August 2, 2021

Lyme Art Association Celebrates 100th Anniversary with Lyme Street ‘Paint-Out’, Tea Day, ‘Centennial Frolic’; Saturday

‘Tea Day’ by Edward Volkert, 1930, and printed courtesy of the family of Edward Volkert, hints at the festivities to be held on the Lyme Art Association’s ‘Centennial Day,’ Aug. 7.

OLD LYME — In 1921, after years of discussion, planning, and fundraising, the early members of the Lyme Art Association (LAA) achieved their goal: a purpose-built gallery to display their art. This year, the LAA will be marking that milestone with special exhibitions, events, and activities.

Centennial Day, Aug. 7, 2021 is 100 years (plus one day) from the opening day of the first exhibit in the Lyme Art Association Gallery. The impetus for the incorporation of Lyme Art Association back in 1914 was to plan and build a gallery perfect for the display of the works of the Lyme Impressionists, who formed the Lyme Art Colony.

The Lyme Art Association on Lyme Street is celebrating the centennial of its founding with three related events being held throughout the day on Saturday, Aug. 7, culminating in a 1920s-themed fundraising “Frolic’ from 5 to 7 p.m.

The opening of the gallery seven years later on Aug. 6, 1921, represented the culmination of years of planning, fundraising, delays, more fundraising, and construction.

The gallery’s opening was celebrated enthusiastically by the community, praised by national journals, and of course, was the pride and joy of the artists themselves and Miss Florence Griswold, who served as the first gallery manager.

On Saturday, Aug. 7, the Lyme Art Association is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the construction of the LAA gallery and the start of a continuous connection with the Old Lyme and Lyme communities with three related events:

  • Wet Paint on Lyme Street will place member artists throughout the Old Lyme village at their easels painting en plein air, thus evoking the early artists with whose presence the community was quite familiar. The artists will work at varying times during the day and then sell their paintings on the LAA lawn at 4:30 p.m. This will be an opportunity to see many LAA artists painting in their own styles.

Tea Day is a family-friendly event being held from 1 to 4 p.m., which will harken back to the LAA’s early fundraisers of tea parties held on the front lawn for the townspeople and artists. Beverages and baked goods will be sold while crafts, games, and other fun activities will be offered. Costumed historical interpreters will be on hand to share stories of the artists, who founded the LAA along with planning and building the gallery. Join today’s LAA for a contemporary take on an event from years gone by.

Lyme Art Colony Annual Frolic, 1928

  • The Centennial Frolic will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. with a 1920s-themed fundraiser (1920s attire encouraged!) for the  Second Century Skylight Project. This event will celebrate the next 100 years of the LAA’s historic gallery in the spirit of their founders.The artists of the Lyme Art Colony marked the end of every summer with a “Frolic,” which often included elaborate costuming (see photo above.)This event is open to donors to the Skylight Project (visit this page on the LAA website or call 860- 434-7802 to donate) and will include beverages and appetizers. Help save the skylights and “frolic” like the LAA founders!

A Century of Inspiration, the Lyme Art Association’s summer exhibition will explore the connections between the current Association’s artists and the original Lyme Art Colony artists.

The best work of LAA members, inspired by some of the same landscapes and subject matter that early Lyme artists painted, will be hung along with pieces by the founding artists. Displays exploring the founding, growth, and changes in the LAA will be presented, taking visitors all the way through the century that saw so much change in both the Association and the world at large.

This work titled, ‘Return of the Laurel,’ (oil) is one of the featured paintings in the new exhibit at the LAA.

Lyme Art Association Executive Director Laurie Pavlos explained, “Artists who visited Old Lyme in the early 1900s found its beauty and rural atmosphere an antidote to some of the more unpleasant changes that industrialization and urbanization were causing. They also found a wonderful camaraderie and encouragement in each other as well as their patron and landlady, Florence Griswold.”

Pavlos continued, “In many respects, as much as things have changed, they have stayed the same. Miss Florence is gone, but many Lyme Art Association artists are still inspired by the same combination of local beauty, camaraderie and encouragement, which are important aspects of our mission, along with the extensive educational opportunities we offer.”

For more information about the Skylight Campaign and/or the Frolic, visit lymeartassociation.org.

The Century of Inspiration exhibit runs from July 30 through Sept. 16. The LAA gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. and also by appointment.

Live Jazz Jam at Sound View in Old Lyme, Thursdays; Next Session Aug. 12

Photo by dimitri.photography on Unsplash.

OLD LYME —  Live jazz sessions will be held on the following Thursdays at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave., Old Lyme, starting at 7 p.m.

  • Aug. 12
  • Aug. 26

Piano, guitar, bass and drum musicians will be dropping by to jam all evening.  You can bring refreshments, enjoy the music, and even dance! All are welcome.

This is a fundraiser for the community center with a requested donation of $5.

Parking is available across the street from the community center.

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

These events are sponsored by the Sound View Beach Association, Inc.

Large Turnout for Successful ‘Community Connections’ Networking Event at Lyme Academy

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Chairman Michael Duffy addresses the guests at Wednesday’s networking event hosted by Community Connections at the Academy. All photos by Suzanne Thompson.

OLD LYME — It was a glorious afternoon on Wednesday when around 70 community members gathered on the lawns at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme for the first ‘post-COVID’ event hosted by Community Connections.

Attendees enjoyed catching up with old friends after more than a year of semi-seclusion due to the pandemic.

Local non-profit leaders and volunteers along with a number of community leaders mingled outside under a warm sun.

Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold (in red shirt) chatted with the publisher of ‘estuary’ magazine Dick Shriver. Maryam Elahi, President & CEO of Community Foundation of Eastern CT (in black and white hat), also joined the conversation.

Representatives of Lyme Academy took the opportunity to give presentations describing plans for the future of the institution. Their vision is one of a vibrant institution returning to the mission of its founder and also becoming once again an active participant in the community.

Newly-appointed Lyme Academy Artistic Director Jordan Sokol addressed the guests. The new Executive Director of the Academy, Mora Rowe, is seated to his right.

There was enthusiastic participation in the presentations …

Guests responded keenly to the presentations.

… and opportunities to tour the grounds of the Academy.

Evan Griswold and Laurie Walker assisted at the event.

Refreshments, including wine and delicious Benko Box treats from Carlson’s Landing, were served …

Pollinate Old Lyme! Co-Chair Cheryl Poirier (center) chatted with friends.

Conversations continued …

Lyme-Old Lyme’s Food Share Garden President Jim Ward (center, smiling) connected with other local volunteers.

There was lots of listening …

Long-time board member of the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Ned Perkins (in pink shirt) happily discussed the success of the library’s recent renovations.

… to a variety of speakers …

Tina Birkic (in green), who chairs Community Connections, welcomed all the guests.

… and the event was deemed a huge success by the organizers and guests alike. Tina Birkic, Community Connections Chair, concluded, ” It was a beautiful, sunny day. We were very happy so many people were able to attend and reconnect at such a lovely location.”

Old Lyme Open Space Commission member Greg Futoma chatted with other non-profit leaders.

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Pollinate Old Lyme! Co-Chair and Region 18 Board of Education member Suzanne Thompson for all the photos.

‘Murder For Two’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Masks No Longer Required

Joe Kinosian as The Suspects and Ian Lowe at piano and as Detective Marcus. Photo by Joan Marcus.

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse has reopened its doors for a five-play season. The previously announced mask mandate has been removed as per new Actors Equity Association Union recommendations.

The opening production, Murder For Two by Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian, is a blend of music, mayhem and murder! In this hilarious 90-minute show, two performers play 13 roles—not to mention the piano—in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries.

Murder For Two was developed at the Adirondack Theatre Festival and 42nd Street Moon. Chicago Shakespeare Theater presented the World Premiere Production in May, 2011, which was extended four times and ran for more than six months. Kinosian and Blair were recognized with a 2011 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Musical.

Everyone is a suspect in Murder For Two – Ian Lowe*, who was last seen in Ivoryton in The Woman in Black — plays the detective, and Joe Kinosian* plays all 13 suspects and they both play the piano.

A zany blend of classic musical comedy and madcap mystery, this 90-minute whodunit is a highly theatrical duet loaded with laughs.

The show is directed and choreographed by Wendy Seyb, the set is designed by Martin Marchitto, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Elizabeth Saylor.

Murder For Two runs through Aug. 1. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. There will now be an additional performance on Saturday, July 24, at 2 p.m.

Regarding COVID-19 safety, Playhouse Operations Manager and Covid-19 Safety Manager, Steve Phelan, says “We know that our audiences will be relieved that the mask mandate has been lifted but we want to assure everyone that we will still be following stringent safety protocols including socially distanced seating, and no concessions will be sold, except water, for this first production. Audience safety, as well as their enjoyment of the show, is still our primary concern. We are hoping to be able to welcome more audience members safely in the months ahead”

The health and safety of our actors, patrons and staff remains the top priority at the Playhouse. Many improvements have been made to the Ivoryton Playhouse for audience protection including socially distanced seating, increasing the flow of outside air to 40 percent, installation of air purification units, contactless ticketing, increased cleaning, hand sanitization stations and more.

The second show in the 2021 Summer Season will be:

HAVING OUR SAY:  THE DELANY SISTERS FIRST 100 YEARS
by Emily Mann, adapted from the book “Having Our Say”
Aug. 12 – Sept. 5
A beautiful, funny and heartfelt family drama based on the bestselling memoir of Bessie and Sadie Delany – trailblazers, activists and best friends.

More shows will be announced soon.

Tickets are $55 for adults, $50 for seniors, $25 for students and are available on June 14 by calling the Playhouse box office at 860.767.7318. Tickets are not available online.

Visit the website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org for more information. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Launches New Program of Study, Offers Classical Arts Education for Less Than $10K Per Year 

OLD LYME — The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, pictured above, has launched its application drive for full-time students with a reimagined core program of study, which will commence in late September. Led by the  husband and wife team of Jordan Sokol and Amaya Gurpide, a dynamic new faculty of internationally-acclaimed instructors will teach students the foundational skills on which they can  build a career in the fine arts.

“We’re looking for students who really want to apply themselves and work hard to grow and develop” said Sokol, himself an accomplished painter, adding, “You’ve got to be willing to put in the thousands of hours required, if you are serious about developing your talent. There are no short-cuts.”

Jordan Sokol (right) and Amaya Gurpide are the new Artistic Director at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

It is expected that most students will study for three years, although some will pursue a shorter course of study and others longer, depending on their individual objectives and the progress they make developing their skills.  

Building on the momentum developed from a series of community programs that have energized the campus, the Academy’s Executive Director Mora Rowe, said, “We have stunning facilities in a magical setting that combines a great history with the future of figurative and representational arts.”

Due to the reorganization that has taken place at the Academy, it will no longer confer Bachelor’s degrees. In place of seat-time requirements for credit accumulation, students will instead focus on skill-building with an eye towards mastery.

The Executive Director of Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is Mora Rowe.

“As a result of this shift, we’ve been able to significantly reduce the Academy’s overhead costs and can offer a full-time course of study for under $10,000,” said Rowe. At a time when many are questioning the spiraling costs of higher education, students can now attend Lyme Academy and complete a course of study for less than the amount for a single year’s tuition when the institution conferred Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. 

Founded in 1976 by the sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, the Academy was created as an institution dedicated to the traditional, skills-based education, first taught in the Renaissance academies of Europe and later at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts.

In walking away from being a degree-granting institution, Lyme Academy has returned to its roots: at its founding and for many years thereafter, students were attracted to the Academy to learn skills, not to obtain a degree.

Chandler’s legacy continues in its new curriculum, which combines rigorous studio instruction in drawing and painting with anatomy, sculpture, and the histories of art. Integrated into this instructional framework is the progressive spirit of today’s Academy and a commitment to preparing its students for the 21st century art world. 

The Academy’s Core Program is comprehensive and intense: classes are conducted five days a week, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., with weekly supplementary instruction in anatomy, sculpture, and the histories of art. Landscape, still life, and portraiture are included in the program, as are dedicated explorations of the properties of light and form.

Students work in custom north-lit studios, honing their technical skills through the direct observation of imported  European plaster casts and live models. Intimate class sizes allow for in-studio demonstrations and individualized critiques, as well as guided museum and gallery visits.

Faculty and guest lectures are regularly scheduled, many of which are open to the public.

The camaraderie that is felt by students at the Academy is mirrored by the community outside the campus grounds. Located midway between Boston and New York, Old Lyme, Conn. has been a site of artistic congregation for over a century, recognized as the birthplace of the famed Lyme Art Colony and the ‘Home of American Impressionism.’ 

Editor’s Note: Enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year is now open; applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. For further information about enrollment and how to apply, visit this link.

For further information about the Academy and its vibrant schedule of lectures, exhibitions, workshops, and part-time programs, and how to become an ‘Arts Insider,’ visit this link.

Immerse Yourself in ‘Connecticut Waters’ on a Nautical Trip with Lyme Photographer Caryn B. Davis in her Latest Book

All photos by Caryn B. Davis and published with her permission. All photos taken from ‘Connecticut Waters.’

“The combination of stunning photography by Caryn B. Davis and rich text by Eric D. Lehman draws you into a world where the waters of the Nutmeg State metaphorically consume you”

Connecticut Waters is a remarkable book.

First of all, you think it is going to be yet another ‘coffee-table book’ and start to skim the pages simply to admire the beautiful photographs.

But then you start to read the narrative and it immediately demands your attention to the extent you simply cannot put the book down.

The combination of stunning photography by Caryn B. Davis and rich text by Eric D. Lehman draws you into a world where the waters of the Nutmeg State metaphorically consume you, and all you can do is to let yourself become completely — and pleasantly — immersed in them.

After that, you move to yet another level and realize that you are now not only at one with the seas, lakes, rivers, streams and shores of this oh, so special state, but along your way to that perfect point, you have absorbed a plethora of interesting facts and tidbits of fascinating information that you never knew before.

Ultimately, you feel as though you are sharing the whole experience with Davis, who conceived the book and guided the narrative. You have never met her but you are certain you know her because her deep and intimate relationship with the waters of Connecticut has suddenly become yours.

Touching variously on an vast range of engaging topics, including — but by no means limited to — lobster and other snack shacks, historic ferries, antique boats, racing yachts, nautical arts, the oyster and fishing industries, and maritime museums, the book is packed with Davis’s striking photos, which frequently span more than one page making them even more impactful.

These latter explore in creative detail the subject matter of each chapter while the narrative amplifies the history, traditions, and culture of the state’s waters and how people use them in terms of industry, education, recreation and more.

The first chapter, Races and Rendezvous, opens with the words, “Something about being on the water calls for celebration of the magnificent power of the sea …” Throughout the book, Davis captures that celebration with photos of boats of all shapes, sizes and ages at events across the state, demonstrating clearly, “… our human love for life on the water, a love that never seems to die.”

A later chapter on Islands & Lighthouses states evocatively both are, “… about beginnings and endings, about loneliness and connection. A lighthouse keeper may be the opposite of a pirate, but both know the terrible beauty of the sea.”

The photos in this chapter are particularly striking while the narrative details some of the extraordinarily courageous feats of  Connecticut lighthouse keepers. Two such examples are Charles Kenny of the Peck Ledge Light at Norwalk, who in 1921, “rowed through huge swells to save four crewmen [who had] escaped their leaking steamboat” and Bridgeport resident Catherine Moore, who “lived on Fayerweather Island nearly her entire life, tending the light and saving two dozen lives during her tenure.”

The book vacillates between chapters on ‘concrete’ subjects such as Festivals & Celebrations; Boatbuilders & Restorations; Working Watercraft, and Museums & Aquariums, and those with a more intangible air like Wood, Wind & Water; Fun in the Sun; Water, Water, Everywhere, and Coming Into Port. In each case, however, Davis combines her exceptional skill as a photographer with her in-depth knowledge of local sights, sounds, events and personalities, thus bringing the chapter fully to life.

Caryn B. Davis

It is no surprise that the photography in this book is so powerful since Davis, who lives on Rogers Lake in Lyme, Conn., is an award-winning photographer, whose career has spanned the globe taking her to over 50 countries and counting, while her images and articles have been featured in over 60 publications worldwide.

Her first commissioned photography book, A Connecticut Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style, gained high accolades in 15 newspapers and magazines nationwide. 

Lehman, who write the narrative, is the director of Creative Writing at the University of Bridgeport.

He is the author or editor of 20 books and his work has been published in dozens of journals and magazines.

If you love the state of Connecticut or even if your love only extends to the waters of Connecticut, then this is a book — as they say at weddings — ‘to have and to hold.’

It will inspire you to start planning visits to many of the places Davis highlights in her photographs. It will enchant you with the fabulous photography and finally, it will engage you with its masterful management of the challenging task of interweaving superior photos with informative text on a topic, which runs freely through the veins of anyone who calls — or has called — Connecticut home.

Editor’s Notes: ‘Connecticut Waters’ was published April 2021 by Globe Pequot Press. For more information about how to order ‘Connecticut Waters’ online or purchase it in person, visit this link.
For more information about Caryn B. Davis, visit her website at this link.

For more information about Eric D. Lehman, visit his website at this link.

 

Celebrate a Centennial Summer in Old Lyme’s Arts District

OLD LYME — Centennial Summer 2021 is underway in Old Lyme!

The Old Lyme Arts District — a partnership of arts and cultural organizations on Lyme Street — is celebrating the Lyme Art Association’s 100th anniversary with a wonderful selection of offerings and ideas on ways to enjoy arts, music and culture on Lyme Street.

View all current listings at this link  or take a look at them under these sub-headings:

Offerings will be updated during the summer.

Hundreds Celebrate Summer Solstice With Stroll Down Lyme St. Enjoying ‘Make Music Day’

Lyme Street was filled with cheerful folk enjoying the sounds of ‘Make Music Old Lyme’ and visiting with friends they had not seen in a long time due to pandemic restrictions. Photo by Cheryl Poirier.

OLD LYME — ARTICLE UPDATED, PHOTOS ADDED: The air was warm and spirits were high early on Monday evening when more than 500 people took a stroll on Lyme Street to enjoy the music of a dozen bands and solo performers, who together created Make Music Old Lyme. 

‘The Voice’ finalist Braiden Sunshine drew a large crowd in front of Center School. All photos by Alan Poirier except where otherwise indicated.

It turned into an evening of wonderful musical entertainment and also the opportunity to reconnect with friends after a very long and challenging year.

Plywood Cowboy played on the steps of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

The celebration spanned the length of Lyme Street from the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, where Steve Dedman of Plywood Cowboy played all the way up to the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts where the Old Lyme Town Band entertained on the front lawn.

The Old Lyme Town Band gave a rousing performance in front of Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

A number of people brought chairs and moved from performance to performance to enjoy the evening full of folk, indie rock, Americana, and more.

Welcome to Space performed at Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau as part of ‘Make Music Old Lyme.’ From left to right are Thomas Pennie, Colin Hallahan and Jess Kegley with Noah Rumm on drums. All four are members of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2019. Photo by Tracy McGlinchey.

Many residents were surprised to learn that all of the musicians donated their time and talent to support the international Make Music Day credo of free music for all.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions did brisk business selling hot dogs and hamburgers.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club sold over 100 hamburgers and more than 100 hot dogs …

Steve Patarini and Dean Montgomery performed on the new patio of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

… and meanwhile, The Chocolate Shell generously offered a 10 percent on all purchases.

Hot Strings Café could be found in front of Patricia Spratt for the Home.

Cheryl Poirier, a lead organizer of Make Music Old Lyme, told LymeLine after the event that she felt it was, “A highly successful night  … [and] a great time was had by all!”

The Nightingale Fiddlers and Friends played in front of … where else, but Nightingale’s Acoustic Cafe?!

The comments we have seen about the event on our Facebook page and here on LymeLine strongly suggest that was the universal opinion!

The Moving Target Band played in front of The Village Shops.

The event was part of an international celebration of free music for all produced by the Old Lyme Arts District in conjunction with the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition and Nightingale’s Acoustic Cafe arranged the musical lineup.

The Midnight Anthem delighted crowds in front of Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall. Photo by Cheryl Poirier.

This was the third year Make Music Old Lyme has been presented; it was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whiskey and Aspirin and friends performed in front of The Cooley Gallery.

At the end of the two-hour event, a ‘Kazoo Parade’ led by Dan Stevens brought people to Studio 80+ Sculpture Grounds, where a final jam session involving many of the performers continued.

After a jovial musical march up Lyme Street, several of the musicians stopped a while at Gil Boro’s studio to make more music. Photo by Cheryl Poirier.

Make Music Old Lyme returns next year on the Summer Solstice, Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

The grand, unplanned finale at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds made for a perfect end to an amazing evening. Photo by Cheryl Poirier.

Studio 80’s ‘Summer Sculpture Showcase’ on View Throughout Summer

‘Yes’ by Joe Gitterman is one of the featured works in this year’s Summer Sculpture Showcase.

OLD LYME — An Opening Reception for Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds’ 7th Annual Summer Sculpture Showcase will be held Saturday, June 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate the artwork on display … and a much-anticipated return to socialization! All are welcome.

The event will feature a live performance by Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and Steve Sigel.

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens will be playing with Steve Sigel during the Opening Reception.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds is a vibrant community environment dedicated to arts education and appreciation on the Connecticut shoreline. Its mission is to create a bond between art, nature and community by inspiring and promoting participation in the arts.

The exhibition provides a unique opportunity for artists to showcase their sculptures in a wonderful environment specifically designed to nurture the creative arts.  This year, the Showcase features sculptural works by 20 selected artists.

Take the opportunity to wander around Gil Boro’s Sculpture Grounds and see the more than 100 sculptures on display,

In an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy, masks will be mandatory for all and social distancing measures will be practiced. If you have not been vaccinated, you are requested to consider not attending the event.

The health and well-being of the community is of paramount importance. It is for this reason that the event will be held exclusively outdoors, weather permitting, and no refreshments will be served this year. Guests are, however, welcome to BYO!

‘Sticky Chromosome’ is one of the sculptures juried into the Showcase.

Parking is available next door at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. Handicapped parking is available at the Sculpture Grounds.

Ivoryton Playhouse Reopens its Doors with ‘Murder for Two,’ July 8

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse will open its doors for a five-play season on July 8.

Murder For Two by Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian is a blend of music, mayhem and murder! In this hilarious 90-minute show, two performers play 13 roles—not to mention the piano—in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries.

The New York Times calls it “Ingenious! A snazzy double-act that spins out a comic mystery animated by funny, deftly turned songs.”

Murder For Two was developed at the Adirondack Theatre Festival and 42nd Street Moon. Chicago Shakespeare Theater presented the World Premiere Production in May, 2011, which was extended four times and ran for more than six months. Kinosian and Blair were recognized with a 2011 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Musical.

Everyone is a suspect in Murder For Two – Ian Lowe*, who was last seen in Ivoryton in The Woman in Black — plays the detective, and Joe Kinosian* plays all 13 suspects and they both play the piano.

A zany blend of classic musical comedy and madcap mystery, this 90-minute whodunit is a highly theatrical duet loaded with laughs.

The show is directed and choreographed by Wendy Seyb, the set is designed by Martin Marchitto, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Elizabeth Saylor.

Murder For Two opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse July 8 and runs through Aug. 1, 2021. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. There will be one Thursday matinee on July 8.

The safety of the audience is the primary concern. Face masks are required at all times in the theatre. There is no intermission and no concessions will be sold. Eating and drinking are not allowed in the theatre. Socially-distanced  seats mean there are only 96 seats in the theatre for your comfort and protection.  To view the socially-distanced seating plan, follow this link.

The second show in the 2021 Summer Season will be:

HAVING OUR SAY:  THE DELANY SISTERS FIRST 100 YEARS
by Emily Mann, adapted from the book “Having Our Say”
Aug. 12 – Sept. 5
A beautiful, funny and heartfelt family drama based on the bestselling memoir of Bessie and Sadie Delany – trailblazers, activists and best friends.

More shows will be announced soon.

Tickets are $55 for adults, $50 for seniors, $25 for students and are available on June 14 by calling the Playhouse box office at 860.767.7318. Tickets are not available online. Visit the website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org for more information. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

 

 

Lyme Academy Welcomes Community Back to Campus with Upbeat Concert

OLD LYME — Hundred came out yesterday evening to enjoy a free concert hosted by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts featuring singer Chris Gregor on guitar, who was followed by Brad Bensko and Kathleen Parks.

The crowd seemed genuinely pleased to be back on the grounds of the beloved institution, which has experienced a period of uncertainty in recent years as it transitioned back from a degree-granting college to a fine arts academy.

It was an evening for all ages …

… with something for everyone.

The music delighted the audience …

… and a wonderful evening was had by all.

There will be another free concert next Thursday evening, June 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. on the grounds of the Academy featuring the Java Groove.

Don’t miss it!

Artist and Community Volunteers Turn Prison Cell into Garden at Flo Gris Museum; Solitary Garden Artist to Give Talk Sunday

OLD LYME — As part of the Florence Griswold Museum’s current exhibition, Social & Solitary: Reflections on Art, Isolation, and Renewal, the Museum is collaborating with the New Orleans-based artist jackie sumell to install one of her “Solitary Garden” beds on the Museum’s grounds.

A group of volunteers from the community will work with the artist to create the fixtures and plant garden

Thursday, June 10, from 10 am to 5 pm
Friday, June 11, from 10 am to 5 pm
Saturday, June 12, from 10 am to 1 pm

If you wish to volunteer for this project, visit https://florencegriswoldmuseum.org/solitarygarden/

The Solitary Garden project comes to life through correspondence between a volunteer and a currently incarcerated “gardener.” Their letters articulate to the Museum what kinds of flowers or plants are grown in the garden bed. Each Solitary Garden is a gesture of hope connecting an isolated person to the outside world through the restorative act of nurturing plants.

The size and layout of sumell’s 6’ x 9’ plots replicate prison cells, with “fixtures” made from biodegradable materials that will disappear over time as the plants and flowers mature.

The gardener is currently incarcerated at the York Correctional Institution, a facility for women in Niantic. By pending agreement with the prison and the gardener, we will soon be able to share the gardener’s initials.

Photo of jackie sumell by Maiwenn Raoult.

Artist jackie sumell works with gardeners incarcerated around the country and encouraged the curator to connect with someone in prison locally.

The Hartford artist Judy Dworin of the movement-based, multi-arts Judy Dworin Performance Project works with women incarcerated at York and helped identify the gardener based on her past involvement in both gardening and writing programs at the prison.

Sumell will be at the Museum on Sunday, June 13 at 2 p.m. for a free talk on the grounds. She will speak about her Solitary Gardens and The Prisoner’s Apothecary, a traveling project that grows plant medicine in collaboration with incarcerated individuals and distributes it to affected communities nationally.

The Solitary Gardens project cultivates conversations around alternatives to incarceration by catalyzing compassion. This project directly and metaphorically asks us to imagine a landscape without prisons.

Editor’s Note: The artist’s name is intentionally lowercase. The Florence Griswold Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT.

‘Lymes Creative Arts’ Kicks Off Summer Arts, Music Programs for Students


LYME-OLD LYME —
Teens and preteens here will have a variety of ways to participate in visual arts and m
usic this summer thanks to a new collaborative effort,
Lymes Creative Arts. The initiative presents in one place all available arts and music opportunities in the two towns, including several new programs created based on feedback from a student survey.

The initiative is designed to reduce barriers to participation such as access to program options, time availability, and financial hardship.

Lyme-Old Lyme High Schools Art Department Head Will Allik will lead a Caricature Workshop during this summer’s Lymes Creative Arts programming.

Programming includes an outdoor arts studio, music club, and workshops such as a Caricature Workshop directed by Lyme-Old Lyme High School Art Department Head Will Allik, and a Ukulele Workshop led by Braiden Sunshine.

All programs can be found at https://lysb.org/TeenArts

The initiative is the creation of Sustainable Old Lyme and Sustainable Lyme, and partners with numerous organizations in the two towns including Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau (LYSB), the towns’ public libraries, Music Now Foundation, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, and Lyme Parks & Recreation.

The initiative began with a survey of 6th to 12th grade students in the two towns to see what arts and music programming students interested them, what programming they currently participate in, and reasons why they may not participate.

Forty percent of respondents replied they did not know how to find arts programming they would be interested in, 33 percent felt they were not talented enough to pursue the creative arts they were interested in, and 15 percent felt their family could not afford outside-of-school arts programming. 

“It was important to us that those students, who may not have the resources to participate, could easily do so without a lot of hoops to jump through,” said Cheryl Poirier, Sustainable Old Lyme’s chairperson.

“There are kids who rely on parents to know their interests and find fun things to do in the summer, and there are other kids, who don’t have that advantage. Our goal has been to make the program accessible to all,” she said.

‘The Voice’ finalist Braiden Sunshine will teach a Ukele Workshop this summer.

With the help of interested students, new summer programming was developed for all levels of ability, affordable options were created, and a communications plan was developed to get information out to students where they can find it, including social media and in-school posters. 

“This has truly been a community collaboration ꟷ from local arts institutions to our Student Advisory Committee, we have tried to craft a program that will have something for everyone,” said Liz Frankel, the Sustainable Lyme Action Lead.

She added, “Having students involved at every step, from developing the needs assessment survey, to including them in our planning meetings, and engaging their input on the initiative name and marketing, has been an invaluable inclusive process,” she said.

The program comes at a time when educators and youth service providers are concerned about the well-being of children and young adults following the increased social isolation during the pandemic.

Grant funding for summer programming to address the issue has become available through the American Rescue Plan. Lymes’ Youth Service  Bureau (LYSB) is the distributor of the local funding. 

This summer more than ever our teens need a creative outlet,” said Mary Seidner, LYSB’s Executive Director.  “LYSB is pleased to help facilitate the funding and scholarships for Lymes Creative Arts to offer creativity and community engagement for our middle and high school students. said Mary Seidner, LYSB’s Executive Director. 

Both Old Lyme and Lyme have town-wide efforts to achieve certification levels with Sustainable CT, a state-wide initiative that highlights municipalities that embrace a variety of sustainable practices, including community engagement with the arts.

One of the “actions” municipalities can embrace toward their certification is Arts Programming for Youth. Sustainable CT also rewards inclusive processes and collaborative efforts between municipalities, such as the one Lyme and Old Lyme have taken with Lymes Creative Arts. 

To learn more about the Lymes Creative Arts programming, visit https://lysb.org/teenarts or email LymesCreativeArts@gmail.com. Additional programming is expected to be added throughout the summer and updates will be posted on the Lymes Creative Arts Facebook page.

To learn more about Sustainable CT go to SustainableCT.org.

2021 Summer Sculpture Showcase Opens in Old Lyme, June 19


OLD LYME —
Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds located at 80 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, is accepting submissions until this Friday, May 14, for their Summer Sculpture Showcase 2021, which will be on display from June 19, through Oct. 30, 2021.

The 2021 Summer Sculpture Showcase offers a unique opportunity for established sculptors to exhibit their work in locations tailored to accentuating art. This year Studio 80 has announced the expansion of their Showcase in a new collaboration with the neighboring Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Both Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds and the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts attract artists from a broad range of artistic communities, which will provide for an exhibition of diverse sculptures.

Keeping in line with the Academy’s mission to educate artists through the traditional forms of representational and figurative art and along with the Sculpture Grounds’ mission to nurture interactions between art, nature and community, Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds is excited to present an exhibition that nurtures relationships within the artistic community both institutions mutually serve.

 

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds and Lyme Academy of Fine Arts are thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and anticipate this exhibition will attract art-loving visitors from near and far. Both institutions are committed to the important public mission to enrich the cultural life of the region for the education, enrichment, and enjoyment of our community.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds is a vibrant community environment dedicated to arts education and appreciation on the Connecticut shoreline. Our mission is to create a bond between art, nature & community by inspiring and promoting participation in the arts.

Visit this link to view the full prospectus.

Deadline to Buy Tickets for Musical Masterworks’ Final Virtual Concert of Season Featuring Tessa Lark, May 14

Violinist Tessa Lark

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks presents its final concert video of its 30th Season, which will be filmed from the stage of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme in early May.

The concert video will feature the music of Handel, Ives and a grand finale for the season with Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D Minor.

The musicians will be Tessa Lark on violin, Gilles Vonsattel on piano, and Edward Arron on cello.

Tickets are on sale through May 14. The link to the virtual concert will be made available to ticket buyers on May 15.  The video can be enjoyed for three weeks and watched as many times as one wishes until June 5. 

Ticket holders are able to experience Musical Masterworks as never before with the audio-video production team creating an intimate concert experience, providing a virtual front row seat to the performers’ artistry.

To purchase individual video tickets ($40 each), or student tickets ($5 each), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or email admin@musicalmasterworks.org

Musical Masterworks looks forward to returning in October 2021 with its 31st season.

Lyme Academy Announces Spring, Summer Youth & Adult Programs, Registration Now Open 

Courses galore — both online and in-person — for both young and old are being offered this spring and summer by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

OLD LYME — Spring programming at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is starting online with introductory landscape painting essentials, which prepare students for practicing their craft in the great outdoors.  

Youth Academy Offers Summer Workshops for Pre-College and Middle School students

A student develops her painting skills in the Youth Academy at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Lyme Academy is also accepting registrations for an onsite Youth Academy with summer workshops for Pre-College and Middle School students. “We are very happy to provide exceptional art courses to pre-teens and teens that legitimately prepare them with practical skills that artists actually use. We are more than a camp, we are a training ground for artists,” explains Kimberly Monson, Director of Pre-College and Youth Programming.  

The Academy’s Middle School Program takes lessons from the master artists of the past to demonstrate their significance in history. Through engaging projects, students learn to appreciate the featured artist’s unique style, but filter it through their own creativity.

The Pre-College Program assumes that all students are serious artists in-the-making and trains them accordingly. The academic curriculum is taught by experienced professional artists and college professors, making it as sophisticated as any program offered at the college level.

Monson adds, “The skills and practices learned will prepare students for the rigors of a true studio environment, which easily transfers to both college and work environments as well. Artists are self-motivated, innovative, analytical and creative problem-solvers and our program builds confidence by bringing out those qualities in our students.” 

For more information on the Youth Academy and to register for programs, visit this link or call 860-434-5232.

American Academy of Landscape Painting Presents Courses for Beginner, Advanced Students

Lyme Academy’s American Academy of Landscape Painting offers six online courses and 10 in-person courses beginning in April to prepare students for the transition to live courses outdoors.

The foundations are essential to success as an artist, and to that end Lyme Academy’s online foundation classes include Foundational Drawing with Zufar Bikbov, Perspective in the Landscape with Peter Van Dyck, Elements of Form with Jacqueline Jones, and Color for Landscape and Still Life with Eileen Eder. 

Peter Van Dyck, pictured above working on one of his original paintings, will be teaching Perspective in the Landscape as part of the American Academy of Landscape Painting program.

“With people getting vaccinated, we anticipate renewed vigor and interest in our programs. Our extraordinary faculty want to provide our students with the comfort and instruction to create effectively,” says Executive Director Mora Rowe. 

For students with more experience, two online courses at the intermediate level provide more challenge: Design and Composition Outdoors with Morgan Samuel Price and Going Beyond Theory of Color to Application with West Fraser.

“These courses provide the opportunity to  study on a mentor level with instructors from far away. West is from South Carolina and we are so lucky to have him extend his expertise for longer durations through Zoom” notes Eileen Eder, Lyme Academy Board member and instructor in the program.

She adds, “We cannot encourage the foundations enough, especially drawing.”

The Landscape Academy continues into summer with a wide array of onsite courses, beginner to master, celebrating the out of doors and social  distancing.  

For more information on the Landscape Academy and to register for programs, visit this link or call 860-434-5232.

In-person courses will be held at the Lyme Academy campus in Old Lyme.

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1976 by esteemed sculptor Elisabeth Gordon  Chandler and 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 classical 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 almost 50 years.

For more information on Lyme Academy, visit the Academy website or call 860-434-5232.

Stroll Gil Boro’s Sculpture Grounds to Celebrate International Sculpture Day

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

OLD LYME — This Saturday, April 24, the world will join in celebration of sculpture during the 7th 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, you will find 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 due to Covid-19, 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.

For more information on Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, visit this link.

Musical Masterworks Presents Mozart, Bach & More in March Concert, Tickets to View Video on Sale Now

Randall Scarlata

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks welcomes Randall Scarlata, baritone, along with Jeewon Park, on piano and Edward Arron on cello for their March concert video, which will be filmed on the stage of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

The concert video will feature the music of Mozart, Schubert, Bach and Schumann.

This performance will be filmed in mid-March and the link to the virtual concert will be made available to ticket buyers on March 27.  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 as an intimate concert experience, providing a virtual front row seat, featuring the excellence of the performers’ artistry.

Musical Masterworks season finale performance will be filmed in May when will welcome back favorite artists, Gilles Vonsattel on piano and Tessa Lark on violin.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs through May 2021.  To purchase individual video tickets ($40 each), or student tickets ($5 each), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or email admin@musicalmasterworks.org.

Old Lyme Arts District Announces a ‘Centennial Summer’ for 2021, Midsummer Festival Returns 2022

The historic Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme celebrates its centennial this year. The Old Lyme Arts District plans to celebrate this event throughout the summer with an all-new ‘Centennial Summer.’

OLD LYME — A Centennial Summer of arts and music events is being planned this year by the Old Lyme Arts District while its Midsummer Festival returns in 2022.

Organizations on Lyme Street are considering offering smaller cultural events throughout the summer, which will allow for flexibility during a year when businesses and nonprofits are working toward returning to “business as usual.” The Centennial Summer theme is based on the 100th anniversary of the Lyme Art Association and the opening of its gallery in 1921.

Planning for the Midsummer Festival typically begins in January, with early fundraising needed to produce the annual event which usually draws several thousand visitors from across the area. Although Governor Lamont has lifted many restrictions and says summer festivals can anticipate returning with social distancing and other measures, he acknowledged that another rollback was possible if more contagious variants of the virus take hold.

The Midsummer Festival organizers stated that waiting an extra summer will lower the risk of last-minute event cancellations due to COVID-19 variants or delays in vaccines. 

Instead, a Centennial Summer would be a way for each business or nonprofit to offer their own art and artisan sales, small concerts, or hands-on events during the summer. This will ensure smaller crowds and give local residents a taste of different aspects of the traditional Festival throughout the summer, while giving the organizations the ability to change dates or capacities based on up-to-the-minute mandates by the State.

“There may be an artisan fair on a lawn one weekend or a picnic with a live band another weekend,” explains Katie Huffman, chair of the Old Lyme Arts District, adding, “This approach for 2021 gives each partner the opportunity to have offerings they can easily manage while reactivating their businesses.”

Partner organizations are spending the next several months ensuring staff members can receive vaccinations (particularly those staff in their 20s or 30s who are several months away from being fully vaccinated), creating new protocols for returning to full occupancy, and bringing volunteers back to support daily operations.

The Florence Griswold Museum is postponing its Friday night Midsummer lawn concert and Bohemian Street Fair until 2022, two major draws to the Midsummer Festival.

The first weekend in August, the Lyme Art Association will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of the gallery with a range of events and activities for families, artists, art lovers, and supporters.

The Old Lyme Arts District is a partnership of a dozen organizations that collaborate to promote the arts and cultural offerings on Lyme Street. Announcements of the Centennial Summer activities and events will made be in late Spring or early Summer, and can will be found at www.OldLymeArtsDistrict.com.

Editor’s Note: LymeLine.com is proud to be a sponsor of the Old Lyme Arts District. As ‘Centennial Summer’ events are finalized, we will include details of them all in our Community Calendar, our newsletter and on our website.

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.