August 8, 2020

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.

Lyme Art Association Still Open, Presents ‘Yin and Yang: Abstraction and Realism’

One of the signature paintings of the ‘Yin and Yang’ exhibition is ‘Leaving the Nest’ in pastel by Sandra Karakoosh.

OLD LYME — We were informed earlier today that the opening reception for Yin and Yang, scheduled to be held Sunday, March 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association, has been CANCELLED.

Lyme Art Association presents Yin and Yang, Abstraction and Realism, two shows which highlight both abstract and highly realistic works. The exhibit presents work from the Association’s member artists, juried by Susan Fisher, the Executive Director of the Mystic Museum of Art. The opening reception for Yin and Yang will be held on Sunday, March 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme St., in Old Lyme.

The show runs through April 17, 2020.

“Each year we present one show that allows our members, whose work is generally strongly representational, to show us what else they have been doing in their studios. These are creative people – unlikely to allow themselves to get stuck in a rut, and it’s wonderful to see something entirely different, alongside the realistic work. We know that these shows together will be lively and exciting, sure to be a hit with visitors,” comments Lyme Art Association Executive Director Laurie Pavlos.

Another signature work for the exhibition is this still-life in oil by Alexander Farquharson, titled, ‘, Picnic Basket.’

She continues, “Yin and Yang is the idea of forces that both oppose and complement each other; we hope gallery visitors get a sense of this when viewing the shows.”

The Presenting Sponsor for Yin and Yang is SKY Investment Group.

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community.

The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

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


CANCELLED: Musical Masterworks to Present Complete Cycle of Beethoven’s String Quartets; Opening Concerts in Old Lyme This Weekend

The Ehnes Quartet will perform all 18 of Beethoven’s String Quartets over six concerts starting with three this weekend and three more in early May.

OLD LYME  — We have just learned from Musical Masterworks that out of an abundance of caution and concern for the wellbeing of their patrons, volunteers and staff, the board has made the difficult decision to postpone their Beethoven concerts originally scheduled for March 13, 14 and 15.

The board is in the process of scheduling postponement dates. Tickets for the March concerts will be valid for the new concert dates — to be determined and announced soon.

2020 is the 250th anniversary of the birth of  the remarkable, influential and prolific German composer Ludwig van Beethoven. 

To celebrate this major milestone, Musical Masterworks will present the complete cycle of Beethoven’s String Quartets in six concerts over two extended weekends in March and May at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. The first weekend will feature performances this coming Friday, March 13, Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15, while the second weekend of performances will take place on Friday, May 1, Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3. Each of the six concerts will include three of the 18 quartets that Beethoven composed meaning that every concert will have a different program.

Asked in an exclusive telephone interview with why he had chosen these works to honor Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Musical Masterworks Artistic Director and acclaimed cellist Edward Arron responds, “These string quartets — 18 in all — are considered by many to be one of the most pivotal and profound body of work in the history of western art.” Describing them as, “a deeply rich body of work,” Arron explains that composition of the quartets spans Beethoven’s musical career, “dating back to when he was a young, robust composer in his late twenties to some of the very last pieces he wrote,” prior to his death at the age of 56 in 1827.

Arron notes that the complete cycle of quartets represents, “The arc of Beethoven’s storied life — both compositionally and personally — with each quartet being a marvel in its own right.” adding, “Each quartet takes on a life of its own,” while at the same time, “… revealing something about Beethoven’s life.”

The Musical Masterworks’ concert series celebrates the 250th anniverary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, pictured above.

Arron explains that the quartets divide into three different periods with the early group composed when Beethoven could hear clearly, the middle segment being the pieces written when the composer had suffered significant hearing loss and the late works comprising those composed when Beethoven was effectively completely deaf. It is believed he could only hear, in Arron’s words, “certain very loud noises and some [musical] notes.”

Emhasizing that these late works were “the group that changed the course of musical history,” Arron states emphatically, “Given what he was doing” combined with his physical challenges, Beethoven’s achievement with these quartets was, “an almost impossible feat.”

Asked to elaborate on the significance of these later compositions, Arron notes that, in many ways, they represent the critical transition between the classical and romantic eras of music. In this late period, he points out that Beethoven “abandoned the formal structures of Haydn, Mozart” and became “unconcerned with the conventions of harmony and phrase length,” creating “surprises” throughout the quartets.

Variously describing the works from Beethoven’s late period as “utterly sublime,” “compositionally marvellous,” and “filled with incredible components,” Arron went on to say he felt they were composed out of Beethoven’s “stream of consciousness” rather than any sort of “formulaic measure.” The composer added movements to the traditional four movements and created “purely masterful” music ranging from the “whimsical to the absolutely profound.”

How is Arron feeling about the challenge of presenting all of Beethoven’s String Quartets? He answers animatedly, “I’m incredibly excited about just living inside these pieces with an audience that I know and have a relationship with,” adding that he is fulfilling, “A long-time dream to do the complete cycle.”

Arron also comments that the First Congregational Church is “one of his favorite places to make music,” since its acoustics are “so warm, so precise,” and “Every detail we put across can be heard by the audience.” He says the stage fits a string quartet “perfectly” and due the intimacy of the space, “There is a palpable interaction between the musicians and the audience … an electricity.”

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron says that playing the complete cycle of Beethoven’s String Quartets is “a long-time dream.”

The cycle will be performed by the renowned Ehnes Quartet, which is comprised of Arron, and his internationally acclaimed colleagues, violinist James Ehnes (a two-time GRAMMY winner), violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, and violist Richard O’Neill.  Arron describes the group as “the string quartet of my dreams,” noting, “We all share a deep passion for the [Beethoven] quartets.” The Ehnes Quartet is also performing the cycle at the Seattle Chamber Music Society: the first group of three concerts was performed in January and the second will be given in July.

In a departure from Musical Masterworks usual Saturday (5 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.) performances, Arron has added a Friday (7 p.m.) performance to both the March and May concert weekends.  The six concerts will not be presented in strict order of composition, but rather in a manner that, as far as possible, includes a quartet from each period in every concert.

When he took over as Artistic Director 11 years ago, Arron inherited a tradition of “Talking from the stage [immediately prior to a concert],” by way of giving an introduction to the upcoming music to the audience. He plans to do that before each quartet in these six concerts, but says, “My real goal is to create a bit of context,” adding with a chuckle, “I promise I’ll be a concise tour guide!”

Editor’s Note: To purchase a mini subscription ($100 each), a subscription to the Beethoven concerts or individual tickets ($40 adult; $5 student), visit Musical Masterworks at or call 860.434.2252.


ECSO Continues 73rd Season with “Spring Strings” Featuring Grammy-winning Guitarist, Jason Vieaux, March 28

Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux will perform at the upcoming ECSO concert, March 28. Photo by Tyler Boyd.

NEW LONDON — The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra’s (ECSO) 19-20 season continues  Saturday, March 28, at The Garde in New London with an exciting program that features a Grammy Award winner along with classic compositions.

Edward Elgar’s concert overture In the South opens the program with an exuberant theme re-purposed from another work, that expresses his experiences with his family in Italy.

The soloist for the evening is Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux. Vieaux, who NPR describes as, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation,”  and Gramophone says is, “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists,” performs Joaquín Rodrigo’s well known Concierto de Aranjuez. Rodrigo was blinded at a very young age, but this challenge did not hinder him from composing his acclaimed guitar concerto, inspired by the sounds and fragrances of the Royal Gardens of Aranjuez, Spain.

Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 finishes out the evening. Written not long after his first symphony, at the inspiring backdrop of a vacation in Pörtschach, Austria, Brahms let the environment influence his  joyful symphony.

Prior to the evening’s concert that starts at 7:30 p.m., all attendees are invited to a free pre-concert chat with Toshiyuki Shimada starting at 6:30 p.m. All attendees are also invited to meet and greet with fellow concertgoers and ECSO musicians at the complimentary post-concert reception in the upper lobby of the Garde Arts Center.

This concert is generously sponsored by Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.

Single tickets ($35 – $65) for the ECSO’s 2019-20 season are now on sale to the public. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling the Garde Arts Center Box Office at 860-444-7373 x 1, calling the Symphony office at 860-443-2876, or in person at the ECSO office at 289 State Street, New London, CT. Subscription packages, which offer ticket exchange, savings, and other benefits are still available. Discounts available for senior citizens and $12 tickets available for anyone Under 40 and active or retired military members.

For more information on Jason Vieaux, visit

Editor’s Note: Founded in 1946, the mission of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra is to inspire, educate, and connect our communities through live orchestral music. Visit for more information on the ECSO and follow the orchestra on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) @ectsymphony



‘After Alex’ by Boro of Old Lyme Selected for Inaugural ‘New Canaan Sculpture Trail’ Featuring Eight Outdoor Works

Gilbert Boro’s ‘After Alex 1/14’ has been selected from a large field of entries as one of the eight sculptures comprising the New Canaan Sculpture Trail.

OLD LYME — The New Canaan Land Trust (NCLT) and the Carriage Barn Arts Center recently announced the eight artists whose work has been selected for their ‘first of a kind’ outdoor public art exhibition, the New Canaan Sculpture Trail. One of those selected from the more than 70 submissions made is Gilbert Boro, whose residence and studio are both located on Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

Asked how he felt about his selection, Boro told LymeLine, “We are excited and, of course, honored to be participating in the New Canaan Sculpture Trail. Their goal is to connect audiences in a united call for creativity, innovation, and ambition as a way of recognizing the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.” He added, “Considering the environmental, social and political disorder all about us, I believe that these public art displays bring some semblance of beauty to all of us who take the time to look.”

Sculptor Gilbert V. Boro in his Old Lyme studio.

Boro’s work selected for the Sculpture Trail is After Alex I/14, which Boro describes as, “a hanging, kinetic sculpture made of welded stainless steel and highly-polished stainless steel spheres.”  He notes that the piece is inspired by the works of Alexander Calder and “is one of a series created during a surge of activity titled, “Balls, Beams, and Curves.”

Expanding further on the series, Boro explains that these sculptures were designed and fabricated in his studio over a period of nine to 10 years and can be installed indoors or outdoors.  He points out, “These kinetic sculptures are constructed to take advantage of the principle of equilibrium – a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced,” adding, “The mirrored spheres have many meanings for me as an artist.”

A firm believer that “three-dimensional art should be handled, touched, and experienced in three dimensions,” Boro’s four-and-a-half-acre sculpture grounds adjacent to his studio at 80-1 Lyme Street, known as Studio 80 +Sculpture Grounds, offer free admission to the public year-round and offer the opportunity for all visitors, in Boro’s words, “to not only view my art, but touch and explore it.”  He says with passion, “It brings me great joy to watch people of all ages interacting with my sculptures.”

When asked to comment further on the specific piece chosen for the New Canaan Sculpture Trail, it is therefore no surprise in light of his personal philosophy that Boro says, “Most importantly, the viewers of the sculpture become part of the spheres, and thus, in turn, become a dynamic part of the space and subject material.”

The New Canaan Sculpture Trail will feature the selected outdoor sculptures at six New Canaan Land Trust preserves, the front lawn of the New Canaan Town Hall, and the courtyard of the Carriage Barn Arts Center. The four-month exhibit will run from April 1 through July 31, 2020, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which takes place on April 22. An Opening Celebration for the New Canaan Sculpture Trail will be held Saturday, April 25, at the Carriage Barn Arts Center.

The Exhibition Advisory Committee evaluated the submissions on their ability to respond to the scale, geography, and context of the properties and meet the criteria of being visually engaging, interactive, and distinctive. The committee included Hilary Wittmann, Executive Director of the Carriage Barn Arts Center, Richard Klein, Exhibitions Director at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Thea Lanzisero, President of the Sculptors Guild, and Aaron Lefland, Executive Director of the New Canaan Land Trust.

“We are thrilled by the caliber and number of the submissions that we received,” commented Wittmann. “We believe the Sculpture Trail’s range of works and artists will draw both New Canaan residents and visitors alike to this inaugural exhibition.”

Artists throughout the New York metro area, New England, and as far as Illinois submitted the selected sculptures. The mediums of the planned sculptures range from a series of steel frames holding acrylic sheets, welded steel, wood, rocks, and even a fallen, “upcycled” tree harvested from one of the Land Trust’s preserves.  

Aaron Lefland elaborated: “Connecting audiences to art and nature on our preserves is a wonderful way to recognize the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We are overwhelmed by the number of submissions and the diversity of the sculptures.”

Apart from Boro, the artists selected to participate are Thomas S. Berntsen of Norwalk, CT; Joe Chirchirillo of North Bennington, VT; Carlos Davila of Bridgeport, CT; Christopher Kaczmarek of New York, NY; Elizabeth Knowles of New York, NY and William Thielesen of Illinois; Anthony Heinz May of Brooklyn, NY; and Matthius Neumann of Brooklyn, NY.

The New Canaan Sculpture Trail has been made possible by the generous support of Harlan and Lois Anderson Foundation, who serve as the lead sponsor for the exhibition. Their sponsorship, along with three contributing sponsors — Stuart Higley Family Foundation, AP Construction, and the Town of New Canaan — will help cover the costs of artist stipends, property preparation, maintenance, and promotional expenses.

Editor’s Notes:
For more information about Gil Boro, visit  For more information about the New Canaan Land Trust, visit  For more information about the Carriage Barn Arts Center, visit




This Afternoon, Musical Masterworks Hosts Free Lecture in Old Lyme on Beethoven’s Musical Phrases, Meanings, More

On Sunday, Feb. 23,  at 2 p.m., Musical Masterworks presents the second of three lectures in Old Lyme related to their upcoming concerts celebrating the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth.  The six concerts will feature all 18 of Betthoven’s String Quartets — three at each concert — and will be held March 13, 14 and 15, and May 1, 2 and 3.

Sunday’s lecture at the Lyme Art Association will be given by Professor Paul Berry from the Yale School of Music and is titled, What is a Phrase About? Classical Syntax, Biography, and Types of Musical Meaning.

This lecture will address the ever-popular (both vexing and intriguing) question of Beethoven’s biography and its relationship to his music by means of detailed examinations of musical phrases in the repertoire to be performed in March, especially Opus 135; Opus 18, No.1; Opus 18, No.6.  Professor Berry will also help the audience understand how Beethoven constructed musical phrases.

Reserve your free tickets for Sunday’s lecture at this link.

The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.

Thethird and final lecture will be presented Sunday, April 26, at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.  It is titled, How Can We Listen? Form, Style, and Musical Expression.

This lecture, also by Professor Berry, will build on the previous two, moving from phrases to larger forms and from specific extra-musical references to general expressive trajectories. The repertoire discussed will be from the upcoming May concerts, especially Opus 18, No.4; Opus 59, No. 3; Opus 131; and Opus 132.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is located at 2 Ferry Rd. in Old Lyme.

Reserve your free tickets for the April 26 lecture at this link.


Essex Winter Series Continues with Concert by Classical Guitar Duo, LINÜ, March 8

ESSEX – The Essex Winter Series (EWS) season continues March 8 with the classical guitar duo, LINÜ, performing at John Winthrop Middle School, Deep River. The virtuosic and versatile Gulli Bjornsson and JIJI are aspiring young artists searching for new ways to promote classical music. They have received many accolades for their guitar playing and have backgrounds in composition, film, electronic music, visual arts and theater.

Essex Winter Series’ 43rd season concludes on March 29 at Valley Regional High School with BeethovenFest, a celebration of Beethoven’s 250th with seven world-renowned artists: David Shiffrin, clarinet; William Purvis, horn; Marc Goldberg, bassoon; Ida Kavafian, violin; Steven Tenenbom, viola; Peter Wiley, cello; and Timothy Cobb, double bass.

All concerts begin at 3 p.m. and are general admission. For tickets call 860-272-4572 or visit

The 2020 season is generously sponsored by Masonicare at Chester Village with co-sponsors The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, Tower Laboratories, and hospitality sponsors Guilford Savings Bank and BrandTech Scientific.


Book Review: ‘Last Day’ by Luanne Rice is ‘a Unique Combination of Psychological Thriller, Cozy Murder Mystery’

Editor’s Note: We are delighted to welcome Paulette Zander to LymeLine today as an occasional guest book reviewer. Many readers will remember Paulette from her days running ‘The Happy Carrot Bookshop’ in Old Lyme. An accomplished author herself, Paulette has reviewed the latest work by local resident, the acclaimed author Luanne Rice, whose 34th novel has just been published.

Internationally-known local author, Luanne Rice, has just published her 34th novel, Last Day; her first in the mystery/thriller genre. Last Day is also the first pick of The New London Day’s new regional book club, in partnership with Bank Square Books in Mystic. The new book club is the brainchild of Rick Koster, who is the arts and music reporter for the paper.

Last Day was also chosen for the January “First Reads” selection on Amazon and is also touted by such illustrious authors as Lee Child, Tess Gerritson, Lisa Unger, and Lisa Scottoline.

I will state at the outset for dedicated fans, that although this book is a departure from her other adult fiction, there’s no need to panic. The themes of love, loss, sisterly devotion, betrayals, and family ties are skillfully interwoven. 

The difference with this novel is that all those wonderful, familiar, lyrical elements are interlaced with a murder mystery that is at times gruesome and gritty. That dark aspect is unexpected, but Rice has found the right balance. She juxtaposes the backstories of the victim’s family and friends with disturbing details about the heinous murder, but she doesn’t dwell overly long on the gruesome and the gritty. This makes for a unique combination of psychological thriller and cozy murder mystery.

The story is set on the Connecticut shoreline and is loosely based on the murder of Ellen Sherman in 1985 in Niantic. That real crime took years to solve. The murder in Last Day doesn’t take quite so long to unravel, but it is as baffling as the case it is based on. A secondary mystery involving the theft of a painting called Moonlight compounds the story.

NYT best-selling author Luanne Rice. File photo

Rice is adept at showing the immediacy of pain and betrayal, and there’s plenty of both in this story. The characters are varied and interesting and they all have a plausible motive. Rice provides plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing until the end. The subtle clues are also there, but like any good mystery, many readers will  have to go back to find them.

As always, for local fans, it is fun to guess or recognize the various locales. Rice has featured the village of Black Hall in many of her novels, so fans familiar with her work know that Black Hall is Old Lyme. One assumes the art gallery on Main Street is the Cooley Art Gallery, and the depictions of the flora and fauna conjures familiar images for anyone who has walked, hiked, or boated in the area. Many New London landmarks make an appearance as well.

Interspersed throughout the story are some disturbing elements that are graphically depicted. However, these passages are relieved by Rice’s excellent pacing. She ratchets down the tension by occasionally segueing into tidbits of art and nautical history and other interesting diversions. She provides just enough intriguing detail to make the reader want to learn more, I often stopped reading long enough to jot down notes to Google after I finished the book. 

I’ve been reading Rice’s novels since the early 1990s, and I’ve always marveled at her exquisite nature prose. She once again doesn’t disappoint in this novel. If Rice wrote an Eyewitness Travel Guide for Old Lyme, the town would be overrun with tourists eager to meander through this hidden gem.

Another aspect of Rice’s writing I’ve always admired is her depiction of women. She portrays strong, capable, independent women. She doesn’t make them super women, though. They have vulnerabilities and flaws. Her female characters aren’t artificial, which makes them believable. The female characters in Last Day are simultaneously fragile and strong.

If I can find any fault with this story, it is that I was initially disappointed when the killer’s identity was revealed. I questioned whether or not the killer’s motive was strong enough. But, after some thought, I had to concede that I don’t understand any killer’s motives.

I’ve read extensively about Ted Bundy, but I still haven’t figured out how he could have committed such vicious murders. I think that’s true for most of us. We aren’t murderers, and we cannot fathom how or why anyone would take another’s life. All murder is incomprehensible, so why would I expect the motive of a fictional character to make any sense to me? In Last Day, the motive is as mysterious as the murder, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Paulette Zander

About the author: Paulette  Zander is the former owner of ‘The Happy Carrot Bookshop’ in Old Lyme. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in library science at St. John’s University in New York City. Her short fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction World, 62nd Stories, Everyday Fiction, Pearce Publications, The Penman Review, The Longridge Review, and Crack the Spine. She splits her time between Niantic, Connecticut and Taos, New Mexico and is currently writing her second novel, but occasionally dispenses writing advice, random observations, and flash fiction on her blog at Ink to You: Rhetoric for the Masses and on Twitter @InktoYou.


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Students Achieve Multiple Honors at 2020 Scholastic Art Awards

Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) senior Sarah Conley won three major honors at this year’s Scholastic Art Awards. The painting above, ‘Itchy,’ was included in her portfolio.  All of the images in this article show award-winning artwork by other LOLHS students at the same event. All images submitted.

HARTFORD /LYME-OLD LYME — In keeping with a long tradition of success at the Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards, 10 Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) students are being recognized at the event this year. The Awards Celebration is scheduled for this afternoon, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. in the Hartford Art School’s Lincoln Theater. Visit this link for a full listing of all award winners.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Sarah Conley not only received Gold Keys in both Painting and Printmaking, but also the Connecticut Art Administrators Association prestigious award for Best in Printmaking.

‘Voyeur’ by junior Connie Pan.

Juniors Connie Pan, Aidan Powers and Marina Melluzo received Gold Keys in Painting, Digital Art and Drawing respectively, while another junior, Jack Conley, received a Silver Key in Drawing.

Honorable Mentions included seniors Summer Siefken and Sam Dushin for Drawing, junior Olivia Bartlett in Mixed Media, junior Sonia Bair in Drawing, and sophomore Olivia Shaedler in both Drawing and Ceramics.

This triptych titled, ‘Pilot’ is by junior Aidan Powers.

All Scholastic Art Award accepted works are on display at the Hartford Art School’s Silpe Gallery through Jan. 31. Gold Key works will also go on to be juried at the national level.

Year after year, students from Lyme-Old Lyme High School bring home major awards from this contest so, one must ask, why is the art program at LOLHS so successful?

‘Self-portrait’ by junior Jack Conley.

Adam Raiti, who teaches digital and three-dimensional art at LOLHS, suggests there are a number of reasons. First and foremost, he believes that the fact, “Lyme-Old Lyme Schools hire teachers who are artists” represents a major difference over many other high school art programs. Apart from being a teacher, Raiti, who is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), is an extremely successful freelance illustrator and designer.

Similarly, LOLHS Art Department Head William Allik, a Wesleyan University graduate, is a highly respected artist, whose work has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the country. Raiti explains, “We can both bring our real world experiences to the table,” noting that sometimes he sets tasks for his students drawn from work commissioned by his business clients.

‘Turning Out The Light’ by junior Sonia Bair.

Both teachers are classically-trained artists, but Allik, in keeping with the trends of those times, focused on abstract painting during his undergraduate years. After graduation, he continued his art career on the West coast of the US and, in his words, soon “figured out I didn’t want to be an abstract painter.” He returned to the East and was admitted to the élite New York Academy, where his studies included anatomy and cast-drawing.

Allik thus learned what were then perceived as the old-fashioned and outdated skills of the Renaissance Great Masters, which he describes as having been “flushed out in the 70s” with the meteoric rise of modern art. He developed a passion for realism and representational art, which were not then in vogue, but ultimately have stood the test of time, and enabled him to teach his students – in the simplest of terms –“to draw well.”

‘Containment’ by junior Maria Melluzo.

Allik points out that all the top art schools in the country are now looking again for the “traditional skills” and the fact that every year LOLHS graduates are being admitted to schools like RISD, Pratt Institute, Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD), Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and Parsons is testament to his focus on teaching students, in his words, “to learn to speak the language of drawing.”

Allik still insists his students take mechanical drawing working by hand with a T-square and triangle on a drafting board, rather than, as would happen in most high schools, using a computer. He emphasizes that, “being able to draw well is a very versatile talent,” citing the professions of architecture, interior and industrial design, and engineering as examples in which, “drawing is the language millions use in their daily lives.”

‘Reflecting the Light’ by junior Olivia Bartlett.

Apart from the tremendous length, depth and breadth of experience of the faculty, Raiti notes another reason the Art Department thrives at Lyme-Old Lyme is the “phenomenal support from the administration and the community.” He comments that the department is “treated with respect” in a community with a history rooted in the arts, asking rhetorically, “Where else can you be [at high school] within walking distance of a remarkable art college [Lyme Academy], the oldest art association in the country [Lyme Art Association] and a nationally-acclaimed art gallery {Florence Griswold Museum]?

‘Portait #3’ by senior Summer Siefken.

Rick Lacey, who graduated from LOLHS in 2007, went on to receive a BFA from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, and is now an instructor at the college, has nothing but praise for both Allik (Lacey graduated before Raiti joined the high school) and the program at his high school. Now an acclaimed artist himself, Lacey says, “The program at the high school is truly unique in the state and perhaps even the country. Will [Allik] shows that the teaching of classical drawing methods is still extremely important … he finds ways for students to begin to understand the concepts of perspective, proportion, and composition … he really has had many years of great success at all levels.”

‘Coil Pot’ by sophomore Olivia Schaedler.

Lacey recalls that when Allik joined the high school, “There were only six of us in the whole program,” but now Allik has “Full classes all day long,” noting enthusiastically, “He is really on to something and the students pick up on that.” Lacey describes Allik as, “… an incredible teacher that can work with any student,” adding on a personal note, while simultaneously giving a resounding endorsement of the art program at LOLHS, “I’m so proud I went there.”

‘Driveway’ by senior Sam Dushin.

Editor’s Note: Parts of this article were previously published in the summer 2019 edition of ‘The Day Education Guide.’


Two New Exhibitions on View at Lyme Art Association

‘Autumn in Old Lyme’ (oil) by Associate Artist Rosemary Webber is onw of thw featured works of ‘First Impressions.” opening Jan. 17 at the Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME — Two new exhibitions open Jan. 17 at Lyme Art Association (LAA) and an Opening Reception for both will be held Sunday, Jan. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the LAA, 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT.

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

‘Ghosting In’ (oil) by Park Howard is a featured work in the ‘New Elected Artists’ exhibition opening Jan 17 at the LAA.

The second exhibition, New Elected Artists, features works by the six artists who were inducted into the LAA as Elected Artists in October 2019.  The artists — Thomas Adkins, Howard Park, Bob Perkowski, Deborah Quinn-Munson, Diana Roberts-Paschall and John Traynor — will present a selection of their work in the LAA’s Goodman Gallery.

Both exhibits run through Feb. 28.

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

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

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 St. in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the Old Lyme 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


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Graduate, Now Playwright, Emily Zemba Launches Kickstarter to Fund New Play in NYC

If you’re an aspiring playwright, actually writing a play can be the relatively easy part but finding the funding to produce your play can be a major challenge.

Emily Zemba

Emily Zemba, a 2006 graduate from Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS), is trying a highly original approach to generate some seed money to bring her latest play to life on the stage.

She explained to LymeLine, “I have recently joined forces with two other amazing female writers to form The Pool — and our mission is to “take on the soul of America in rep” with our highly theatrical plays.” Along with fellow playwrights Kate Cortesi and Brenda Withers, Zemba has launched a Kickstarter campaign, which is aiming to raise $6,000 by next Saturday, Jan. 11, to cover the initial costs of putting on their respective plays in the fall of 2020 at the New Ohio Theatre in New York City’s West Village.

Asked about her play, Zemba says, “It is titled Superstitions, and is an absurd, dark comedy that links superstitions to cultural terrors and a collective national anxiety. I know, I know, anxiety is a riot! But I promise that the play is just as fun and ridiculous as it is unsettling. ” She notes that the play was nominated for 2018 Venturous Playwright Fellowship, and also that she has already received a grant from The Artists Patron Fund in support of this production.

After her graduation from LOLHS, Zemba attended Sarah Lawrence College and then went onto Yale University, where she obtained an MFA from the School of Drama in May 2015. Zemba’s parents are former Old Lyme Selectman Kurt Zemba and Catherine Frank, who retired from the position of Exceutive Assistant to Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder in October 2019.

Zemba notes that in addition to the Kickstarter, there will continue to be ways to donate directly through their website. Also, donations of $1,000 or more will be fully tax-deductible if made through their fiscal sponsor: New Georges (simply make the check out to New Georges with The Pool 2020 listed in the memo line.)

But the immediate challenge is to raise $6,000 by Jan. 11. At the time of writing, $4,597 has been raised so these young playwrights are close to the finish line. The Kickstarter page states: “We may still be about 10 months out from production, but there are several up-front costs which need immediate attention, for example:

  • The New Ohio requires a down payment a year out.
  • We have hired a PR Rep who will help launch our marketing campaign and assist with project visibility.
  • The directors who will helm our productions need contracts sooner rather than later, before their schedules get any busier.
  • We are hiring a creative producer to oversee and coordinate the myriad pieces of this ambitious undertaking.”

If you wish to donate to support these playwrights and help bring their plays to the stage, visit the Kickstarter page for The Pool at this link where there is more information about the project.


See ‘Deck the Walls’ at Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme

‘Janray Thaw’ by John Caggiano is one of the signature works in the Lyme Art Association’s ‘Deck the Walls’ Holiday Show.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association hosts an opening reception for its holiday art exhibition and sale, Deck the Walls, on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will be on view through Jan. 3, 2020. More than 200 original works of art by member artists will be on display and priced to sell as holiday gifts. The public is welcome at the opening reception and admission is free. All painting purchases from 5 p.m. on Dec. 6 through 5 p.m. Dec. 7 will be tax-free.

‘Winter Stream’ by Thomas Adkins of vermont is on view and for sale in the Holiday Show.

“For Deck the Walls, the Lyme Art Association features a wide variety of appealing subjects at affordable prices that are great for holiday shopping. We hope to help solve those gift giving dilemmas – a beautiful piece of artwork is always appreciated!” says Jocelyn Zallinger, Gallery Manager.

“During the holiday season, the Lyme Art Association is a great place to come for a gentle activity for children on school vacation or for visiting guests. Whether you have a few minutes or more than an hour, the gallery is a wonderful way to decompress, stimulate conversation, or simply enjoy yourself,” says Laurie Pavlos, Executive Director.

The Lyme Art Association is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm, and by appointment. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Road. Please call (860) 434-7802 for more information, or visit


Enjoy ‘The Magic of Christmas’ at Flo Gris Museum in Old Lyme Through New Year

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

OLD LYME — The holiday season is always something special to celebrate at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn. – after all, Miss Florence was born on Christmas Day, 1850. The Museum will be decked out in its holiday finery for the Magic of Christmas celebration from Nov. 29, 2019 through Jan. 5, 2020.

This year marks the 200th painted palette to be added to Miss Florence’s Artist Trees. Since 2004 noted artists from across the country have donated works to this one-of-a-kind holiday icon – so many that now four trees are needed to hold the works of art. The idea of contemporary artists creating paintings on artists’ palettes is a nod to the Museum’s history as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, and alludes to the door and wall panels the artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago. The palette artists’ styles and subject matter are as varied as the individuals.

This palette by Kenney Mencher of Palo Alto, Calf., is one of the 2019 additions to the Palette Trees.

Oils, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, glass, and collage are used to transform the palettes into traditional holiday scenes, delightful landscapes, and more than a few surprises! The palettes are displayed on four trees in the Krieble gallery, along with the current exhibition, “Nothing More American:” Immigration, Sanctuary, and Community—An Exhibition by Matthew Leifheit.

To commemorate the milestone of the 200th palette, the Museum published Miss Florence’s Artist Trees: Celebrating a Tradition of Painted Palettes, which showcases each of the works of art on its own page.

In the historic rooms of the Florence Griswold House, the special installation by artist Jennifer Angus, Silver Wings and Golden Scales, has been held over by popular demand. Visitors to the House will be able to delight in this dream-like scenario of Miss Florence’s home transformed into the site of an insect-themed masquerade party through Jan. 12, 2020.

Angus evokes the bohemian spirit of the Lyme Art Colony through her artistic compositions of preserved exotic insects, including textile-inspired wallcoverings, an elegant cape for Miss Florence, and whimsical vignettes. Through her art, Angus brings to visitors not only the beauty of insects, but their critical importance to our ecology as well. Upstairs, two artists, Betsy Barry and Carol Maynard have created Fantasy Trees, designed to delight and inspire.

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

Many special events and programs are held in conjunction with the Magic of Christmas. Christmastime Teas are among the most popular events. Delectable scones with clotted cream, assorted tea sandwiches, and cookies prepared by Gourmet Gallery, a caterer known for their delicious flavors and impeccable presentations, are accompanied by “Miss Florence’s Tea,” a special blend from Sundial Gardens in Higginum.

Miss Florence’s Tea is a special blend of superior Ceylon and China black tea enhanced with a touch of delicate spices. The tea celebrates the camaraderie and creativity of the Lyme Art Colony with each cup. Teas are held Dec. 3 through 28 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3 to 5pm and Saturdays from 12 to 2pm and 3 to 5pm.

Other events and programs include special events for families, including a visit from Frozen sisters Elsa and Anna and hands-on crafts for children and adults.

Unique gifts from The Shop and memberships to the Museum make thoughtful holiday and hostess gifts.

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

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year-round Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 to 5pm. The Museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under. On Saturdays between November 30 through January 5, admission is only $5 when visitors bring in a non-perishable donation for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.

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

Magic of Christmas Activities

Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2pm
Book Event
Director of Education and Outreach David D.J. Rau speaks about the publication Miss Florence’s Artist Trees: Celebrating a Tradition of Painted Palettes, which was published this October to commemorate the milestone of the 200th palette added to Miss Florence’s Artists Trees this year. Please reserve your space in advance, $25 includes book. Register online at

Sundays, Dec. 1 through Jan. 5, 1-4pm
Joy in the Making
Each Sunday visitors can experience the joy of making a hand-made card or ornament during the weekly drop-in creative programs. Fun for all ages. This event is free with Museum admission and children 12 and under are free.

Dec. 1-24
Daily Specials in the Museum Shop
One day you might save on all books or art supplies, the next, maybe everything sparkly or all snowmen. Check for a calendar of items and days.

Dec. 3 through 28
Christmastime Teas
Tuesday through Saturday enjoy an elegant tea of savories and sweets overlooking the wintery splendor of the Lieutenant River. Catered by Gourmet Galley. Guests enjoy a 10% discount in The Shop. $40. Reservations required, please call 860-434-5542 x 111 for information and reservations.

Elsa and Anna are always popular performers at the Museum.

Saturday, Dec. 7
Elsa and Anna perform at the Museum
Visitors can enjoy holiday crafting between visits from the beloved sisters. Shows at noon, 1pm, and 2pm. This program is included with Museum admission, and visitors 12 and under are always free.

Thursday, Dec. 12, 5:30 to 7pm
Art•Bar Happy Hour
Combine creativity and cocktails! Enjoy an evening of Christmastime crafting. All materials provided. Get friends together or come make new ones! For adults 21+. $25. Register online at

Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2pm
Gallery Talk
Director of Education and Outreach David D.J. Rau speaks about Miss Florence’s Artist Trees in the Gallery. This event is free with Museum admission.

Sunday, Dec. 29 from 1 to 4pm
Miss Florence’s Birthday Party
Visitors share in this hands-on-creative celebration of Miss Florence’s Christmas Day birthday. Enjoy a piece of birthday cake while making an assortment of fun craft projects. Fun (and free!) balloon sculptures by April’s Balloon Creations. This program is included with Museum admission, and visitors 12 and under are always free.

Faith Leitner will play her harp Sunday, Dec. 29, in the Florence Griswold Museum to celebrate “An Ode to the New Year.”

Sunday, Dec. 29, from 1 to 4pm
Ode to the New Year: Harp Music by Faith Leitner
The harp was Miss Florence’s favorite instrument. Visitors can see the one her father brought back for her from England in the Florence Griswold House. Accomplished harpist Faith Leitner will perform in the gallery. A beautiful way to end the year! This program is included with Museum admission, and visitors 12 and under are always free.


Where Art Meets Nature: I-Park Hosts Nov. Open Studios & Holiday Party This Afternoon

November Artists Artwork Photo Collage. Top row: Jaynie Crimmins, Miroslaw Baca, Joshua Hey; Middle row: Teresa Connors, Dennis James Sweeney, Shane Charles Smith; Bottom row: Tanya Rey. Photo submitted by I-Park.

EAST HADDAM — The public is invited to come to I-Park this afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. for its final Open Studios of the 2019 season and for some holiday cheer.  Visitors will experience a multi-disciplinary group of artists from around the globe and can also enjoy a walk of the art-filled trails.

I-Park has been supporting artists from around the country and the globe since its first residency in 2001 and continues to offer fully-funded residencies to writers, composers, visual artists, film-makers, architects, etc.  Visitors will be able to meet these seven talented artists on this afternoon at I-Park, 428 Hopyard Rd. in East Haddam.

Once a month, at the conclusion of each residency, I-Park holds Open Studios when visitors are invited to meet the artists in their studios, attend a presentation featuring some of their work, enjoy complimentary refreshments, and stroll the trails winding through I-Park’s scenic, art-filled campus.  Generally closed to visitors, I-Park gives resident artists undisturbed time to work on their creative endeavors.

The event schedule for Sundayis as follows:

1:00 to 2:30     Visitors artists in their Studios

2:30 to 3:00     Artists Presentations

3:00 to 5:00     Holiday Party + Art Trail Walk

The artists are:

Miroslaw Baca is a Polish sculptor focused on abstract form and classical material.  He has realized both public and private commissioned sculptures around the world.

Teresa Connors is a Canadian-based creative coder, acoustic/electroacoustic composer, opera singer and audiovisual installation artist. Her creative works have received numerous awards and have been presented at conferences, festivals and galleries around the world.

Jaynie Crimmins a Brooklyn-based visual artist who creates alternative narratives from quotidian materials.  Her work has been exhibited at ART on PAPER; SPRING/BREAK Art Show; Governor’s Island Art Fair and many other museums around the country.

Joshua Hey is a composer based in Philadelphia. His work has been performed by musicians such as the Daedalus Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, Dal Niente, PRISM, Omaha Symphony and others.

Tanya Rey is an Oakland-based writer. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Granta, Catapult, Roads & Kingdoms and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others.     

Shane Charles Smith is a visual artist from Brooklyn and Maine. He creates mural-sized painting installations. His work is informed by his father, a lifelong land surveyor and Penobscot Nation member, and his grandfather who was a mapmaker.

Dennis James Sweeney is a writer and poet currently living in Amherst, MA.  His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in Crazyhorse, Five Points, Ninth Letter, The New York Times, and The Southern Review, among many others.

Although admission to Open Studios is free, advance reservations are requested. To reserve your space, visit

For additional information, write or call 860-873-2468.

 I‐Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully funded residencies in visual arts, creative writing, music composition/sound art, moving image, and architecture/landscape design. Since its founding in 2001, I-Park has sponsored almost 1,000 residencies, and has developed cross‐disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them into the public domain.

Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-Park encourages dialogue between the natural and built environments, and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia, and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration. For more information, visit



Cooley Gallery’s Holiday Show on View Through Jan. 7, 2020

OLD LYME — The Cooley Gallery ‘s annual holiday sale featuring an eclectic mix of art and objects in all sizes is on view at 25 Lyme Street in Old Lyme through Jan. 7, 2020.

Located in the beautiful little village of Old Lyme, The Cooley Gallery is an ideal spot to enjoy among the best of American art while celebrating the season with a great New England tradition.

Founded in 1981 and located in the heart of historic Old Lyme, the Cooley Gallery specializes in fine American paintings from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and select contemporary artists.

Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday 12 to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 4 p.m. or online anytime at


Sophia Griswold Named to All-National Honor Jazz Ensemble

Sophia Griswold is not only a talented trombonist but also an acclaimed guitarist. She is shown here playing in a file photo from June 2019.

OLD LYME — During the 2018–19 school year, along with other accomplished music students across the United States and overseas in military base schools, trombonist Sophia Griswold from Lyme-Old Lyme High School practiced with dedication to gain a chair or part in her local, district, and state music honor ensembles. The band director at Griswold’s high school is Jacob Wilson

Griswold will now join the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2019 All-National Honor Ensembles November 7–10, 2019, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Previously, Griswold played at the Newport Jazz Festival through a scholarship with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. In addition, she has performed at various venues including Silvana & The West End Lounge (New York, NY), Black Eyed Sally’s (Hartford), The Side Door Jazz Club, Penny Lane Pub, Bee & Thistle Inn and Black Hall Grille. She is also thrilled to be a current member of the 2019-2020 Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra under the facilitation of jazz great, Wynton Marsalis.

Griswold will join 19 other talented musicians as a member of The Jazz Ensemble. These select students will be rehearsing a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the direction of six of the most prominent conductors in the United States. All participating conductors have received top honors in their field and will spend several days rehearsing with students before the concert.

Here at, we send heartiest congratulations to Sophia!

Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online or onsite.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


Vote for Old Lyme’s Rhyleigh Russell in the ‘Celebration of Music National Competition’!

Rhyleigh Russell

OLD LYME — Rhyleigh Russell of Old Lyme is a finalist in the Celebration of Music National Competition. She is 14-years-old and a freshman at Lyme Old Lyme High School (LOLHS), where she is one of the varsity goalkeepers on the LOLHS soccer team.

Russell has four siblings and notes in her biography on the Celebration of Music website, “My whole family runs on music never going a day without it or discussing it in some manner.”

She also explains her passion for music in her biography, saying, “My goal with every performance is that I’m making someone proud or connecting with someone who may be uplifted in some way. My purpose is to help as many people as I can through music and performance whether its a smile on my parents face, a tear rolling down someone’s face because they don’t feel alone or to uplift a spirit. Everything I sing is with purpose and emotion.”

The contest is a talent search that showcases the best young musical talent across America. Singers, musicians, bands, and dancers between the ages of four and 25 are all encouraged to enter in their city by submitting an audition tape.

The Celebration of Music concept was inspired by Ethan Bortnick and his desire to give young musicians the same opportunities PBS afforded him. The winner will be announced Nov. 3 by Bortnick at the Bushnell in Hartford.

Voting is still open in the contest and Rhyleigh and her family would love readers to vote for her.

Read Rhyleigh’s biography at this link and vote for her at the link at the foot of the page!

Good luck, Rhyleigh!



Final Performance of Salt Marsh Opera’s ‘Pagliacci’ to be Presented This Afternoon in Westerly, RI

WESTERLY, RI– Salt Marsh Opera presents Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci Saturday, Oct 19, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. at the George Kent Performance Hall, Westerly, R.I. starting at 7 p.m.

Based on a case of true crime, Pagliacci tells the riveting tale of a man swallowed by feelings of love, betrayal and jealousy. Set in the late 19th century, actor Canio and his wife Nedda lead a band of traveling carnival players across Southern Italy. Canio may play a clown on stage, but when he discovers evidence of his wife’s affair, it’s only a matter of time before his ferocious anger boils to the surface.

Pagliacci features one of the greatest tenor arias of all time, “Vesti la giubba,” so although you may not know the opera, you will almost certainly recognize that song.

A few tickets are still available at $20 (balcony) or $50 (table seating.) To purchase or reserve tickets, call 860.535.0753.



Explore, Enjoy ‘Supertopia’ Wee Faerie Village at FloGris in October, Host of Associated Events During Month Will Also Delight Visitors

‘Faerie Thor’s Viking Realm’ by Lori and Rich Lenz from Deep River is one of the 29 Faerie Houses on display in ‘Supertopia’ at the Florence Griswold museum during October.

OLD LYME – The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme presents Supertopia– Wee Faerie Superheroes’ Headquarters and Hideaways on the grounds of museum’s 12-acre campus currently through Oct. 27. Visitors follow a map of Supertopia to explore where superhero faeries live (when they’re not saving the universe) in 29 hand-crafted, faerie-sized hideouts. This annual event has come to signify an enriching, not-to-be-missed outing for visitors of all ages.  Last year over 15,000 visitors enjoyed the month-long event.

This year’s Wee Faerie Village is the 11th anniversary of the Museum’s annual outdoor creative installations. In keeping with the superhero theme, visitors will travel to Silver Surfer Faerie’s Surfboard Beach Bungalow, Blank Panther Faerie’s Futuristic Utopia, the Woodland Hideaway of Black Widow Faerie, and even Notorious RBG’s Supreme Faerie Court, among a host of others.

Artists, designers, and faerie-aficionados are selected from across Connecticut and a few from outside the state. Challenged to create their scenes using natural materials, most artists work for months on their creations. The artists based in Connecticut are from Amston, Branford, Broad Brook, Chester, Cromwell, Danbury, Deep River, Essex, Hamden, Hebron, Ivoryton, Killingworth, Mystic, Niantic, Old Lyme, Salem, Stratford, Voluntown, Waterford, West Hartford, and the Windsor area.

‘Captain America’s Lighthouse’ by Steve Rodgers of Hamden will delight all visitors to ‘Supertopia’ at the Florence Griswold Museum.

“It took me a few weeks to figure out how to intertwine my love of building natural material fairy houses with a superhero theme,” notes Steve Rodgers (yes, that’s right, like Captain America but spelled differently) of Hamden, Conn. “I gather most materials that I use while hiking with family and friends. I hope all who see it will be transported into the wonderful, magical world of the fairy realm.”

As part of its Wee Faerie Village exhibition, adults and families with children can enjoy a month of faerie-themed activities. Events include, parties, performances, book discussions, and craft activities. Many events are included in Museum admission.

Find details of many of the events below. Visit for a complete list.

Every Sunday through Oct. 27
11 am to 4 pm
Free with Museum admission
Superhero Crafts
Museum Educators present a superhero or faerie-inspired hands-on project for families to enjoy during their visit. A different project each Sunday.

Tuesdays, Oct. 8, 15, and 22
3:30-5 pm
$10 Fee
Make a Wee Faerie House
Dress in your faerie best for an afternoon immersed in imagination. Decorate your very own wee faerie house with an assortment of creative supplies. For makers aged 8 and up.

Sunday, Oct. 13
1 to 3 pm
Free with Museum admission
Caped A Cappella Super Singers
Singing is their super power. Enjoy the captivating voices of the caped Co Co Beaux, Connecticut College’s all-male a cappella group. These talented superhero singers will wander the grounds, serenading all with their super-power voices.

Monday, Oct. 15
Museum open 10 am to 5 pm, activities from 11 am to 4 pm
All events are free with Museum admission and kids 12 and under are always free.
Columbus Day Fun
Behold the sculpture of mighty Thor, frozen in place until “danced” alive by wee faeries and little superheroes. L’Ana Burton leads faerie/superhero dance lessons at 11:30am. Then, join our fun parade featuring the Sailing Masters of 1812 at noon. Cosplay enthusiast encourage to join in the fun. All are welcome to wear masks, capes, tiaras, and wing. Hands-on crafts.

Thursday, Oct. 17
5:30 to 7:30 pm
Fee: $25
Art•Bar Happy Hour: Wee Faerie Houses
The Museum’s Art•Bar combines creativity with light fare and libations. Join the Museum’s educator for a fun and creative night of making a wee faerie house filled with faerie furniture. All materials included.

Saturday, Oct. 19
11 am to 4 pm
Free with Museum admission
Pirates! The Supervillians of Yesteryear
Ahoy Mateys! The pirates have come ashore and set up camp at the Museum. Come meet the Free Men of the Sea, re-enactors who bring the myths and history of pirates and privateers to life. Pirate crafts.

Saturday, Oct.26
11 am to 4 pm
Free with Museum admission
Heroic Halloween Fun
Halloween fun lasts all day with treats and hands-on crafts. Dress up as goblins, faeries, or superheroes to march in our costume parade which begins at noon. Craft-bag prizes for all participants.

The Florence Griswold Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. The Museum will open on Columbus Day, Monday, October 14 from 10am to 5pm. Admission during the exhibition is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, $13 for students, $5 for members. Children 12 and under are free thanks to the support of an anonymous donor. Admission includes the outdoor walking tour of the faerie village as well as the Florence Griswold House, Chadwick Studio, Rafal Landscape Center and the Krieble Gallery special exhibition.