July 7, 2022

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Students Win Major Awards at 2022 CT Scholastic Art Contest

This work by Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Elle Myers titled, ‘Coming to the surface,’ was awarded a Gold Key in Painting at the CT Scholastic Awards.

OLD LYME — Six students from the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Art Department were recognized at this year’s prestigious Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards. The contest celebrates the work of talented young artists in the state in grades 7 through 12.

Student artwork is juried by professional artists and university art faculty and selected on merit for inclusion in a statewide art exhibition held at the Hartford Art School. Beyond the honor of being chosen for this highly selective exhibition, students are eligible for Gold or Silver Keys and Honorable Mention awards in each of 17 media categories.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Elle Myers received a Gold Key in Painting, as well as Silver Keys in both Painting and Drawing.

‘Timothy Posing’ by LOLHS Senior Elle Myers received a Silver Key in Drawing at the CT Scholastic Art Awards.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Olivia Schaedler was awarded a Gold Key in Photography for her work titled, ‘Cables,’ pictured below.

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.

Senior Samantha Geshel received two Honorable Mentions in Painting, and Senior Shawn Grenier was given an Honorable Mention in Digital Art.

Junior Lea Wilson was awarded a Silver Key in Comic Art for the work titled, ‘Bread Duck,’ pictured above, and Sydney Goulding received an Honorable Mention in Ceramics and Glass.

The Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards Program is sponsored by the Connecticut Art Education Association and the University of Hartford, Hartford Art School.

A virtual Awards Celebration was held Feb. 12.

Lyman Allyn Art Museum Showcases Recent Work by Marian Bingham, on View Through April 10

This first of four panels titled, ‘Connecticut Shore,’ by Marian Bingham, dated 2015, (oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches) is featured in the exhibition currently on view in the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.

NEW LONDON – The Lyman Allyn Art Museum announces the opening of Locations: Recent Work by Marian Bingham, on view Feb. 5 through April 10. 

Bingham, better known as “Bing,” is an award-winning artist, printmaker, and longtime Connecticut resident, who played a significant role in the state’s art community for decades. The Lyman Allyn’s exhibition explores place, temporality, memory, and meaning in her work. Shifting between materials and techniques, the artist’s practice concerns formal artistic exploration grounded in observation, narrative, and allegory. 

“Bing has long been a friend and advocate for the Lyman Allyn,” said Museum Director Sam Quigley. “We are thrilled to present a selection of her recent work, which explores her life-long passion for the arts.” 

The show features multi-panel paintings that offer sweeping views of forests and fields, while smaller canvases depict evocative, poetic spaces. Recent prints and collages reveal the artist’s exploration of seriality, color, form, and texture. Still-life and interior views alternate with imaginative scenes that playfully juxtapose materials and effects. 

The exhibition will be on view in the Glassenberg Gallery on the first floor as part of the  Museum’s Near :: New contemporary series. Bingham has exhibited at prominent galleries across the state, the country and the world, including the So Hyun Gallery in New York City;  the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC; the Luz Gallery in Manila,  Philippines; and the Hotel Abbye-Ecole in Soreze, among many others. 

The virtual opening reception is Friday, Feb. 4, from 6 to 7 p.m. Visit the  calendar of events tab on lymanallyn.org for event registration information. To  accompany the exhibition, Bing will host an in-person Gallery Talk on Wednesday, April 6  from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Participants can register by calling 860.443.2545 ext. 2129, space is limited.  

For more information, contact Rebecca Dawson by email at dawson@lymanallyn.org.  

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut  and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932.

Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.  

The Museum is located at 625 Williams St., New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The  Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and major holidays.

For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 2129  or visit www.lymanallyn.org.

Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation Announces Scholarships to Lyme-Old Lyme Music Students

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash.

LYME-OLD LYME — UPDATED 2/3/22 with revised information sent by the Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation:
The Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation Board of Trustees has announced its awards for private study music scholarships for 2020-21 to students from Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) High School and LOL Middle School.

Award recipients from LOL High School are:
Ava Gilbert Gr 9 Flute
Andrew Liu Gr 9 Bari Sax
Natalie Buckley Gr 10 Flute
Jacob Derynioski Gr 10 Percussion
Phoebe Lampos Gr 11 Oboe/English Horn
Marielle Mather Gr 11 Clarinet
Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum Gr 12 Percussion
Avery Wyman Grade 12 percussion

Award recipients from LOL Middle School are:
Jonah Filardi Gr 6 Saxophone
Gavin Gray Gr 6 Alto Sax
Sophia Huang Gr 6 Percussion
Avery Zbierski Gr 6 Flute
Ceciley Buckley Gr 7 Clarinet
Morgan Buerger Gr 7 Saxophone
Gavin Goulis Gr 7 Trumpet
Harrison Goulis Gr 7 Trombone
Arthur Riccio Gr 7 Trumpet
Warren Volles Gr 8 Trumpet
Oliver Wyman Gr 8 French Horn
CJ Zapatka Gr 8 Trombone

As a supporting organization for LOL Schools, the Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation awards scholarships to be used for private music instruction to students participating in LOL Middle and High Schools band programs.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation was formed in 1999 after the retirement of Ruth Ann (King) Heller from LOL High School, with a mission to strengthen and improve the instrumental music program in LOL Schools.

Donations to the foundation in any amount are gratefully accepted. The mailing address is: Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation, PO Box 298, Old Lyme, CT 06371, or alternatively, donations may be made through PayPal at http://www.rahmf.org/#donate.

Editor’s Note: This article is based on a press release issued by the Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation.

Registration for Cappella Cantorum Spring Concert Continues Online

LYME/OLD LYME/AREAWIDE — Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus continues its 2021-2022 season with rehearsals for the Spring Concert starting Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook, CT. 

After Jan.17, it will still be possible to register online or call 860-941-8243 for assistance.

Singers from across the area, including the Towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, are welcome. Auditions are not required.

The selected works to be performed are Parts 2 and 3 from Messiah by G.F. Handel. The concert date is tentatively set for May 15; check the Capella Cantorum website for updates. 

Registration will begin at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17, with the first rehearsal following immediately after at 7:30 p.m. The Chorus typically rehearses on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church.  

Proof of full Covid-19 vaccination is required for registration and participation, and masks must be worn while in the building.

Registration is $50 (music is extra), and all participants are encouraged to register in advance on the website at www.cappellacantorum.org

Major Retrospective Exhibition of Work by Prominent US Artist Lennart Anderson Opens at Lyme Academy

This ‘Self-Portrait’ of Lennart Anderson, c. 1965, oil on canvas, 10 x 13 in. from a private collection is on display at the retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work at Lyme Academy, which opens Jan. 14.

OLD LYME – On Friday, Jan.14, 2022, Lennart Anderson: A Retrospective opens in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts and is on view through March 18.

Described by the New York Times as one of the “most prominent and admired painters to translate figurative art into a modern idiom,” Lennart Anderson (1928-2015) was an American artist renowned for his mastery of tone, color, and composition, and for a teaching career that deeply influenced future generations of painters.

A signature painting of the Lennart Anderson; A Retrospective exhibition is ‘Portrait of Barbara S. (the first one)’, from 1972, (oil on canvas, 21 7/8 x 18 in. Private Collection.)

Curated by Lyme Academy’s Artistic Directors Amaya Gurpide and Jordan Sokol in collaboration with the artist’s estate and the New York Studio School, Lyme Academy will be the second venue for this first major survey of the artist since his death in 2015.

The exhibition brings together over 25 paintings and drawings from both public and private collections, including paintings from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Bank of New York Mellon Collection, as well as from Anderson’s own gallery, Leigh Morse Fine Arts.

In addition to several works featured at the exhibition’s opening at the New York Studio School, newly selected works that emphasize the artist’s sensitivity to portraiture and the intimate relationships he formed with his subjects will be featured in the Lyme Academy exhibition.

“As a painter I’ve studied Lennart’s work for years, so the opportunity to co-curate this exhibition has been particularly meaningful,” says Sokol. “Lennart’s paintings brilliantly fuse the figurative tradition with a modern sensibility, making his work especially relevant for Lyme Academy, as well as generations of painters after him.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue that pairs more than 50 full-color reproductions of Anderson’s work with essays by art historians Martica Sawin and Jennifer Samet and painters Susan J. Walp and Paul Resika. Catalogues will be available for purchase at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts during the course of the exhibition.

Lennart Anderson’s ‘Portrait of Mrs. Suzy Peterson’ (1959. Oil on canvas, 30 3/16 × 26 15/16 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchased with funds from the Neysa McMein Purchase Award 63.49) will be on display in the retrospective exhibition of his work at Lyme Academy.

Born in Detroit, Lennart Anderson (Aug. 22, 1928 – Oct. 15, 2015) studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cranbrook Academy, and at the Art Students League under Edwin Dickinson. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and National Academy.

He received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Tiffany Foundation grant and the Prix de Rome.

Anderson’s work is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Delaware Art Museum, among others.

He taught at Columbia University, Yale University, and served as a distinguished professor emeritus of Brooklyn College.

The Estate of Lennart Anderson is represented by his longtime gallerist, Leigh Morse Fine Arts, New York.

Following its presentation at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, the exhibition will travel its next venue, the Southern Utah Museum of Art.

The Chauncey-Stillman Gallery at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, Conn. The gallery hours are 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. daily. Entrance to the exhibition is free, but donations are welcome. Free parking is offered onsite.

The mission of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is to teach the foundational skills of drawing, painting, and sculpture in the figurative tradition. By its commitment to training students in these skills and an engagement with contemporary discourse, the Academy will empower a new generation of artists. Through its programs, the Academy is committed to enriching the cultural life of the community.

Learn more by visiting www.lymeacademy.edu.

‘First Impressions’ Associate Artist, ‘Congratulations’ Exhibitions Open at Lyme Art Association

‘Morning Fog Lifting’ by Alexander Farquharson is one of the signature paintings in the upcoming First Impressions exhibition at Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME —  Lyme Art Association (LAA)’s First Impressions exhibition is a juried exhibition of the Association’s Associate Artist members, accomplished artists who have been successfully exhibiting in selective shows. This exhibit will include a variety of media and themes: landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture.

In addition, the three new Elected Artists, who were inducted into the LAA in October 2021, will present their work in Congratulations in the Goodman gallery. This year Sara Drought Nebel, Rick Daskam, and Matthew Schwager joined the esteemed ranks of LAA’s Elected Artists.

Both exhibits run from Jan. 14 through Feb. 24, 2022.

“The Annual Associate Artists Exhibition highlights the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members,” comments Jocelyn Zallinger, LAA’s Gallery Manager. She adds, “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.”

Meanwhile, Zallinger notes, “The Congratulations show in the Goodman Gallery promises to be impressive; each new class of Elected Artists brings some new, unique perspectives and wonderful talent, and this year is no exception.”

Both exhibitions are on view in the 100-year-old sky-lit galleries of the LAA at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, Conn.

Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and by appointment. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Visit this link for more information about the LAA.

Lyme Academy Welcomes Community to Enchanted Afternoon of Seasonal Celebrations

Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

OLD LYME — There were smiles everywhere on Saturday afternoon when Lyme Academy of Fine Arts opened its doors and grounds to the community to celebrate the season.

There was plenty of activity at the firepits where ‘smores galore were toasted. Photo by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Asked after the event how she felt this inaugural event had worked out, Mora Rowe, Executive Director of Lyme Academy told LymeLine, “Our first annual tree lighting was the picture of holiday cheer, with families and friends of all ages gathered on the Academy grounds. Hands were warmed around a bonfire, perfect for homemade s’mores, and hearts were made merry through the festive sounds of caroling and local bands.

Photo by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Michael Duffy, chairman of the Lyme Academy Board of Trustees, addressed the large crowd from the steps of the Sill House (above).  State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) to his left followed suit …

Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Band cheerfully played …

Photo by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Many local non-profit organizations participated and the Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) was an especially popular stand …

Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

… where people spent time enjoying their ‘Tussie Mussie’ handiwork …

Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

… and the ladies working behind the stand were clearly enjoying themselves too!

Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Pollinate Old Lyme! was kept busy educating folks on the importance of pollinators and selling beautiful medallions …

Rowe continued, “Our arts and crafts stations ensured that gift-able goodies would find their way under the tree – thank you to our own Academy students and faculty for their creativity and help with that!”

Photo by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold (center in blue baseball hat) and newly-elected Region 18 Board of Education Chairman Steven Wilson (second from left facing camera with dark-colored jacket) were two of the hundreds of local residents enjoying the festivities …

Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

… as were these DRGC ladies and their ‘customers.’

Photo by State Rep. Devin Carney.

These three local dignitaries, Michael Duffy (Lyme Academy Board Chairman), Tim Griswold (Old Lyme First Selectman) and Devin Carney (R- 23rd District State Representative) took a few moments out from all the fun to take a smiling selfie.

Photo by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

The Lyme Academy Cafe did a brisk business in Apple Cider Donuts and hot chocolate …

Photo by State Rep. Devin Carney.

A sparkling Christmas tree was lit, carols were sung, and a thoroughly good time was had by all.

Rowe summed up the whole event with these words, “The afternoon was a reflection of the wonderful community we have here in Old Lyme and surrounds, and was the jolliest and most special way to begin the holiday season,” adding enthusiastically, “May all days be so merry and bright!”

Florence Griswold Museum Presents ‘Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives’ Through Jan. 23 

Broadway New York, n.d. Lithograph. Joslyn Art Museum, Gift of Conagra Brands, 2016.20.78

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, presents Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives, on view through Jan. 23, 2022.

Currier & Ives was a prolific printmaking firm based in New York City in the 19th century. Founded by Nathaniel Currier in 1834 and expanded by partner James Merritt Ives in 1856, the firm produced millions of affordable copies of over 7,000 lithographs, gaining it the title, “the Grand Central Depot for Cheap and Popular Prints.” 

Revisiting America comes from the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, boasting a collection of nearly 600 Currier & Ives prints donated by Conagra Brands. Currier & Ives perpetuated Victorian ideals in its depictions of family, history, politics, and urban and suburban life—concepts that persist today partly as a result of the wide distribution of their images. 

Revisiting America offers an opportunity for viewers to contemplate the complexities and contradictions of America’s past. For many people, what could be more iconic representations of America than the prints of Currier & Ives? For others, they are reminders of harmful stereotypes of the poor and indigenous and enslaved peoples. While a trip down America’s memory lane, the exhibition offers an opportunity to delve into the reality that the company’s romanticized scenes sometimes prioritized marketability over morality. 

For the presentation at the Florence Griswold Museum, Curator Amy Kurtz Lansing expands upon the exhibition’s original scholarship with a section discussing artist Frances Flora Bond Palmer, examples of how Currier & Ives images were re-discovered and used in the 20th century, an explanation of lithography, and additions pertaining to the Griswold family. 

Made to Sell 

Currier & Ives prints were first and foremost commodities, with subjects often determined by popularity and sales figures. 

The choices the company made about what not to include in their images are as significant as what is depicted. For instance, although cities were often characterized by deep poverty and inequality, and perceived as full of crime, the firm’s views of urban streets represent an idealized version of the city—populated by fashionable, well-to-do people, clean thoroughfares, and regal buildings.

These idealized images appealed to rural and urban customers alike by offering visions of city life unaffected by the social and economic issues of the day. Broadway New York depicts the intersection of Broadway and Ann Streets in Manhattan. Once a quiet residential district surrounding City Hall Park, where people stroll in the foreground, the area became a bustling commercial and entertainment hub around 1841. 

As author James Dawson Burn described, “There you may see the lean lanky Puritan from the east, with keen eye and demure aspect, rubbing shoulders with a coloured [sic] dandy, whose ebony fingers are hooped in gold.” The Currier & Ives print shows a bustling urban space with chic (but not diverse) passersby. 

Other popular sellers were depictions of leisure time activities. The age of industrialization allowed Americans more opportunity to fill their day with sports and other pastimes. Popular hobbies of the time included hunting, fishing, and horse racing, topics marketed to men for their offices, saloons, and clubs. 

Currier & Ives produced more than 750 prints related to horses and horse racing, such as Harry Bassett and Longfellow, in their Great Races at Long Branch, N.J. July, 2nd and Saratoga, N.Y. July, 16th 1872. The lithograph depicts two famous racehorses, Harry Bassett and Longfellow, whose two newsworthy races are memorialized in the text of the print. 

The Social Media of the Day? 

The sheer reach of Currier & Ives prints, sold in their New York City store, or by mail order, pushcart vendors, and far-flung agents, put their pictures in view of countless Americans, particularly women to whom they were marketed as affordable domestic decor.

The visually-based culture we live in today, with images circulating on the internet and social media, has its origins in the mass communications created in part by Currier & Ives. The prints promoted an optimistic ideal of home, family, and stability in their day, and continue to exemplify that view for Americans, who became acquainted with them in the 20th and 21st centuries, when we play out those same fantasies on our social media feeds. 

A Griswold Connection 

Nineteenth-century Americans took pride in the technological advancements being made across their nation. A rapid and wide-reaching revolution in transportation led the country from majestic clipper ships to powerful steam-driven boats and locomotives in a matter of decades.

At their height in the middle of the century, clipper ships—three-masted merchant ships designed for speed—ruled the seas and allowed for the faster-than-ever transportation of goods and people across the Atlantic and along the coasts. 

Pairing Charles Parsons’s oil painting Clipper Ship Challenge at Griswold’s Wharf, Pine Street, New York (ca. 1851), on loan from local collectors, with James E. Butterworth’s Currier & Ives lithograph Clipper Ship Flying Cloud, (1852), Curator Amy Kurtz Lansing makes a Connecticut connection to the pursuit of global trade. 

As captain of a fast sailing ship Florence Griswold’s father transported goods and people across the Atlantic until his retirement, while extended family members Nathaniel and George Griswold (owners of Challenge) imported tea from China. 

Frances Flora Bond Palmer (1812–1876) 

Most of Currier & Ives’s artists are unidentified, their works published under the name of the firm rather than their own signature. However, one of their most prolific contributors, responsible for at least 200 lithographs, was Frances (Fanny) Palmer. Born and educated as an artist in England, Palmer and her printer husband owned their own firm before immigrating to America in 1844.

Frances Palmer, Snipe Shooting, 1852, Lithograph. Joslyn Art Museum, Gift of Conagra Brands, 2016.20.338

For Snipe Shooting (1852), the artist sketched the image from nature and made the final drawing on the lithographic stone. The image was printed with two separate inkings of the stone in different colors. Palmer’s artistic skill, knowledge of lithographic techniques, and ability to compose what became some of their most iconic prints gave Currier & Ives its edge over the competition.  

Lithography Explained 

Derived from the Greek for “writing on stone,” lithography was invented in 1796 by the German Alois Senefelder. It differs from other forms of image reproduction in the way it allows artists to draw expressively and with varying thicknesses of line right on the printing surface. Unlike etched or engraved metal plates that wear down over time, lithography allowed for printing many more copies, leading to its quick embrace by the industry in America by the 1830s. 

By displaying lithography tools, including examples of stones used by artists today borrowed from neighboring Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, visitors better understand the process necessary to produce this type of print. 

The Legacy of Currier & Ives 

Why are Currier & Ives lithographs still so well-known today?

By the time Currier & Ives ceased operations in 1907 it had dispersed countless prints around the country. Hanging in homes, offices, bar rooms, clubs, and schools, these “engravings for the people” were often the only visual representations in Americans’ lives. After World War I, artists and collectors, striving to define an identity proudly distinct from Europe, delved into America’s past, where they re-discovered Currier & Ives. Suddenly appreciated again, newspapers in the 1920s published stories about the frenzied search for the prints in attics and shadowy corners, and noted their inclusion in art exhibitions.  

Currier & Ives prints began to be reproduced on Christmas cards, collectibles, stamps, everyday dishes, and glassware. Examples of these items are on display. Connecticut artist George Henry Durrie, whose snowy views of country homes appeared in nearly a dozen Currier & Ives lithographs, are the among the most commonly reproduced as evocations of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Visitors to the exhibition have enjoyed sharing their memories through social media and interaction with staff, such as this quote from the comment book, “My wonderful grandfather gave cards at Christmas with Currier & Ives pictures on the front. I am 67 years old and still have some of them. Nice memory!” In Connecticut, Travelers Insurance included Currier & Ives images on their annual calendar in beginning in 1936 and encouraged the prints to become lasting décor with instructions on how to cut out and put the calendar pages in 11 x 16 inch frames. The company still produces Currier & Ives calendars today.  


Roy King, a private collector from New York, assembled the extensive Currier & Ives print collection over a period of three decades starting in the 1950s. He collected 672 lithographs, most of which were purchased individually.

In 1975, King sold his prints to New York holding company, Esmark. The collection was kept together and shown across the country at universities and museums. Esmark allowed the prints to be seen in over 100 galleries, museums, and universities as well as two dozen other countries, created a wider audience than ever before for these popular depictions of quintessential American life.

The prints were then purchased by Conagra Brands, which installed them in spaces that were open to the public in Omaha, Neb. I

n June 2016, Conagra Brands donated the collected to the Joslyn Art Museum, where it could remain a cherished presence in the Omaha community. 

Florence Griswold Museum  

The consistent recipient of a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, the Florence Griswold Museum has been called a “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe.

In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, the Museum features a gallery for changing art exhibitions, education and landscape centers, a restored artist’s studio, 12 acres along the Lieutenant River, and extensive gardens and nature trail. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT.

Visit FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for more information, including a list of programs and activities related to the exhibition.  

Three Shows On View at Lyme Art Association; ‘Deck the Walls’, “Hands on the Land,’ ‘Polly Seip Solo Show’

‘Harvest Moon’ by Del-Bourree Bach in acrylics is one of the featured works in the ‘Deck the Halls’ show on view at Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME — There are currently three shows on view at Lyme Art Association (LAA.)

The signature show is the LAA’s perennially popular holiday art exhibition and sale, Deck the Walls, which is on view through Jan. 2, 2022. More than 200 original works of art by member artists will be on display and priced to sell as holiday gifts. Deck the Walls features a wide variety of appealing subjects and tends toward smaller, less expensive works.

Concurrently with Deck the Walls, an exhibition reflecting on the impact of humans on the local landscape will be on view. This show titled Hands on the Land is a collaboration with the Connecticut River Museum and was previously on view there.

A third show, the Polly Seip Solo Show, is also on view. Polly Seip won the first prize in the 2019 Associate Artists Show, and received the opportunity to present a solo show. Her luminous nocturnes are especially noteworthy.

‘Slate-Colored Junco’ by Bivenne Staiger reflects the wintry theme of the ‘Deck the Halls’ 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,” comments Laurie Pavlos, Executive Director.

‘Winter Light’ by Caleb Stone is another of the signature paintings in the ‘Deck The Walls’ show.

The LAA is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment.

The LAA is located at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Road. Call 860-434-7802 for more information, or visit www.lymeartassociation.org.

Arron to Serve as Artistic Director for Final Musical Masterworks Season Before Lark Assumes Role; Next Concerts Dec. 11-12

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron waves during the Zoom interview recently conducted by Suzanne Thompson for this article.

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks is back with live concerts and audiences next weekend — and this 31st season of chamber music concerts is special on multiple fronts.

This season’s five concerts will be a farewell tour for cellist Edward Arron, who has served as Artistic Director for 13 years. A soloist with major orchestras and chamber musician throughout North America, Europe and Asia, Arron has garnered recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances, and creative programming. 

The Juilliard graduate was for 10 years the artistic director of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series.

He has been a University of Massachusetts Amherst Music Department faculty member since 2016, after serving on the faculty of New York University from 2009 to 2016. He tours and records regularly as a member of the renowned Ehnes Quarter.

Tessa Lark, who is Musical Masterworks Artistic Director-designate and will take over the role for the 2022-23 season, waves during the Zoom interview recently conducted by Suzanne Thompson for this article.

This season also is a settling-in for the series’ Artistic Director Designate, violinist Tessa Lark. This budding superstar in the classical realm, who first performed on Musical Masterworks stage almost a decade ago, will become Artistic Director with the 2022-23 season.

The 2020 GRAMMY nominee in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category, recipient of a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition also is a highly acclaimed fiddler in the tradition of her native Kentucky.

Lark delights audiences with programming that includes Appalachian and bluegrass music that inspired composers have written for her. She also has started composing.

Edward Arron plays the cello while his wife Jeewon Park accompanies him on the piano during a previous Musical Masterworks concert. Photo credit: Musical Masterworks.

The 2021-22 season marks a return to live performances before audiences in the Meeting Room of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. While Musical Masterworks artists and fans improvised last year with a series of professionally-recorded performances by the artists in the church hall and remote viewing for patrons, there is nothing comparable to the magic of experiencing world-class performances in this consummate sanctuary for classical chamber music. 

Add to that, for the first time in 16 years of the series, a harpsichord will be on stage. No wonder the Sunday, Oct. 24 performance sold out two weeks ahead of the concert. Tickets for the Saturday, Oct. 23 performance are still available but must be ordered in advance.

Sitting down recently – via Zoom – with Arron and Lark, they expanded on what is in store for this season and beyond.

The founder and first Artistic Director of Musical Masterworks was legendary pianist Charles Wadsworth. Photo credit: Musical Masterworks.

“I was honored to be invited to be a part of this concert series,” said Arron, recalling his first Musical Masterworks appearance in 2005. Legendary classical pianist Charles Wadsworth, director of chamber music at the Spoleto Festivals in both Italy and Charleston, S.C., and founder of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, was the series’ first artistic director. 

“I learned a lot from Charles, we laughed a lot and made some great music together. It was a dream in the back of my head to run such a concert series some day.” 

Musical Masterworks brings together talented, world-class classical musicians to play an inspiring collection of works, some perhaps never presented together before, others completely new and some older. 

Wadsworth must have recognized a kindred spirit in Arron as someone with an extensive knowledge of the chamber music repertoire, who both knew and performed with many other talented musicians and also had a passion for putting together musical programs. Arron served as assistant artistic director for two years before Wadsworth retired, and took over the helm in his early thirties.

“There are several stages to the great pleasures of this job,” Arron said. “First, dreaming up the music that you would like to play and the combination of dear friends that you would like to put together to play these pieces.”

He continued, “People had to trust me, that we could give them something entertaining. I also felt I had to earn the trust of this audience to put it into proportion and to create a context of an afternoon well-spent. Charles before me did that and I enjoyed searching for that balance. It was such a nourishing part of my life, being able to dream of programs and render them.”

Arron saw similar talents and interests in Lark, who he admires for her creative programming as well as her masterful delivery. Driving from Detroit to Massachusetts in a COVID-impacted travel schedule, he had time to ponder which performer connected best with Musical Masterworks audiences. 

Publicity shot of Musical Masterworks Artistic Director-designate, violinist Tessa Lark.

“Tessa lights up the stage wherever she goes, and people fall in love with her, in addition to that, I observed that Tessa was falling in love with this place, too,” he said. Speaking directly to her (since both were on-screen simultaneously), Arron said, “Tessa, every time you returned to Musical Masterworks, you genuinely connected back with these people who you had met there and to the stage. That seemed a harmonious thing.”

Lark, who lives in New York and travels much of the time to perform — in locations as far away as The Netherlands and Australia, and including Seattle, Santa Fe and Tulsa in the US — welcomes the Old Lyme venue for its acoustics, charm and the ability for musicians and audiences to connect.

“It’s equal part intimate and grand, it is just so hard to find that combination especially for chamber music, and to get into the music nitty-gritty. Every subtlety that the group has, that has been worked out, can be appreciated by every audience member. That is such a rarity,” Lark said enthusiastically.

She added, “I love that it is bright and sunny, all of the visual aesthetics match the spirit of the place, and the sounds of the music-making, it is such a beautiful harmony of the senses.”

“It acoustically and aesthetically one of the most magical places to play,” said Arron, continuing, “Returning year after year, it’s beautiful you can see the seasons changing as you go through the concert season. In the fall, you see beautiful foliage outside, in the winter concerts you see the winterscape, then you see and hear the spring unfolding, [and then] they often open the windows for that final concert.

Arron noted, “The acoustic is really clear and warm, the audience sits in a way where you can see each other’s faces. There is a particularly special connection. The people in the audience become friends, all of these elements come together – you’re among friends, you’re playing to friends, with friends, there are a lot of elements to look forward to.”

Edward Arron describes the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme as “One of the most magical places to play.” Photo credit: Musical Masterworks.

“I just adore that a musician can be free to play what they love in that beautiful space, and because Ed has instilled so much trust, the audience will come,” explained Lark.

Arron describes his selections for the 31st season as “a bit daring and unconventional,” but still promising to be familiar and entertaining. 

The opening concert features the debut of harpsichordist Paolo Bordignon, alongside violinists Jesse Mills and Lark in a program of Baroque delights that served as the inspiration for Stravinsky’s ballet, Pulcinella.

In December, pianist Orion Weiss, violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti and violist Nicholas Cords perform a program of glorious piano quintets, from Dvorak, Shostakovich and Brahams to Rag-Gidon-Time for String Trio, composed 25 years ago by Giya Kancheli from Republic of Georgia.

In February, celebrated guitarist Colin Davin performs Bach, Schubert, plus a piece by contemporary composer Vivian Fung, a past fellow classmate of Arron’s.

In March, two Musical Masterworks veterans flutist Tara Helen O’Connor and pianist Adam Neiman play works by Haydn, Prokofiev, Zwilich and Weber, with Arron.

The final farewell program, in April, by Arron and his wife, pianist Jeewon Park with Lark and her fiancé, double bassist Michael Thurber, features Handel/Halvorsen, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Appalachia Waltz by Mark O’Connor.

Editor’s Note: For further information on the 31st season of ‘Musical Masterworks’, details of all the performances, and ticket purchase options — including for Saturday, Oct. 23 — visit this link

Lyme Academy Returns to its Roots with New Programs for Serious Art Students; Exhibitions, Classes for Community

The all-new Core Program at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts focuses on foundational artistic skills in drawing, painting and sculpture in the figurative tradition.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has officially reopened with a renewed dedication to the mission first articulated by its Founder, sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler. The Academy was created in 1976 as an institution dedicated to the traditional, skills-based art education first taught in the Renaissance academies of Europe and later at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts.

With this return to its roots, the Academy begins the academic year with the launch of a new Core Program of study for full-time students, which will commence in late September. Led by the husband and wife team of Jordan Sokol and Amaya Gurpide, who serve as Co-Artistic Directors, 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.

Artistic Director and Director of Painting, Jordan Sokol (left) and newly-appointed Painting-Drawing Instructor, Hollis Dunlap — himself an alumnus of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts — working in the Southwick-Keller Studio at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year is now open and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.

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 history 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 Core Program will run on a trimester schedule with the first (Fall) trimester beginning on Sept. 27, of this year. The cost per trimester is $3650, with scholarship opportunities available.

“We’re looking for students who want to apply themselves and work hard to grow and develop” said Sokol, himself an accomplished painter, continuing, “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.”

It is anticipated 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.

“As in the original vision for Lyme Academy, the institution will no longer confer Bachelor’s degrees. In the place of seat-time requirements for credit accumulation, students will instead focus on skill-building with an eye towards mastery, fully preparing our students for the 21st century art world,” the Academy’s Executive Director, Mora Rowe, said.

She added, “In addition to our Core Program, we are planning a full spectrum of public programming, which will include gallery openings, exhibitions, part-time classes, workshops, lectures, cultural events, and more. Our partnership with the community along with the accessibility and openness of our campus are of the highest priority.”

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts features 40,000 sq. ft. of studio and teaching space on the sprawling four-acre campus located in the heart of Old Lyme.

Two additional educational programs are currently under development. Firstly, the Academy will offer a Continuing Education program focused on students of all ages and abilities to benefit from a skills-based curriculum, with a choice of year-round study or individual classes. And secondly, a Portfolio Preparation program is also under development, which will be designed to provide a solid, skills-based visual education to develop one’s portfolio and abilities under the leadership of professional artists.

The Lyme Academy of Fine Art will host quarterly Gallery Openings beginning with the first exhibition, Memento Vivere, on Oct. 16. This invitational group exhibition will be curated by Sokol and Gurpide, and will also have the additional role of being an Inaugural Fundraiser for the Academy. The Memento Vivere exhibition, located in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery, will be open to the public from Oct. 17 through Dec. 10.

Lyme Academy is located midway between Boston and New York at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, Conn. The town has been a site of artistic congregation for over a century after evolving as the heart of the Lyme Art Colony, which led to it becoming the Home of American Impressionism.

Visit this link for more information about Lyme Academy of Fine Arts or call 860.434.5232.

Watercolors Exhibit by Jeanne Potter of Old Lyme on View at Greenwich Art Society Through Oct. 9

Lily Pads with Reeds and Clouds on Maine Pond by Jeanne C Potter. Photo submitted.

GREENWICH/OLD LYME — A solo exhibition and sale of paintings by artist Jeanne C. Potter of Old Lyme is currently on view at the Greenwich Art Society. An Opening Reception for the show will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The exhibition will run through Oct. 9 and features 47 recent watercolors, including her most recent award winners from national juried shows.

Potter has been painting for more than 50 years and the exhibition features a variety of landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. She has also been teaching watercolor for some 20 years.

Potter explains in a press release, “I have had a lifelong love of watercolors, and this show of my recent work will let me share the art and beauty of watercolor with the public.”

 Highlights of her show include a series of recent pond paintings from her travels to Maine and Witch Hole Pond in Acadia National Park where she explores the beauty of reflected clouds in water amongst lily pads and grasses.

One painting titled Lily Pads and Clouds on Maine Pond (see image above) is currently on view at the juried national 51st Nor’Easter Exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American Art. Other New England landscapes painted en plein air show the beauty of nature from Owl’s Head, Maine and Newport, RI as well as Black Point in Niantic, Conn.

 When asked how she would describe her watercolor landscapes, Potter said in the release, “Watercolor allows me as an artist a way to capture all the beauty of nature in rich and powerful color as well as delicate and translucent detail.”

In addition to landscapes, she is an award-winning still life painter and included in her solo exhibition are a series of paintings of the classic Ball jar, in both clear and blue glass. This past Spring one of the Ball jar paintings received an Award of Merit at the Providence Art Club National juried exhibition and the painting is currently on view at the Bendheim Gallery in Greenwich in its 104th Annual National Juried Greenwich Art Society exhibition.

“I also try to find the beauty in everyday objects,” says Potter in the release, commenting, “Sometimes the most familiar can become a new and interesting subject for a painting, especially when I can capture in subtle color and painterly detail their essence as in my Ball Jar paintings.”

The exhibition will also feature her portrait art and include what the artist calls her “wall of women” presenting 20 portraits of women who are friends, family and acquaintances. “So many think of portrait art as being solely the domain of oil painting,” notes Potter, adding, “But what I want to show is how dramatic and effective watercolor can be in showing the enormous variety and beauty of the human face.”

The Greenwich Art Society Gallery is located at 299 Greenwich Ave., Second Floor, Greenwich. For more information visit the Society’s website or call 203-629-1533.

Registration Open at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts for Wide Range of Continuing Education Programs

OLD LYME — The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has announced a full schedule of Continuing Education programs beginning Sept, 27. Both part-time and full-time programs and classes are available, with enrollment beginning immediately.

The part-time Continuing Education classes are open to the community throughout the year and will follow an 11-week trimester. These classes are intended for students of all ages and abilities, who will benefit from skills-based art instruction, led by professional artists.

The three- or four-hour classes will run on weekdays and Saturdays from Sept. 27 through Dec. 11, and range in cost from $500 to $850 per class.  Classes are offered in:

  • Drawing
  • Life Drawing
  • Sculpture
  • Printmaking
  • Oil Painting
  • Content and Composition
  • Figure Painting.

A course in Oil Painting will be offered as part of Lyme Academy’s Fall 2021 Continuing Education program.

The full-time ‘Requisite Program’ is a one-year portfolio preparation program designed to provide a solid, skills-based visual education to develop an individual’s portfolio and abilities under the leadership of professional artists. The program consists of five main courses including Drawing, Sculpture, Painting, Synthesis Composition and Printmaking along with access to lectures, demonstrations, and critiques from Master Artists.

The full-time curriculum classes are conducted five days per week, approximately six hours per day for 11-week trimesters, beginning Sept. 27, with the the trimester school year ending June 10, 2022. The full-time Requisite Program tuition costs total $7,350, which includes the annual tuition of $6,000 and mandatory annual studio fee of $1,350. Scholarships are available.

All classes will be led by professional artists as follows:

  • Kimberly Monson, Drawing, Life Drawing and Sculpture
  • Paul Michael, Printmaking
  • Justin Wiest, Oil Painting
  • Jon Sideriadis Content and Composition
  • Jerry Weiss, Figure Painting.

For more information and to register for any of these classes, visit www.lymeacademy.edu.

Founded in 1976 by the sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts was created as an institution dedicated to a traditional, skills-based education.

Subsequent to a period as an accredited college, Lyme Academy, a non-profit educational organization, is now returning to its founding roots to offer foundational skills in the fine arts; providing a curriculum which combines rigorous studio instruction in drawing and painting with anatomy, sculpture, and the history of art.

The Academy affirms its legacy and commitment to the community of Old Lyme by providing a vibrant schedule of lectures, exhibitions, workshops, and part-time programs.

Located midway between Boston and New York, Old Lyme, Connecticut has been a site of artistic congregation for over a century, becoming the heart of the Lyme Art Colony and the Home of American Impressionism.

Learn more by visiting www.lymeacademy.edu.

Benn to Present Latest Billy Boyle Novel in Zoom Presentation Hosted This Evening by Lyme Library

LYME — On Thursday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m., Lyme Public Library will host critically-acclaimed local author Jim Benn, who will talk in a presentation via Zoom about his latest novel, Road of Bones.

This is the 16th novel in Benn’s popular World War II mystery series, in which the main character is Billy Boyle.

Road of Bones sees Boyle sent to the heart of the USSR to solve a double-murder at a critical turning point in the war.

In its description of the book, Amazon.com states, “It’s September 1944, and the US is poised to launch Operation Frantic, a shuttle bombing mission to be conducted by American aircraft based in Great Britain, southern Italy, and three Soviet airfields in the Ukraine.

Tensions are already high between the American and Russian allies when two intelligence agents—one Soviet, one American—are found dead at Poltava, one of the Ukrainian bases. Billy is brought in to investigate, and this time he’s paired, at the insistence of the Soviets, with a KGB agent who has his own political and personal agenda.

In the course of an investigation that quickly spirals out of control, Billy is aided by the Night Witches, a daring regiment of young Soviet women flying at night at very low altitudes, bombing hundreds of German installations.

It’s a turning point in the war, and allied efforts hang by a thread. Unless Billy and his KGB partner can solve the murders in an atmosphere of mutual distrust, Operation Frantic is doomed.”

Jim Benn

Road of Bones has received numerous outstanding reviews include this Starred one from Booklist: “Benn’s ability to sustain his terrific premise while adding depth to his characters makes this long-running series a must for those who love WWII crime fiction.”

Another Starred Review came from Publishers Weekly: “Exhilarating…Bolstered by vivid, scintillating descriptions of air strikes and dogfights involving the legendary all-female Soviet air force unit known as the Night Witches, Benn’s high-intensity storytelling shines.”

Kirkus Reviews had this to say,A World War II supersleuth, deprived of his usual backup, unravels a tangled web of criminality in Russia . . . Benn’s well-crafted series deepens with every installment.”

Visit this link to register for the event and receive the Zoom details. Contact Theresa Conley at  860-434-2272 with any questions.

Musical Masterworks Announces Season Starting Oct. 23 in Person; Arron Stepping Down as Artistic Director, Lark to Replace Him

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron is stepping down at the end of the 2021-22 season. Photo by Hak-Soo Kim.

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks (MM) will be back in person this fall for their 31st season with an array of professional chamber music concerts programmed by Artistic Director Edward Arron. The concerts will take place in MM’s traditional home at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Alden Rockwell Murphy, who serves as MM Board President, comments, “It will be wonderful to be back in community, where we can experience the joy of sharing this music together.”

The MM Digital Brochure provides details about the upcoming season, which is filled with performances by Masterworks veterans, as well as some exciting debut performances. The first concert will take place Saturday, Oct. 23.

This season Edward Arron’s final season as Artistic Director will be celebrated. He says in the MM brochure that he feels, in order to allow for fresh ideas for Musical Masterworks, it is time for him to step down.

Violinist Tessa Lark will replace Edward Arron as MM Artistic Director for the 2022-23 season.

Arron has chosen violinist Tessa Lark as his successor. Lark will serve as Artistic Director Designate this season; she will be performing at and co-hosting four out of the five MM concerts.

Regarding COVID-19 safety protocols in respect of the reopening, MM, together with the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, will be monitoring and adhering to CDC and CT guidance throughout the season. Musical Masterworks will be in touch via email prior to each concert to ensure that you are aware of current attendance guidelines so you can safely enjoy their performances.

Musical Masterworks commits to continue to be vigilant in making the health and safety of their musicians, audience and staff a priority as the (hopeful) return to normalcy continues.

FloGris, PARJE Co-Host Lecture Today on ‘Murals and Monuments: The Politics of Public Art’

The history and practice of public art are the subject of a virtual lecture presented Wednesday, Sept. 1, by the FloGris Museum and PARJE.

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum is partnering with Public Art for Racial Justice Education to present a free virtual lecture titled Murals and Monuments: The Politics of Public Art at 3 p.m. today, Wednesday, Sept. 1.

Mary Kordak, Professor of Art History at the University of New Haven, will talk about the history of murals/monuments and how they affect cultural change. This talk touches on the current debates over monuments, how important it is to remember our history, and how public art can help re-tell narratives that were historically racially unjust.
Audience members will participate in a Question & Answer session. The intent is that attendees leave with a deeper understanding of the history and practice of public art.
This lecture is part of a series “Arts & Advocacy: Methods to Spark Positive Change Through Art” is made possible with support from Connecticut Humanities.

Organization Confronting Racial Injustice with Public Art Announces Partnership to Install Murals in Four Towns, Including Old Lyme

NEW LONDON, CT —Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE) and CT Murals have today announced a partnership to enable the installation of four murals in each of four towns:- New London, Old Lyme, Norwich, and East Lyme.

This will be part of the Sister Murals Project whereby skilled and unskilled artists from different communities, races, ethnicities, and generations will work together under master Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) artists. The murals they create will bring lesser told stories to life while remembering cherished values in their respective communities.

Since its official launch in March of this year, PARJE has gained support from all around southeastern Connecticut. This includes colleges and museums, municipalities, art galleries, civic organizations, churches, and various businesses throughout the region.

Public Art for Racial Justice Education is a broad-based, interracial, non-partisan, non-sectarian group consisting of volunteers from various communities around the shoreline region. These communities include Old Lyme, Lyme, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Essex, Deep River, Norwich and New  London. Building partnerships with surrounding communities is an additional focus of the group’s stated mission.

CT Murals has been dedicated to creating inclusive public art since 2015. The group utilizes grants as well as community support and donations to create all of its public art. Currently, CT Murals is working to install its 39 MLK Murals across the state, one for every year of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.

The Sister Murals will be the second official public art project of PARJE. Their first public art project is a diptych that travels between schools, museums, libraries, and faith communities to teach about the history of the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

The diptych, a two-panel painting, was created by artists Nancy Gladwell and Jasmine Oyola. The first host of the diptych was Norwich Free Academy in early July. Since then, it has been to Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Waterford, New London and Hartford.

Public Art for Racial Justice Education has also been working with one of its earliest partners, Sustainable CT, on a series of videos to document their conversations with everyone from students to elected officials regarding the role public art can play in society.

In addition to these videos PARJE has partnered with the Florence Griswold Museum of Old Lyme and the Lyman Allyn Museum of New London to produce lectures discussing race, society, and art. Jason Deeble, project manager for the East Lyme Sister Mural, hopes to keep the spirit of those lectures going and sees public art as the best chance to do it.

When discussing the Sister Murals Project, Deeble commented “Art and learning, and civic responsibility, are all kinds of major fixtures in my life and a mural project like this makes a beautiful little Venn diagram with me right in the center.”

Public Art for Racial Justice Education, along with their financial sponsor, The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, will work with CT Murals to involve the community in a variety of ways.

Public Art for Racial Justice Education believes there is an opportunity to involve the community in all aspects of mural installation. Whether it be discussing the mural themes in person or on a virtual call, or students assisting the artist with installation, there are several ways to involve the community.

More important than the installation of the murals themselves, however, are the plans PARJE has made for the time after these four pieces have been completed. The group is planning to host both presentations and performances at the site of the Sister Murals.

Fulton Park, the site of the New London Sister Mural wall, is configured in such a way that the area directly in front of the wall creates a natural stage. PARJE is committed to using the broad appeal of art and education to facilitate easy opportunities for conversation in the community about the difficult subject of racial injustice.

With three full basketball courts and a skate park, Eddie Long, PARJE Co-chair and member of the New London Arts Council, believes Fulton Park could easily accommodate a large crowd or audience. In discussing the need for neglected spaces to be utilized, Long stated, “We don’t like blank spaces in New London. We like spaces to be filled with people, with art, and ideas.”

CT Murals will have a chance to help install an indoor piece as well with Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School agreeing to become the future home of the Old Lyme Sister Mural. Located beside the school’s auditorium there is potential for educational programs or events that tie into the mural’s theme of “Welcoming All.”

There will be a Call for Artists coming from PARJE in the beginning of September.

For the Sister Murals Project, an official fundraising campaign has begun this month with a page on the crowdfunding site, Patronicity. If you would like to learn more about PARJE, or donate to one of the four Sister Murals, visit racialjusticeart.org

To become involved with PARJE, email racialjusticeart@gmail.com

Follow Public Art for Racial Justice Education on social media at these links:

Editor’s Note: This article is based on a press release from PARJE.

‘Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse

‘Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years’ is currently being performed at The Ivoryton Playhouse.

IVORYTON – The extraordinary and life-affirming play Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Emily Mann (adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth) opened Aug. 12, at The Ivoryton Playhouse.

Based on the New York Times bestselling novel, Having Our Say takes us into the trail-blazing worlds of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two real-life, civil rights pioneers. Their warm, funny, and intelligent tale is a remarkable and moving portrait of two groundbreaking women, who continue to laugh, love, and embrace life after over 100 years living side-by-side.

This Tony-nominated play begins as sisters, Sadie and Bessie (103- and 101-years-old, respectively), welcome us into their Mount Vernon home while they prepare a celebratory dinner in remembrance of their father’s birthday. Along the way they take us on a remarkable journey through the last 100 years of our nation’s history.

From post-Civil War Reconstruction through the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, their sharp memories recapture the worlds of Booker T. Washington, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Paul Robeson.

A scene from ‘Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years.’

Throughout their respective life journeys, Sadie and Bessie broke barriers of color and race becoming a respected dentist and a New York City schoolteacher at a time when America held high the potential for change and growth. Their extraordinary and inspiring lives are examples in courage and love that stand as monumental contributions to our nation’s heritage.

This poignant and touching family drama stars Catherine Williams* as Sadie and Hope Harley* as Bessie. And the Delany Sisters’ influence is not lost on them, evidenced by Harley commenting, “Much like their contemporary, Anna James, of the James Pharmacy here in Connecticut, they serve as role models even today.” Or as Williams states simply, “I am very humbled to play the role.”

The play is directed by Ivoryton Playhouse’s Associate Artistic Director Todd Underwood with set design by Martin Marchitto; costumes by Elizabeth Saylor; lighting by Marcus Abbott; and sound by Tate R. Burmeister.

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years runs through Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. 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.

The safety of its audience is the theater’s primary concern. Its capacity has been socially-distanced so that there are now only 140 seats in the theatre for the audience’s comfort and protection.

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

Visit the Playhouse’s website for more information. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main St. in Ivoryton.

*Denotes member of Actors Equity

Lyme Art Association Celebrates its Centennial in True ‘Twenties’ Style

Replicating the traditions of the early part of the last century, artists associated with the Lyme Art Association set up their easels at different points along Lyme St. on Saturday, and painted local scenes. Photo by Anne Smith Brandenburg.

OLD LYME — On Saturday, the Lyme Art Association (LAA) celebrated 100 years (and one day!) since their gallery opened with art and awards, teas and ‘The Twenties,’ and much mirth and merriment all around.

Photo by Anne Smith Brandenburg.

Some artists took their palettes to the river.

Photo by Anne Smith Brandenburg.

Artwork was created in all sizes …

Photo by Anne Smith Brandenburg.

… and colors.

Photo by Anne Smith Brandenburg.

Some was small …

Photo by Anne Smith Brandenburg.

… while others were large.

Photo by Anne Smith Brandenburg.

But concentration was high wherever the artists were working and the results were truly remarkable.

Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Tea was served ‘Twenties’ style at the LAA during the afternoon, celebrating the period when the Association first opened its doors …

Photo by Suzanne Thompson

… with delicious goodies for all.

Photo by Linda Ahnert.

There were tables with flowery cloths and flowers in vases everywhere …

Photo by Linda Ahnert.

The weather was perfect, faces were smiling, and these ladies in their ‘Twenties’ tea-dresses were clearly having a lovely time.

Photo by Linda Ahnert.

This plaque reminded guests of the joyful date they were all celebrating …

Photo by Linda Ahnert.

… while this mask reminded guests of the unwelcome newcomer in our midst.

All the freshly-painted artwork was gathered on the LAA’s lawn where guests studied it intently to decide  whether to make a purchase.

There was so much wonderful work from which to choose …

… but Lyme Street resident Lynn Fairfield-Sonn knew precisely which piece she wanted to buy. It was the beautiful painting of her house depicting herself and husband Jim on the porch!

Cooley Gallery owner Jeff Cooley (right) announced the winners of the ‘Wet-Paint Contest,’ who gathered for a photo with LAA Board Chairman Harley Bartlett (left) after the presentation of awards.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) was on hand to present LAA Executive Director Laurie Pavlos with a Proclamation from the State House and Senate honoring the event.

The LAA Board Chair, Harley Bartlett (center), cheerfully shared a smile with the LAA Executive Director Laurie Pavlos (right) and Development Director Elsbeth Dowd (left.)

Local artist Jack Montmeat was awarded first prize in the Lyme Art Association’s summer exhibition A Century of Inspiration.

The early evening morphed into the Centennial Frolic with a 1920s-themed fundraiser for the Second Century Skylight Project. This delightful event celebrated the next 100 years of the LAA’s historic gallery in the spirit of their founders with fabulous ‘Twenties’ attire being the fashion theme.

And so this memorable day came to an end, but let us not forget the artists of the future, who will see the LAA through their next 100 years … and here is one of them, Gideon Halferty — the seven-year-old son of Esther and Paul — hard at work in front of his house on Lyme Street!

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

‘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.