July 5, 2015

‘Summer Sculpture Showcase’ on View at Studio 80 in Old Lyme Through Sept. 13

The signature piece of Gil Boro's Summer Sculpture Showcase, "Queen Anne's Lace" by Gints Grinsberg.

The signature piece of Gil Boro’s Summer Sculpture Showcase, “Queen Anne’s Lace” by Gints Grinsberg.

OLD LYME — Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, is pleased to announce an exciting new exhibition on the grounds of his studio featuring examples of his own contemporary work accompanied by a selection of works created by a number of other widely acclaimed sculptors working in contrasting media. This Summer Sculpture Showcase will be on view from Monday, June 8, through Sunday, Sept. 13, and feature an Opening Reception on Friday, June 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend the reception at which light refreshments will be served.

Nine sculptors will be exhibiting in Boro’s expansive Sculpture Gardens located on the 4.5 acres of his residence on historic Lyme Street in the heart of Old Lyme, Conn. Their works will be interspersed amongst Boro’s own sculptures along with works by 13 other contributing artists on the beautifully landscaped grounds offering a unique plein air experience combining both large- and small-scale contemporary sculptures, many of which are for sale. The sculptors whose work – and in some cases, more than one piece – was selected for the Showcase are:

Diane Barcelo
Ashby Carlisle
Fay Chin
Gints Grinsberg
Lannie Hart
Deborah Hornbake
Elizabeth Knowles
David Millen
Elizabeth Miller McCue
William Thielen

The signature piece of the exhibition is “Queen Anne’s Lace” by Gints Grinsbergs. It is a large — 144” in height, 56” in diameter — yet delicate structure that evokes the intricate design of lace in its welded and stainless steel structure. Grinsbergs’ work has been featured at various museums and galleries and is Included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

'Waves' by Fay Chin.

‘Waves’ by Fay Chin.

Fay Chin’s abstract aluminum sculpture in the exhibition titled, “Waves,” explores pyramidal relationships in a large, ground-based structure. A sculptor and painter, she has exhibited stone and metal sculptures nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, and public spaces with larger installations.

“Modern Dance,” a multi-colored sculpture utilizing wire fencing wrapped in vinyl surveying tape, is a collaborative work by Elizabeth Knowles and William Thielen. Natural patterns inspire the work of Knowles and Thielen, who live and work respectively in New York City and Carbondale, Ill. Both have an extensive body of individual work and have received numerous awards, grants and residencies.

'Pipehenge' by Gil Boro.

‘Pipehenge’ by Gil Boro.

Boro has enjoyed a distinguished career as a sculptor, architect, educator and international design consultant. He explores the interplay of space, place and scale in a wide range of media including stone, wood, metal and fiberglass. His vast body of work has been exhibited in numerous galleries throughout the US and internationally, and has also been purchased by collectors, corporations and foundations in both the US and Europe. Boro currently has several works being exhibited at off-site locations including the South Carolina-based Art League of Hiltonhead’s Biennale (where he was recently awarded second place in their 24th National Juried Exhibition), the New England Sculptor’s Association’s exhibition in Portsmouth, N.H., and Ramey Fine Art in Palm Desert, Calif.

This inaugural Summer Sculpture Showcase offers a unique opportunity for established sculptors to exhibit their work in a different location, while also effectively creating a new exhibition within the Sculpture Gardens. Boro comments, “I’m delighted to be able to open my grounds to these exceptional sculptors whose work intrigues me. Each one offers original creative thinking resulting in a fascinating combination of contrasting conceptual designs in a variety of media. I think any visitor to the exhibition is going to be thoroughly engaged by what he or she sees – including children.”

Boro is somewhat unusual as a professional sculptor in that he loves to see folk of all ages directly interacting with his sculptures, noting that he has a strong aversion to exhibitions, “… where people can’t touch my work.” Apart from attracting visitors to see the works on his grounds, Boro is thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and hopes this exhibition will help cement the town as a summer destination for art-loving visitors from near and far, especially during the town’s Midsummer Festival on Friday, July 24, and Saturday, July 25.

Located at 80-1 Lyme St., less than a minute from Exit 70 on I-95, the Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds are open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Children, field trips and group visits are all welcome. The Studio is open by appointment.

For further information, contact 860-434-5957, visit www.sculpturegrounds.com or email studio80sculpturegrounds@gmail.com

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Marine Art Exhibition, “American Waters,” on View at LAA Through July 31

"A Seaport Moment" by James Wagner is one of the signature paintings of the 'American Waters' exhibition.

“A Seaport Moment” by James Wagner is one of the signature paintings of the ‘American Waters’ exhibition.

Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents its summer exhibition, American Waters, in the LAA’s sky-lit galleries from June 12 through July 31. The exhibition will feature work by the country’s premier maritime artists, who are members of the American Society of Marine Artists as invited guests, alongside exciting marine work by LAA artists.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, June 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the LAA, 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Conn. All are welcome and refreshments will be served.

'Marshall Point' by Kent Winchell.

‘Marshall Point’ by Kent Winchell.

Russ Kramer, an internationally recognized marine painter, will jury the exhibition.  Kramer comments, “What better place for an exhibition of marine-inspired art than the Lyme Art Association?” continuing, “It is a true landmark in our region’s artistic history, whose proximity to the Lieutenant and Connecticut rivers and Long Island Sound has inspired artists for a century. These new works in the exhibition American Waters are by many of the finest practitioners of marine art working today. To think the same subjects continue to inspire us 100 years later is testament to this area’s enduring, irresistible allure.”

'Afternoon Light' by the late Yves Parent.

‘Afternoon Light’ by the late Yves Parent.

Concurrent with the American Waters exhibition, the LAA presents a large exhibition of Yves Parent maritime paintings. Many of these paintings are of coastal landmarks, recognizable to boaters who have spent time in the waters around the New England coast. This will be the final opportunity to view and purchase paintings from the estate of Yves Parent at the LAA.

Lyme Art Association Board President, Katherine Simmons, states, “American Waters continues an LAA tradition of exhibiting the very best of fine contemporary American marine painting. We are grateful to the members of the American Society of Marine Artists who are joining us as invited guests, and we would especially like to thank our premier media sponsor, The Day, and our presenting sponsor, Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law, along with juror Russ Kramer, for making this exhibition happen.”

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’s home is a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within a national historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.

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

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Saybrook Stage Performs “Moon Over Buffalo” at The Kate, July 16-19

The cast of 'Moon Over Buffalo.'

The cast of ‘Moon Over Buffalo.’

OLD SAYBROOK — The Saybrook Stage Company takes you back to the 1950’s with Ken Ludwig’s hilarious play “Moon Over Buffalo” performed live at The Kate from July 16 through July 19.

This fast-paced comedy takes place in one of the country’s most traditional theater’s located in Buffalo New York during the early 1950’s. “Moon Over Buffalo” is a laugh out loud comedy about a seasoned group of traveling actors trying to survive despite the recent success of television and film.

Howard Roz shows his surprise in this scene from the play.Howard Roz shows his surprise in this scene from the play.

The play centers around an older married couple given one last shot at real stardom – the famous movie director, Frank Capra is coming to town to see their matinee performance and if he likes what he sees they could be cast in an upcoming major motion picture. And this is when the fun really starts – anything that could go wrong does go wrong – from the husband’s dalliance with a young actress, to their daughter’s clueless fiancé, to their deaf, elderly stage mother who hates her son-in-law more than anything. All these mishaps will make you cry with laughter as the antics unfold.

“Moon Over Buffalo” originally opened on Broadway in 1995 to rave reviews – “Stuffed with comic invention, running gags and a superb sense of absurdity, this is truly a loveletter to live theatre.”

The production received several Tony nominations and ran for over 300 performances.

Martin Scott Marchitto directs 'Moon Over Buffalo'Martin Scott Marchitto directs ‘Moon Over Buffalo’

The Saybrook Stage Company is pleased to return once again to The Kate in this hilarious comedy directed by Martin Scott Marchitto. This will be their 10th production at The Kate and could prove to be their funniest yet – previous plays are Our Town, 12 Angry Men, The Dining Room, You Can’t Take It With You, A Piece of My Heart, Enchanted April, Almost Maine, Rumors, and most recently this past January to a sell-out audience, The Wayside Motor Inn.

Visit www.thekate.org or call 877.503.1286 to reserve tickets.

For more information about Saybrook Stage Company, visit www.SaybrookStage.org

Editor’s Note: The Saybrook Stage Company was founded as a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing quality local theater on the Connecticut Shoreline at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Saybrook Stage welcomes actors of all levels and abilities – and anyone who genuinely loves the arts – to come together and share in the experience that only live theater can provide. Actors that have been part of The Saybrook Stage Company to date have varied backgrounds and “day jobs” from teachers, artists and homemakers to lawyers, business people and judges. The Company looks forward to producing many more quality productions at the beautiful venue of The Kate and continuing to thrive in this wonderful, artistic region of Connecticut.

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Gallery One Artists Exhibit at ELLE Design Studio; Includes Work by Carlisle, Christiano of Old Lyme

Forced Narcissus, by Catherine Christiano, on linen, 14 x 8 inches, 2005.

Forced Narcissus, by Catherine Christiano, on linen, 14 x 8 inches, 2005.

Gallery One, a cooperative of mid-career artists working in a wide variety of media and styles from representational to abstract, including painting, sculpture and works on paper, will exhibit at the ELLE Design Studio from June 2 through Aug. 30, with a reception on Friday, June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to exhibit our artists’ work in Chester,” says Judith Barbour Osborne, “and particularly at ELLE Design Studio, both of which are art destinations.”

Gallery One artists include David Brown, Old Saybrook; Ashby Carlisle, Old Lyme; Catherine Christiano, Old Lyme; Bette Ellsworth, Madison; Mary Fussell, Clinton; Gray Jacobik, Deep River; Judith Barbour Osborne, Ivoryton; T. Willie Raney, Ivoryton; Diana Rogers, Clinton; Victoria Sivigny, Meriden; and Jill Vaughn, Ivoryton.

The Artists of Gallery One, whose vision is to provide southeastern Connecticut with a stimulating resource and to support one another artists, exhibit in various locations along the Connecticut shoreline from Stonington to New Haven. The Artists will be showing at the Mystic Arts Center Sept. 25 through Nov. 7 (in the Leibig Gallery). Additional information, the artists and any upcoming exhibitions can be found at www.galleryoneCT.com.

ELLE Design Studio is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 11am until 6pm, Sunday from 10am until 4pm, and by appointment.

For more information, visit Gallery One online at www.galleryoneCT.com and the ELLE Design Studio at elledesignstudio.net

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‘Calendar Girls’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Fundraising Calendar Now for Sale

Photo by Michelle Tuite. Pictured from left are Maggie McGlone Jennings, Lily Dorment*, Maria Silverman*, Jacqui Hubbard, Beverley Taylor, Katrina Ferguson* *Denotes member of Actors Equity

Photo by Michelle Tuite.
Pictured from left are Maggie McGlone Jennings, Lily Dorment*, Maria Silverman*, Jacqui Hubbard, Beverley Taylor, Katrina Ferguson* *Denotes member of Actors Equity

The summer season has opened in Ivoryton with the US professional premier of one of the UK’s most popular shows, ‘Calendar Girls.’ Adapted by Tim Firth from his smash hit Miramax film of the same name, it is based on an inspiring true story that is both poignant and hilarious.

A group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire Women’s Institute, spark a global phenomenon by persuading one another to pose au natural for a charity calendar with a difference. As interest snowballs, the ‘Calendar Girls’ find themselves revealing more than they’d ever planned …

Dazzlingly funny, shamelessly sentimental and utterly captivating, this is one of the best-selling shows in British theatre history. It will make you laugh, cry … and walk out singing Jerusalem!

The fundraising phenomenon of the Calendar Girls was inspired by the death of Angela Baker’s husband, John Richard Baker, an Assistant National Park Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, who died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 54 in 1998.

During his illness Angela’s friends began to raise money, initially with the aim of purchasing a sofa for the visitors’ lounge in the hospital where John was treated. Nothing could have prepared them for the way their original calendar took off (selling 202,000 copies in its first year). To date they have raised over £3 million for Leukemia & Lymphoma Research, the UK’s leading blood cancer charity.

To support a selection of local cancer research charities, Ivoryton Playhouse is producing a calendar of the theatre’s Calendar Girls with a portion of the proceeds going to support the work of these organizations featuring the cast in their hilariously “revealing” poses. The June 2015 – May 2016 calendars will be available for purchase from the Ivoryton Playhouse for $20.00. Photography for the calendar was donated by Chris Devlin Photography (http://devlinphotography.com) and the calendar printing is sponsored by Essex Printing.

Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic/Executive Director, is directing the production and is also stepping on stage in the role of Annie. Beverley Taylor, Ivoryton Company Manager, will be joining her in the role of Chris.

“We are both Northern English lasses” says Hubbard, “I spent four years trying to get the rights to produce this wonderful play and, though directing and performing at the same time will be a challenge, I knew I had to do it. These women are in our bones and it will be a rare treat to get to step in front of the curtain for a change.”

Joining them on stage are Vickie Blake, Danielle Bonanno, Erik Bloomquist, Victoria Bundonis*, R. Bruce Connelly*, Lily Dorment*, David Edwards*, Katrina Ferguson*, Maggie McGlone Jennings, and Maria Silverman*.

Set design is by Tony Andrea, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Cully Long.

Calendar Girls opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on June 3, and runs through June 21. 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.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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World Renowned Singers Pittsinger, Schumann to Star in Ivoryton’s ‘South Pacific’

David Pittsinger

David Pittsinger

Ivoryton Playhouse has announced that world renowned American bass-baritone David Pittsinger* will be revisiting the role of Emile deBecque – the role he played in the Lincoln Center production to great critical acclaim – in the July production of South Pacific at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Peter Marks of the Washington Post wrote of his performance’ “That quadruple bassoon of a voice interpreting the Richard Rodgers melodies – among the most melting ever composed for the theater – is all the seduction that you or Nellie need. Somehow, the effortlessness of Pittsinger’s technique helps in the illusion that the great romance at the core of “South Pacific” truly is operatic in scope.

Mr. Pittsinger is a stage performer of the greatest distinction. Having appeared on the world’s leading opera and concert stages in Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, Paris, Tanglewood, Pesaro, New York, Santa Fe, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and San Francisco, he is equally at home in baroque through contemporary operas, as well as musical theater.

Patricia Schumann

Patricia Schumann

 

He will be joined by his wife, internationally celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman*, who will also be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut, as Bloody Mary. A performer of great breadth, Ms. Schuman began her career with the great Mozart repertoire, performing Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera and has performed at most of the great opera houses throughout Europe and the United States.

David and Patricia made their home in Essex almost 20 years ago, and even though their work in the opera world has them travelling all over the world, they both feel a special connection to Connecticut shoreline. David, who grew up in Clinton and attended the University of Connecticut and Yale, is thrilled to be giving back to his community and the Playhouse is honored to welcome both of them to the historic Ivoryton stage.

South Pacific opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 1 and runs through July 26. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Additional matinee performances are at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, Saturday, July 18, and Saturday, July 25. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. There is no performance on Saturday, July 4.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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‘A Year in Connecticut’ Photo Exhibit on View at Old Lyme Library

The signature photograph of the, "A Year in Connecticut" exhibition by Steve Nadler, which opens Sunday afternoon.

The signature photograph for the, “A Year in Connecticut” exhibition by Steve Nadler, which opens Sunday afternoon.

A new exhibition and sale of landscape photographs by Steve Nadler is on view at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

The exhibition titled, “A Year in Connecticut,” is Nadler’s photo essay on the natural beauty that exists in southeastern Connecticut.

Nadler explains, “My year is not 12 consecutive months but rather the four seasons that represent one full year.  As you walk through the exhibit area, my hope is that you experience the feeling of the changing seasons in all their glory.”

He continues, “My intent is for you to understand that it is not what you see in these images but more importantly, how you feel when you see them.”

Nadler will speak more about his work in a short gallery talk at 2:30 p.m.

The show runs through June 30, and the library will benefit from a portion of the sales of the photographs.

For more information, visit the library’s website or call 860-434-1684.  The library is located at 2 Library Ln. in Old Lyme, CT 06371.

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LAA’s 94th Annual Elected Artist Exhibition on Show Through June 5

'Fishing boat' by Chris Zhang

‘Fishing boat’ by Chris Zhang is one of the signature paintings in the current LAA exhibition.

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents the 94th Annual Elected Artist Exhibition, on view from April 24 through June 5.  All four galleries will display work by Elected Artists, who are the LAA’s most accomplished artists.

'Working in the Studio' by Bill Hanson.

‘Working in the Studio’ by Bill Hanson.

These torch-bearers for the representational tradition follow directly in the footsteps of the Lyme Art Colony artists who hung their tonalist and impressionist works in this historic building.  This is a great opportunity to see, and perhaps take home, work by Elected Artists, showcased in the LAA’s sky-lit galleries. 

The LAA will hold an opening reception and a gallery dedication in memory of Foster Caddell, Elected Artist, on Friday, May 1, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The LAA is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated.  Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

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

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Ivoryton Playhouse Looks at (Older) Love in “The Last Romance”

Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin* in "The Last Romance," which opens at Ivoryton, April 22

Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin* in “The Last Romance,” which opens at Ivoryton, April 22

On an ordinary day in a routine life, an 80-year-old widower named Ralph decides to takes a different path on his daily walk — one that leads him to an unexpected second chance at love. Relying on a renewed boyish charm, Ralph attempts to woo the elegant, but distant, Carol. Defying Carol’s reticence — and the jealousy of his lonely sister Rose — he embarks on the trip of a lifetime and regains a happiness that seemed all but lost.

Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro’s The Last Romance, a bittersweet romantic comedy with a little Puccini and a smidgen of dog treats, opens in Ivoryton on April 22.

DiPietro recently won two Tony Awards for co-writing the musical Memphis, which also received the 2010 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and which will be opening in Ivoryton in August this year. DiPietro is an Ivoryton favorite; his shows I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change(the longest-running musical revue in Off Broadway history), and the Broadway musical All Shook Up were both popular successes at the Playhouse.

Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin* in "The Last Romance"Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin* in “The Last Romance”

Directed by Maggie McGlone Jennings, the cast includes Chet Carlin* as Ralph, whose Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and the National Tour of Sir Peter Hall’s As You Like It; Kate Konigisor*, the Artistic Director of Shakespeare with Benefits, as Rose; Stephen Mir as the Young Man and Rochelle Slovin*, making her Ivoryton debut as Carol and reigniting a theatre career after spending the past 30 years as the Founding Director of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

The set design is by William Stark, lighting design by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Vickie Blake.

The Last Romance opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 22, and runs through May 10. 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.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Photos by Anne Hudson

  1. Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin*
  2. Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin*

*Indicates member of Actors Equity Association

This production is generously sponsored by Essex Meadows and The Clark Group

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Brett Elliott Appointed New Executive Director at ‘The Kate’

Brett Elliott

Brett Elliott

On Thursday, the Board of Directors of the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (“The Kate”) announced the appointment of Brett Elliott as Executive Director.

Elliott served as ‘The Kate’s’ Interim Director since founding Executive Director Chuck Still announced his departure in December.

Sonny Whelen, President of the Board of Trustees, stated, “We couldn’t be happier having Brett join us as our next Executive Director.  In his position as interim director, Brett has shown us that he has all of the skills and leadership qualities to bring the Kate forward as we continue to expand our role in the community.  This is a very exciting time for all of us”.

Starting in 2012, Elliott spent two years in Chicago where he received his MFA in Arts Leadership from DePaul University, a joint program with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.  Elliott produced several projects for Chicago Shakespeare including the world premiere of “Since I Suppose”, a technology driven, live interactive performance developed by Australia’s one step at a time like this. Elliott also spent a brief period in the finance and operations department at Broadway in Chicago.

Elliott is no stranger to Eastern Connecticut or the Kate.  He worked at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center from 2009-2012.   He then found his way to ‘The Kate’ through lighting and production work.

Holding a BA in Theater from Saginaw Valley State University, Elliott is a proud product of the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival, an organization, which gave him his start.

“After six years, there is no doubt about the quality, quantity, and variety of entertainment at ‘The Kate'; it truly is a cultural gem on the shoreline,” Elliott stated.  “I am very proud to not only be back at ‘The Kate,’ but to lead this organization at such a vibrant and exciting time.  I look forward to getting to know those in the community, as well as the thousands of patrons that come to the Kate each year,” Elliott concluded.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘The Kate,’ is a non-profit performing arts organization located in the historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, ‘The Kate’ has been renovated with public funds from the town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center.

It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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‘Waves’ on Show at Cooley Gallery

The signature painting by Chandler Davis of his 'Waves' exhibition at The Cooley Gallery.

The signature painting by Chandler Davis of his ‘Waves’ exhibition at The Cooley Gallery.

The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme is kicking off its spring season with an exhibition of fresh, new wave paintings by Chandler Davis. Waves opens Thursday, April 2.

In the exhibition, the artist returns to his original inspiration of the ocean. Eight large wave paintings of luminous water in a variety of weather and light conditions depict some of the many moods of the ocean. From the depths of Chandler’s imagination and brush comes this remarkable series of waves — reality and abstraction combine to capture the light, motion, and energy of the sea.

Chandler is a missionary for the natural world and, in particular, the sea. He built an international reputation as an artist with his large-scale mollusk sculptures. Some of these can be seen down the street in Old Lyme on the grounds of the Bee and Thistle Inn (www.beeandthistleinn.com ). Chandler’s nautili, conches and mussels, rendered at “human” scale, are significant. A gargantuan mussel at eye level commands consideration, which is exactly the reaction Chandler desires.

If contemporary sculpture is your passion, there is more in Old Lyme at Gil Boro’s Studio 80+ Sculpture Grounds at 80 Lyme Street.

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.

Regular gallery hours are TuesdaySaturday10am to 5pm. Call (860) 434-8807 or visit www.cooleygallery.com  for additional information.  The Cooley Gallery is located at 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371.

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CT River Museum Hosts ‘New Deal’ Art Exhibition

The Connecticut River Museum’s spring exhibit, New Deal Art Along the River, will open April 2nd. This painting, On the Rail by Yngve Soderberg is a watercolor on paper on loan from the Lyman Allen Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Lyman Allen Art Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum’s spring exhibit, New Deal Art Along the River, opens April 2. This painting, On the Rail by Yngve Soderberg is a watercolor on paper on loan from the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Lyman Allen Art Museum.

During the depths of the Great Depression, the federal government created work relief programs to put unemployed Americans back to work. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs provided all types of jobs – including opportunities for out-of-work artists. The Federal Art Project (1935 – 1943) paid artists to paint murals and easel art, sculpt, and teach art classes. Their art was always located in a public place such as a school, library, or government building so that all Americans had access to it for inspiration and enjoyment.

The subject matter for much of this artwork is known as the “American Scene” – showcasing regional history, landscapes, and people. The Connecticut River Museum’s new exhibit has selected artwork that represents artists from the Connecticut River Valley, or that depicts views of regional or maritime traditions of the Connecticut River and coastline.

“These paintings offer us a glimpse at Connecticut from sixty years ago,” says Museum Curator Amy Trout. “We think of that time as being dark and depressing, but these paintings show us a vibrant time and place.”

The exhibit contains 20 works of art ranging from pastels, etchings, watercolors, and oils. There are also examples of bas relief work from Essex sculptor Henry Kreis who designed the state’s Tercentenary medal and coin in 1935 under the Civil Works Authority (CWA) funding. The paintings come from area museums such as the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Mystic Arts Center, Connecticut Historical Society, and the Portland Historical Society, among others.

Even though these paintings were originally intended for public viewing, many have found their way into museum storerooms and are rarely seen. “It’s important to get them out on display and remind people of the wonderful legacy that was left to us. It gives us a chance to talk about Connecticut during the 1930s and appreciate the art that gives us greater insight into that period,” says Trout. The artists are also relatively unknown. Many continued in the field of art after the Depression, but few achieved great fame. “They needed to make a living, so many became commercial artists, illustrators, or teachers.”

The exhibition opens Thursday, April 2.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays after Columbus Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.

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ECSO Concludes Season with April 25 Concert, Features Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, Orff’s Carmina Burana

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra (ECSO) concludes its critically successful 2014-2015 concert series on Saturday, April 25, at 8 p.m., at the Garde Arts Center in New London.

ECSO Music Director, Toshiyuki Shimada, conducts a performance that begins with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and includes the all-time audience favorite Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus and the Ledyard High School Girls’ Chorus. Featured soloists are soprano, Jurate Svedaite, tenor, Chris Lucier, and baritone, Maksim Ivanov.

Ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert chat at 7 p.m. given by ECSO Music Director, Toshiyuki Shimada and Choral Director, Mark Singleton.

All are also invited to a free post-concert reception hosted by The Friends of the Symphony.

Ticket prices range from $28.80 to $62 with $12 rush tickets for students and active military personnel available after 6 p.m. at the box office on the night of the performance sponsored by Olde Mistick Village and Washington Trust Company. You can purchase tickets on line at: www.gardearts.org or through the Eastern Connecticut Symphony office at 860-443-2876.

Subscriptions are now on sale for the 2015-2016 season.

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“Big Ideas” Lecture Series Continues with ‘Peter Halley: Utopia/Dystopia,’ April 11

As part of the Big Ideas/Big Paintings lecture series, Robert Hobbs of the Virginia Commonwealth University, will present “Peter Halley: Utopia/Dystopia,” Saturday, April 11, at 5 p.m. at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

The lecture series accompanies the Museum exhibition, “Peter Halley: Big Paintings,” on view through May 31. Halley’s contemporary style of abstract painting charges simple geometric forms with powerful ideas, including those of interconnection, isolation, and technology, creating an important body of work that uses bold colors and textured surfaces to investigate American culture.

A light reception follows the lecture. Seat reservations are strongly encouraged but not required. The lecture series is sponsored by the Dangremond Family Foundation and is free of charge.  For more information or to rsvp, contact the Florence Griswold Museum at (860) 434-5542 ext. 111 or www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org .

The Big Ideas/Big Paintings lecture series is part of the public programming for the Halley exhibition. and on April 25Wayne Koestenbaum of the CUNY Graduate Center will present “My 1980s and Beyond.” For additional programming including family programs, visit the Museum website.

The Florence Griswold Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sundays 1pm to 5 pm (Closed Easter Sunday and major holidays.) www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org.

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‘Discovery Sundays’ Start April 12 at Florence Griswold Museum

A family enjoys ‘Discovery Sunday’ at the Florence Griswold Museum.

On Sunday, April 12, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme invites visitors to shake off any leftover winter blues and celebrate the beginning of Discovery Sundays. In addition to the popular “Make-A-Painting” activities, where visitors of all ages use the Museum’s supplies to create their own masterpieces, Discovery Sundays now include a new outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists who famously painted there.

To celebrate the start of the season, the Co-Co Beaux, an all male a cappella group from Connecticut College, performs in the art gallery from 2 to 4 p.m.. In addition, seasonal buildings including the Chadwick Studio and the Rafal Landscape Center open for the season. And with any luck you’ll find some pops of color starting in the garden!

The Museum is open every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and all activities are included with admission. Children 12 and under are always free. The Museum is closed Easter Sunday.

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 St., Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under.

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

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Nilsson Offers Five Day Painting Workshop in August

Leif Nillson painting outdoors

Leif Nillson painting outdoors

Acclaimed local artist Leif Nilsson is offering a five day painting workshop from Aug. 3 to 7, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for $500 per student.

This workshop will explore the lower Connecticut River Valley’s landscape, its architecture and the light that reveals it through a combination of one shot “alla prima” paintings and by further developing other canvases over the course of several days, all on location in the open air.

Nilsson’s medium of choice is oil paint but he is familiar with other media such as pencil, pastel, watercolor and acrylics, so participants are asked to bring whatever they are comfortable using.

Subjects during the course may include painting the Village of Chester, Nillson’s studio garden (possibly with a live model) and the Connecticut River.

Throughout each day, he will provide a variety of tips and suggestions from how to set up one’s equipment and choosing a composition to learning how to see more through squinted eyes through formal and spontaneous demonstrations and individual discussions.

Technical assistance with drawing, perspective, proportions, color mixing and application will be offered as students work on their own paintings and as the need arises.

A general materials and suggested equipment list will be provided upon registration.

The daily schedule for the course will be:

9 a.m. to noon: Meet at a predetermined location at 9am and work until noon.

Noon to 1 p.m.: Take an hour break for lunch. Students are responsible for providing their own lunch. Chester has some excellent markets for eating in and take out.

1 to 5 p.m.: Start up again at 1 p.m. at an agreed upon location and work until 5 p.m.

Students are welcome to start earlier and work later if they’d like to without me present.

Nillson and his wife Caryn Davis, who is a professional photographer, will host one or two informal dinner parties at their home and gallery during the week to welcome students, share in lively discussions and view everyone’s work.

A list of local motels, B&Bs and Inns is available at: http://www.visitchester.com/chester/merchants/inns_and%20_B_and_Bs.html

A 50 percent non-refundable deposit of $250 is required by May 15, 2015 to secure a place. If the workshop is cancelled, the deposit will be refunded in full.

For more information, visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com/classes/index.html

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Join a ‘Discovery Sunday’ at the Florence Griswold Museum

A family enjoys 'Discovery Sunday' at the Florence Griswold Museum.

A family enjoys ‘Discovery Sunday’ at the Florence Griswold Museum.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme invites visitors to shake off any leftover winter blues and celebrate Discovery Sundays each Sunday afternoon through the summer. In addition to the popular “Make-A-Painting” activities, where visitors of all ages use the Museum’s supplies to create their own masterpieces, Discovery Sundays now include a new outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists, who famously painted there.

Seasonal buildings including the Chadwick Studio and the Rafal Landscape Center are now open for the season.  And with any luck, now you’ll finally find some color in the garden!

The Museum is open every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and all activities are included with admission.  Children 12 and under are always free. The Museum is closed Easter Sunday.

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 St., Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under.

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

 

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To the Movies and Bach: Con Brio Presents Spring Concert, April 19

Kerry Gotschall

Kerry Gotschall

Con Brio, the shoreline’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will present its spring concert on Sunday, April 19, at 4 p.m. at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme, Conn. Directed by Dr. Stephen Bruce with Associate Conductor and Keyboardist, Susan Saltus, the chorus will be joined by the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and soloists: Danielle Munsell Howard, soprano; Kelly Gottshall, mezzo-soprano and Christopher Grundy, bass.

The concert will open with two 16th century pieces that the chorus learned on its last tour in France: “Tourdion” and the motet “Jubilate Deo.” Then follows the premier piece of the concert: J. S. Bach’s “Mass in F.” Bach composed four short masses in the 1730s, borrowing from some of his finest earlier cantatas. This short mass, or Missa Brevis, is known as one of Bach’s Lutheran Masses These masses are not often heard, or recorded, despite being exquisitely beautiful, filled with “splendid choruses” and “deeply moving arias,” as one reviewer puts it.

Christopher Grundy

Christopher Grundy

The second half of the concert will be devoted to diverse choral music spanning four centuries, which has been used in films. Carl Orff’s 1936 setting of a 13th century poem complaining about fortune, “O Fortuna” from “Carmina Burana,” holds the record for the past 75 years as the most popular piece of classical music. It, along with Mozart’s dramatic “Dies Irae” from his Requiem Mass, holds the record for use in films. The best movie song of all time, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a popular jazz version of “When I Fall in Love,” and “One Day More” are audience favorites.

Samuel Barber himself arranged his “Agnus Dei” as a choral version of his much beloved, hauntingly beautiful “Adagio for Strings.” William Blake’s 18th century poem provides the text for Parry’s stirring “Jerusalem,” which some call the unofficial national anthem of England. Blake’s text imagines the legend of Jesus restoring Jerusalem by coming to England and transforming the “dark Satanic mills” that mar the land.

Allegri’s 17th century “Miserere,” a translation of Psalm 51, was never supposed to be transcribed. The story is the 14-year-old Mozart heard it just once and wrote all of it down. Hogan’s traditional spiritual, “Elijah Rock,” cries to the prophet Elijah, the rock, for help. The concert ends with the audience joining the chorus in John Rutter’s stirring arrangement of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

All are welcome at this exceptional concert.

Tickets are $30, $15 students, and may be purchased from any Con Brio member, on line at www.conbrio.org, or by calling 860 526 5399.

Christ the King Church is located at 1 McCurdy Rd., Old Lyme, CT.

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‘Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story’ Opens Ivoryton Playhouse 2015 Season

Katie Barton* and Ben Hope*.  Photo by Jacqui Hubbard

Katie Barton* and Ben Hope*. Photo by Jacqui Hubbard

IVORYTON – Tammy Wynette was a country music icon. Called the “First Lady of Country Music,” she was one of country music’s best-known artists and biggest-selling female singer-songwriters. Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” was one of the best-selling hit singles by a woman in the history of country music. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wynette charted 23 No. 1 songs, helping to define the role of women in country music.

‘Stand By Your Man,’ opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, March 18, brings the woman behind the legend and the incredible songs that made her the first lady of country music, off the stage and into your heart. Through her eyes, the audience relives her journey from the cotton fields of Itawamba, Miss., to international superstar.

With comic flare and dramatic impact ‘Stand By Your Man,’ recounts triumphs and tragedies and explores Tammy’s relationships with the five husbands she stood by, including George Jones, her beloved daughters, her strong-willed mother and two of her dearest friends: colorful writer and producer Billy Sherrill and film star Burt Reynolds. Among the 26 songs are “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Til I Can Make It on My Own” and “Golden Ring.”

Directed and musically directed by the husband and wife team of David and Sherry Lutken, who were last at the Playhouse in 2012 with ‘Ring of Fire,’ the show stars husband and wife team Katie Barton* and Ben Hope*. Hope made his Broadway debut in 2012 as the lead in the Tony Award winning musical, ‘Once’, and Barton has just recently finished the national tour of ‘Million Dollar Quartet.’ The show also features Eric Anthony*, Guy Fischetti, Jonathan Brown, Marcy McGuigan*, Morgan Morse, Sam Sherwood*, Lily Tobin* and Louis Tucci*.

The set is designed by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott, wigs by Liz Cipollina and costumes by Anya Sokolovskaya.

‘Stand By Your Man,’ runs through April 5. 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.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website atwww.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Generously sponsored by: A.R. Mazotta and Essex Savings Bank

*member of Actors Equity

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‘An Exhibition in Four Acts’ on View Through April 17 at LAA

130 Bank Street by Roger Clements

130 Bank Street by Roger Clements

Four new exhibitions, each with a different theme, will be on view in the Lyme Art Association (LAA)’s historic galleries from March 6 through April 17.  ‘A Contemporary Look’, ‘Pulled and Pressed’, ‘Industrious America’ and ‘Holding Still’ run concurrently.

‘Pulled and Pressed’ promises an exciting collection of hand-made prints, with the Center for Contemporary Printmaking as invited guests; ‘Industrious America’ celebrates American industry and features imagery of the man-made landscape; ‘Holding Still’ features still life artwork, including trompe l’oeil; and ‘A Contemporary Look’ is an exhibition of new works that evolve the representational art tradition.

'Blue Bowl with Pears' (oil) by Eileen Eder is the signature painting for the 'Holding Still' exhibition.

‘Blue Bowl with Pears’ (oil) by Eileen Eder is the signature painting for the ‘Holding Still’ exhibition.

“’The Exhibition in Four Acts’ is one of our most dynamic and exciting exhibitions, bringing together four distinct types of representational art.  Visitors to our spacious, sun-lit galleries will move from the striking realism of still life paintings in ‘Holding Still’ to the evocative art in ‘Contemporary Look’, featuring works that evolve the representational art tradition,” states Katherine Simmons, President of the LAA’s Board of Directors.  “’Pulled and Pressed’ features the creativity and precision of fine art, hand-made prints, and ‘Industrious America’ celebrates the vitality of working life.”

All are welcome to the opening reception, which will be held at the LAA, 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut.  Admission is free.

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

The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment.

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

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