April 27, 2015

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Alum’s Play Scheduled at Yale University School of Drama

Emily Zemba

Emily Zemba

Four performances of ‘Deer and the Lovers’ by Emily Zemba are scheduled in the Iseman Theatre at Yale University beginning May 8. The play is part of the 10th Annual Carlotta Festival of New Plays.

Zemba, who graduated as a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2006, is a third-year MFA candidate at Yale School of Drama.

Her plays include ‘Uninviting Margaret; Have You Been There?'; ‘But If the Train Comes to Her'; ‘I’m Sorry I Brought up God (Yale School of Drama)'; ‘We Know Edie La Minx Had a Gun  and Look Up, Speak Nicely, and Don’t Twiddle Your Fingers all the Time (Yale Cabaret)’. This year at Yale Cabaret, she co-produced and co-hosted the Third Annual Yale School of Drag.

She is a founding member of “Guided Tour,” a collective which devises and performs site-specific, fairly ridiculous, participatory theatrical tours. Zemba’s work has been developed with The Middle Voice (Rattlestick Theater’s Apprentice Company), Labyrinth Theater Company (One-Act Experiment, 2014), and the Theater Masters National MFA Playwright’s Festival. She is currently a Core Apprentice with The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.

Zemba has mentored with the Yale Co-Op Eugene O’Neill Playwriting Program and MCC Theater’s Freshplay Festival, and taught playwriting at Wesleyan University. A recipient of The Shubert Scholarship, she holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. She describes ‘Deer and the Lovers’ as a comedy about being lost in love, lost in the woods, and searching for one’s purpose when life veers off track.


The 10th Annual Carlotta Festival of New Plays runs from May 8 through May 15. Tickets are available through the Yale University School of Drama website.



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

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


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.


‘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 Tuesday-Saturday10am 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.


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.


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.


“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.


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


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.



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.


‘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


‘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


‘Average Joe Photo Show’ on View at Lori Warner Gallery Thru April 22

View of a Child by Maddy Richardson,  taken June 26, 2014, at Cuttyhunk, Mass.

‘View of a Child’ by Maddy Richardson, taken June 26, 2014, at Cuttyhunk, Mass.

The Average Joe Photo Show’s second exhibition is on show at the Lori Warner Gallery in Chester through April 22.

A selection of photos selected for the show are pictured in this article.

The concept behind the exhibition was developed by two local women and a group of shoreline volunteers to celebrate the everyday perspective of the average person through a common medium: the camera app on a mobile phone.

'Glacier Water in July' by Peter B. Alosky, taken July 10, 2014, at April Bowl, Hatcher's Pass, Alaska.‘Glacier Water in July’ by Peter B. Alosky, taken July 10, 2014, at April Bowl, Hatcher’s Pass, Alaska

With a grass roots effort from January through December 2014 via word of mouth, social media and local papers, any “average joe” was invited to submit their cell phone photos while following a few simple rules, namely,that each image had to include some element of water as well as a component of the human figure.

'Red Parapluie… Paris' by Leighton Gleicher, taken Jan. 3, 2014, in Paris (France)‘Red Parapluie … Paris’ by Leighton Gleicher, taken Jan. 3, 2014, in Paris (France)

Over 350 people submitted images that will be on display at the Lori Warner Gallery through Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22.

In the same way that most everyone throughout the world now sees the mobile phone as necessary to “survive” socially or professionally, everyone must have water to survive physically. With this in mind, the steering committee of the Average Joe Photo Show selected water.org as its 2014 philanthropic focus.

In 2015, Average Joe Photo Show will shift their philanthropic focus to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders to raise awareness and funds for their extraordinary humanitarian work and their efforts to give voice to communities disconnected from the world health system.

'Nectarine' by Sarah Rand, taken July 10, 2014, at Brookside Pool‘Nectarine’ by Sarah Rand, taken July 10, 2014, at Brookside Pool

Each accepted photograph is printed in two limited editions and available for purchase, with 2 percent of photo sales donated to water.org or MSF/Doctors Without Borders and 40 percent going to the “Average Joe” Photographer.

If you missed submitting your photos for this year’s exhibition, you have until Jan. 1, 2015 to enter your photos taken during 2015.

Visit averagejoephotoshow.com for more information.


Community Music School, Musical Masterworks Present Master Class Today Featuring Todd Palmer

Clarinetist Todd Palmer

Clarinetist Todd Palmer

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School and Musical Masterworks present a master class with clarinetist Todd Palmer on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 12 p.m. at Community Music School, 90 Main St., Centerbrook. Palmer will offer advice on technique and performance for four student musicians, who will each play during the class. The clarinet master class is free and open to the public. Call 860-767-0026 for additional information.

Having been involved in an array of creative and diverse artistic presentations throughout his career, clarinetist Palmer has appeared as soloist, recitalist, chamber music collaborator, educator, arranger, and presenter in a variety of musical endeavors around the world.

He has appeared with many symphony and chamber orchestras including those of Houston, Atlanta, St. Paul, Cincinnati, Montréal, BBC Scotland, and has collaborated with many of the worlds finest string ensembles such as the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo, Pacifica and Daedelus quartets.

Palmer has also shared the stage with sopranos Kathleen Battle, Renée Fleming, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Dawn Upshaw, and commissioned and appeared in the world premiere of composer Ricky Gordon’s theatre work, Orpheus and Euridice, with coloratura Elizabeth Futral on Great Performers at Lincoln Center.

Since winning the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, Palmer has appeared as recitalist and lecturer at major performing arts centers and universities in 48 states. His appearances abroad have included concerto, recital and chamber music performances in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, the Caribbean, China and Japan.

In addition, Palmer has been closely associated with composer Osvaldo Golijov, and is regarded as the champion of his great klezmer clarinet quintet The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. He recorded this work with the St. Lawrence Quartet for EMI Classics which received two Grammy Award nominations in addition to the Classical Prelude Award from the Netherlands. Palmer worked extensively with Golijov on the newly orchestrated version which he premiered with the Santa Rosa, Oakland and Marin Symphonies in 2006.

Palmer will be performing for Musical Masterworks on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m. with Gilles Vonsattel (piano), Bella Hristova (violin), and Edward Arron (cello) at The First Congregational Church in Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd., Old Lyme. They will be performing works by Debussy, Weber, Beethoven and Stravinsky.

Tickets to the concert are $35 and student tickets are $5; additional concert information can be found atwww.musicalmasterworks.org.

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. CMS 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.

Additional information can be found at or www.community-music-school.org.


Musical Masterworks Hosts Two Concerts This Weekend

The featured artist in this weekend's concerts is Gilles Vonsattel.

The featured artist in this weekend’s concerts is Gilles Vonsattel.

Musical Masterworks will continue its series of chamber music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme with concerts on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m.  Featured artists will include pianist Gilles Vonsattel, clarinetist Todd Palmer and violinist Bella Hristova.  Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron will perform on cello and serve as host for the concerts.

The program will feature Beethoven’s Trio in c minor for Piano, Violin and Cello; two works by Claude Debussy, and the Suite from L’histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) by Igor Stravinsky.  The finale of the program will be an performance of the Grand Trio Concertant for Piano, Clarinet and Cello by C.M. von Weber, arranged by Todd Palmer.

Featured pianist Gilles Vonsattel has won numerous prestigious awards including the 2002 Naumburg International Piano Competition and an Avery Fisher Career award.

He is an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Clarinetist Todd Palmer has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician with ensembles including the Houston, Atlanta, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Montreal Symphonies and has shared the stage with performers including sopranos Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw and Kathleen Battle; and with the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo and Lark String Quartets.  He has held principal clarinet positions in the Minnesota Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and other renowned ensembles.

Bella Hristova Photo by LisaMarie Mazzucco

Bella Hristova
Photo by LisaMarie Mazzucco

Violinist Bella Hristova won a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant and first place in the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.  They will be joined by Musical Masterworks Artistic Director and cellist Edward Arron, who is known as one of the world’s finest cellists performing today.

Tickets to the concerts on Feb. 14 and 15 are $35 with $5 student tickets available.  For tickets and information, please call 860-434-2252 or visit www.musicalmasterworks.org.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is located at 2 Ferry Road in Old Lyme, CT 06371.


Old Lyme Church Launches 350th Celebrations Today with Organ Recital by Simon Holt

Music Director  Simon Holt sits at the church organ.

Gifted professional organist Simon Holt, pictured above, will give the recital on Sunday. He is not only the Church’s Director of Music but also the Artistic Director & GM of Salt Marsh Opera and Executive Director of United Theatre in Westerly, R.I.

Throughout 2015, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is celebrating 350 years of history. A series of concerts and a talk on the historic landscape of Lyme Street will commemorate the rich legacy of the past and ongoing connections that link the church and the larger community.

On Sunday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m., the church’s Director of Music Simon Holt will give an organ recital titled, “Spanning 350 Years of Organ Music.”  The concert includes works by seven composers originating from five European countries and written in three different centuries.

In a remarkable program demonstrating the versatility and musical complexity of the majestic instrument, the concert opens with J.S. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E minor (BWV 548), features Léon Boëllman’s Suite Gothique for organ and Edward Elgar’s Imperial March, and concludes with Charles-Marie Widor’s Toccata in F Major.

Holt comments, “The program not only reflects differing styles of organ music written over the last 350 years, but also features great organ composers, who themselves were musical giants blazing compositional trails, much like the numerous inspirational leaders over the years at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.”


A special feature of the concert will be the installation of a camera to project the image of Holt’s hands and feet, while he is playing, onto large screens at the front of the church.

There will be a reception following the concert in the church’s Fellowship Hall.  All are welcome.

Holt began his musical training at St. Michael’s College, Tenbury Wells, a choir school in the heart of England.  In 1979, he moved to Malvern College (an independent high school) and by 17 years of age had obtained his performing diploma (ARCM).

He began a graduate degree course at the Royal College of Music in London in 1984, as well as becoming a scholar at the Royal College of Organists.  At the end of the three-year-course, he graduated with a teaching diploma (Dip. RCM) and his graduate degree (GRSM, Hons.)  The following year he studied at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, for his Postgraduate Teaching Certificate, which he obtained in 1988.


While living in the United Kingdom (UK), Simon gave organ recitals in Westminster Abbey, St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, numerous Cathedrals and the Royal Albert Hall, London.  His discography includes a cassette of solo organ music and three CDs, two as an accompanist and the third conducting the Bristol Cathedral School orchestra.

He has also performed several times on national UK radio and television, including a live performance in the Albert Hall, London, while still at The Royal College of Music.  He has also toured Europe widely and his performances have included recitals in Notre-Dame and Sacré Coeur in Paris, France, as well as St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy.  He has also performed in Holland, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Switzerland.

In May 1999, Holt and his family moved to Stonington, Conn., where he became Director of Music at Calvary Church.  In September 2000, he collaborated with Calvary Church in founding Calvary Music School and, in the same year, he founded Salt Marsh Opera Company and is now its Artistic Director and General Manager.

A view of the interior of the church in 1887.

A view of the interior of the church in 1887.

Holt was appointed Director of Music in School at St. Thomas Choir School in New York City in September 2007,  He was subsequently named Chair of the Fine Arts Department and Head of Music at Saint James School in Hagerstown, Md., (the oldest Episcopal boarding school in North America), where he spent two years.  Holt returned to Connecticut in 2012 and is currently Executive Director of The United Theatre in Westerly, R.I. and Director of Music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Since moving to the United States, Holt has given many concerts including organ recitals at St. Ann’s in Old Lyme, Harkness Chapel at Connecticut College, Park Church in Norwich, Christ Church in Westerly, R.I., Peacedale Congregational Church in Peacedale, R.I., the Pequot Chapel and St. James Church in New London, and Christ Church in Charlotte, N.C.

A donation of $10 per person is suggested.  All proceeds will benefit church programs and missions.

For more information, visit www.fccol.org or call the church office at (860)-434-8686.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is located at the intersection of Ferry Road and Lyme Street in Old Lyme, CT.


Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548 The Wedge
Johann Sebastian Bach  (German) 1685-1750

Largo, Allegro, Aria & Two Variations 
Michael Christian Festing (English) 1705-1752

Thema met variaties                                                    

Hendrik Andriessen (Dutch) 1892-1981

Suite Gothique for Organ                                            

  •             Introduction-Chorale
  •             Menuet Gothique
  •             Prière à Notre-Dame
  •             Toccata
    Léon Boëllman (French) 1862-1897

Adagio in E major                                           

Frederick Bridge (English) 1844-1924

Imperial March
Edward Elgar (English) 1857-1934

Humoresque” LOrgano Primitivo
Pietro Yon (Italian)  1886-1943

Toccata in F major
Charles-Marie Widor (French) 1844-1937

A Brief History of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

FCCOL_exterior_Photo_by_Nigel_Logan_122KBPublic worship began on the east side of the Connecticut River in 1664 when the Court acknowledged that there were “thymes and seasons” when inhabitants could not attend Sabbath meetings in Saybrook and ordered them to agree on a house where they would gather on the Lord’s Day.

A year later, Articles of Agreement defined a “loving parting” that created a separate “plantation” on the river’s east side, which would soon be named Lyme.

The first three meetinghouses stood on a hill overlooking Long Island Sound. After a lightning strike destroyed the third of those structures in 1815, the church was relocated to its present site closer to the village.

Master builder Samuel Belcher from Ellington was hired to design a fourth meetinghouse beside the town green and the cornerstone was laid on June 10, 1816. That stately white church with its graceful steeple and columned façade, painted repeatedly by the country’s most prominent landscape artists, burned to the ground on July 5, 1907, in what was almost certainly an act of arson.

Rebuilt to replicate Belcher’s design after a community-wide, fund-raising campaign, the fifth meetinghouse, dedicated in 1910, remains today as both a vibrant center of faith and fellowship and the town’s most important historic landmark.






Chester Historical Society Offers Creative Challenge to Artists

Photo by Skip Hubbard. The Chester Historical Society invites you to take this year’s creative challenge. Named Hooked Again!, the challenge is based on products from the Brooks factory. Pick out three sealed envelopes to work with; no one knows exactly what is in them.

Photo by Skip Hubbard.
The Chester Historical Society invites you to take this year’s creative challenge.  Named Hooked Again!, the challenge is based on products from the Brooks factory.  Pick out three sealed envelopes to work with; no one knows exactly what is in them.

If you have a creative eye, this is a hook you can handle …

The Chester Historical Society has come up with its fifth creative challenge linking Chester history and art. This spring, those accepting the 2015 Hooked Again! Challenge issued by the Historical Society will be working with assorted sample eyehooks, handles and hardware, still enclosed in small sealed manila envelopes, from the M.S. Brooks & Sons factory.

As with the Bishop and Watrous Bone Art challenge and the Bates Square Roots challenge offered by the Chester Historical Society in past years, the Hooked Again! challenge is for area artists, sculptors, photographers, engineers, jewelry designers, and all others with a creative mind.

Anyone who wants to take the challenge is invited to stop in at the Chester Gallery on Main Street in the center of Chester to pick out three sealed envelopes and pay their entrance fee of $30, which includes two tickets to the event.

The finished works will be exhibited and sold by silent auction at the Historical Society’s Hooked Again! Challenge Reception on Saturday, April 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House.

For more information, call Sosse Baker at Chester Gallery at 860-526-9822.


Lyme-Old Lyme High School Announces State Scholastic Art Award Recipients

Artwork by Sofia Restrepo

Sofia Restrepo’s painting, which was recognized by the Connecticut Art Education Association as “Best in Show” in the Painting category.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Visual Arts Department has announced that seven of their art students have distinguished themselves at the annual Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards.

Portrait by Adi Dahlke

Portrait by Adi Dahlke

Jordan Bourne, Adi Dahlke, Rande Gearing and Sofia Restrepo were awarded Gold Keys in the competitive Senior Portfolio category. Their portfolios, each consisting of eight individual works of drawing, painting, ceramics and/or sculpture, will go on with other Gold Key works to jurying for possible inclusion in the National Scholastic Art Awards.

Their portfolios also earned Adi, Jordan and Sofia scholarship offers from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, a University of Hartford Scholarship offer for Jordan, and a Connecticut Women Artists Scholarship prize for Sofia.

Honorable Mentions for individual pieces went to Adi Dahlke (Painting), Rande Gearing (Ceramics & Glass), sophomore Rachel Hayward (Digital Art) and freshman Claudia Mergy (Painting); Silver  Keys to seniors Rande Gearing and Alix Turner (Ceramics & Glass); and Gold Keys to Jordan Bourne (Drawing) and Sofia Restrepo (Painting).

Sofia’s individual entry was also recognized by the Connecticut Art Education Association as “Best in Show” in the Painting category.

Artwork by Jordan Bourne

Artwork by Jordan Bourne

The accepted works are all on display at the University of Hartford Art School’s Silpe Gallery through Friday, Feb. 6 (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Artwork by Rande Gearing.

Artwork by Rande Gearing.

Congratulations to all these talented artists!


21st Annual Poetry Contest Announced by Acton Library

The Acton Public Library, 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, announces its 21st Annual Poetry Competition. Submissions will be accepted through March 14 at the Library.

The rules for participants are as follows:

  • Poems must be original and unpublished, one poem per letter size page, no more than 40 lines per poem, and all poems to have a title.
  • Author’s name, address, and phone number should appear on the back (not submitted to judges), students please add grade level.
  • Author must be a resident of Connecticut.
  • No more than three entries per person.
  • Open to all ages First Grade through adult.
  • The divisions are: Grades 1-3, Grades 4-6, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, and Adult.

Winning poets will read their poems and receive their awards during the Library’s annual Poetry Night, Wednesday, April 22. The public is invited to attend.

Following Poetry Night, all entries will be on display in the Library through May.

Pick up an entry form at the Library or visit www.actonlibrary.org, or call for more information.

The Library is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.


Two New Exhibitions on View at LAA

Winter Harmony by Michael Rogan is one of the signature pieces of the 'Wonders of Winter' exhibition opening Friday at the LAA.

‘Winter Harmony’ by Michael Rogan is one of the signature pieces of the ‘Wonders of Winter’ exhibition opening Friday at the LAA.

The 23rd Annual Associate Artist Exhibition and Wonders of Winter are on view at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) through Feb. 27.

The LAA’s 23rd Annual Associate Artist Exhibition of landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture by Associate Artist members will be on view in the Association’s front galleries while Wonders of Winter, which showcases winter scenes by members of all levels, will be on display in the Goodman gallery.

“The Annual Associate Artist Exhibition is often characterized as one of our un-themed exhibitions when, in fact, there is a theme. The theme is the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members, whether it is a painting that captures the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or one that depicts the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life,” says Katherine Simmons, President of LAA’s Board of Directors.

'Talking Pears' by Paula Dewell is featured in the 23rd Annual Associate Artists exhibition.

‘Talking Pears’ by Paula Dewell is featured in the 23rd Annual Associate Artist exhibition.

She continues, “The Wonders of Winter exhibition in the Goodman Gallery is an established favorite on our exhibition calendar. Each painting celebrates an aspect of the winter landscape, its colors, textures, and dramatic lighting.”

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

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