings, acrylics, mixed media and pen and ink.

A portion of each sale will be donated to the Lymes’ Senior Center.  Each piece will be simply mounted and ready to hang.

The exhibit and sale will run through the end of August.  Contact information for any sale will be available at the exhibit.

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See Heartwrenching ‘West Side Story’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through July 30

Arianne Meneses (Consuelo) and Jason Daniel Rath* (Pepe) rehearse a scene from West Side Story.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City in the breathtaking musical, West Side Story, which opened at the Ivoryton Playhouse July 5. With book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the original 1957 Broadway production ran for over 700 performances before going on tour, and garnered six Tony nominations.

Mia Pinero makes her debut at Ivoryton as Maria in ‘West Side Story.’

The story is set in the Upper West Side of New York City in the mid-1950s and explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. When, Tony, a Jet, falls in love with Maria, a Shark, the young lovers struggle to keep their love alive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice.

The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre when it was first produced; West Side Story remains one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

The film version starring Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno won 10 Academy Awards and in 2009, Karen Olivo won a Tony for her portrayal of Anita in the Broadway revival.

Stephen Mir* plays Tony in the Ivoryton Playhouse production of ‘West Side Story’ opening July 5.

Stephen Mir* returns to Ivoryton to play the role of Tony and Mia Pinero* makes her Ivoryton debut in the role of Maria.

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Mike Morris, with set design by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Cipollina. Executive Producers are Michael A. Dattilo and Frank Perrotti

Tonight, Tonight, won’t be just any night!  Don’t miss the experience of this show live on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

West Side Story opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, July 5, and runs through Sunday, July 30. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

Pictures by Ivoryton Playhouse

Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.

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Lampos, Pearson Skillfully Bring The Lymes’ Revolutionary Role to Life in OL Library Talk

Michaelle Pearson and Jim Lampos gave a fascinating talk at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library last Tuesday.

Last Tuesday evening local authors and historians Michaelle Pearson and Jim Lampos gave a captivating talk to a packed house gathered at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library that took the audience back in time to pivotal turning points in the Revolutionary War involving the Lymes.

Husband and wife Pearson and Lampos asked their audience to imagine they were standing at the bend of the “Three roads” as it was then called — McCurdy, Lyme St. and Ferry Road — and then expertly described the street during an ordinary day in bustling colonial times.  Such was their storytelling expertise that as they spoke, you could almost see the shipbuilding on the river, merchant deliveries being made by horse-drawn wagons and the ferry making its way across to Saybrook.

Only then did you realize how much our town has changed … but at the same time, how much it has not changed at all. 

It is not always a given that writers are also good oral story tellers, but when you can almost hear the gallop of Israel Bissell — one of the five riders dispatched with Paul Revere — thundering down Lyme  Street with his call to arms, you know that Pearson and Lampos are exemplary at both and moreover their love of history so strong, that you can’t help but feel it too.

The intricate parts played and the powerful plans made by these memorable figures whom you have heard about all your life are exciting stuff! To know that all this was going on here in this town, shaping not just individual futures but the country’s too, summons up a host emotions.

Lampos and Pearson delivered an extraordinary history lesson that brought Lyme street into a “new light.“  When you have the chance, take the time to hear this talk and you will have a new appreciation for our town greens and the inspirational independence the Lymes had before, during and after the Revolutionary War … and continue to exhibit to this day.

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Ramblin’ Dan Stevens to be Inducted in CT Blues Hall of Fame This Evening in Old Lyme

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens (center) of Old Lyme will play at the ‘Rock The Dock’ event at Black Hall Outfitters this evening. Stevens will be inducted into the CT Blues Hall of Fame at the start of the evening.

This evening, veteran folk-blues musician Ramblin’ Dan Stevens of Old Lyme will be inducted into the Connecticut Blues Hall of Fame in a ceremony starting at 6 p.m. at Black Hall Outfitters on Shore Rd.(Rte. 156) in Old Lyme. All are welcome. Take a picnic and enjoy the beautiful location along with the sounds of music.

Ramblin’ Dan and a selection of his musician friends will give a concert after the ceremony.

 

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Ivoryton Playhouse Presents Dinner-Cabaret, ‘A Night on the Town,’ at ‘Water’s Edge,’ June 25

AREAWIDE — Ivoryton Playhouse, in a new partnership with Water’s Edge Resort,  will present a series of eight cabaret-style dinner theatre performances beginning Sunday, June 11, written for and performed exclusively at Water’s Edge.  This original series will showcase the professional talent of Ivoryton Playhouse performers and musicians in four unique events.

This original series of four uniquely themed productions celebrate a broad array of musical styles and genres:

Great Balls of Fire:
Sunday, June 11, and Sunday, June 18
‘50s Rock N’ Roll and so much more.

A Night on the Town:
Sunday, June 25 and Sunday, July 9
Featuring the musical inspiration of New York City.

That’s Amore:
Sunday, July 16 and Sunday, July 23
Favorites from opera and musical theatre celebrating all things Italian.

Sounds of the ‘70s:
Sunday, July 30 and Sunday, Aug. 13
Hits from the disco era.

Carly Callahan. Photograph courtesy of Carly Callahan

Each evening will feature a professional cast of performers, in addition to a trio led by Music Director, Eric Trudel and directed by Carly Callahan.

Cast members include Marsha Ackerman, Schuyler Beeman, Carly Callahan, Billy DiCrosta, Amy Maude Helfer, Kate Hubbard, Emily Johnson, Mia Pinero, Jorge Prego, Michael Scarcelle and Charlie Widmer.

“We have put together some great talent for these evenings, including cast members from our season, to bring the Water’s Edge audience a night of entertainment that they won’t forget,” said Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director of Ivoryton Playhouse.

Water’s Edge, previously known as Bill Hahn’s Hotel, was an entertainment destination in the 1940s and 50s and featured both up-and-coming singers and stars such as Henry Youngman, Art Carney and Barbra Streisand.  “We’re thrilled to revive the wonderful provenance of this resort, and look forward to entertaining a new audience inspired by Bill Hahn’s delightful evenings here decades ago”, said Hubbard.

Tickets are $69 per person, including dinner and the show, and can be purchased by calling Water’s Edge Resort at 860-399-5901.  Tickets are not available through the Ivoryton Playhouse website or theatre box office.

For more information, visit watersedgeresortandspa.com.

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‘Art in the Barn 2017’ Continues Today, Saturday in Lyme

‘Old Lyme Fish Market’ by Angie Falstrom.

On Thursday, June 15, the barn at 11 Sterling City Rd. in Lyme will open its doors to friends of local artists and artisans.

Birdhouse by Ben Kegley.

‘Rose Hips’ by Jodi Muench.

Works for sale will include Seana Bill’s handmade, one-of-a-kind wood furniture and accessories, Jodi Muench’s botanical watercolors, Ben Kegley’s rustic, whimsical cedar birdhouses, and Angie Falstrom’s miniature watercolors of local scenes.

Oak and steel coffee table by Seana Bill.

Logo for the Barn Show (copyright Angie Falstrom).

The show opens June 15, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and continues on Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

No parking is available on site.  Visitors to the show are asked to park on Sterling City Rd. or on the lawn of the First Congregational Church of Lyme.
For further information, call 860-434-3194.
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SummerSing Mozart’s Requiem This Evening, All Welcome

Summer Sing Mozart’s “Requiem” this evening at 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Road, Old Saybrook. This session will be conducted by Rachael Allen of Westbrook High School. All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work. Professional soloists often participate.

The event is co-sponsored by Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio. A $10 fee covers the costs of the event. Scores will be available, and the church is air-conditioned.

The next Summer Sing on Monday, June 19, will be conducted by Barry Asch of Cappella Cantorum directing the Lord Nelson Mass, by Haydn.

For more information call (860) 767-9409 or (203) 530-0002   or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.org

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Studio 80’s ‘Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017’ on View Through October

View of the Sculpture Grounds at Studio 80 where the Opening Reception for Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 will be hosted on June 10. Three works by Gilbert Boro can be seen in the photo.

Opening Reception Features Live Performances by GUSTO Dance & River Valley Dance Project 

Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, is hosting an Opening Reception on Saturday, June 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. for two new exhibitions on his property, Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 and The Golden Hour. All are welcome to attend the reception at which light refreshments will be served.

During the Opening Reception, there will be two live, outdoor performances at 6 and 7 p.m. by the GUSTO Dance & River Valley Dance Project. All are welcome to attend the reception, watch the dance performances and wander the beautiful gardens and on-site gallery to view the works.

GUSTO Dance & River Valley Dance Project will present two live performances on Saturday, June 10, at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds.

Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 follows on naturally from last year’s extremely successful juried exhibition of the same name , which drew large crowds and had to be extended into October to meet public demand.  This new exhibition on the grounds adjoining Boro’s studio and inside the Emily Seward Boro (ESB) Gallery on the property features works created by 17 widely acclaimed sculptors interspersed among Boro’s own sculptures, along with works by 22 other contributing artists.  More than 30 sculptors from across the country responded to the Call for Entries submitting some 60 works.

Boro’s expansive Sculpture Gardens are located on 4.5 acres of his residence on historic Lyme Street in the heart of Old Lyme, Conn.  The beautifully landscaped grounds slope down toward the Lieutenant River offering a unique en plein air experience for the exhibition, which combines both large- and small-scale contemporary sculptures. Many of the works, which are in a variety of media, are for sale.

In Love with an Idea’ is the signature mixed media piece in Susan Hickman’s ‘The Golden Hour’ exhibition on view in the ESB Gallery at the Sculpture Grounds during Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

A second exhibition will be on view in the ESB Gallery located on the Studio 80 grounds during the Showcase. “The Golden Hour” will feature mixed media works by talented indoor artist Susan Hickman, who was born a twin in rural Ohio.  She grew up in a small town and went on to study graphic design and photography at Ohio University.

Hickman moved to New York for a year before making her way up to the New England area where she has spent the last 15 years.  She is currently a resident artist of Hygienic Gallery in New London.  An eclectic mixed media artist working with paper, acrylic, ink, oils, found objects, graphic design, clothing design, photography and more, Hickman has also owned and managed several small galleries in New London including DEW ART Gallery, TAKEOUT Gallery and Down Gallery in Mystic.

She utilizes studio waste, discarded paintings, and found textiles as well as new ones, thus creating a restorative process, making something new from the past. She enjoys experimenting with texture and color and finds making art of any kind an exploration and an escape.

The sculptors and the title(s) of their work(s) included in the Showcase are as follows:
Michael Alfano • Fox
Greg Bailey • Green Descent
Henneke Beaumont • Connected-Disconnected
Brooke Bofill • Tension, Reveal
Jerry Erlich • Third Wheel
Denis Folz • Structured Form 1

‘Amulet’ by Gints Grinbergs is the signature piece of Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

Gints Grinbergs • Amulet, Stainless Steel Globes
Deborah Hornbake • Leap
David Judelson • Pablo
Elizabeth Knowles & William Thielen • Locating
Carlin Morris • Untitled
Christ Plaisted • Victorious Vine
Marcia Raff • 3’s a Crowd
Janet Rutkowski • Cymbalic Journey
Lisa Simonds • Silueta
Matthew Weber • Cedar Shingles & Shim Stacks
Melanie Zibit • Echo

The signature piece of the exhibition is Amulet by Gints Grinbergs, who works with a variety of metals, including copper, bronze, and stainless steel, to create open forms.  Welding metal spheres and partial spheres, he creates modern structures, for indoors or out. Fascinated by pictures taken by the Hubble telescope and electron microscopes, Grinbergs makes associations with galaxies and molecular structures. The combination of a modern metal structure with rough, natural stone make these works unique sculptural forms.

Grinbergs has a BFA and a BA. in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design and has studied at Massachusetts College of Art and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His work has been featured at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park; Michael Beauchemin Gallery, Boston; and Lever House Gallery, New York, N.Y. and is Included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

‘Green Descent’ by Greg Bailey is a featured piece in Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

Greg Bailey’s Green Descent is a striking work featuring elongated cones creating a continuum in the shape of an arc.  Bailey comments, “I am more than halfway through my life and besides some fleeting glimpses of awakening, I remain to be a predominantly unconscious individual. I am surprised that I have not grown past being manipulated by advertisements, angered by the news, or frustrated by the people around me. My hope is that by the end of my days I can learn to be present and at peace.”

He adds, “The production of art offers opportunities for discovering unconscious motivations and rationalizations. In this way, working in the studio is a practice of introspection and clarification.”

Fox by Michael Alfano is a delightful, engaging study in realism.  The sculptor explains that he has been, “… sculpting figures, monuments, and philosophical pieces for 20 years,” and comments, “If the artist taps into a universal truth, the piece is felt by everyone like clear mountain air.” He first studied at the Art Students League of New York with an emphasis on life size sculpture and anatomy.

His formal education continued at Boston University, and was augmented by internships with several prominent sculptors. He continues his training with master classes, and occasionally teaches sculpture.  Alfano exhibits his work at galleries and other public venues, and he is a regular entrant in art shows, where he has garnered over 60 awards.  His sculptures are found in private collections throughout the world and can be seen in monuments and other public art on permanent display in the United States.  Alfano’s work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, books, and on television.

‘Fox’ by Michael Alfano is a featured piece in Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017.

The jurors for the exhibition were sculptor Gilbert V. Boro, art historian Barbara Zabel and photographer Christina Goldberg.

Boro has enjoyed an extraordinary and distinguished more than 50-year-career as a successful architect, sought-after international design consultant and an inspiring educator.  With a BFA from Duke University and post-graduate degrees from Columbia University, NYC, his work explores the interplay of space, place and scale in a wide range of media including steel, stone, wood, metal, aluminum and fiberglass.

Working in sculpture has been a compulsion rather than a possibility for Boro.  While mastering the rigors of technical competence, he developed a deep-seated passion for three-dimensional art, which continues to be the influential force behind his creations. He is both inspired and motivated by the creative freedom of sculpting, finding that abstract work is the means to fulfill his vision.  Boro’s sculptures can be found in art centers and public art venues across the US and throughout Europe; they have also been purchased by private collectors, corporations and foundations in both the US and internationally.

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his studio.

Zabel is Professor Emerita of Art History at Connecticut College, where she taught modern and contemporary art.  She received her PhD at the University of Virginia and has received grants from the NEH, the Smithsonian, and the Mellon Foundation. She has written for art magazines and has published two books, the latest Calder’s Portraits, published in 2011 by the Smithsonian for the exhibition she curated at the National Portrait Gallery.

Since her retirement, Professor Zabel has taught several courses at local museums and has organized several exhibitions for the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, most recently The David Smalley Memorial Exhibition, which opens June 3 and is on view through Aug. 13.

Goldberg has worked as Exhibitions Coordinator and resident photographer for Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds for almost five years.  She is chief curator of Summer Sculpture Showcase 2017 and also photographs all the works exhibited on the sculpture grounds on a revolving basis. Additionally, she builds and designs web content for a great range of social media outlets, both for Studio 80 and external clients.

With a background in visual arts and communications from the University of Hartford Art School and Suffolk University, Goldberg’s photographs have been published extensively in numerous local print and digital venues including Coastal Connecticut magazine, Middletown Press, and Events magazine. A selection of her photographs will be on display in the coming months at Paynter Fine Art Gallery, located in the heart of Old Lyme’s Historical District.

View across Gil Boro’s Sculpture Grounds looking towards Studio 80.

This Summer Sculpture Showcase offers a unique opportunity for established sculptors to exhibit their work in a different location, while also effectively creating a new exhibition within the Sculpture Gardens.  Boro comments, “I’m delighted to be able to open my grounds to these exceptional sculptors whose work intrigues me.  Each one offers original creative thinking resulting in a combination of contrasting conceptual designs in a variety of media.  I think any visitor to the exhibition is going to be thoroughly engaged by what he or she sees – including children.”

Boro is somewhat unusual as a professional sculptor in that he loves to see folk of all ages directly interacting with his sculptures, noting that he has a strong aversion to exhibitions, “… where people can’t touch my work.”  Apart from attracting visitors to see the works on his grounds, Boro is thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and hopes this exhibition will help cement the town as a summer destination for art-loving visitors from near and far, especially during the town’s Midsummer Festival, which this year is on Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29.

About Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds:  Located at 80-1 Lyme St., less than a minute from Exit 70 on I-95, the Sculpture Grounds are open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is free.  Children, field trips and group visits are all welcome. The Studio is open by appointment.  For further information, contact 860-434-5957, visit www.sculpturegrounds.com or email studio80sculpturegrounds@gmail.com

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New Exhibition Devoted to Environmentally-Conscious Artists on View at Florence Griswold Museum

Fidelia Bridges, Wild Roses Among Rye, 1874. Watercolor and gouache over pencil on paper, 13 1/2 x 9 in. Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, 2002.1.13

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., presents a major exhibition entitled Flora/Fauna: The Naturalist Impulse in American Art, on view June 3 through Sept. 17, 2017. Drawn extensively from the Museum’s collection, as well as many public and private lenders, the 101 works in the exhibition survey the history of environmentally-conscious artists in the United States from the dawn of the 19th century through the mid-20th century.

Flora/Fauna begins with early-American artists such as the Peale family, John James Audubon and their contemporaries, then examines the naturalist impulse in works by the Hudson River School, American Pre-Raphaelites, and American Impressionist artists before featuring select 20th-century artist-naturalists such as Roger Tory Peterson, creator of widely-used bird guides.

Works in the exhibition reveal how artistic production corresponded with social developments in American history, from an early concern with establishing a national identity distinct from Europe; to reflecting Americans’ shifting philosophies on evolution and the human relationship to the environment; to the growth of the conservation movement in the United States.

The Artist-Naturalist in Early America

The birth of natural history in America coincided with the founding of the country. Such artists as Mark Catesby, William Bartram, the Peale family, Alexander Wilson, and John James Audubon participated in the American Enlightenment by pioneering many of the country’s firsts—the first natural history publications, institutions, and environmental experiments. Scientists quickly realized that they needed the assistance of artist-naturalists to give visual form to their discoveries and disseminate that knowledge through books, botanic gardens, lectures, and museum displays.

During this age of Enlightenment, many political leaders, including Thomas Jefferson, looked to natural history to help forge the identity of the new nation. Not surprisingly, the country’s first scientific center developed in and around its first capital. Philadelphia attracted the brightest intellectual, scientific, and artistic minds that formed a network of new professionals. Works in this section by the Bartram, the Barton, and the Peale families reveal that the forging of an American natural history was often a ‘family affair’ facilitated by personal relationships.

Titian Ramsay Peale’s, Monarch Butterfly [No. 16], 1817 (American Philosophical Society Library) a work from an entomological sketchbook, demonstrates how artists participated in the discovery, documentation, and collection of natural specimens. The sketch shows the monarch at different stages of life. Beneath the illustration, he wrote his scientific observation: “Went into the Chrysalis state on the 4th of September­—and became perfect on the 13th of the same month.”

Nature’s Nation: The Hudson River School

Building on the documentary and aesthetic achievements of the artist-naturalists before them, the Hudson River School painters sought to capture what was unique about the American land—its vast, untouched wilderness. The group who has become known as the Hudson River School first took up this task around the mid-19th century. Based in and around New York City, they traveled to such areas as the Hudson River Valley of New York and the White Mountains of New Hampshire to experience expansive American scenery firsthand.

Their resulting paintings symbolically linked the natural landscape to concepts of nationalism and environmentalism, equating the American landscape with American identity. For Hudson River School painters, pictorializing nature in the United States became a mode of social and environmental criticism that reflected scientific and ecological questions of the time, and laid the roots for the American conservation movement as well as the national park system.

Beginning with Thomas Cole’s allegorical admonitions about man’s intrusion on nature, others such as Asher B. Durand and Frederic Church evolved to value realism over metaphor, reflecting their firsthand observations of American scenery in highly detailed paintings both modest and vast—finding beauty in nature’s growth and decay.

Martin Johnson Heade, Jungle Orchids and Hummingbirds, 1872. Oil on canvas, 18 1/4 x 23 in. Yale University Art Gallery, Christian A. Zabriskie and Francis P. Garvan, B.A. 1897, M.A. (Hon.) 1922, Funds

Martin Johnson Heade can be called a quintessential artist-naturalist. His inventive combination of elements of scientific illustration (in his exactness of representation), his dramatic use of still life elements (birds and flowers), and his evocative placement of them in their natural environment gave his works a power not seen before in American painting. These traits are exemplified in Jungle Orchids and Hummingbirds, 1872 (Yale University Art Gallery).

Truth to Nature: American Pre-Raphaelites & Beyond

Many of the Hudson River School artists were aware of the writings of the English artist and critic John Ruskin, one of the most significant voices in the 19th century art world. Ruskin’s works spanned a variety of topics from art, architecture, and natural history (including geology, botany, and ornithology) to religion, myth, and politics. His most influential and widely read text, Modern Painters (1843), emphasized the connections between art, nature, and society, and advocated for artists to uphold a “truth to nature” in their work.

Ruskin’s pledge to a morally and socially committed art led him to reject the artifice of “decorative” art in favor of an art with an authentic source, such as nature itself. His followers in the United States, the American Pre-Raphaelites, produced landscape, still life, and studies that utilized a meticulousness of detail gleaned from their close study of nature en plein air.

Prior to his involvement in the arts, Ruskin had contemplated becoming a geologist. In the 19th century, geology was considered a gentlemanly endeavors that many artists, including the Hudson River School and the American Pre-Raphaelites, pursued. As works in this section show, careful studies exposing evidence of the artist’s process were as highly valued as finished works. In additional to geology, botany became an enormously popular genteel hobby, and developed into a status symbol.

These pursuits enabled the success of nature illustrators like Fidelia Bridges, who brought these topics to mass-marketed periodicals and, thus, into thousands of American homes.  A rare portfolio of Bridges’ work in the collection of the Florence Griswold Museum has been newly conserved and will be on view for the public for the first time. Ruskin and his American followers employed a scrupulous observation of nature from life in order to convey the ‘truths’ of their subjects’ identities, as seen in Bridges’s Thistle in a Field, 1875 (Florence Griswold Museum).

Impressionism & The Naturalist Impulse in Connecticut

While the “naturalist impulse” most often yielded a work of art that appeared naturalistic, or true to nature in a scientific sense, this exhibition allows for an expanded definition to include works that may be deemed “impressions” of nature. Like artists of previous generations in Europe, the American Impressionists found art colonies in the suburbs and countryside to be restorative retreats, where they could immerse themselves in nature and enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded colleagues.

Around 1900, the natural landscape of Old Lyme perfectly fulfilled that need for artists. Not coincidentally, many artists who frequented art colonies, like Willard Metcalf, Childe Hassam, and Harry Hoffman, were also practicing naturalists, to varying degrees.

Drawer 1B, containing bird eggs collected by William L. Metcalf in Giverny and Grez-sur-Loing from Metcalf’s Naturalist Collection Chest, ca. 1885–1925. Mahogany wood drawer, 18 x 13 3/4 in. Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of Mrs. Henriette A. Metcalf

The consummate artist-naturalist of the Lyme Art Colony was Willard Metcalf. On view in Flora/Fauna is the cabinet housing his collection of specimens. One drawer contains thirty-eight glass-mounted moths, many with furry bodies and wings still displaying their original deep gold, bright yellow, or rosy pink pigments. A second drawer reveals thirty-two pink cigarette boxes containing the tiny eggs of such birds as the English Sparrow and the creamy blue eggs of a Redstart.

Metcalf translated his love of the natural world to his artwork. He painted Kalmia (Florence Griswold Museum) in 1905, the first summer he stayed at Florence Griswold’s boardinghouse with the keen observations of one very much attuned to their environment. In Kalmia, Metcalf captures the smooth, blue Lieutenant River reflecting the calm sky, while fluffy white and pink blossoms and green grasses appear to breathe in the spring air.

The exhibition concludes with the artist-naturalist tradition that persisted into the 20th century and still thrives today in the Connecticut River Valley. Roger Tory Peterson, who inspired the environmental movement with his activities as a naturalist, educator, and artist, purchased 70 acres of property in Old Lyme in 1954. Peterson published the first modern field guide, A Field Guide to the Birds; giving field marks of all species found in eastern North America in 1934 and developed the Peterson Identification System so that amateurs and professionals could identify species visually for close observation without hunting them.

Drawer 1B, containing bird eggs collected by William L. Metcalf in Giverny and Grez-sur-Loing from Metcalf’s Naturalist Collection Chest, ca. 1885–1925. Mahogany wood drawer, 18 x 13 3/4 in. Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of Mrs. Henriette A. Metcalf

Satin Bowerbird, (Private Collection), created for reproduction in his 1964 bookThe World of Birds, is a simplified scene illustrating two birds interacting in their environment. These guides helped to popularize the pastime of bird watching and cultivate a national interest in wildlife.

Continued Awareness

When members of the Lyme Art Colony made nature the focus of their practice, they were drawing on an American tradition that began 100 years earlier with some of the country’s first artist-naturalists and explorers. Today, issues of climate change, land conservation, and preservation of endangered species and habitats have acquired new urgency in the 21st century, making the chronicling of America’s natural history through art more relevant than ever.

The Florence Griswold Museum remains dedicated to the pursuits of the artist-naturalist by fostering the understanding of American art with an emphasis on the art, history, and landscape of Connecticut.

Flora/Fauna: The Naturalist Impulse in American Art is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue authored by the exhibition’s curator, Jennifer Stettler Parsons, Ph.D., with additional essays by Ellery Foutch, Ph.D. (Middlebury College), and Amy Kurtz Lansing (Florence Griswold Museum). Copies of the catalogue are available from the Museum’s website (www.florencegriswoldmuseum.org) or at the Museum’s Shop.

For related programming see FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org.

The exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, Bank of America, the Rudolph and John Dirks Fund of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, the Nika P. Thayer Exhibition and Publication Fund, and the Connecticut Office of the Arts. Additional support has been generously provided by a group of individual donors that are helping to advance the Museum’s mission through special exhibitions.

Editor’s Note: The recipient of a Trip Advisor 2016 Certificate of Excellence, the Florence Griswold Museum has been called a “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, the Museum features a gallery for changing art exhibitions, education and landscape centers, a restored artist’s studio, 13 acres along the Lieutenant River, and extensive gardens. Its seasonal Café Flo was recognized as “best hidden gem” and “best outdoor dining” by Connecticut Magazine. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut. 

Visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for more information.

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