November 1, 2014

Popular Sale by Lyme Artists Takes Place Tomorrow, Sunday at Lyme Public Hall

The signature piece of artwork, titled, 'Boathouse,' for the sale.

The signature piece of artwork for the sale by Angie Falstrom, titled, ‘Boathouse.’

The Lyme Artists Sale will be held this year at the Lyme Public Hall on Saturday, Nov. 1 (note the change in opening day this year to Saturday this year) and Sunday, Nov. 2.  Saturday hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a reception at 4 p.m., to which all are welcome.  Sunday hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Eight Lyme artists are featured:  Steven Evankow, stone bird baths; Angie Falstrom, watercolors; Judy Friday, paintings, weaving; Don Gerber, woodturning; Ann Lightfoot, jewelry; Diana Lord, paintings, pressed botanicals; Lina Tuck, felted bags; Tina West, handknitting; plus yarn, cards, calendars and more.

This annual event is sponsored by the Lyme Public Hall and is open to the public. The Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Road (Rt. 156) in Lyme.

For more information, contact Angie Falstrom at 860-434-3194.


Old Lyme’s Christiano Featured in Essex Art Show Opening Tomorrow

 Catherine Christiano, Cottages White Sands Beach #7, oil on panel, 8 x 11 inches, 2014.

Catherine Christiano, Cottages White Sands Beach #7, oil on panel, 8 x 11 inches, 2014.

Old Lyme artist Catherine Christiano is featured in a three person show at Art Essex Gallery that opens with a public reception Saturday, Nov. 1, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Catherine Christiano, Imagine Peace, oil on newspaper on panel, 11 7/8 x 19 1/2 inches, 2013. Photo credit Paul Mutino.

Catherine Christiano, Imagine Peace, oil on newspaper on panel, 11 7/8 x 19 1/2 inches, 2013. Photo credit Paul Mutino.

She is exhibiting postcard sized oil paintings of the beach communities of Old Lyme, small landscapes, and compelling detailed still lifes painted on newspaper.

Paul Schulenbug, “Sunlight Through Trees”, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches.

Paul Schulenbug, “Sunlight Through Trees”, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches.

Also in this exhibition are Cape Cod artist Paul Schulenburg’s meditative oils of everyday scenes that evoke the work of Edward Hopper.

Karen Woods, “Streak”, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches, 2014.

Karen Woods, “Streak”, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches, 2014.

The third artist exhibiting is Karen Woods from Boise, Idaho, whose provocative streetscapes viewed through the windshield will be on display.

The exhibition will be on view through Nov. 22.  Art Essex Gallery is located at 10 Main Street in Essex.

For more information, visit


Deadline for Annual Land Trust Photo Contest Extended to Dec. 31

2013 Land Trust Photo Contest winner by Hank Golet.

2013 Land Trust Photo Contest winner by Hank Golet.

Amateur photographers, no matter where they live, may submit photographs of the scenic countryside, wildlife, plants, and cultural and historic features in the towns of East Haddam, Essex, Lyme, Old Lyme, and Salem.

Submissions are accepted up to the last day of December 2014. Contest rules are available online at . Entry forms for the contest will be available after September 1 by email only at

A panel of three judges will award cash prizes in the following five categories:Landscape/Waterscape ~ Plants ~ Wildlife ~ Cultural/Historic ~ Youth (photographs of any of the above subjects by photographers aged 14 and younger).Additionally, a special John G. Mitchell Memorial Award will go to the photograph determined to best promote and support biodiversity and the environment.

The Contest judges are William Burt, a naturalist and wildlife photographer acclaimed for his beautiful books; and Amy Kurtz Lansing, an accomplished art historian and curator at the Florence Griswold Museum. New to the panel of judges is Skip Broom, a respected, award-winning local photographer and antique house restoration housewright. Broom replaces the much-appreciated retiring judge, Rudy Muller, who volunteered with the Photo Contest for many years.

All entered photographs, plus all winning photos, will be displayed and celebrated in a public reception in March 2015.

Organizers of the contest, East Haddam Land Trust, Essex Land Trust, Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Old Lyme Land Trust, and the Salem Land Trust, and encourage amateur photographers to join the fun and share wonderful photos from these southern Connecticut towns.Previous Land Trusts Photo Contest winning photos, viewable at, highlight the beauty of these towns and the pressing need to preserve the environments within these towns.

Old Lyme Residents to Assist in Appraisal Event at Chester Historical Society, Nov. 8

Norm & Linda Legassie, generalists

Old Lyme residents Norman and Linda Legassie (center and left in photo respectively) assist with an appraisal.

Norman and Linda Legassie, longtime owners of Stepping Stones Antiques LLC in Old Saybrook and Old Lyme residents, are among the eleven professionals who will be appraising antiques and jewelry at the Chester Historical Society’s 11th appraisal event on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, in Chester.

A professional sculptor, Norman’s knowledge of fine art brings a practiced eye to examine treasures. Linda adds many years of experience as a researcher in the fine and decorative arts. Their knowledge encompasses a wide range of subjects from prehistoric to present, including furniture, jewelry, postcards, tools, silver, pottery, and more. Norman is a Senior Professional Appraiser (SPA) with the National Association of Professional Appraisers.

The other generalist appraiser on Nov. 8 will be Tom Perry of One of a Kind Antiques ( The other eight appraisers have specialties. They are: Garry Craig of The Timekeeper (watches and clocks); Orville Haberman of CT River Books (books and ephemera); Paul Indorf of Connecticut Jewelry Appraisers (fine jewelry and gemstones); Steve Lutar and Dave Passamano of Guilford Coin Exchange (coins, currency, and stamps); Tom Medlin of Essex (American furniture of the 18th and 19th centuries, American paintings, and base metals, especially brass candlesticks); John Newman of Deep River (American-made glass and Aladdin oil and electric lamps); and Gay Sherman Weintz (vintage and antique costume jewelry).

Each attendee may bring up to three separate items to be appraised. If the item is too large to carry, bring photographs (if it’s a table or dresser, bring in a drawer too). Verbal appraisals will cost $10 for the first item; $20 for 2 items; or $25 for 3 items. All proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Chester Historical Society and the Chester Museum at The Mill.

The appraisal program will be at St. Joseph’s Parish Center, at 48 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 154) in Chester. There is ample parking and handicapped access. More information, including directions to the event, is on the website,, or email your questions to or call 860-558-4701.


Musical Masterworks Announces 2014-15 Season, Opening Concert Today Features Works by Mozart, Schumann

Jeewon Park

Jeewon Park

Musical Masterworks will present its 24th season of chamber music concerts at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, beginning this weekend,  Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, and continuing through May. Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron has designed a season featuring award winning musicians from all over the world, with a diverse selection of music from composers ranging from Bach and Mozart to Igor Stravinsky and Estonian minimalist composer Arvo Part.

The following is a list of the 2014-2015 season dates and highlights. All concerts are held on Saturdays at 5 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd., Old Lyme, CT, and repeated on the following Sunday at 3 p.m. at the same location.

October 25 & 26, 2014: Pianist Jeewon Park, violinist Tessa Lark, and cellist Edward Arron will perform works of Mozart, Schumann, and Kodaly.

December 6 & &, 2014: Violinist Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Edward Arron will perform an arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and other works.

February 14 & 15, 2015: Pianist Gilles Vonsattel, clarinetist Todd Palmer, violinist Bella Hristova, and cellist Edward Arron will perform works of Debussy, Weber, Beethoven, and Stravinsky.

Tessa Lark

Tessa Lark

March 14 & 15, 2015: Pianist Adam Neiman, violinist Maria Bachman, violist Hsin-Yun Huang, and cellist Edward Arron will perform the great Piano Quartets of Schubert, Saint Saens, and Dvorak. All audience members are invited to a post-concert discussion with the musicians following the Sunday, March 15 concert.

May 2 & 3, 2015: Pianist Reiko Aizawa, violinists Jesse Mills and Hye-Jin Kim; violist/violinist Ara Gregorian, violist Max Mandel, and cellist Edward Arron will perform works of Mendelssohn, Turina, Arvo Part, and Ernest Chausson.

In addition, Musical Masterworks will present a Young People’s Concert on Saturday, March 14 at 11:30 at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. The program will feature a musical version of Jean De Brunhoff’s classic children’s tale The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant.

Subscriptions to the 24th season of Musical Masterworks are available for $150 for the five concert series. Individual tickets are $35, with $5 student tickets available at the door. For more information or a season brochure, please call 860-434-2252 or visit


See a “Ballet Spooktacular” at The Kate Today

Halloween_Spooktacular__Anna_with_veilTreat children of all ages to family-friendly Halloween fun with Eastern CT Ballet’s “Ballet Spooktacular,” at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “The Kate,” in Old Saybrook. Special effects and bewitching costumes set the stage for spirited performances of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Dancing Bones, and Halloween Waltz.

Children are invited to wear their costumes to parade on stage, trick-or-treat throughout the decorated theater and pose for spellbinding photos with the dancers.

Performances will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18 and 19 at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm.

Tickets to the Ballet Spooktacular are $16 for adults and $10 for children (age 12 and under) and are available through The Kate box office at 860-510-0453.


LAA Hosts ‘Incredible India’ Cultural Expo & Marketplace, Gala Tonight

PosterIn honor of the Lyme Art Association’s (LAA) 100th anniversary, the Lyme Art Association presents Incredible India!, an expo and gala celebrating the culture of India. This exceptional event to benefit the LAA has two components: A Cultural Expo and Marketplace in the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 18, followed by a Benefit Gala in the evening.

“For anyone looking for an interesting, exotic, and genuinely authentic experience, I can assure you that our ‘Incredible India’ event is exactly that!” says LAA’s Director of Development Gary Parrington, adding, “The Association has a long tradition of lavish themed galas dating back to the Association’s founding a hundred years ago.”

The Cultural Expo and Marketplace will be a fun-filled afternoon for the entire family to discover and experience the culture and charm of India. Vendors will display art, photographs, shawls, brassware, and other fine marketplace items from India. There will also be Indian food vendors, and musicians to entertain visitors. The Cultural Expo and Marketplace runs from noon until 3 p.m. and is open to the public, free of charge.

The Benefit Gala, which takes place from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., will be an extraordinary experience including select items from the Expo, a palm reader, Henna hand painter, a unique India gift for every guest, and the opportunity to bid in an auction for travel packages to India.

The Presenting Sponsor for ‘Incredible India’ is Air India in collaboration with the Government of India’s Ministry of Tourism. The Premier Media Sponsor for the expo and gala is ‘The Day.’

For additional information on ‘Incredible India’ and to make a reservation for the Benefit Gala, visit or contact LAA’s Director of Development Gary Parrington at

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

The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme St., 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 Saturday, 10 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 or visit


Opening Reception for William Burt Photo Exhibit at Old Lyme Library Tonight

Signature photo by William Burt for his exhibition opening Friday at the Old Lyme Library of a Purple Gallinule feasting in Palm Beach County, Fla.,

Signature photo by William Burt for his exhibition opening Friday at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library of a Purple Gallinule feasting in Palm Beach County, Fla.,

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library presents an opening reception for ‘William Burt: New Photographs & Old’ on Friday, Oct. 17,  from 5 to 7 p.m. A Gallery Talk will take place at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The show samples Burt’s photography of the familiar wetland scenes as well as the rare and elusive birds and their downy young. Most photographs selected were made locally within the Connecticut River estuary, but included also are one each respectively from Florida, North Dakota, and Saskatchewan.

William Burt is a naturalist, photographer and writer with a passion for wild places and elusive birds – especially marshes, and the shy birds within.  His photographs and stories are seen in major U.S. publications and he is the author of three books: Shadowbirds (1994); Rare & Elusive Birds of North America (2001); and Marshes: The Disappearing Edens (2007).

He lectures often, and his traveling exhibitions have shown at some 35 museums across the U.S. and Canada. Museum quality archival pigment prints will be for sale by the artist at A portion of the proceeds go to benefit the Library.

The Library is located at 2 Library Ln., off Lyme St. in Old Lyme. Winter hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 860-434-1684 or visit to register on the Events calendar.


Author Benn Makes Inaugural Presentation in Newly Opened Lyme Library Building Tonight

The_Rest_Is_Silence_cvr-330-expLocal author and Lyme resident James Benn will speak about The Rest is Silence, his ninth novel in the Billy Boyle WWII mystery series on Friday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Lyme Public Library.  A book signing and reception will follow the program. Copies of the The Rest is Silence will be available for purchase.

The popularity and praise for the Billy Boyle series have grown with each new title. The Rest is Silence has received rave reviews from publications such as Suspense Magazine, Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly. The titles are popular not only for their plots, but for bringing to light lesser-known historical events and issues that occurred during WWII.

The program is free and open to the public. The Library is located at 482 Hamburg Road in Lyme.

For more information, call 860-434-2272.


Internationally-Acclaimed Puppeteer Dan Butterworth Presents at Lyme Academy College Tonight

Dan Butterworth

Dan Butterworth

Dan Butterworth will make the next ‘Inside My Studio’ presentation at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven next Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m.  Butterworth’s presentation will be preceded by a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine and soft drinks at 6 p.m.

In what promises to be a fascinating evening, Butterworth will demonstrate through a Powerpoint presentation and using the marionettes themselves how his intricately hand carved puppets dance and whirl from the stage, through the air, and right out into the audience, moving to a stream of infectious world music. Butterworth is famed for combining a plethora of puppet styles and genres and then building them until the whole stage becomes one huge moving carnival creature.

Supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts since 1979, Butterworth and his puppets have performed in movies, operas, classical music festivals and TV specials. Butterworth’s magical celebrations have been staged from the big city of New York to the Inuit villages of Alaska.

Butterworth Marionettes’ ability to travel to the remotest locations allows for an unusual creative interplay rarely found in typical theater organizations. His troupe has toured throughout the world, performing in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and all of the US and Canada.

Admission is $10 per person and reservations are strongly advised.  Reservations can be made by contacting Ann de Selding at 860.434.3571 ext. 117 or


New England Landscape Exhibition on View at LAA

The Crossing
The 2014 New England Landscape Invitational Exhibition is currently on view at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme through Nov. 9.  Works by LAA member artists along with select invited artists are being exhibited throughout the Association’s historic galleries.

“This is our most popular annual exhibition, showcasing exceptional work from both invited and juried artists from all over the Northeast,” comments LAA’s Executive Director Joseph Newman. “This year, we are excited to welcome the celebrated Connecticut landscape painter, Peter Poskas, whose work is held in numerous major institutional and private collections around the country. Mr. Poskas will exhibit with Stapleton Kearns, Hollis Dunlap, Jonathan Macadam, Mark Boedges, and many more talented LAA members and invited artists whose work is considered among the best of American representational painting.”

All work will be for sale with a portion of proceeds benefiting the LAA

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 in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

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


Big Book Club Hosts Mystery, Suspense Author Event at ‘The Kate’ Tonight

John Searles

John Searles

The Big Book Club has announced a new event on Sept. 27, at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (“The Kate”), presented by The Day.  The line-up of mystery and suspense authors includes:

  • John Searles, Editor-at-Large for Cosmopolitan Magazine, Book Critic for the NBC Today Show, and author of Boy Still Missing, Strange But True, and Help For The Haunted; 
  • Tess Gerritsen, internationally bestselling author and creator of the Rizzoli & Isles series on TNT;
  • Alafair Burke, American crime novelist, professor of law, legal commentator, and author of two series of crime novels featuring NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Prosecutor Samantha Kincaid;
  • Lisa Unger

    Lisa Unger

    Lisa Unger, whose novels including Beautiful Lies and In The Blood have sold more than 1.7 million copies and been translated into twenty-six languages;

  • and, Old Lyme’s own David Handler,author of the popular Hoagy & Lulu and Mitch & Desiree mysteries.

The event will be moderated by Hank Phillippi Ryan, investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affliate who has won 32 EMMYs and dozens of other awards for her ground-breaking journalism.  Phillippi-Ryan is also the coveted Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of crime fiction including The Other Woman and The Wrong Girl.

David Handler

David Handler

The event will benefit Reach Out and Read Connecticut, a non-profit organization that prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. By using the code READ at registration, $10 from each ticket sale will be donated to Reach Out and Read.

Tickets are $45 each and include a signature martini courtesy of 44 North Vodka and hors d’oeuvre stations by the Bee and Thistle Inn and The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook.  A cash bar will also be open.

Books will be available for sale by Bank Square Books of Mystic, CT.  Other sponsors include Bob’s Discount Furniture, The Copper Beech Inn, Middlesex Hospital, and

The Big Book Club is a creation of LaFrancois Marketing Consultants and Essex Books.

Register at


More About Mozart’s Masterpiece ‘The Marriage of Figaro': Salt Marsh Opera Guild Presents Free Lecture Today

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

James Kuslan, a dynamic lecturer on operatic topics and well known for his insightful, amusing writing and lectures on the vocal arts, will discuss The Marriage of Figaro, answer your questions and share exciting, rare sound clips this coming Saturday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the Acton Library, 60 Old Boston Post Rd.  This is a free activity, followed by refreshments.

Kuslan, a graduate of Yale University’s School of Drama, is a voice scout in the U.S. for the German classical recording giant, Deutsche Grammophon and has written the marketing copy for the company’s annual release books since 2009.  Among his credits as a writer of liner notes is London Record’s 20 CD collection Opera Made Easy, which highlights the artistry of Luciano Pavarotti.

Kuslan also contributed the essays that accompany the DVD releases of the Metropolitan Opera’s productions of Lucia di Lammermoor and Don Pasquale, both starring Anna Netrebko.

This event is sponsored by the Salt Marsh Opera Guild in anticipation of Salt Marsh Opera’s performance of The Marriage of Figaro on Oct. 1, at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum Auditorium and Oct. 3 and 5 at ‘The Kate’ in Old Saybrook.


Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus Presents Final Concert of Season in Saybrook Today

Drawing by Madeline Favre of Deep River of Cappella Cantorum inspired by a performance in St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Old Saybrook.

Drawing by Madeline Favre of Deep River of Cappella Cantorum.  The work was inspired by a performance of the choral group in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Old Saybrook.

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus will present a concert this afternoon, Sun., Sept. 21, at 3 p.m. at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook. The concert features selections from Irving Berlin and Oklahoma, A Patriotic Salute, Just a Closer Walk, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Barbershop and a variety of solos.

Tickets are $16 at  or 860-526-1038  or at the door.  Children aged 12 and under are free.

Soloists include Tony, Carrano with I Love a Piano, Ed Bosse with Bridge Over Troubled Water, Kevin Swan with I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire, Len Dongweck with It Only takes a Moment, and Bob Johnson with Perhaps Love.


Faculty Exhibition on View at Lyme Academy College

'Rest Stop' by Nancy Peel Gladwell is one of the signature paintings of the Studio Faculty Exhibition opening Friday.

‘Rest Stop’ by Nancy Peel Gladwell is one of the signature paintings of the Studio Faculty Exhibition opening Friday.

An exhibition of artwork by studio faculty at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven opens at the College’s Chauncey Stillman Gallery, Friday, Sept. 12.

'The Fall' by Illusration Instructor Jon Sideriadis.

‘The Fall’ by Illusration Instructor Jon Sideriadis.

Thirteen members of the College’s studio faculty are exhibiting in a variety of media in this exhibition.

"Work in Progress" by Chair of Painting Susan Stephenson.

“Work in Progress” by Chair of Painting Susan Stephenson.

The chairs of the Painting, Drawing and Sculpture Departments—respectively Susan Stephenson, Randy Melick and Brian Booth Craig—will all be exhibiting along with their colleagues in those departments.

The Illustration Department, which now comprises three acclaimed professional illustrators, will also have examples of their work on display. Two of the Illustration faculty – Dale Stephanos and John Sideriadis—are new to the College this academic year. Chairs and faculty members from all departments will be present at the opening reception to discuss their works.

Campus Dean Todd Jokl comments, “The faculty exhibition is a wonderful opportunity that highlights the exceptional artist educators who make this institution such an excellent teaching facility. Each member of the faculty is an outstanding and highly respected working artist in her or his own right.  This exhibition will showcase their exceptional talents.”

The Studio Faculty Exhibition 2014 runs from Friday, Sept. 12, through Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery. Admission is free and the gallery is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the exhibition or the College, call Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Olwen Logan, at 860.434.3571, ext. 135, or visit


Latin Arts Organization Awards Scholarship to Incoming Student at Lyme Academy College

Aubrianna Robinson of Groton -_323x468

2014 LNVA Scholarship Winner Aubrianna Robinson of Groton

Aubrianna Robinson describes herself as unique, creative and happy, qualities that helped her win a scholarship funded by the Latin Network for the Visual Arts (LNVA

Robinson, a Fitch High School graduate who enrolled at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts last month, won a $2,000 scholarship administered by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. The foundation awarded a record 206 scholarships totaling $440,000 this year.

Co-founder of the LNVA Mimi Daumy said as the organization closes its doors after Latin Views 2014, its seventh and last biennial exhibit from Sept. 19 through Oct. 31, the group’s annual scholarship will endure as its legacy. The LNVA also awarded a $1,200 scholarship to Lisa Chavez, a New London High School graduate, who will attend Eastern Connecticut State University.

Robinson plans to pursue illustration at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. The 17-year-old served as editor and contributor to Fitch’s art magazine and designed a T-shirt her classmates wore to honor a Day of Silence supporting the school’s Gay/Straight Alliance.

She pursued drama as an actress in the Groton school’s theater program and in the community to help raise money to alleviate hunger. She also received art and writing awards from the Connecticut Art Education Association.

Robinson credits her mother as her role model, saying, “She’s been there my whole life and she listens to me if I have problems or if I have trouble coming up with an idea for art. She is very, very supportive of everything I do.”

That support helped shape a young woman with well-defined opinions. “Everyone is born with a unique and important purpose,” Robinson wrote in her scholarship application essay. “The gift I was given and my purpose in life is to be an artist.”

'Casino' by Aubrianna Robinson

‘Casino’ by Aubrianna Robinson

The first characters that Robinson drew were Powerpuff Girls, three little cartoon girls with a mission to save the world before bedtime. The animated television series ran from 1998 to 2005, but Robinson added, “I’ve been drawing since forever.”

Her career goals include recognition for her art, inspiring other artists to keep working their imagination, and creating, “A new, different and complete series of cartoon.”

It’s no surprise that her favorite band is a virtual, fictional, electro-pop band of cartoon characters called “Studio Killers” that employs 2-D and 3-D animation, unique fashions and unpredictable voices emanating from characters. “Sweeney Todd” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” rank among her favorite movies.

Robinson, her mother, stepfather and two younger sisters are a Navy family accustomed to frequent moves. She came from Washington State to Groton for her senior year in high school.

In her spirit of believing in a strong community and giving back, she made a video for sailors on deployment and received recognition from the Chief of the Boat in appreciation for boosting morale.

Robinson said she is excited to attend Lyme Academy College, especially since its recent partnership with the University of New Haven that creates expanded opportunities for studies.

She enjoys drawing teeth, as evidenced in her pieces called “Teeth” and “Braces.” In “Teeth,” she challenged herself to experiment with gouache, an opaque watercolor medium, learning to create shades of skin. “Braces” is an observational drawing in which Robinson stood in front of the mirror, holding a finger to pull one side of her mouth and expose the braces on her teeth.

'Beautiful Way' by Aubrianna Robinson

‘Beautiful Way’ by Aubrianna Robinson

“Ruffles” shows her intention of creating movement, while “Beautiful Way,” (shown at right)with its psychedelic images streaming from the character’s heart, takes its title from a Beck song with the line, “Such a beautiful way to break your heart.”

The pieces are just a sampling of Robinson’s creations. Her bedroom walls are covered with her art – colored-pencil drawings, ink-and-marker posters and even her red graduation cap, which fostered an art lesson in using acrylic on unfamiliar fabric. She painted herself as an illustrator with a ruffled white skirt under her graduation gown and lettered the words: “Off to illustrate my future!”

Robinson and Chavez join four previous LNVA scholarship winners. The organization has awarded $7,000 to the six winners since establishing the scholarship in 2011.

The group strives to enrich the Southeastern Connecticut community through visual arts created by Latin American and Latin European artists.

The LNVA culminates its work this fall with Latin Views 2014: The Final Biennial. The exhibition features more than 70 pieces of art, showcasing 43 artists that represent 18 countries. The exhibit’s opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m., Sept. 19, with a meet-the artists’ event from 12 to 1 p.m., Sept. 20. The show runs through Oct. 31 at the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art at the Branford House Mansion on the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus.


Late Registration for Cappella’s ‘Magnificat,’ ‘Gloria,’ Sept. 15

Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus late registration/rehearsal for Bach’s Magnificat and Vivaldi’s Gloria is Mon., Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River, 06417.

Registration is $40, Vivaldi’s Gloria $12, Bach’s Magnificat $6.

Rehearsals are Monday nights. Use the rear entrance.

The Gloria, Vivaldi’s best known sacred work, is a joyful hymn of praise and worship.

Cappella is a non-auditioned Chorus.  Tenor and bass soloists will be auditioned from the membership, on Sept. 22, 7 p.m.


Zhang’s Artwork Featured in Fresh Ayer Gallery Exhibition

Artwork by Christopher Zhang.

Artwork by Christopher Zhang.

“Artwork by Christopher Zhang” is currently on view at the Fresh Ayer Gallery in Old Lyme.

Born in Shanghai, China, Zhang acquired a BFA degree in China and a MFA in the United States. In addition to creating subject matter paintings, he specializes in portraiture and landscapes. His versatile styles and skills in both still life and Chinese traditional painting and calligraphy have also won popularity.  His primary painting medium is oil.  Others are watercolor, acrylic, gouache and Chinese ink.

As a professional artist, Zhang has focused on two types of subject matter in his paintings:

  • Chinese minorities and their indigenous cultures and traditions:
  • Classical Ballet Dance



An Open Letter to our Readers from Diane Birdsall

An Open Letter to Friends and Patrons of the Diane Birdsall Gallery

I have taken on a job that will take me outside of the gallery in Old Lyme and into another phase of exhibiting.

I will be working with a hotel developer, Charles Mallory — he operates several beautiful and viable hotels in Greenwich, Southport, Stamford, Aspen [Marfa] Texas and a Vermont inn to be completely revamped, as well as a new hotel project on the boards to open in 2016.

I closed the Old Lyme, 16 Lyme Street address gallery at the end of this past show on Aug. 22. The walk-in traffic has always been slow and having a presence outside of the brick and mortar space is more viable.

After SCOPE in Basel and Cutlog in New York, I am now receiving request regarding sales and just recently sold a work to the largest art collector in Turkey.

Funny how art sales work — it sometimes takes years or minutes for people to make a move.

I do conceive a pop-up show here in Connecticut in a completely different sort of space.  You as patrons and clients are important to me and bringing the work of artists out into exhibition is my passion, so I do not want to lose this side of the art world that I truly enjoy.

My website will remain active and I have planned exhibits for 2015 – they will take place in new locations and expanding worlds.

I have always felt honored to work with talented artists and to be a part of their world.  And encouraging others to bring art into their life is like food for me — an absolute necessity — how can you live without it?

I could not have enjoyed the success of these past eight years without your help and belief and I thank you for your patronage and friendship.  See you soon under a different tent, but assuredly an exciting format.

With heartfelt thanks to you.


Diane Birdsall


Registration Open Now for Community Music School’s Fall Semester, Open House Week, Sept. 8-12

The Community Music School (CMS), located in the Spencer’s Corner professional complex at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook, is now registering for the Fall semester which begins Sept. 3, and welcomes the general public to visit during Open House Week Sept. 8 through 12.

Children and adults can tour the School’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a free preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs including private and group lessons, jazz and string ensembles, musical theater, the Kindermusik early childhood program, and music therapy services.  Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.  Those interested in a 15-minute preview lesson are requested to call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities.  The School’s programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

For additional information, visit or call 860-767-0026.