August 1, 2014

Ballot News Ranks Connecticut’s 33rd Senate Race One of Most Competitive Statewide

Bjornberg1

Emily Bjornberg, Democratic candidate for the 33rd Senate Seat

Ballotnews.org ranked the most competitive legislative races in Connecticut on their website today, with the 33rd Senate contest ranked as one of the top four.

The ranking comes a day after Emily Bjornberg, the Democratic candidate for the 33rd Senate Seat, was approved by the State Elections Enforcement Commission for a clean elections fund grant ahead of her incumbent opponent Art Linares.

State grants require the candidate to demonstrate significant support behind their campaign, with small contributions required from at least 300 constituents and at least $15,000 raised in the aggregate.

The 33rd Senate contest is one of only four state senate races statewide held by an incumbent to be ranked as competitive on the Ballotnews.org list.   The full list can be found at:  www.ballotnews.org/ state-legislatures/ legislative-lowdown- identifying-competitive- connecticut-elections-in-2014/ 

Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the communities of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Old Saybrook as well as Clinton, Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton, Haddam, Lyme, Portland and Westbrook.

 

Letters: Senator Linares, Explain Your Voting Record

To the Editor:

The ValleyNewsNow.com (April 29) carries a press release written by supporters of Senator Linares expressing “marvel at what this young man has accomplished in such a short period of time”. Given Mr. Linares’s lamentable voting record, it is hard to understand what the release is talking about.

The record shows that Mr. Linares has waged a quiet but persistent campaign against a wide range of legislation that most constituents in his District support. For example, Mr. Linares has:

  • Voted against an increase in the minimum wage, a measure supported almost three to one by Connecticut voters (71% for, 25% against).
  • Voted against a measure that paves the way to allowing commuters, the elderly, working parents, and many others who have difficulty getting to the polls to exercise their right to vote by means of absentee ballot. Such provisions are prevalent in other states and enjoy strong public support.
  • Voted against bipartisan legislation on gun safety following Newtown that was supported by a super majority of Connecticut voters (anywhere from 68% to 93% depending on the provision) and even by many in his own party.

Mr. Linares’s web site does not even mention these important votes, let alone explain his reasoning for them. The web site is filled with details of his other exploits — toy drives, hosting flag collections, honoring a beauty queen (and, yes, his opposition to an increase in the gas tax and work on some other bills) — but not his opposition to major mainstream legislation that commands widespread public support. It is hard to escape the conclusion that Mr. Linares seeks to draw attention away from his record. Why?

One concern is that Mr. Linares may be more attuned to the interests of the Tea Party than those of the moderate center of his District. Mr. Linares has stated publicly that he was inspired to enter public service by his experience in 2010 working “proudly” for Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, known in political circles “the Crown Prince of the Tea Party”.  When it comes to voting, can it be that Mr. Linares hears the voice of the Tea Party more clearly than any other?

In the absence of information from Mr. Linares on his voting record, constituents can turn to Project Vote Smart, a well regarded, non-partisan, independently funded voter education website. It has posted a report on 10 “key votes” by Mr. Linares over the past two years.

In 7 of the 10 cases, Mr. Linares voted “no” — in other words, his “accomplishment” was to oppose any legislation. In an 8th case, he did not vote at all. In only one case in the sample did Mr. Linares vote for something that actually became law – the legalization of mixed martial arts competitions – a matter most voters would not consider a priority.

Mr. Linares, we are entitled to know why, in our name, you have opposed the exercise of basic voting rights, opposed economic fairness by means of increasing the minimum wage, and opposed protecting the public from gun violence. Please give us a full accounting of your votes on these key issues, so that we may know you by your actions, rather than your press releases.

Sincerely,

David Harfst
Essex

Lyme Democrats Endorse Bjornberg, Stone

Emily Bjornberg

Emily Bjornberg

In addition to endorsing those democratic incumbent state office holders who have announced their intent to run for reelection, the Lyme Democratic Caucus endorsed two newcomers to the State scene: Mary Stone for State Representative, and Emily Bjornberg for State Senate.

The chairman of the Caucus, Steven Mattson, commented, “We are extremely pleased to endorse state legislative candidates as well qualified as Mary and Emily,”

Emily Bjornberg is a Lyme resident and is running for the seat once held by Eileen Dailey. “Emily is an exceptionally strong candidate, and we are confident she will be a superior Senator for the 33rd Senate District,” according to Mattson. The 33rd district covers Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook. The seat is currently held by Republican Art Linares.

Mary Stone is an Old Lyme resident, who is running for the 23rd Assembly District consisting of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook. This is an open seat, due to the decision of Marilyn Giuliani not to seek reelection.

“Mary is the perfect candidate for this district,” according to Claire Sauer, who represented much of this district when she represented the 36th Assembly District.

Stone currently serves on the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals and is a former member of the Region 18 Board of Education.

Newman Named New Executive Director at Lyme Art Association

The Lyme Art Association’s (LAA) Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Joseph F. Newman as Executive Director of the LAA, effective Oct. 1. Newman will be replacing Susan Ballek, who has accepted the position of Director and CEO of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT.

Currently, Newman owns a private firm specializing in American fine art and rare book collection management, and serves as managing partner of Treasure Hill Farm, eastern Connecticut’s 97-acre premier equestrian facility.

Newman was previously responsible for new client development and sales for a major American auction house, as well as a prominent New York City gallery. His fine art career originated in Old Lyme, where he served as director of the Cooley Gallery, responsible for development, sales, and research. Newman received his Bachelor of Arts degrees from Boston College, graduating magna cum laude, and he holds an ALM from Harvard University. Writing as J. F. Newman, he is also the author of The Freeman’s Oath, a novel about the inside world of American rare books and documents.

“For the past two years, Joe Newman has been actively engaged in the Lyme Art Association as a board member, serving on committees dealing with exhibitions planning, development, and the launching of our Second Century Capital Campaign,” says LAA Board President Katherine Simmons. “His enthusiasm and commitment for the mission and values of the LAA, combined with his strong background in the arts and results-oriented style, is a perfect match for the Association’s goals as we embark on our next century of advancing the Lyme tradition of exceptional representational art.”

“The legacy of the Lyme Art Association and its founding artists is extremely important, both for our region and its role in our national art history,” says Newman. “Together with an outstanding and dedicated Board of Directors, I am excited to help lead the LAA and its Second Century Capital Campaign. When complete, the Campaign will strengthen the Association’s standing as an art destination for patrons from throughout the Northeast and beyond, and will improve the LAA’s mission to serve as an educational resource for local artists, schools, and the public. I welcome the community to join us as we embark on an exciting second century.”

The LAA invites its members, friends, and patrons to meet Joe Newman at the Opening Reception of the New England Landscape Invitational Exhibition, to be held on Friday, Oct. 4, from 6 to 8. pm.

The Lyme Art Association was incorporated in 1914 by members of the Lyme Art Colony, which included the American Impressionist masters Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, William Chadwick, and more. These nationally-recognized artists embraced the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as pastoral havens to paint, re-kindle their creative energies, and, via the Association’s celebrated exhibitions, sell their work. Architect Charles A. Platt, designer of the Freer Art Gallery in Washington, D.C and the Lyman Allyn Museum in New London, CT, drafted the plans for the Lyme Art Association Gallery, designed specifically to showcase the art of its founders. The gallery opened in 1921.

Nearly a hundred years later, the Lyme Art Association continues to be a vibrant art center dedicated to producing major exhibitions of representational art in its four light-filled galleries. Annually these exhibitions feature over 2,000 pieces of artwork for exhibition and sale. The Association also offers a busy schedule of affordable art classes, workshops, and lectures. The Lyme Art Association, together with the Florence Griswold Museum, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, and the Cooley Gallery, helps make Old Lyme the place where American art lives. The Lyme Art Association is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit the LAA online at www.lymeartassociation.org, or contact 860-434-7802 or info@lymeartassociation.org.

Land Purchase and Donation Expand Conserved Areas and Wildlife Refuge

LYME — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently partnered with The Nature Conservancy to add 66 acres of tidal marsh and coastal lands along Whalebone Cove in Lyme to the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

Announced today, this expansion of the refuge includes the purchase of 26 acres from a private landowner, along with a donation of four previously conserved properties totaling 40 acres, from the Conservancy to the Service. Together, these parcels establish the new Whalebone Cove Division of the refuge.

The Nature Conservancy negotiated the new 26-acre property purchase on behalf of the Service and made option payments over 2 ½ years to allow time for the Service to secure funding for the purchase.

The newly protected property contains approximately 2,000 feet of Connecticut River frontage and forms the southern entrance to Whalebone Cove. It features extensive high and low tidal marsh communities; steep, wooded slopes; an upland kettle-hole wetland complex; floodplain forest; upland meadows; and mature forest. Whalebone Cove features exemplary tidal marshes that host one of the largest stands of wild rice in Connecticut. It is an important wintering area for bald eagles and black ducks and a significant feeding area for migratory waterfowl.

Just south of Gillette Castle State Park in Lyme, Whalebone Cove is one of the most undisturbed and biologically significant freshwater tidal marshes on the Connecticut River. The Cove has been a longtime conservation priority of The Nature Conservancy as well as a “special focus area” for the Conte Refuge. The donated acreage was originally conserved by The Nature Conservancy more than a decade ago.

“Today, we celebrate the permanent protection from development of these precious natural areas,” said Nathan Frohling, the Conservancy’s director of Connecticut coastal and marine initiatives.

“The new acquisition, combined with the parcels the Conservancy is now donating, will build on a legacy of conservation here and in the Lower Connecticut River. The Conte Refuge represents an important new and trusted partner in achieving a larger conservation vision for Whalebone Cove. The Service’s role was key to making the purchase possible, and with it 80 percent of this freshwater tidal marsh site is now protected,” Frohling said.

“This acquisition would not have been possible without the Service’s close partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the continued support from the Congressional Delegation and the Administration,” said Andrew French, project leader at the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. “Now, we look forward to collaborating with local residents and our partners in being good stewards of this land and good neighbors with those who live in the area.”

Connecticut leaders this week expressed their support for the refuge.

“I commend the Nature Conservancy for their longstanding commitment to preserving vital natural habitats in Connecticut and nationwide. This partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to preserve 26 acres of beautiful and environmentally-precious land deserves to be applauded and replicated,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. “I will continue to work alongside advocates to ensure that our valuable habitats are protected and treasured for generations to come.”

“This project is a testament to the incredible power of the Land and Water Conservation Fund when it comes to completing high-value conservation acquisitions,” said Senator Chis Murphy. “Unspoiled tidal lands are a rarity in heavily-developed states like ours, and this parcel will be a valuable addition to the Silvio O. Conte Fish and Wildlife Refuge.”

“The Connecticut River is an ecological treasure, and this project will help to protect it for generations to come,” said Representative Joe Courtney, of Connecticut’s 2nd District, which includes Lyme. “I applaud the Nature Conservancy for their work to secure this parcel of undeveloped land, and their commitment to protecting our state’s natural landscape.”

Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve native plants, animals and their habitats in the 7.2 million acre Connecticut River watershed that stretches across four states. It is the only refuge in the country dedicated to a river’s entire watershed. The refuge works to protect land, form partnerships with citizens to foster conservation efforts, educate the public, and pass on the importance of the watershed to future generations.

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 18 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 117 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org/connecticut.

 

Man Arrested for Impersonating a Police Officer and Possession of Weapons in OL

Weapons, ammunition and associated paraphernalia found and confiscated by the Old Lyme Police during the arrest of Bruce Browne at Point O’ Woods yesterday.

Weapons, ammunition and associated paraphernalia found and confiscated by the Old Lyme Police during the arrest of Bruce Browne at Point O’ Woods yesterday.

On Thursday evening at 6:23 p.m., Troop F personnel and Old Lyme Police Officers responded to the Point O’ Woods beach community in Old Lyme.  A phone call had been received from a resident reporting a white male wearing military type clothing was walking on Sea View Dr. with a gun.  The caller also reported that this same male was seen early on today’s date operating what she described as a “police type vehicle”.

Responding Troopers and Officers located a 2004 blue Crown Victoria bearing CT. Reg. 684-ZNF at 32 Sea View Dr.  This vehicle was equipped with what appeared to be a disc and antennas mounted on the trunk and equipped with “hide-away” lights.
Upon speaking with several occupants at the residence, Bruce W. Browne, age 46, from Wolcott, Conn., stated that he was the registered owner of the vehicle.  Browne was wearing blue BDU type pants and upon being questioned about his early whereabouts, Browne admitted to walking on Sea View Dr wearing a black nylon gun belt with a loaded 9mm pistol in a holster on the belt.

Located in his vehicle and in plain view were three loaded 9mm handguns, a black nylon duty belt with two sets of handcuffs, an expandable Asp, 12 fully loaded magazines with a total of 101 hollow point and 102 ball 9mm bullets.  Browne also had a black tactical bullet proof vest with the word POLICE embroidered on the front and back.  Also attached to the front of the vest was a silver metal TSA badge.

Further investigation revealed that Browne had commandeered a boat earlier in the day by identifying himself as a “Police/Coast Guard” official.  Browne stopped three separate vessels off the shore of Point O Woods.  During these vessel stops Browne was asking boaters for their registrations and boater safety certificates.

Browne also had an expired Coast Guard identification card belonging to him back when he was a reserve member of the Coast Guard. TSA and US Coast Guard officials were contacted and upon researching their personnel records, it was determined that Browne is not affiliated with either of these agencies.

US Coast Guard Officials will be conducting a follow up investigation on 08-09-13 with regards to similar incidents that they are currently investigating.

Browne was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer, breach of peace, interfering with a police officer and possession of a dangerous weapon in a motor vehicle.

Browne was released on a $50,000.00 bond and will appear at court in New London on Aug. 22.

Connecticut Valley Camera Club Photography Exhibit and Reception Nov. 2

Enchanted Evening, Dean Rupp

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be hosting a photography exhibit at the Fresh Ayre Gallery (formerly Lemon ‘n Lyme) in the Old Lyme shopping center.  The subject is “open” with 43 framed prints for viewing and for sale at very reasonable prices.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception from 5:00pm to 7:00pm on Friday, Nov.2, 2012.  The exhibit is open to the public from 12-5pm Tues-Sun and late on Friday’s from November 3rd through November 29th, 2012.

The CVCC meets the last Monday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Community Room (lower level) of the Deep River, CT Library (photographers at all levels are welcome).

Ocean House Rockers, Vincent Peppito

Musical Masterworks Present Concerts with String Quartet “Brooklyn Rider”

Musical Masterworks will continue its series of chamber music concerts at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme with concerts on Saturday, February 11 at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m.  The concerts will feature the string quartet “Brooklyn Rider.”  Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron will perform with the quartet on cello and serve as host for the concerts.

The program will feature musical compositions spanning four centuries, including the Fantasia Upon One Note for Five Instruments by the early Baroque composer Henry Purcell.  Classical era composer Luigi Boccherini’s String Quartet in E Major will also be on the program, along with Beethoven’s String Quartet in c sharp minor, Opus 131.  The program will also include works by Brazilian jazz composer Joao Gilberto; a contemporary work by Italian composer Giovanni Sollima; and an original piece by Brooklyn Rider’s violinist and composer Colin Jacobsen.

Brooklyn Rider is a genre-defying string quartet that combines an eclectic repertoire with a electrifying performance style.  The quartet has performed at venues as varied as Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center to Joe’s Pub in New York. This season the quartet made their Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall in October to great acclaim.

Tickets to the February 11 and 12 concerts are $35 with $5 student tickets available.  For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 860-434-2252 or visit www.musicalmasterworks.org.

Winter Frolic at the Lyme Art Association

In the tradition of their founding members, the lively Lyme Impressionists, The Lyme Art Association is once again inviting you to a magical Winter Frolic Saturday, February 4 from 8:00 p.m. to  midnight.  This year the historic gallery will transport you to a Tyrolean winter wonderland – a scene straight from the Alps!  Once again, the galleries have been transformed under the design direction of artist Camomile Hixon – a scene sure to delight.  Join the fun for an unforgettable evening of dancing and merriment, featuring the sound of  String Theory.

Come inside to warm up against the chill and enjoy an array of delectable hors d’oeuvres, desserts and drinks, all with a European flair. Special thanks to our in-kind sponsors: Dagmar’s Desserts, Fromage Fine Foods, Restaurant L&E and French 75 Bar, and The Chocolate Shell.

A stunning selection of paintings by our very own Elected Artists will be available for bid during the evening’s Silent Auction.  Catch a sneak preview of Auction items on our website, beginning January 25th.

The Winter Frolic is a benefit for the Charles A. Platt Restoration Fund, established in 2008 to repair and refurbish our historic building.

Friends tickets are $75 per person in advance; $95 at the door.  Patrons tickets are $250, which includes two tickets and a listing on the Charles A. Platt Restoration Fund plaque.

The suggested attire is après-ski chic.

About the Lyme Art Association

The Lyme Art Association is a vibrant art center with a gallery where professional as well as developing artists mount major exhibitions throughout the year.

They also have a busy schedule of affordable art classes and workshops.  Visit the historic Lyme Art Association on your next visit to Old Lyme CT where art lives!

Lyme Art Association Presents Two New Exhibitions: “20th Annual Associate Artist Exhibition” and “A Contemporary Look”

The Anniversary, 48 x 60” oil on canvas by invited artist Jaclyn Conley

Lyme Art Association’s 20th Annual Associate Artist Exhibition of landscape, portrait and still life paintings by Associate Artist members will be on view in the Association’s Cooper/Ferry, South and Cole galleries from January 13 – February 25, 2012.  “Associate Artist members make up the core community of the Lyme Art Association, and we are proud to highlight their work in this special exhibition each winter,” states Susan Ballek, the LAA’s Executive Director.In addition, the Association is pleased to present the 3rd Annual “A Contemporary Look,” a special invitation-only exhibition of progressive representational artwork by regional artists.  This exhibition will be on view in the Goodman Gallery from January 20 – February 25.  This year’s featured artists include painters Jaclyn Conley, Karen Sorenson, and Deirdre Kline.  Equestrian sculpture fabricated in steel by Marcia Spivak will also be displayed.

The opening reception for both exhibitions is free to the public, and will be held on Friday, January 20, from 5pm to 7pm at the LAA, 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut.

About the Lyme Art Association    

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802.

Alchemy: An Exhibition by Maureen McCabe & Mundy Hepburn

Old Lyme, CT – Alchemy is a dual exhibition of works by assemblage artist Maureen McCabe and neon artist Mundy Hepburn opening at The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme on October 20th.  Boxed assemblages and neon sculptures will fill the lower gallery with stories and light in an environment of fantasy and imagination. For Mundy neon is a playground of color and movement that has an almost magnetic pull.  Maureen weaves fantastic tales as she composes one-of-a-kind objects inside beautifully crafted boxes.  In tandem Hepburn and McCabe bounce the observer happily between the visceral and literal creating adventures in rational and irrational experience.

Alchemy seemed an appropriate title for this show as alchemical fantasies go back beyond recorded history and the promise of magical combinations becoming greater than the sum of their parts seemed a perfect contemporary setting.

Maureen McCabe is a renowned assemblage artist. Like a bowerbird she is always gathering rare and unusual objects to incorporate into her miniature boxed universes. Maureen is a wry observer of contemporary and academic life. She was nose-to-nose with it during her 40-year professorship of Art at Connecticut College. Her boxes may bring reference a distant myth or ancestral legend or simply be an observation of another irony of life. “Entering Maureen McCabe’s magical and witty world is akin to going down the proverbial rabbit hole. You adjust your sense of scale and free yourself for a leap into a wonderland of profound mystery.” Combining that notion with the “mystical beauty of neon” make for a literally fantastic show at The Cooley Gallery.

Neon artist, Mundy Hepburn is no stranger to the notion of magical concoctions.  His art has been described as “mystical beauty in neon.”  The path opened to him as an 8 year-old child as soon as he saw the glass animals of Paul Geyer at the Guilford Handcraft Fair. Precocious young Mundy was soon melting light bulbs on the Magic Chef. Thirty-five years and numerous exhibitions later he is still experimenting with molten glass and ionized gases. This exhibition with Maureen gave Mundy another context, another stage for his players of light.

For Alchemy The Cooley Gallery is transformed into a visual labyrinth. Some pieces in the exhibition are collaborative: Maureen’s boxes are electrified and punctuated with Mundy’s neon. In other areas the fantastical neon forms cast glowing light onto the assemblages nearby.

This exhibition runs through November 12th.

 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-Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Please 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.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts Offers Tours on Columbus Day

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is offering continuous tours on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Prospective students are invited to drop by for a tour of the campus with an Admission Representative and also to check out the exciting Studio Faculty Exhibition.

No registration is necessary.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts continues the academic tradition of figurative and representational fine art while preparing students for a lifetime of contemporary creative practice.  Students develop intellect and imagination, intensity of observation, sound craftsmanship, individual initiative and creativity, as well as depth of interpretation of ideas through artistic expression.

The College, which is located at 84 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Conn., offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing, Illustration, Painting, and Sculpture; a Post-Baccalaureate program; a Three-year Certificate; an active Continuing Education program including a Pre-College program; and is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the National Association of the Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.

For further information, call 860-434-5232 or visit www.lymeacademy.edu

Cooley Gallery Holds Exhibition of Paintings by Artists from Old Lyme Art Colony

Old Lyme, CT – The Cooley Gallery is thrilled to announce “192” an exhibition and sale of paintings by artists from the Old Lyme Art colony.  The Old Lyme Art Colony boasted myriad artists and characters whose great love was painting their surroundings in the company of their peers.

Back in the early 1900s plein air painting adventures to farmer’s fields were as common as a sojourn to Europe. “Sketches” were painted on a standard size, 12” x 16”, panel or board that easily fit in their pochade box. A pochade box is a compact, portable painting studio in a small box. “pochade” is a French word meaning “quick (color) sketch”. Traditional pochade boxes were characterized by simple elements: a hinged lid which functions as an easel, the middle half as the palette in a slide out drawer and storage in the lower section.  The portability and convenience of the pochade box turned any circumstance into a subject for painting since the studio traveled with the artist. This exhibition of paintings measuring 12”x 16” show resolved works of art  big enough to capture the essences of the scene and small enough to be completed in one or two sittings.

The exhibition “192” displays paintings by a number of artists of the Old Lyme colony with subjects as close as their backyards to Venice, Italy, Maine, New Hampshire and beyond. “192” (the square inch area of a 12” x 16”) was a perfect space to capture the color, mood, spirit of place. All priced under $10,000, these paintings represent great value and great art.

“192” is on view through October 20th.

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-Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Please 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.

The Old Lyme Town Band will have the first rehearsal of its 37th season this evening, Monday, Sept. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Rd., Old Lyme.

Under the direction of John LaDone, this 40-member group of musicians range from junior high students to retirees of varying musical abilities, all of whom share a love of ensemble playing.

There is no audition. The group will begin in about a month to gear up for a series of holiday concerts.  All instruments are welcome, with clarinetists and percussionists particularly needed.

For more information, call Michele Dickey at 860-434-8529.

http://valleynewsnow.com/2011/09/old-lyme-town-band-starts-a-new-season/

Lyme Art Association Presents A Summer Fundraiser- Lavender & Lyme

The Lyme Art Association, at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme Connecticut, is holding its 4th Annual Summer Fundraiser, Lavender & Lyme, on Saturday, July 16 from 6:30 – 10pm.  A local jazz band, String Theory Duo, will kick-off the evening during cocktails and fabulous French Hors D’oeuvres, donated by Fromage Fine Foods.  For dinner, sweet and savory crepes by Perk on Church will be served, followed by delectable desserts donated by Coffee’s Country Market.   Guests will dance the night away to the eclectic sound of The Side Doors, and a silent auction of miniature paintings by LAA artists will be held.
 
Sponsors of this event are: Atlantic Seafood Market, Old Saybrook; Benchmark Wealth Management, Old Lyme; Coffee’s Country Market, Old Lyme; Fromage Fine Foods, Old Saybrook; Hamilton Point Investments, Old Lyme; Perk on Church, Guilford; The Mergy Family; and Bank of England / ENG Lending, Milford.
 
Executive Director Susan Ballek says “I’m very excited about our upcoming fundraiser, Lavender & Lyme. With a relaxed yet elegant French Country theme, this event will pay tribute to the Impressionist movement which inspired our founding members. Our Honorary Chair is artist and designer Camomile Hixon, who is helping us to create a magical and memorable setting.”
 
Tickets purchased in advance are $65 per person, Patrons (including 2 tickets) are $250.  Individual tickets purchased at the door are $75.   All proceeds from this event benefit the Lyme Art Association’s Charles A. Platt Restoration Fund established in 2008 to refurbish the historic building and grounds.  Tickets are available at the Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme or by calling (860) 434-7802.

About the Lyme Art Association

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802.

Interior Design Book Signing at Lyme Art Association

Duane Hampton

In conjunction with Lyme Art Association’s first annual Interiors: Within Four Walls exhibition, on view from April 29 through June 12, LAA will be hosting a Book Signing with Duane Hampton on Saturday, May 21 at 5:30 p.m.
 
Duane has written a book on her late husband, designer Mark Hampton. The publisher indicates “This [book] is a celebration of the career of one of the most famous and admired American interior designers of the 20th century. A classic American success story, Hampton grew up in a small town in Indiana and went on to worldwide fame. He began his career working for the some of the greatest interior designers of the age – Parish Hadley, David Hicks, Macmillen, Inc., and later went on to found Mark Hampton, Inc. Known for the tremendous depth and breadth of his knowledge, Hampton refused to be pigeonholed into a trademark style, moving effortlessly from sleek modernism to English country and back again.” Mark also designed both furniture and fabrics.
 
Advance reservations are required, and there is a $10 fee for this event.  To make reservations, call LAA at (860) 434-7802 or e-mail keith@lymeartassociation.org.
 
About Lyme Art Association
The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in the National Historic Landmark building designed by Charles Adams Platt. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802.

Con Brio’s Spring Performance is “Exceptional”

This past Sunday, Con Brio Choral (pictured above) presented Ken Jenkins’ “L’Homme Armé” : A Mass for Peace (The Armed Man)  at Christ the King Church.  Act I consisted of the title mass by Karl Jenkins, while Act II focused on songs for peace.  Patricia Schuman was the guest soprano.

The church’s open room and wooden cathedral ceilings gave this concert crystal clear acoustics.

There were 13 songs in Act I.  The chorus sang the title song (performed in French), which had a militaristic feel complete with a piccolo and drums.  Then Patricia Schuman sang “Kyrie Elesion”, which was written in Latin.  Her voice brought out the sadness and seriousness in the song.  In contrast, Sanctus Dominus (sung by the choir) was performed forte and delivered an epic sound. 

The song “Charge!” really sounded like an army “charging” toward the enemy  (the dissonance at the end depicted an unfortunate outcome).  Schuman showed her rich soprano voice in “The Angry Flames,” and at the end of that song, chimes depicted a church bell at a funeral — a unique touch.

“Benedictus” started out slow and sad, then soared with a crescendo evoking a feeling of optimism.  Finally, at the end of Act I, a lighter reprise of “L’Homme Armé” was sung by the choir.

 Act II featured lighter pieces.  Schuman’s bittersweet voice echoed through the church when she sang “Marietta’s Lied” by German composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, while Beethoven’s “Meeresstille und Glück Fahrt” depicted calm water and an upbeat voyage.

The jazzy “Down by the Riverside” included audience participation coupled by a memorable tune.  The Simon and Garfunkel classic, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” was very moving and to conclude the concert, Schuman and the choir sang Magnani’s Easter Hymn, which hinted at a glimmer of hope for spring.

Throughout this exceptional concert during which she sang sharply contrasting types of music, Schuman consistently  displayed her tremendous voice versatility.

The Cooley Gallery Announces a New Exhibition:All Flowers

Old Lyme, CT – The Cooley Gallery is proud to announce an exhibition and sale of historic and contemporary floral paintings in All Flowers. The exhibition opens with the forsythia on April 23 and runs through May 28, 2011.  Peonies, tulips, lilies, laurel, daisies, poppies, petunias, coreopsis, hibiscus, roses, sunflowers and water lilies will be blooming on the walls of the gallery at 25 Lyme Street in Old Lyme.

“One of the first paintings I bought many years ago was a sumptuous still-life of roses — it was sexy, rich and beautiful,” owner Jeff Cooley reminisces.  “For all these years since, I have been drawn to artists’ sometimes intimate, always joyful, depictions of flowers whether in the garden or in a vase.” 

Still Life by Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940), oil on panel

Flowers have enhanced moods and facilitated communications from time immemorial. In this exhibition, antique American still-lifes hang alongside newly completed works from artists all around the country.  The color and abundance depicted in these paintings are reminiscent of fresh spring gardens, lazy summer afternoons and leisurely walks along well-tended garden paths. 

Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940) was famous for his dramatic depictions of crashing surf. The still-life in All Flowers painted in 1925 has a familiar movement and drama with a sense of solidity and permanence even though, like a wave on the ocean, the subject’s life is fleeting.

A very well-known artist and member of the Old Lyme art colony was Wilson Irvine (1869-1936). Irvine studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and came to New York to further his education. On a visit to Lyme in 1914, he decided this was where he would paint for the rest of his life. Still-life with Petunias evokes the anticipation of summer with its multi-colored blooms set in a white vase atop a vividly patterned table cloth.

Still Life with Petunias by Wilson H. Irvine (1869 - 1936) oil on canvas

Emil Carlsen (1853-1932) got on the train to Lyme and, because of a language barrier, ended up in Lyme Rock, Connecticut which he liked well enough not to find the colony he originally set out for.  Still-life with Roses and Pomegranates is a still-life of abundance with the round red forms of the pomegranates anchoring the soft pink roundness of the pink roses above.  For Christians the pomegranate was often used as a symbol of redemption and eternal life and the pink rose was often a symbol of the Virgin Mary.  For Persephone the pomegranate ensured half her life would be spent in the underworld.

A lesser-known painter with a still life in this exhibition is Raymond A. Ewing (1891-1975). Ewing was a student of the famous Rockport artist Aldro Hibbard. When Ewing was not out painting landscapes he was making a living doing illustrations or painting this naturally composed vase of Sunflowers in 1965.

London born Walter Paris (1842-1906) spent most of his life in California but the painting exhibited in All Flowers is reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in England. The artist’s palette and the pattern of the water lilies evoke the style of William Morris.

A true American devotee to the Pre-Raphaelite movement was Fidelia Bridges (1834-1923). Bridges made a name for herself creating highly detailed and very natural compositions for greeting cards. Careful studies of wildflowers and distant birds overhead were Bridges’ specialty.

Still Life With Roses by Frederick M. Fenetti (1854-1915), oil on canvas

Nellie Littlehale Murphy (1867-1941) was born on the west coast but moved to Lexington, Massachusetts and studied in Boston with Joseph de Camp.  In Zinnias, a shiny black footed vase plays host to a riot of zinnias against a draped background.

The complexity of realistically portrayed still-life often prefers a small sized canvas. One of the larger canvases in this exhibition is a vibrant painting of Peonies by Bridgeport born Mary Nicholena McCord (1864-1955). McCord exhibited her first painting at the National Academy of Design in 1916. The artist never married and bequeathed her entire estate to charities around her native Bridgeport.

Barbara Novak (b. 1928) is perhaps best known as prolific author and preeminent historian of American art and culture. Less well-known are her highly personal and spontaneous watercolors of the flowers her author husband Brian O’Doherty (Patrick Ireland) buys for her on the streets of their native New York. 

All Flowers will be on view through May 28 but know that at anytime we will likely have “fresh flowers” in our inventory.

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-Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Please 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.

Con Brio Spring Concert featuring Essex Soprano, Patricia Schuman Sunday

Con Brio returns on April 10, 4 p.m. to Christ the King Church in Old Lyme

Well-known in the shoreline area since 1997 for offering superb concerts, Con Brio returns on April 10, 4 p.m., to Christ the King Church in Old Lyme, joined by internationally-acclaimed Essex soprano, Patricia Schuman.  The concert’s featured work will be the timely, powerfully beautiful, and, at moments harrowing, mass, “L’Homme Arme,” or “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace,” by the contemporary Welsh composer, Karl Jenkins. At its first performance in 2000, Jenkins’ mass was declared a “rapturous performance, by turns visceral and ethereal…that drew prolonged shouts of approval from the audience.”

While Jenkins is contemporary, his musical sounds and his theme resonate through many centuries.  As the group’s director Dr. Stephen Bruce describes it, “Jenkins’ music is very accessible.” Jenkins’ subject is perennial, for it is war and peace:  war, building again and again in far different places and times, from Rome, to India, to Japan, war voiced by many poems and poets, the Mahabarata, the Psalms, Mallory, Dryden, Swift, Kipling, Tennyson, Toge Sankichi, a survivor of Hiroshima. The popular 15th century theme undergirding the work, “The armed man must be feared,” was, says Dr. Bruce, a “hit tune” in its own time, one set to music by composers as diverse as Josquin, Dufay, and Palestrina. Interspersed with traditional movements from the mass, Jenkins moves through the build up to war, describes the inevitable and tragic aftermath of destruction, and then expresses our longing for healing and peace, spoken through many religious languages, Jewish, Muslim, Christian.  Near the end Jenkins, using Tennyson’s words, asks us our world’s always most pressing question: can we “ring out the old and ring in the new?”

In its broad weaving of history and diverse musical styles, Jenkins’ mass was the perfect dedicatory work for the opening of The Royal Armouries, Britain’s oldest historical museum.  Dr. Bruce, will offer a 25 minute master class on the Jenkins’ mass beginning at 3pm the day of the concert.

The second half of the spring program opens with Marietta’s Lied from Korngold’s opera, Die tote Stadt, a song used in the Coen brothers’ film The Big Lebowski. The opera was quite successful after its premier in 1920, and was performed at venues around the world including the Metropolitan Opera in New York. But the opera was banned by the Nazi régime because of Korngold’s Jewish ancestry. After World War II it fell into obscurity, only recently enjoying a revival. The next three songs, on water, echo the war and peace theme of the first half of the program. Beethoven’s Meerstille and Gluckliche Fahrt (calm waters and prosperous voyage)–settings of two Goethe poems–is followed by John Rutter’s sing-along arrangement of Down by the Riverside and Kirby Shaw’s arrangement of Bridge Over Troubled Water, favorites of audiences and singers everywhere. The concert closes with the famous Easter Hymn from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.

Joining Con Brio and a full orchestra for this concert will be the renowned soprano, Patricia Schuman, from Essex.  Schuman, who first appeared with Con Brio in 2005, has appeared at numerous international venues.  She is a well-known Mozart soprano, having sung Donna Elvira (“Don Giovanni”) and Contesse Almaviva (“Le nozze di Figaro”) at the Metropolitan Opera, the Rome Opera, and at the opera in Aix-en-Provence and Madrid.  She will be joined by Con Brio’s own, tenor, Bill Sorensen, of Guilford, and bass, Karl Stofko, of East Haddam.  Susan Saltus of Essex is the group’s accompanist.

Con Brio, an all-auditioned chorus, draws talented singers of all ages from Branford to Westerly.  Dr. Bruce explains that the chorus is kept intentionally small (50 voices) to lend a more intimate quality to its concerts.  Con Brio has sung with numerous other choruses and made several European tours in past years.  A non-profit, Con Brio gratefully welcomes contributions from individuals and corporations.  For more information on how to contribute, please contact:  Treasurer, Con Brio Choral Society, Inc., P.O. Box 312, Centerbook, Ct. 06409 or visit the Website:  www.conbrio.org.

Tickets:  $25 per person, $15 students, available from Con Brio members or, by telephone charge, at 860 526 5399.  Some tickets may be available at the door.

Benn Launches New Book in His Hometown Library

A new mystery by Connecticut author James R. Benn has garnered wide praise in advance of its official publication date of Sept. 1, earning a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly calling it “stellar”.

Benn will be kicking off the release of RAG AND BONE with a Book Launch Party on Friday, Aug. 27, 7 p.m. at the Lyme Public Library, 482 Hamburg Rd., in Lyme.

There will be a brief presentation and reading, refreshments, and books for sale and signing.

RAG AND BONE: A Billy Boyle WWII Mystery” is the fifth title in a mystery series set within the Allied high command during World War Two.  RAG AND BONE has received superlative early reviews:

In its review, Publishers Weekly says, “Stellar…Benn excels at depicting the impact of war on London–the bricks from bombed buildings piled neatly on the streets, families living in Tube stations, “the odor of the Blitz.” Destruction aside, Billy never forgets that “Even in the midst of war, murder is unacceptable.”  —

Bill Ott of BOOKLIST notes, “Benn shrewdly combines the political cat-and-mouse game with the murder investigation, offering a fascinating glimpse of the wartime intelligence world…his portrayals of the individual lives affectged by the global machinations reflect an almost Graham Greene-like feel for nuance.”

RAG AND BONE takes the series main character, Billy Boyle, to London where he is called on to investigate the murder of a Soviet official.  There is reason to believe the murder is connected to the recent discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest, where thousands of Polish officers were executed by the Soviets. The revelations endanger the uneasy alliance between the Soviets and other allied powers, and Billy finds himself in a diplomatic minefield as the investigation suggests his best friend, Kaz, may have been involved.

Demonstrating that the past is never truly gone, earlier this year the president of Poland and many others were killed in a plane crash on their way to a commemoration of the Kaytn Forest Massacre in Russia. The decisions made over seventy years ago are still claiming lives today.

Soho Press publishes the series, and is planning a national author tour in October.

James R. Benn lives in Lyme, Connecticut.

For more information about the books and scheduled events, visit www.jamesrbenn.com

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Meeting for New Members

The Lower Connecticut Valley Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will hold an informal meeting for new and prospective members on Wednesday, August 18 from 5 – 7 PM at the Hamburg Cove Yacht Club in Lyme.  This meeting will provide an opportunity to learn more about AAUW’s mission and our local Branch activities.  Light refreshments will be served.  The Lower Connecticut Valley Branch of AAUW draws its membership from Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Essex, Deep River, Chester, Killingworth, Hadlyme, Lyme, and Old Lyme.  For more information, contact Deborah Rie (860) 628-1160