March 8, 2021

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Students Win Major Awards in 2021 CT Scholastic Art Contest

‘Paige’ by Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Connie Pan received a prestigious Gold Key in the 2021 Scholastic Art Awards. Pan also won the ‘Best in Portfolio’ award.

LYME/OLD LYME — Four Lyme-Old Lyme High School students (LOLHS) will be recognized this evening at the 2021 Connecticut Scholastic Art contest’s virtual awards celebration, which celebrates the work of talented young artists in the state in grades 7 through 12.

Senior Connie Pan was awarded the Best in Portfolio award as well as Gold Keys in both the Drawing and Portfolio categories. She also earned one of two cash scholarships from Connecticut Woman Artists, as well as a scholarship offer from the University of Hartford Art School.

‘Rosenberg #2’ by LOLHS senior Olivia Bartlett was awarded a Gold Key in Mixed Media for the piece above. She also received a Gold Key in the Portfolio category and a Silver Key in Mixed Media.

Senior Olivia Bartlett earned Gold Keys in both the Portfolio and Mixed Media categories, and a Silver Key in the Mixed Media category along with a University of Hartford scholarship offer.

‘Mr. Cheney’ by Aidan Powers received a Gold Key in the Digital category.

Senior Aidan Powers earned both a Gold Key and an Honorable Mention in the Digital Media category, and senior Marina Melluzzo earned a Silver Key in the Ceramics and Glass category.

‘Invasion’ by Marina Melluzzo won a Silver Key in the Ceramics category.

Asked his reaction to the remarkable number of top awards earned by his students, LOLHS Art Department Chair William Allik told LymeLine exclusively, “We are very proud of both the winning students and several others whose portfolios were not included in this year’s show.”

He continued, “The jurying is inherently subjective, but this was a great year for Olivia Bartlett and Connie Pan — portfolio students whose work couldn’t be more different, yet who both show the development of traditional skills that we value here at LOLHS.”

Allik added, “Connie Pan is one of our top students academically, and this Best Portfolio award is a great validation of her choice to consider studying art in college. Our students don’t always get up [to Hartford] to see the competition, but the virtual exhibition is allowing all to see this year’s show.”

‘Catfishing’ by Connie Pan was included in her award-winning portfolio.

In light of the vastly increased accessibility the online nature of this year’s show has offered, Allik noted, “I hope they consider maintaining an online exhibit alongside future physical shows.”

‘Clown to Clown Conversation’ by Olivia Bartlett was included in her portfolio.

The Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards Program is sponsored by the Connecticut Art Education Association and is an affiliate of The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Student artwork is juried by professional artists and university art faculty and selected on merit for inclusion in a statewide art exhibition usually held ‘in person’ at the Hartford Art School, but this year the event has been hosted exclusively online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Beyond the honor of being chosen for this highly selective exhibit, students are eligible for Gold or Silver Keys and Honorable Mention awards in each of 17 media categories.

The winners of Gold Keys will subsequently have their artwork submitted digitally to the National  Scholastic Art Awards where they will be juried against Gold Key winners from all 50 states. In a reflection of the extremely high standards adhered to by the jurors, only eight portfolios in the Connecticut contest were awarded Gold Keys this year.

This year’s show can be viewed online at www.ctartawardsexhibit.net

Editor’s Notes: i) Here at LymeLine, we send hearty congratulations to all the exceptional artists, who were either award-winners or participated in the contest.

ii) This article is based on a press release issued by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

Musical Masterworks Video of February Concert in Old Lyme Now Available for Viewing

Rieko Aizawa plays the piano in the February ‘Musical Masterworks’ concert.

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks welcomes Rieko Aizawa on piano, Todd Palmer on clarinet and Edward Arron on cello for their concert video, which was filmed from the stage of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

The concert video features the music of Mozart, Bernstein, Kenji Bunch and Brahms

This performance was filmed in mid-February and the link to the virtual concert is now available to ticket buyers.  The video can be enjoyed for three weeks and watched as many times as one wishes. 

Ticket holders can experience Musical Masterworks in a whole new way: the audio-video production team creates an intimate concert experience, providing a virtual front row seat, featuring the performers’ exceptional artistry.

In March and May, Musical Masterworks will feature a selection of favorite artists, including baritone Randall Scarlata, Gilles Vonsattel and Jeewon Park on piano and Tessa Lark on violin, performing music from Bach to Corigliano.

The Musical Masterworks season runs through May 2021. 

To purchase a video mini-subscription ($100 each), individual video tickets ($40 each), or student tickets ($5 each), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

If Anthony Capella be ‘The Food of Love,’ Then Read On (With Apologies to Shakespeare)

Editor’s Note: Today is Valentine’s Day – a day of love that’s often intertwined with food. Our wonderful book guru of yesteryear, Jennifer Petty Hilger, wrote this review back in 2009.

We are republishing it today since it is the perfect book for Valentine’s Day. Set in Rome, this tangled love story entices us to “Pretend we’re going out to lunch,” so we can, “Forget New England in February” … an invitation we will not hesitate to accept!

Ah, Capella.  Really, how could I resist?

Anthony Capella is either a very good cook or a very good storyteller.

Possibly both.

“The Food of Love” is a nice, light read about love and food.

It’s a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac set in Rome and Laura is an American art history student, who wants to be seduced by the city. Tomasso is an Italian waiter, who is happy to help. Bruno is the brilliant chef, who aids and abets.

Bruno cooks, Laura swoons and Tomasso gets the glory and the girl. Bruno cannot tell Laura how he really feels or that the food she loves is his.

Tomasso cannot stay faithful. The web of love and deceit is woven and they all must find their own ways out.

The fun of the book is in the escapist life in Italy and in the food.

Why sit here in the snow when we can pretend we are eating outstanding Frutti di Mare on the beach in Italy?

No reason at all.

The Food of Love is a quick read with some delightful interludes. Don’t worry that the story isn’t too deep or too original.

Focus on the Spaghetti all’Amatriciana, Fritto Misto, Oca in Potacchio and Pappardelle con Sugo de Lepre. Pretend we are going out to lunch and forget New England in February.

Lyme Academy Enters New Era, Names Mora Rowe as Executive Director to Launch Programs, Re-engage With Community

Mora Rowe is the new Executive Director of Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

OLD LYME — Lyme Academy of Fine Arts (LAFA) in Old Lyme is on the brink of an exciting new era — and yet, at the same time, it is, in essence, a renaissance of the principles on which the Academy was founded.

After 18 months of strategic planning and a recent change in leadership on the board of trustees, the LAFA Board of  Trustees has structured a new plan reflective of the Academy’s original mission and hired both an Executive Director and an Artistic Director in anticipation of reopening with new programming in September 2021.

On Feb. 8, 2021, Mora Rowe joined Lyme Academy as Executive Director for the school. Most recently, she served as the director of economic development for the City of Auburn, Calif., and was previously the executive director and chief executive officer of Placer County Visitors Bureau in Auburn, Calif. She relocated to Essex in December 2019. 

Rowe spoke with LymeLine yesterday saying, “It’s been a wonderful, though somewhat exhausting, week. The staff has done a fantastic job [during the period since the University of New Haven withdrew from its relationship with LAFA], but now we will be working rapidly to reengage with our stakeholders and the community. We are fortunate to  have an active, passionate board that is ready to go.”

Asked how she felt about her appointment, Rowe responded, “I am honored and excited for the role,” adding that she was eagerly looking forward to, “Implementing the Board’s plan for LAFA and supporting the artistic vision of our new Artistic Director, Jordan Sokol.” 

She added, “I have many ideas for community engagement and look forward to working with the other established organizations in the region.” 

In terms of her management style, Rowe explained, “I’ve always looked at management and leadership as a servant role,” noting, “Instead of people working to serve a leader, the leader works to serve the organization.”

The Board has developed a 10-point manifesto for, “The revival of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts as it plans for its 50th anniversary in 2026,” said Michael Duffy, who was elected board chair in December. 

The plan includes adhering to the mission of founder Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, an acclaimed sculptor, who founded the school in 1976 based on her philosophy that artists needed to be educated in the fundamentals of representational and figurative art forms, a curriculum she believed was in danger of disappearing in contemporary art education.

“There is a need for Lyme Academy’s mission today, as an academy, not a college,” said Duffy.  These are the first two points of the manifesto and reflect the board’s desire to reestablish the academy model at LAFA rather than an accredited College.

A delighted Duffy, who lives in Old Lyme, commented on Rowe’s appointment, saying exclusively by email to LymeLine, “[She] is exactly the right person to lead the Lyme Academy: she is hard-working, brimming with ideas and passionate about the Academy’s mission.”

He expanded on that mission, saying, “Our vision is that by Lyme Academy’s 50th anniversary in 2026, it will be known nationally and internationally for the excellence of its teaching and that it will once again become a beloved and vibrant hub of the Old Lyme community.”

Duffy concluded, “Working with our Artistic Director, Jordan Sokol, Mora’s leadership will help to bring that vision to life.”

Laura Lee Miller of Lyme, LAFA Board of Trustees Vice Chair, continued Duffy’s positive theme in an email saying enthusiastically, “With energetic new leadership and a fully engaged Board of Trustees, Lyme Academy of Arts is prepared to relaunch with robust art programming in fall 2021 and with a renewed commitment to the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme and our cultural partners in the community.”

She added, “We want to re-activate our campus as a center of fine arts education and a community hub and we welcome ideas from our neighbors in Lyme and Old Lyme.”

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is entering an exciting new era with the appointment of Executive Director Mora Rowe and Artistic Director Jordan Sokol. File photo.

The new LAFA program will look to enroll full-time students each year in what is expected to be a two-year core program. As the exact programming evolves, the tuition will be determined.  

Other goals in the manifesto include “serving the needs of many kinds of students,” which will include young artists programs and classes open to the public, reconnecting with the Academy alumni and investing in career development for graduates of the Academy. 

Rowe added, “We are interested in ideas and activities that could transform the LAFA campus into a vibrant community hub. This might include a seasonal Farmer’s Market, concerts on the green, or an invitation to read a book while sitting in one of our colorful Adirondack chairs on campus. There are so many possibilities for our campus in town.”

Standing together in the Sculpture Studio at Lyme Academy are noted painter Jordan Sokol (right) and his wife, Amaya Gurpide, an acclaimed artist. Sokol is the new Artistic Director and Deane Keller Chair at the Academy and Gurpide will serve as the Academy’s Director of Drawing. Photo by Rick Lacey III.

Jordan Sokol, a painter, is the newly appointed Artistic Director for the school, and his wife, artist Amaya Gurpide, will serve as the director of drawing at the school. The couple have a four-year-old son and have relocated to Old Lyme from Jersey City where Sokol served as academic director of The Florence Academy of Art and also an adjunct professor at the New York Academy of Art.

Sokol said that when he was a student, the model of an academy — as opposed to a college — fulfilled the type of education for which he was looking. Having  studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, and taught there after he graduated. he noted, “I find that a lot of my students are not interested in the degree, they’re interested in learning how to paint so that they can pursue their dream and so [a degree] is not as important as the skills they acquire.”

Rowe added that the academy model reflected trends in the marketplace. “So many industries are going back to the crafts and trades, learning a set of skills,” she said. “This is foundational, and I don’t think that goes out of style. It is becoming more popular and it is more affordable.”

She concluded emphatically, “The fact that you are working with exceptional artists in their own right — I don’t think that’s a hard sell.”

About the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts: Founded in 1976 by esteemed sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located in historic Old Lyme, CT, which has been a vibrant center for the arts and artists in Southeastern Connecticut for more than 100 years. Lyme Academy upholds the standard of a Classic Fine Arts education offering a variety of programs under the guidance of master artists, who share a deep respect for both traditional and innovative forms of teaching. The Academy has been providing students with the necessary foundation and skills to develop their own unique visual expression for nearly 50 years. 

Lyme Academy of Fine Art is located at 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut.

For more information about Lyme Academy’s past, present and future, visit lymeacademy.edu or call 860.434.5232.

Editor’s Note: This article is based in part on a press release issued by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Lyme Land Trust Launches ‘Imagining Lyme’ Photography Program to Increase Visual Awareness

“Lyme Triangle” by Wendolyn Hill.

LYME — The Lyme Land Trust program Imagining Lyme: A Visual Exploration of Lyme’s Preserves encourages everyone to expand their visual awareness and highlight the beauty of the Lyme preserves owned by the Lyme Land Trust, the Town of Lyme and The Nature Conservancy.

The method of doing this is by taking photographs prompted by inspiration from Joe Standart, a professional photographer and Land Trust Board Member.

There will be a different category each season, with related tips from Standart. Explore the details, watch videos of his photography tips, and try the first challenge, all of which can be found at this website.

The first challenge, for Fall/Winter 2020-2021, is “Light: How to use light to express a mood.” The deadline for submission of photos for the first challenge is March 19, 2021. 

A new challenge for the Spring season will be announced on March 20.

All submitted photos will be showcased in an online gallery hosted by the Land Trust. Three “Photos of distinction” in each specific category will be chosen quarterly based upon the criteria of emotional impact and creative design.   

A ‘Photo of the Year’ will be chosen by the Lyme Land Trust membership.  Those chosen will also receive a framed print of their photo.

Rules and upload instructions are on the website.

Two New Shows on View at Lyme Art Association: ‘First Impressions’ & ‘New Elected Artists’

‘September’s Sunflowers’ is one of the features works in the New Elected Artists Show opening at the Lyme Art Association, Jan. 15.

OLD LYME — On Friday, Jan. 15, two new shows open at the Lyme Art Association (LAA).

The First Impressions Exhibition is a juried exhibition of the Association’s Associate Artist members, accomplished artists who have been successfully exhibiting in selective shows at the Lyme Art Association for a number of years. This exhibit will include a variety of media and themes: landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture.

The New Elected Artists show in the Goodman Gallery will present work from four new Elected Artists. This year the Elected Artists welcome Michael Centrella, Jacqueline Jones, Susan Termyn, and Len Swec into this most selective and talented group of artists. Both exhibits run through March 11, 2021.

 

‘Foxglove’ by Betsy Barry is one of the featured works in the ‘First Impressions’ exhibition opening Jan. 15, at the LAA

“The Annual Associate Artists Exhibition highlights the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members. This exhibition includes a variety of subjects, media, and styles: paintings or sculptures that capture the range of human emotion, the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life,” notes Jocelyn Zallinger, LAA’s Gallery Manager.

She adds, “The New Elected Artists show in the Goodman Gallery promises to be impressive; our new class of Elected Artists is very accomplished.”

First Impressions and New Elected Artists are on view through March 11, 2021. Visitors to the LAA are asked to wear a face covering when visiting and practice social distancing.

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 LAA is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an 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

Acclaimed Singer Brian Cheney of Lyme Performs ‘A Century on Broadway’ with Pianist Cathy Venable; Free on YouTube

Brian Cheney of Lyme, Conn.

LYME — One hundred years, 11 decades, and over five hours of performing!

Those numbers represent the efforts of internationally-acclaimed crossover artist, Brian Cheney of Lyme and Broadway pianist, Cathy Venable of Tulsa, Okla., who, in a remarkable collaboration, have recorded an entire catalogue of a century of hits from musical theater.

The finished product, titled A Century On Broadway, is now available as a YouTube Playlist at this link.

Asked in an interview conducted electronically how the project came about, Cheney explained, “In the beginning of April I discovered a platform for artists to perform and broadcast from their homes. It’s called Stageit and it’s been ideal for me to use.” It’s a “Pay What You Can” site and I typically perform half-hour concert programs.”

He continued, “Since April, I have performed 25 individual programs ranging from opera, operetta and classical art song to Musical Theater and wonderful music from Movie Musicals. After my 10th program, I discovered a way for me to collaborate with one of my favorite artists.”

Cathy Venable of Tulsa, Okla.

Cheney went on to to say that the artist’s name is Cathy Venable and note that she is not only, “a Broadway pianist and conductor,” but also, “Someone I have performed concert programs with many times in the past.” Working together — but geographically separated — during the COVID-19 pandemic in their home studios respectively in Lyme, Conn., and Tulsa, Okla., Cheney and Venable determined to give the concept of a joint venture “a try.”

Their first performance was, in Cheney’s words, “A wonderful English Song Cycle by Ralph Vaughan Williams called “The Songs of Travel,” and from the moment that was completed, Cheney says enthusiastically, “We’ve never looked back!”

The critically acclaimed duo have now completed 11 segments of Broadway songs with each one spanning a decade from the 1910s through the 2010s. Each decade can be accessed separately on the YouTube link and each offers a variety of numbers — some well-known, others less so — from that decade.  View the full list of songs for each decade at this link.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the complete works are offered on YouTube at no charge. People can enjoy them as many times as they wish at no charge. Asked why he and Venable had made the decision to do that, Cheney responded, “Cathy and I realized that once we started performing different Musical Theater Decades programs that it would be a wonderful idea for us to look at an entire century of the evolution of the Broadway Musical. We premiered each program on Stageit to amazing audiences and some really fantastic industry people as well.”

Noting that, “In attendance were people like, Andy Einhorn (an incredible music director on Broadway) Ron Young (an original cast member for Hello Dolly) and many more, Cheney added, “We realized that we had something very special and so we decided to offer it for free on YouTube … it’s a wonderful retrospective of how the Broadway musical has evolved and changed over a century.

Described as a “crossover” artist, meaning he is “a student of style as well as having a very strong command of vocal technique,” Cheney can move effortlessly across different styles of music. He credits Jerry Hadley, whom he describes as, “my mentor and [a] legendary tenor,” with his own ability to move seamlessly between opera, Broadway musicals, and other musical genres.

Cheney, who moved with his family to Lyme in 2012, is sought-after opera singer both nationally and internationally. He has also immersed himself in the local community, directing musicals in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, singing regularly at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, and supporting numerous local non-profits including High Hopes with sold-out performances.

With The Daily Gazette saying, “Cheney’s voice was like spun gold,” KUSC Los Angeles stating that Cheney is, “The next great tenor,” and Broadway World commenting, “When Broadway opens again, there will surely be a spotlight begging for Brian Cheney,” it seems certain that A Century On Broadway will be a major success.

We heartily recommend readers to take this special opportunity to enjoy a real gift of music!

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Names Noted Painter Jordan Sokol as Artistic Director 

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has named noted painter Jordan Sokol (right) as its Artistic Director and Deane Keller Chair. His wife, Amaya Gurpide, an acclaimed artist, will also join the Academy’s faculty as the Director of Drawing.

OLD LYME: The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has hired noted painter Jordan Sokol to be its Artistic Director and Deane Keller Chair. Sokol, who currently resides in the New York area, will be moving to the Lyme/Old Lyme area with his wife, Amaya Gurpide, herself an acclaimed artist, who will be joining the faculty as the Academy’s Director of Drawing.

In doing so, the two are part of a tradition of husband and wife teams at Lyme Academy that dates back to its founding when Elizabeth Gordon  Chandler launched the school with her husband and teaching partner Laci de Gerenday.  

“We received dozens of serious applicants from around the world for this role,” said new board chair Michael Thomas Duffy, who was part of the Artistic Director search committee.

Duffy continued, “The applicants included artists and teachers from Australia, Italy and throughout the US, and we then interviewed five finalists. The committee was unanimous in selecting Jordan and thrilled that Amaya would also bring her talents to Lyme Academy. This sets the tone for what is to come.” 

Sokol and Gurpide expect to assume their new responsibilities on Feb. 1, 2021 and will immediately begin planning the Academy’s programming for the summer and fall, anticipating a lifting of the COVID  restrictions that have hobbled in-person instruction globally since the onset of the pandemic.

The exact timing of their arrival depends in part on their ability to find a place to live, which is proving challenging  given the overheated housing market in Connecticut.  

The two were introduced to the Academy’s Board of Trustees and local supporters at a virtual Zoom  event hosted by Duffy. The online gathering featured celebrated artist T. Allen Lawson, who studied at Lyme Academy in the 1980s.

Lawson led a wide-ranging conversation with Sokol and Gurpide on art and painting that touched on their influences (Wyeth, Valasquez) and their vision for the future.

The Academy intends to matriculate a selective class of no more than 20 full-time students in the fall of 2021.

Sokol commented, “I’ve been teaching for the last 14 years at both the Florence Academy and now at the  New York Academy. I am looking forward to bringing all that I know to my position as Artistic  Director of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. It is humbling to me to be following in the footsteps of the superb artists, who led and taught at the Academy in the past, including Deane Keller.” 

Founded in 1976 by esteemed sculptor Elisabeth Gordon  Chandler, the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located in historic Old Lyme, Conn., which has been a vibrant center for the arts and artists in Southeastern Connecticut for more than 100 years. The Lyme Academy upholds the standard of a Classic Fine Arts education offering a variety of programs under the guidance of master  artists, who share a deep respect for both traditional and innovative forms of teaching. The Academy has been providing students with the necessary foundation and skills to develop their own unique visual  expression for nearly 50 years. 

Lyme Academy of Fine Art is located at 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme Conn. For more information about Lyme Academy’s past, present and future, visit their website or call 860.434.5232.

Musical Masterworks Changes Upcoming Program Due to COVID Constraints; Park, Arron Will Now Play Works by Beethoven, Schumann & Franck

Edward Aaron and Jeewon Park

OLD LYME — In a change from the originally scheduled program, Musical Masterworks now looks forward to welcoming Jeewon Park (piano) and Edward Arron (cello) to the stage of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme with a seasonal performance of Beethoven, Schumann and Franck.

Musical Masterworks Marketing Director Robbin Myers explains in an email to LymeLine.com, “The health and wellbeing of our artists is of critical importance to us so we have decided that long-distance flight travel [required by several of the previously scheduled performers] is not prudent during this difficult time.”

She then notes that, since they live locally, the husband and wife duo of Arron and Park are able to travel safely by car to the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme,
This concert video will be released to ticket buyers on Jan. 2, 2021 and available for viewing for the following three weeks. The video can be watched as many times as one wishes. 
The revised program for this concert is detailed below:
Edward Arron, cello
Jeewon Park, piano

Ludwig van Beethoven: 12 Variations on ‘See the conqu’ring hero comes’ from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, WoO 45 (1796)

Robert Schumann: Three Fantasy Pieces for Cello and Piano, Opus 73

César Franck: Sonata in A Major for Violin (played on Cello) and Piano

Ticket holders will be able to experience Musical Masterworks as never before: the audio-video production team will create an intimate concert experience, providing a virtual front row seat featuring the performers’ pure artistry.

In 2021, Musical Masterworks will welcome back numerous favorite artists, including Rieko Aizawa, Todd Palmer, Randall Scarlata, Gilles Vonsattel, and Tessa Lark, featuring music from Bach to Corigliano.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs through May 2021. 

To purchase a video mini-subscription ($100 each), individual video tickets ($40 each), or student tickets ($5 each), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

Tagliatela Honored for Service as Lyme Academy Board Chair, Duffy Elected to Replace Him

OLD LYME — On Saturday, Dec. 6, the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts (LAFA) Board of Trustees and staff said farewell to long-time board of trustees chairman Stephen Tagliatela. The announcement of his retirement follows five years of service to Lyme Academy as he guided the former Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (LACFA) through its separation from the University of New Haven. 

“Stephen has shown outstanding leadership during Lyme Academy’s most uncertain times. We are so fortunate to be able to move forward based on the solid footing he provided,” said Michael Duffy, newly-elected Lyme Academy Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  

In attendance was Connecticut State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd), who presented Tagliatela with a General Assembly Official Citation from the State of Connecticut. The Connecticut General Assembly recognized his five years as board of trustees chairman, his leadership and his advocacy for the fine arts.  

The Lyme Academy Board of Trustees unveiled a commissioned portrait of Tagliatela by artist, instructor and alumnus Rick Lacey, who is both a LAFA instructor and a LACFA alumnus. Lacey is also a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2007.

Tagliatela, who is the owner of the Saybrook Point Inn, was also presented with the Elisabeth Gordon  Chandler medal for his service as Chair from 2015 to 2020. 

The board voted in new leadership confirming Michael Duffy as board chairperson, Laura Lee Miller as  Vice Chair and Lee Bowes as Treasurer. Ian Neviaser will continue his role as Secretary of the Board of  Trustees. A complete list of Trustee members is available at this link

Duffy commented, “We are grateful for what the board has accomplished over that past year in establishing Lyme Academy as an independent entity and are looking forward to re-establishing the Academy as a prominent Art  School and Center for the Arts.

He added, “We are currently engaged in a search for an Artistic Director for which  we have very strong candidates. In addition, we have just approved the search for an Executive Director, who will lead the business of the Academy.”

Duffy concluded, “We are very excited about the future,” 

Editor’s Note: Lyme Academy of Fine Arts located in Old Lyme, Conn. was founded in 1976 by esteemed sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler. The historic town of Old Lyme has been a vibrant, national center for the arts and artists for more than 100 years.

Lyme Academy upholds the standard of a Classic Fine Arts education offering a variety of programs under the guidance of  master artists, who share a deep respect for both traditional and innovative forms of teaching. The  Academy has been providing students with the necessary foundation and skills to develop their own unique visual expression for nearly 50 years. 

For more information about Lyme Academy’s past, present and future, visit the Academy’s website.  

Musical Masterworks Presents Beethoven String Quartets, Tickets on Sale Now for Video Available in January

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron will play the cello in the Beethoven works being performed live in a December concert and also recorded for release to ticket-holders in January. Photo by Hak-Soo Kim.

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday in December when Edward Arron, Artistic Director and cellist, along with his colleagues James Ehnes, violin;  Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin; and Che-Yen Chen, viola, will perform three string quartets by Beethoven, spanning nearly 30 years of his life and demonstrating the full arc of his remarkable compositional evolution.

This performance will be filmed in mid-December and the link to the virtual concert will be made available to ticket buyers Jan. 2, 2021.  The video can be enjoyed for three weeks and watched as many times as one wishes. 

Ticket holders will be able to experience Musical Masterworks in a whole new way. The group’s audio-video production team will create an intimate concert experience, providing a virtual front row seat featuring the performers’ artistry.

Edward Arron shared his thoughts about this concert, “We are honored to dedicate this performance to the great master. While under current circumstances, we are not able to reconstitute the full cycle of quartets that we had planned for last spring, we are delighted to provide this fascinating window into the extraordinary compositional mind of Beethoven.”

In 2021, Musical Masterworks will welcome back many favorite artists, including Rieko Aizawa, Todd Palmer, Jeewon Park, Randall Scarlata, Gilles Vonsattel, and Tessa Lark, featuring music from Bach to Corigliano.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs through May 2021.  To purchase a video mini-subscription ($100 each), individual video tickets ($40 each), or student tickets ($5 each), visit Musical Masterworks at Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

Signed Copies of Ron Breault’s ‘Voyaging with Marionette’ Now on Sale at ‘The Bowerbird’

The display stand at ‘The Bowerbird’ featuring signed copies of Old Lyme resident Ron Breault’s book, ‘Voyaging with Marionette.’

OLD LYME — Signed copies of Ron Breault’s book, Voyaging with Marionette, are now on sale at The Bowerbird in Old Lyme. Breault is a resident of Old Lyme and his book is being marketed as prt of the store’s “Local Author” series.

Visit this link to read a wonderful review of the book written when it was published by our regular book reviewer here at LymeLine.com, Felix Kloman.

Voyaging with Marionette records the 25 years of life experiences Breault shared with his boat.

Those of you who have rescued/restored or built your own boat, fully understand the special relationship that develops — how the two of you meet when the expected/hoped for experience and goals are the main menu.

The dessert is those experiences not expected — a mostly unspoken conversation, motions and sounds as you sail along — the understanding between you of what you can do and have done together. It is also the places visited and interesting people you meet, which, in turn, bring a new dimension to your life.

This book is a collection of those stories demonstrating what can be done as one gets older, which opens doors, motivating and sustaining new and stimulating opportunities. It is also a reminder that life is a continuing, expanding experience … if one just makes the effort.

‘Deck the Walls’ Opens at Lyme Art Association

‘Filtered Light’ (oil on aluminum) by Janine-Robertson is one of the featured pieces of artwork in ‘Deck the Walls.’

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association’s annual member show and sale, Deck the Walls, featuring more than 200 works of art in all themes, sizes and mediums, opens Friday, Nov. 27. All the artwork is appropriately priced for holiday gift giving.

The show and sale continues through Jan. 7, 2021.

‘Montmartre Memories’ in oil by Sarah Stifler Lucas is one of the featured paintings in the ‘Deck the Walls’ show on view at the Lyme Art Association.

The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Road.

For more information, call (860) 434-7802 or visit lymeartassociation.org.

‘The Magic of Christmas’ Opens at Old Lyme’s Florence Griswold Museum

There are now four palette trees to hold the more than 200 hand-painted palettes on display in this year’s ‘Magic of Christmas.’

OLD LYME — Even this year the holiday season is something special to celebrate at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn.!

After all, Miss Florence was born on Christmas Day, 1850. The Museum will be decked out in its holiday finery for the Magic of Christmas celebration from Nov. 27, 2020 through Jan. 3, 2021.

Twelve new works of art have been added to Miss Florence’s Artist Trees. Since 2004, noted artists from across the country have donated works to this one-of-a-kind holiday icon – so many that now four trees are needed to hold the works of art.

One of this year’s new palettes is ‘Florence Griswold Summer Garden’ by Jeffrey Saverine.

The idea of contemporary artists creating paintings on artists’ palettes is a nod to the Museum’s history as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, and alludes to the door and wall panels the artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago.

The palette artists’ styles and subject matter are as varied as the individuals. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, glass, and collage are used to transform the palettes into traditional holiday scenes, delightful landscapes, and more than a few surprises. The palettes are displayed on four trees in the Krieble gallery, along with the current exhibitions, Expanding Horizons: Celebrating 20 Years of the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection and Centennial of the Lyme Art Association Gallery.

All ages can enjoy the beautiful Palette Christmas Trees at the ‘Magic of Christmas’ exhibition

The decorations in the historic rooms of the Florence Griswold House feature a new twist on the traditional décor. Imagine a fictional mantel-decorating contest in the Griswold boarding-house between the historic Lyme Art Colony artists. Inspired by their paintings, they rummage through their studios as well as old trunks in Miss Florence’s attic for festive objets d’art and holiday decorations.

Miss Florence (with the help of votes by visitors) will decide on winners and award ribbons on her birthday – Christmas Day. Watch the Museum’s social media accounts for the news.

In addition to the traditional decorations, three Fantasy Trees add bespoke sparkle in the historic house – two created by Museum staff and a third by Candice Hunsinger of Ivory & Iron in Essex.

And just for fun (and a great photo opportunity), Santa’s sleigh filled with presents will be stationed in the Rafal Landscape Center.

Many special events and programs are held in conjunction with the Magic of Christmas.

Christmastime Teas are among the most popular events. Delectable scones with clotted cream, assorted tea sandwiches, and cookies prepared by Gourmet Gallery, a caterer known for their delicious flavors and impeccable presentations, are accompanied by “Miss Florence’s Tea,” a special blend from Sundial Gardens in Higginum. Miss Florence’s Tea is a special blend of superior Ceylon and China black tea enhanced with a touch of delicate spices. The tea celebrates the camaraderie and creativity of the Lyme Art Colony with each cup.

Teas are held Dec. 1 through 30 on Tuesdays through Saturdays at 2 p.m. Call 860-434-5542 x 118 for information and reservations.

Unique gifts from The Shop and memberships to the Museum make thoughtful holiday and hostess gifts. Purchases can be made at the Museum or online.

When you visit the Museum during the Magic of Christmas, consider bringing a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.

Located on a 12-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open April through December Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 4pm and January through March Saturday from 10am to 4pm and Sunday 1 to 4pm. The Museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under. Note that admission is available with 24-hour advance online ticketing only.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.

Enjoy a Free ‘Evening Under the Stars’ Tonight with Lyme-Old Lyme HS Band & Chorus; All Welcome

OLD LYME — On Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m., Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Band and Chorus host an ‘Evening Under the Stars’ concert.  This event, which is open to the community and offers free admission, will be held on the field between LOLHS and LOL Middle School.

Bring a chair or blanket.

Social distancing and masks required.

The event should last no longer than one hour.

Musical Masterworks Goes Virtual This Season, Tickets on Sale for Concert Videos

Musical Masterworks’ October performers James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong. Photo by Benjamin Ealovega.

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks has launched its 30th Anniversary Season by offering a new way for chamber music aficionados to enjoy its concerts in the form of professionally-produced video.  Concert-goers can watch from the comfort of their homes on the screens of their choice. 

The season’s first concerts will be filmed at the end of October and the link to the virtual concert will be made available to ticket buyers Nov. 7.  The video can be enjoyed for three weeks and watched as many times as one wishes. 

Artistic Director Edward Arron explains, “We have adjusted our season in order to bring our five concert programs to our devoted concertgoers virtually, through recordings made by an award-winning team of videographers and audio technicians. While restrictions remain in place for in-person gatherings, we are thrilled that our performances can be filmed in our usual concert space.”

Musical Masterworks will begin the 2020-21 season with two all-Beethoven programs.

October will see pianist Andrew Armstrong join renowned violinist James Ehnes to perform three sonatas by Beethoven. 

In December, the month of Beethoven’s actual 250th birthday, James Ehnes, Amy Schwartz Moretti, Che-Yen Chen and Edward Arron will perform three Beethoven String Quartets.

The spring Musical Masterworks concert will welcome back a number of favorite artists, including Rieko Aizawa, Todd Palmer, Jeewon Park, Randall Scarlata, Gilles Vonsattel, and Tessa Lark, featuring musical treasures from Bach to Corigliano.

Ticket-holders will be able to experience Musical Masterworks as never before: the audio-video production team will create an intimate concert experience, providing a virtual seat on the stage.

Arron shared his thoughts about this unusual season, saying, “The experience of living through this unsettling period has reinforced my belief that the arts and live performance are essential to humanity and are an indispensable part of a healthy society.”

He adds, “It gives me great pride that our organization has committed to presenting a full season of concert programs as we celebrate the 30th season of Musical Masterworks.”

Musical Masterworks’ season runs October 2020 through May 2021.  To purchase a video ticket subscription ($150 each), a video mini-subscription ($100 each), individual video tickets ($40 each), or student tickets ($5 each), visit Musical Masterworks at Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252

Lyme Art Association Hosts Fundraising Virtual Art Auction

‘To and Fro’ by Dora Atwater Millikin is one of the works on which you can bid in the LAA’s virtual auction.

OLD LYME — Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Lyme Art Association (LAA) made the difficult decision to cancel 2020’s Palate to Palette event.

Although that wonderful in-person event is not taking place this year, the LAA is hosting a virtual art auction in its place.

Enjoy a unique chance to bid on extraordinary pieces by the talented artists of the Lyme Art Association. Bidding is now open in this online auction, which runs from Friday, Nov. 6, through Sunday, Nov.15.

‘Voluminoua’ by Janine Robertson is another work in the online auction.

There are two easy ways to participate and show your support for the historic gallery and contemporary artists you love.

1. Enjoy a online auction featuring signature works by twelve outstanding artists:

2. Purchase a “virtual ticket” (a fully deductible donation). With every purchase of a $50 ticket, you will be entered in a drawing for two tickets for the next Palate to Palette. No ticket purchase is required to participate in the auction.

Auction pieces are on display at the Lyme Art Association.

The LAA enormously appreciates the public’s ongoing support. All proceeds from this event will help keep the LAA’s doors open to everyone and showcase the work of member artists.

Death of Guy Wiggins Announced; Grandfather John Carleton Wiggins Helped Found Art Colony in Old Lyme, Father Guy C. Wiggins was Famous American Impressionist

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Guy Wiggins, a third-generation painter, scholar and diplomat has died Oct. 28, 2020, at age 100.

By Michael Astor

Guy Wiggins, a third-generation painter who traveled the world as a soldier, scholar and diplomat before devoting himself to an art career that lasted nearly half a century, has died at 100. The cause was cancer.

He was the son of a famous American Impressionist, Guy C. Wiggins and grandson of a celebrated Hudson River School painter, John Carleton Wiggins …

… When he was 10 the Great Depression hit and the family retreated to Old Lyme, where his grandfather, John Carleton Wiggins had helped establish an art colony decades earlier. His father and mother shrewdly bet that they could sell art lessons even if they couldn’t sell art and opened the Guy Wiggins Art School there in order to make ends meet. The school was successful and became a beacon for aspiring artists …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published Oct. 30 in The Day.

Lyme Street Invokes a ‘Little Whimsy’ with an Influx of ‘Fairy Doors’

The Fairy House outside Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall.

OLD LYME — Take a stroll down Lyme Street this month, look very carefully and you will see all kinds of mystical, magical Fairy Houses tucked into trees, fancifully formed against fences and lingering on lawns.

Find this fairy House is at 30 Lyme Street.

This little piece of wonderment has come about because, through Oct. 28, a variety of businesses, nonprofits, and private residences on Lyme Street has chosen to participate in the 2nd annual “Fairy Doors on Lyme Street.”

The Fairy Door at Lyme Art Association is exquisite.

There are 14 fairy doors on the grounds of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts (LAFA), created by Region 18 students and LAFA alumni.

Another 16 fairy doors can be found along Lyme Street and all the fairy doors can be seen from the sidewalk.

See this masterful creation by Tammi Flynn at EF Watermelon.

LymeLine caught up with Cheryl Poirier, one of the coordinators, who explained, “Fairy Doors on Lyme Street is a way to add a little whimsy to our days, especially this year as we are all needing more smiles than ever.”

She continued, “Whether walking into Old Lyme Town Hall or on your way to one of the small businesses on Lyme Street, it’s fun to look down and see that someone used their creativity to share some fun with neighbors and friends.”

At 78 Lyme St. (see photo above), two graduates of the Savannah College of Art and Design took on the fun of creating, “A village of fairy doors,” amidst the greenery of the front lawn.

This wonderful fairy dropped into Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds.

Olivia Denison and Alexandra Vasquez Dheming were New York City roommates working in the theater industry when COVID shut down their work.

They came to wait out the pandemic at Olivia’s parent’s home in Old Lyme pending the return of theater in New York, and now the roommates’ fairy door village contribution is a delightful, artistic endeavor for everyone who either lives on or walks down Lyme Street to enjoy.

The Old Lyme Arts District reminds all that Lyme Street is a residential street, and asks that social distancing and face masks are used as always.

Lyme Art Association Presents Evocative ‘Land and Sea’ Show Through Nov. 19

‘Meigs Point, Hammonasset’ in oil by Tom Adkins is one of the signature paintings in the ‘Land and Sea’ exhibition.

OLD LYME — This fall the Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents Land and Sea, an exhibit of outdoor scenes; landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes and backyard-scapes. Art of varied media and styles, all from LAA member artists, will be presented in the historic, sky-lit galleries through Nov. 19.

“We are grateful for the great outdoors right where we are,” said Executive Director Laurie Pavlos, continuing, “The open air that makes visiting safer and the beautiful vistas that calm our anxious hearts.”

She added, “But we miss traveling to see new scenery, climates, and topography. Land and Sea is a response to these impulses; we hope that our visitors enjoy spending time in the gallery this fall appreciating the great outdoors.”

The LAA is located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Conn. in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and within the town’s Historic District. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and by appointment.

The Association 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.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

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