On the banks of the Lieutenant River, nestled in a peaceful cedar grove, are 27 sculptures – this year’s offering at the Summer Sculpture Showcase on the grounds of Studio 80 in Old Lyme.
This annual show runs through October 29th. The studio is adjacent to the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art and is a stone’s throw from the Lyme Art Association and the Florence Griswold Museum.
These three destinations form a fine trifecta of delights and can easily be seen in one visit.
Old Lyme has long been known as an art colony. From 1899 and over the next 30 years, more than 200 artists visited Florence Griswold’s boarding house. In the early 20th century, it was considered the most famous of America’s artist colonies, and the artists who visited it were the first to embrace Impressionism.
Gilbert Boro, a world-renowned sculptor and architect who runs Studio 80, has his home on-site and the lush lawn behind the cedar grove displays his monumental works. The on-site shop fabricates his work and the work of the 30+ members of the collaboration. For more information, visit: sculpturegrounds.com/our artist
The size of the store and its industrial decor ensure that the artists’ smaller maquettes (many of which are on display on the second and third floors and all for sale) are transformed into larger pieces. Most are made of metal, stone and wood.
The sculpture site at Studio 80, 80-1 Lyme St., Old Lyme is easily accessible from Exit 70 of Interstate 95 and is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Take the driveway to park behind Lyme Academy College of Fine Art and walk down the small path to the sculpture grounds. Admission is free. A free downloadable ‘Otocast’ from the Apple App Store or Google Play (select Old Lyme) features an interactive map, sculpture photos and artist narration. The 17 Summer Showcase tracks are all for sale; Prices range from $800 to $150,000.
Next we stopped the Lyme Art Association to see the two newly opened shows Ship to Shore and Renaissance in Pastel.
Both shows include beautifully presented landscapes, seascapes, still lifes and portraits. The opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Due to the beach traffic on the weekends, you might consider Wednesday or Thursday as the best days to travel.
We ended up at Niantic gummy candies and lollipops, where their excellent ice cream girded us bumper to bumper for the journey home.
Marsha Levinson Mason of Windsor is retired after a long career in community services in Hartford.