July 4, 2020

Flo Gris Museum Now Open to Members, Reopens to Public, Tuesday; New ‘Fresh Fields’ Exhibition on View

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum reopened to members July 1 and will reopen to the public July 7.  Admission will be limited and by 24-hour advance online ticketing only. Check the Museum website for admission requirements and details of how to purchase tickets.

Café Flo opens July 7, by reservation only.

Childe Hassam, Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme, 1904. 25 x 30 in., Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of the Vincent Dowling Family Foundation in Honor of Director Emeritus Jeffrey Andersen.

Visitors to the Museum will be greeted with a new exhibition, Fresh Fields, which is a celebration of the Museum’s most beloved landscape paintings created by Impressionist artists who visited Old Lyme. The exhibition opens July 7 and runs through Nov. 1.

The selection highlights major recent acquisitions, such as Childe Hassam’s Apple Trees in BloomOld Lyme (1904), and emphasizes ongoing research about the local landscape that informed development of the Artists’ Trail.

Paintings, drawings, archival materials, and photographs will shed light on the history and ecology of Old Lyme, which caused it to become a gathering place for artists.

The exhibition also calls upon the knowledge and viewpoints of outside experts to build an interdisciplinary understanding. In addition to the Museum’s own curators and art history scholars, contributors will include an ecologist, members of the local Native American community, and experts on women’s history and African-American history.

Fresh Fields relies on those with expertise in these areas to help create a more complete understanding of the human history, culture, and values that shaped these Impressionist landscapes.

Editor’s Note: Remember that the Museum grounds are open and in bloom now — no need to wait for the reopening of the Museum to enjoy them!


Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Hosts Pre-College Academy for High School Students, Middle School Academy for 11 to13-Year-Olds

Kimberly Monson will teach a week-long Drawing course for Pre-College students starting July 6. A few openings are still available.

OLD LYME — This summer Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is hosting a Pre-College Academy for high school students and Middle School Academy for ages 11 -13.

High school students aged 14 to 18 with beginning to advanced level art training can enroll in an exciting series of week-long, daytime courses starting July 6 that further explore and expand their technical skill and abilities. Each week of classes costs $375.00 per student and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  All the courses will be taught by talented college faculty and aim to foster creativity, build artistic skill, and mentor personal vision in young artists.

The courses on offer include:

Instructor: Kimberly Monson
July 6-10

Illustration Essentials
Instructor: David Wenzel
July 13-17

World Building
Instructor: Jon Sideriadis
July 20-24

Oil Painting
Instructor: Michael Viera
July 27-31

Instructor: Roland Beccerra
Aug. 3 – 7

Instructor: Bruce Wallace
Aug. 10-14


Lyme Art Association Reopens to the Public with Two New Exhibitions

‘Sea Sparkles’ in oil by Jacqueline Jones is one of the featured works in the Wind, Waves and Water: A Marine Show exhibition opening June 26 at the Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association (LAA) welcomes the public back to the gallery today, June 26, with Wind, Waves and Water: A Marine Show. This is a juried show of LAA’s talented member artists that celebrates the unique beauty of the open water, shorelines, rivers, and all the activity and life that accompany these settings.

The juror for Wind, Waves and Water is Russell Kramer, ASMA.

John Traynor’s ‘Grazing By The Bay’ (oil) is another featured work in the LAA’s upcoming exhibition.

This year the Association welcomes back the Hudson Valley Art Association for their 87th Annual Juried Exhibition. This show always includes exceptional award winners from artists across the region.

Both shows will be on view from June 26 through Aug. 14. There will not be an opening reception.

The Lyme Art Association is located in Old Lyme, at 90 Lyme Street. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and by appointment at other times. All visitors are requested to wear a mask.

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


Ivoryton Women Playwrights Festival Now Accepting Submissions for 2021; Positions as Directors, Readers Also Open

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse has announced their Fifth Annual Ivoryton Women Playwrights Festival (IWPF.) Submissions of one-act plays by women playwrights are sought.
The IWPF provides the four writers whose work is chosen paid travel to Ivoryton and housing while there, three days of intensive workshops with a director and actors for play development and participation in a staged reading festival in February/March 2021 (actual dates to be determined).
There is also a $500 stipend.
Ten-minute plays are acceptable, and all plays must run no more than one hour.
Completed manuscripts must be submitted by email only.  Closing date for submissions is Aug. 30, 2020.
Interested playwrights should email a completed manuscript, (for musicals include a script and music file), with name and contact information.
The IWPF also seeks resumes from directors (Connecticut residents only), and those interested in being readers, both men and women.

Play submissions, resumes from directors and interested readers should be emailed to Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director at jhubbard@ivorytonplayhouse.org


Wyman of Old Lyme Appointed Community Music School Executive Director, “Thrilled to Come Home”

Dr. Richard Wyman, the new Executive Director of the Community Music School based in Centerbrook.

OLD LYME — Dr. Richard Wyman of Old Lyme has been appointed the new Executive Director of the Community Music School (CMS) located in Centerbrook. He took over the reins of the organization in the mid-May after serving for several years as Musical Masterworks General Director.

Wyman has a long history of involvement in both playing and conducting music professionally along with community-based music learning. He began his music studies at the prestigious Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., where he obtained his undergraduate degree in music education and then moved to the University of Illinois to pursue a masters degree in music.

Subsequently, he moved back East when he joined the US Coast Guard (CG) Band  as a baritone saxophonist in the late 1990s. Back then, Wyman also taught saxophone for a number of years at CMS but in 2004, he was appointed Assistant Director of the USCG band and opted to focus on his new position along with studying conducting at the University of Connecticut where he earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts.

In his role as USCG Band Assistant Director, Wyman led educational concerts for thousands of students.

After retiring from the SCG in 2018, Wyman first took the position with Musical Masterworks and now he has come full circle back to the CMS.  He is still continuing his music education, however, since he is currently studying arts administration at UConn.

Wyman says he is, “Thrilled to ‘come home’ to CMS,” and is looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities that the job offers. These latter involve continuing to run the school’s teaching program online and running the spring “Friends of Note” campaign, which is devoted to “COVID-19 Relief” for CMS through the summer. He points out that a gift to this $50K campaign will, “Provide payroll (for staff and instructors), mortgage payments, maintenance of our facilities, and … most importantly, support of the wonderful instruction and music-making,” by CMS faculty and students.

Asked to explain his passion for both music and music education, Wyman says, “Throughout my adult life, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with understanding music’s essential role in the living of a fulfilling life,” noting, “Whether it was through performing as saxophonist in amusement parks (which he did at both Disney World and Busch Gardens many years ago), conducting/hosting USCG Band educational performances, or witnessing the joy music brings to members of the CMS “New Horizons” Band.”

Wyman lives in Old Lyme with his clarinetist/pianist wife Erin and their three boys, the eldest of whom has just graduated from Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS). The younger two are respectively at LOLHS and Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and all three, in Wyman’s words, “Study music as important parts of their educations and lives.”

Editor’s Note: Community Music School is located at 90 Main St., Building 4, Centerbrook, and also 179 Flanders Rd., Ste. 3 East Lyme. For more information on CMS, call 860-767-0026 or visit the school’s website.

If you wish to donated to the “Friends of Note’ campaign, call Wyman at 860-767-0026 to discuss giving opportunities, or donate online at cmsct.org/support.


Inaugural Online Exhibition at Lyme Academy Now on View, Features Artwork by Lyme School Students

“Nature Rings,” a remarkable work by Morgan Buerger, Grade 5, is on view in the “Art is … Elementary” online exhibition, hosted by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, which opens June 5.

OLD LYME — Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is launching a new online gallery with an inaugural exhibition titled “Art Is … Elementary. Selected Works by the Fine Artists of Lyme Consolidated School, Lyme.” The exhibition will be open for viewing Friday, June 5.

Lyme Academy has hosted the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools K-12 “Youth Art Show” in the Sill House Gallery for more than 30 years. This year, which would have been the 35th annual show, had to be cancelled since all schools in Connecticut were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

This delightful work, titled,”A Mandolorian Cuteness,” by Renee Viera, Grade 4, is included in the online exhibition.

The revitalized Academy has been expanding into the online arena in recent months offering both lessons and demonstrations. “An online gallery therefore seemed the next logical step,” explains Kimberly Monson, Instructor and Programming Director at Lyme Academy, adding, “It’s a way to offer our community a means to share art.”

This cheery”Happy Frog” by Colton Schroder, Grade 1, is on show in the new exhibition.

Asked how this particular show featuring student artists from grades K-5 at Lyme Consolidated School came about, Monson says, “It felt like these kids were experiencing a lot of loss. It’s hard enough for them to be away from school, their teachers and their friends, but then to have all of the extra-curricular activities cancelled as well, that’s an awful lot to take away” Lyme Consolidated School art teacher, Jennifer Pitman adds,“The pandemic has cost us so many of our cherished traditions. I’m really glad that this is one tradition we’ve been able to uphold.”

“The Amazing Principle” by Jonah Scheckwitz, Grade 4, is an instantly-recognizable drawing of the real Lyme School Principal James Cavalieri.


Monson went on to explain, “Jen [Pitman] and I felt this was something we could give back to the kids. It’s a way to celebrate them with an exhibition, which is still hosted by Lyme Academy.”

This evocative work, titled, “A Sunset Reflection,” by Brooke Burgess, Grade 5, is featured in the upcoming show.

Pitman credits Monson with really making the show happen, noting, ““I’m really grateful for Kimberly’s support. Showing our students’ art on the Lyme Academy’s new Online Gallery is a real treat. It’s exciting for the kids to be able to see their work displayed by such a prestigious institution. And she provided a big assist by putting the exhibition together.” Monson was well-suited to serving as a catalyst for the show since, in addition to her employment at Lyme Academy, she is also a professional, working artist.

“On The Rails” by Zak Benedetto, Grade 2, utilizes wonderful colors.

Pitman concludes, “The annual Youth Art Show is a real highlight for me. I hope all of the students and their families will enjoy seeing the results of their hard work in this new way. I’m so proud of their growth as young artists.”

This wise-looking “Owl” by Mary McAdams, Grade 2, makes its debut in the Lyme Academy online show.

View the exhibition at this link.





LAA Welcomes Welcomes Public Back With Two Exhibitions, Opening June 26

‘Sea Sparkles’ in oil by Jacqueline Jones is one of the signature works of the Wind, Waves and Water exhibition opening June 26 at the Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association (LAA) welcomes the public back to the gallery June 26 with Wind, Waves and Water: A Marine Show. This is a juried show of LAA’s member artists that celebrates the unique beauty of the open water, shorelines, rivers, and all the activity and life that accompany these settings. The juror for Wind, Waves and Water is Russell Kramer, ASMA.

This year the Association welcomes back the Hudson Valley Art Association for their 87th Annual Juried Exhibition. This show always includes award winners from artists across the region.

Both shows will be on view from June 26 through Aug. 14.

The LAA is located in Old Lyme, at 90 Lyme Street. Hours are 10 am – 5 pm, Wednesday through Sunday, and by appointment at other times. Please wear a mask.

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 Lyme Art 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 to 5 pm, 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


Local Museums — Including FloGris — Continue Fight for Funding, Foot Traffic with Innovative Marketing

Exterior of the Thankful Arnold House in East Haddam.

AREAWIDE — Lisa Malloy, executive director of the Thankful Arnold House as well as the Haddam Historical Society, has been an almost one-woman show ever since she started working at her small historical house over 17 years ago. However, she—as well as many other Connecticut museums—have seen the tide shift from when she first arrived: foot traffic has dwindled.

“Connecticut has a wonderful collection of museums and historic sites each with a special story to tell. We all share similar issues—fundraising, getting volunteers, programming ideas, board issues, and so on,” chuckles Malloy. “I can say that all small historical societies and museums are intensely dedicated to their sites and missions and love sharing their stories with others.”

According to the state of Connecticut’s official tourism website, Visit CT, there are over 200 museums, historical houses and galleries in Connecticut, all with something impactful to share. Paving the roads to the past, however, come at a price with many museums pushing to overcome struggles with finances, foot traffic and successful marketing in their own way.

The Fight for Foot Traffic

The Thankful Arnold House.

The Thankful Arnold House may be a small museum but its historical significance packs a punch. Located in East Haddam, Conn., the Thankful Arnold House is an 18th century historical house museum that used to belong to Joseph Arnold and his wife, Thankful Arnold.

Although Malloy had some footing in her earlier days of working for the Thankful Arnold House, things weren’t as great as they could have been. Malloy’s relationship with one of their fundraisers was a bit shaky and things needed to be improved upon within the exhibits.

“The Thankful Arnold House and Haddam Historical Society were on fairly firm ground when I started in 2002,” said Malloy. “However, our ability to share Haddam’s history, display artifacts and have exhibits was non-existent. Also, our reliance on our one big fundraiser was precarious and we did not have a website.”

Although Malloy has a variety of people who use and visit her museum throughout Connecticut, many of those are out of town guests who generally only come once on vacation or are in the area visiting.

“We try to appeal to them as a small one-on-one experience where you can learn about 19th century women and a typical middle-class family of the lower Connecticut River,” said Malloy.

Malloy explains that she understands the fight for getting people through the door and just like many other museums, turned to foot traffic during these times and hoped that funding followed close behind.

“To keep old visitors returning we have instituted a changing local history display,” said Malloy. “We have offered different types of tours such as what a 19th century wedding would have looked like, candlelit tours. We also get visitors to return using our garden and by offering different programs. In addition, we hold different talks and craft programs on-site, which draw return visitors.”

Malloy also implemented an online presence to attract a newer audience for the museum with an in-depth website, which has been called “one of the best historical society websites in the state” according to CT Museum Quest.

“We now also are active on social media and try to bridge the gap between the generations of newsletters and blogs by sending out a bi-monthly e-newsletter,” said Malloy.

After implementing these techniques, Malloy and the Haddam Historical Society found themselves with sold-out events with one of their biggest hits being their October tours of a local historical jail, when almost 600 people attended.

“Our local support has quadrupled,” Malloy said. “We also have developed a fundraising strategy where we have a large event yearly, usually social with a history twist, which has been extremely successful.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is known as the Home of American Impressionism.

Down the Connecticut River, Tammi Flynn, Marketing Director of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, had similar beginnings when she first started working for the museum in 1999 and found that exhibitions, events and attractions helped increase foot traffic.

The Florence Griswold Museum is both a historical house, which was once owned by Florence Griswold herself, who rented out her home to fellow artists that happened to stop in Old Lyme. Griswold’s house soon became a hub for the growth of American Impressionism and the artists who pursued their craft there became known as the Lyme Art Colony.

Alongside a historical house that you can tour, the museum also features an art gallery, two barns used for workspaces for aspiring artists, a garden, seasonal café and even a boardwalk along the Lieutenant River where the museum is located.

“Our exhibitions have ranged from contemporary art to schoolgirl needlepoint,” said Flynn. The historic house is always a draw for people and the grounds are extraordinary, especially since we opened the Artists’ Trail last summer.”

At the Fate of Finances

“Funding will always be the most difficult and important issue for small museums and historical societies,” said Malloy.

Although the Thankful Arnold House and Florence Griswold Museum found success in funding with their foot traffic, many that aren’t as lucky often seek out help from organizations such as the Connecticut Humanities (CTH), which can supply museums with grants and the source funding they need, plus Jason Mancini, Executive Director of Connecticut Humanities, is prepared to lend a hand.

“Since joining CTH just over two years ago, I have been rebuilding the financial foundation and strategic direction of a struggling organization,” said Mancini.

Mancini understands the financial struggles with keeping a museum afloat, as he struggled with similar problems with funding and foot traffic while he was the Director of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum for 22 years up until he joined CTH in 2017.

“At the time I became director of both organizations, they were struggling financially and with overall leadership vision and direction,” said Mancini. “The Pequot Museum essentially had one significant funding source and operating the museum required about half of the budget to support the physical building, an enormous undertaking that was always a fixed or increasing cost; staff size and composition was subjected to budgetary winds.”

According to the CTH website, the organization offers a handful of different grants as well as programs to increase foot traffic and funding such as their Steps CT program, where local museums, historical societies, and other cultural organizations can learn to fine-tune their organizations’ operations to increase services to their audiences.

Museums such as the Florence Griswold Museum as well as the Thankful Arnold House have used these types of programs to help foot traffic as well. The CT Art Trail, for example, is a nationally recognized partnership among 21 Connecticut museums to promote their businesses and CT Historical Gardens, which is dedicated to showing off 15 historical gardens in Connecticut.

The Florence Griswold Museum hosts numerous community events including a concert the evening before the Midsummer Festival in its ongoing efforts to engage with the local community.

Marketing within the Community

Flynn has found while working for the Florence Griswold Museum that connecting with a community–let alone one that is already passionate for art– is a strong marketing tool.

“We are gathering places for the community. Museums are not passive places,” said Flynn. “Gone are the stodgy buildings of painting after painting with boring labels. In a museum today you might find an artist doing a sketching demonstration, an interactive monitor, a musician, a hands-on project, you name it!”

Aside from the use of frequently-changing attractions and events, the Florence Griswold museum is constantly interacting with the community since, among many other ways, they host field trips for the local schools as well as participate in the town’s Memorial Day parade.

Flynn and the board of trustees at the Florence Griswold have learned that working with a community and creating a relationship with them creates a draw that not only brings people through the door but also, in turn, helps with funding.

“Art is a big part of Old Lyme’s history and what sets it apart from other towns. The museum helps to present that story,” said Flynn. “I feel that once people visit, they are hooked and will return. We often conduct visitor surveys and time after time, people respond that it’s the experience as a whole that they enjoy and often call their time at the museum ‘magical.’”

Malloy at the Thankful Arnold House attempted this technique as well when they hosted an exhibit, which focused on local artists and historical properties around town.

“We have been told it was one of the best tours people have ever attended,” Malloy said.

Although museums and historical societies throughout Connecticut continue to have different levels of struggle to keep their doors open, it’s apparent that each one of them powers through in pursuit of a united mission: to share the past with the present and keep its story alive.

“Connecticut’s museums and historical societies are small windows into our collective past–the people, places, ideas–that have shaped our society today and will continue to shape it in the future. For Connecticut, this is our best source material about where we live and why it matters,” said Mancini.


Musical Masterworks Announces Appointment of Lawrence Thelen as Managing Director

The new Managing Director of Musical Masterworks is Larry Thelen.

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks has announced the appointment of Lawrence Thelen as their new Managing Director.

Thelen is a theatre producer and writer. In 1999, he produced an off-Broadway revival of Ghosts at the Century Center for the Performing Arts. Soon after, he joined the staff of Goodspeed Musicals as their Producing Associate and Literary Manager, where he remained for seven years.

Prior to and during his time at Goodspeed, Thelen served as Artistic Director for both the Cherry County Playhouse and the Thunder Bay Theatre.

As a writer, he is the author of the book The Show Makers: Great Directors of the American Musical Theatre, as well as numerous articles and several plays, including Pie in the SkyHiggins in Harlem and Eating Rhode Island.

His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Dramatics Magazine, Show Music Magazine and The Paragon Journal.

In addition to his work with Musical Masterworks, Thelen is the CEO of Mermaid Properties, a Connecticut-based real estate investment and property management firm.

Originally from California, Thelen now resides in Haddam with his two daughters.


Ivoryton Playhouse Cancels Its 2020 Season

Ivoryton Playhouse has cancelled its 2020 season. Photo by Brian J. Wilson .

IVORYTON — (from a press release) On March 18, 2020, The Ivoryton Playhouse planned to open its doors for the start of a whole new season but the universe had other plans. The Playhouse has been closed down by the state and the virus since March 16, and waiting to hear if they may be able to produce a limited season in the summer or fall.

Heading into summer with the likelihood of producing growing slimmer every day, the Playhouse has made the difficult decision to cancel their 2020 season. If the world has changed enough for them to produce next year, then they will attempt 2020 Part 2 and hope to be able to produce everything they were prevented from producing this year – with bells on!

The Ivoryton Playhouse has been producing theatre for 90 years. The only years it went dark were during the Second World War and in 1977 when the future of the theatre hung in the balance and it was almost knocked down to make way for a drug store. But it has survived, through all of these challenges, and is confident of its return – stronger and enriched by this unprecedented experience.

All ticket holders will be contacted over the next couple of weeks. For more information, email info@ivorytonplayhouse.org


Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme Remain Open During Pandemic, Offering Safe Solace to All

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

OLD LYME — Museums and galleries may be closed due to the pandemic but there is still an opportunity in Old Lyme to immerse yourself  in art by interacting with colorful sculptures in a soothing, safe outdoor environment. The four-plus acre Sculpture Grounds on Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Conn. remain open and free to the public during the Coronavirus shutdown. 

Turning Point III/12 by Gilbert Boro.

The  Sculpture Grounds are the exhibit space for nationally acclaimed sculptor Gilbert Boro, whose home and studio anchor the property along the historic Lieutenant River in Old Lyme. Boro’s exhibits are displayed on professionally-landscaped grounds that offer a refuge from everyday life to commune with both nature and art.

More than 100 sculptures of a variety of sizes and materials are spaced around the property with each location carefully considered to marry the work to its immediate surroundings.  More than three quarters of the sculptures are Boro’s own designs with the remainder created by both established and emerging sculptors from around the country. 

The Sculpture Grounds offer both respite for adults and exploratory play for children. Normally visitors are permitted to touch and climb the sculptures but during the Coronavirus health crisis that is not possible. The working studio and indoor art gallery are also closed during this period. Visitors are expected to self-regulate in accordance with the state quarantine social distancing and protective guidelines. 

‘Bowline Knot’ by Gilbert Boro.

Picnics are permitted on the stone patio that contains several café tables with umbrellas. There is no food or drink for sale; visitors are encouraged to ‘Brown bag.” Admission is always free of charge with donations accepted. 

Hours are daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Sculpture Grounds are minutes from Exit 70 off I-95 at 80-1 Lyme Street in the historic village of Old Lyme.  Parking is available toward the rear of the property or next-door in the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts parking lot.

For more information, call 86043405957 or visit www.sculpturegrounds.com or Facebook.


Still So Much To Do (in Person or Virtually) on Lyme Street

Looking for something to do safely on Lyme Street in this “time of Corona”? Why not try a walking tour?

OLD LYME — It might seem like there’s nothing to do on Lyme Street at the moment since all the art institutions and shops are closed.  To counter that impression, the Old Lyme Arts District has come up with a comprehensive listing of all the activities in which you can still participate either in person or virtually.

Did you know, for example, that the Old Lyme Historical Society has created a Walking Tour of Lyme Street? Or that the Artist’s Trail and grounds at the Florence Griswold Museum are open for the public to enjoy even though the Museum itself is closed? And what about the Sculpture Grounds at Studio 80 which are open every day of the year from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at no charge?

Have you seen the great live virtual concerts Nightingale’s Acoustic Cafe has been holding to highlight musicians especially the local young musicians? Were you aware that you can enjoy musical performances from Musical Masterworks and the Side Door Jazz Club online?

How about taking a virtual tour of the latest shows at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) or FloGris, watching online art classes at the LAA, FloGris or Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, or following along with a virtual storytime at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

You can still stroll through the Florence Griswold Museum gardens even though the Museum is currently closed.

The opportunities do not end there. The FloGris has on online tour of its historic boarding house, there is art for sale online at The Cooley Gallery, nine oral histories are available on the Old Lyme Historical Society website, and a History Blog is offered on the FloGris website.

And there is so much more. Visit the Old Lyme Arts District website and explore …

Cheryl Poirier, who is a volunteer organizer of the Old Lyme Arts District, tells LymeLine, “It has been amazing to see all the ways our individual partner organizations have been working to bring art and music to everyone even with closed galleries and stages.”

She explains, “We decided to bring all of these resources together and include all of our partners whether they had open grounds like Studio 80, art for sale at the Lyme Art Association, or art activities like the Library. It was remarkable to see in one place all all of the creative and artistic things to still do “on Lyme Street.”





Musical Masterworks Seeks New General Director

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks, an acclaimed, not-for-profit organization with a 30-year-history of performing chamber music in Old Lyme, is looking for a part-time General Director.

The person appointed will be enthusiastic to build on the extraordinary success of the organization over previous years as he/she works with the president, board and artistic director to position it for the future.

Read the full job description, qualifications required and how to apply at this link.



Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Accepting Applications for Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks and Community Music School (CMS) have announced that applications are open for their fourth annual scholarship to honor the memory of Nancy D. Thomas.  

Thomas was a well-known and beloved piano instructor with Community Music School for 30 years and initiated the Kindermusik program and Kate’s Camp for Kids at CMS.  She influenced the lives of many young musicians and inspired their talents.  “We are thrilled to provide an additional opportunity for young people to study music and are so honored to have Musical Masterworks by our side in this partnership.” said Abigail Nickell, CMS Executive Director.

Thomas also was on the staff of Musical Masterworks for almost 25 years.  She was fastidious in her responsibilities working with all the musicians onstage and was well loved by all.  “Nancy was an indispensable part of Musical Masterworks.  We are delighted to be partnering with her beloved Community Music School in establishing this scholarship in her name, so that more young people can discover the power of music in their lives. We believe this would have pleased Nancy immensely,” said Alden Rockwell Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks.

Community Music School and Musical Masterworks are delighted to honor Thomas’s memory with the Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas, which will provide a one-time award of tuition for a middle school student to take music lessons, each lesson of 30 minutes length, for one full academic year (34 weeks) at CMS.  The five-year scholarship was established in 2017 and will be awarded annually through 2021. 

To be eligible, the candidate must be a student of classical voice or instrumental music and reside in Middlesex County or New London County. 

Interested students must complete an application and submit an audio recording of two pieces of classical music in contrasting styles as well as a written recommendation.  A three-member jury comprised of representatives of both CMS and Musical Masterworks will review applications.

The application deadline for the scholarship is June 22, 2020, and the scholarship recipients will be notified mid-summer. To obtain an application, contact CMS at (860) 767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 37-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.cmsct.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 30th 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.


Take a (Socially Distanced) Stroll Round Gil Boro’s Sculpture Grounds to Celebrate International Sculpture Day

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

OLD LYME — Tomorrow, Saturday, April 25, the world will join in celebration of sculpture during the 6th annual International Sculpture Day, or ISDay.

The International Sculpture Center (ISC) invites artists, educators, collectors, curators and art enthusiasts across the globe to join in celebrating sculpture virtually. Take a minute to share images of your work, a favorite work by another sculptor, exhibitions, and any other way you celebrate sculpture. Be sure to share the #ISDay hashtag on social media to be featured on sculpture.org and the ISC Instagram pages.

Three works by Gilbert Boro can be seen in this photo.

Here in Old Lyme, we are so fortunate to have Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, where nationally- and internationally-renowned sculptor Gilbert Boro lives and works. His beautiful property at 80-1 Lyme St. comprises 4.5 acres that roll gently down to the Lieutenant River. There are more than 120 sculptures on display in the grounds, the majority created by Boro himself. It would be the perfect place to visit on ISDay!

Sculptor Gil Boro in his studio in Old Lyme.

The studio and indoor facilities are closed to the public until further notice, but individuals are still welcome to stroll the grounds, enjoy nature and view the public artwork outdoors.

Admission is free from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily but visitors must practice social distancing and other infection reduction strategies as outlined by the CDC

Sculptor Gil Boro has always encouraged visitors to touch and engage with the artwork, however, at this time, he asks that you refrain from all physical contact with the sculptures. grounds at this time.


‘Birds & Bees’ Opens Online at Lyme Art Association

Harkness Garden by Beverly Schirmeier is one of the signature paintings in the ‘Bird & Bees’ online exhibition at the Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents a new exhibition titled, “Birds & Bees,” which opens online at LymeArtAssociation.org today and runs through June 12. The exhibition cannot be presented as a live exhibition due to Gov. Lamont’s restrictions on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The show is a colorful celebration of spring featuring uplifting works by LAA member artists.  It was juried by Nancy Peel Gladwell, a current member of the University of New Haven faculty and former faculty member of  Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

‘American Wintergreen’ (oil) by Necla Balasaygun is featured in the ‘Birds & Bees’ online exhibition opening Friday, April 24, at the LAA.

The Presenting Sponsor of the exhibition is Sky Investment. The LAA board and administration wish to express their appreciation to Sky Investment for supporting the LAA and its artists in this difficult time.

‘Monarch’ (oil) by Mona Stratos is featured in the ‘Birds & Bees’ online exhibition.

The LAA will be donating five percent of the commission of every sale from this exhibition to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries to provide assistance to community members in need.

Community Music School Announces Online Music Lessons

It’s never too late to learn an instrument. Photo by Derek Truninger on Unsplash

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) has successfully transitioned all private music lessons to an online platform and now welcomes new students to take advantage of this program. Weekly music lessons can provide a sense of normalcy while at home, and learning a new instrument or picking one back up again can provide a source of joy during these challenging times.

All lessons are taught on Zoom with a password-protected waiting room to ensure everyone’s safety.

To get started, contact CMS with the student’s age, instrument, level, and availability and CMS will set you up with an instructor.

Community Music School accepts students of all ages and abilities, on almost all instruments.

For additional informationvisit www.cmsct.org/online or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Editor’s Note: Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 37year-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. 


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Art Students Win Major Awards at ‘Future Choices’ Contest

LOLHS Junior Marina Melluzo was awarded First Place in Drawing and Best in Show for her charcoal drawing ‘Containment’ at the 2020 Future Choices Art Show, sponsored by the Shoreline Arts Alliance.

LYME-OLD LYME — The Visual Arts Department of Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) has announced outstanding results from this year’s Future Choices Art Show, sponsored by the Shoreline Arts Alliance.

Junior Marina Melluzzo won First Place Drawing and Best in Show for her charcoal drawing, “Confinement,” also earning the Earl Grenville Killeen Founders Award for Will Allik as teacher of the Best in Show recipient.

Other first place winners included Junior Riley Nelson in Mixed Media and Sophomore Olivia Schaedler in Ceramics.

‘Reflecting the Light’ by Olivia Bartlett, a second place winner in Mixed Media in the ‘Future Choices’ contest.

Taking second place in Drawing, Printmaking, Ceramics and Mixed Media respectively were Senior Sam Dushin, Senior Jane Scheiber, Junior Grace Lathrop and Junior Olivia Bartlett.

Junior Connie Pan took Third in Painting, while Seniors Emily Evers and Summer Siefken were both awarded Honorable Mentions in Drawing. Riley Nelson also received an Honorable Mention in the Painting category, and this year’s Ruth Baxter-Tagliatela Award goes to Summer Siefken for her drawings.

‘Portait #3’ by Summer Siefken, who won the Ruth Baxter-Tagliatela Award.

Other students with works juried into the show included Sonia Bair, Jack Conley, Sarah Conley, Gabe Lavoie, Brianna Melillo, Aidan Powers, and Taylor Thompson, all of whom deserve credit for helping LOLHS win the Judy Streeter Outstanding School Award for our Art Department.

Students who reside or attend school in the 24-town Shoreline Region are eligible to submit up to three works each for this juried competition. Award-winners earn cash prizes and other scholarship awards


Old Lyme’s Phoebe Griffin Noyes Libary Closed Until Further Notice

The Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is at 2 Library Lane in Old Lyme.

OLD LYME —  Katie Huffman, Director of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library has just announced via an e-communication that “Due to COVID-19 and our concern for the well-being of our patrons and staff, the Library will be closing until further notice as of 5pm on Friday, March 13th.”

She advises, “Staff will continue to answer phone and email inquiries as we are able.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything we can do to assist you.  Complete contact information can be found here.”
Huffman adds, “In the meantime, we encourage you to make use of the online collections (e-books, audiobooks, magazines, and more) found on our website.”

Florence Griswold Museum Closed to Public Until, at Least, March 31

The Florence Griswold Museum will close to the public from Saturday, March 14.

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum has issued a communication this afternoon stating, “As part of the effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we have made the difficult decision to close the Florence Griswold Museum to the public beginning Saturday, March 14 and through at least March 31, 2020, and to cancel all programs during this time.”

The message continues, “We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the Museum soon … but until then, encourage you to visit the Museum’s Artists’ Trail, a half-mile walk around the Museum’s river-front landscape and gardens.

Check the Museum’s website and social media (FacebookInstagram, and Twitter) to stay up-to-date about the Museum’s status and enjoy beautiful images, on-line exhibitions, fun facts, and behind-the-scenes videos.”
The Museum advises that if you should you need a staff member, then call or email them in the normal manner.