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CONNECTICUT SHORE

DESTINATION CONNECTICUT SHORE

C

onnecticut can tell a long story about artists drawn to working and living along its shoreline. Towns such as Cos Cob, Old Lyme and Greenwich were once home to thriving artist colonies recognized as trailblazers of early American impressionism. At the turn of the 20th century, artists were attracted to the area’s rural charms and picturesque vistas. As well, the state provided a comforting, restful break from bustling urban centers on the rise. Nowadays, with Boston and New York City mere hours away, the appeal remains as alluring. The shoreline offers a much-needed retreat for city-dwellers, and summer events bring culture and sophistication. Coastal villages and seaside towns are alive with the zest and energy of a metropolis paired with the pace and peace of the countryside, and this is aptly reflected in the communities and art. Our journey begins in Mystic, the historic seaport and village a stone’s throw from the Rhode Island border. There you’ll find the Courtyard Gallery, a unique and intimate gallery space with brick walls and European influence, filled continuously with work by regional and national painters and sculptors, as well as rotating exhibits. Rough winter weather damaged the building’s facade, prompting owners Del-Bourree and Kristen Bach to temporarily close-up shop while necessary repairs were made. Celebrate the return of summer at their grand reopening in early May! After your art fix, hop across the Mystic River

to Mystic Seaport, where there truly is “something for everyone.” Explore attractions of historical significance, like a recreated 19thcentury village complete with historically inspired gardens, a preservation shipyard alive with carpenters working on maritime vessels and mystifying presentations at the Treworgy Planetarium. On May 23 and 24, bring the family and enjoy a summer kick-off at the museum’s Salute to Summer–– two fun days of whaleboat rowing, antique games and delicious food. Another worthy stop in town is the Mystic Aquarium, an institution much loved for its exhibits rife with marine discoveries made by the hard-at-work research staff— leaders in oceanic research. Heading west along I-95, you’ll pass through New London. Turn south on I-395 to find Old Lyme village. There, the Florence Griswold Museum blooms into the season with its historic gardens and riverfront village. In the boardinghouse of Miss Florence Griswold, where artists including Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf and Matilda Browne stayed and painted en plein air,

Gabriel Schachinger, Sweet Reflections, 1886, oil on canvas, 51 x 31". Woodmere Art Museum: Bequest of Charles Knox Smith. Photo: Rick Echelmeyer. On view at the Bruce Museum.

WPA ★ JOBS

MARCH 28 TO MAY 23, 2015 Mathews Park, 299 West Avenue Norwalk, CT 06850 | 203.899.7999 www.contemprints.org

52   Art New England    M a y / J u n e

2015

you’ll find collections that aptly define the Lyme Artist Colony’s pivotal role in fostering authentic American impressionism. In addition to the boardinghouse, there is the Krieble Gallery, an airy and bright space highlighting changing exhibitions, including Peter Halley’s contemporary art through May 31, and the marine art collection of the Museum of the City of New York, opening June 6. Stop by for the annual GardenFest, June 5–14, and from June 12–14, the popular “Blooms with A View,” showcasing vivid floral arrangements interpreting the art on the walls of the Krieble Gallery. While you’re in Old Lyme, stop by Sound View Beach for a scoop (or three) of Vecchitto’s Italian Ice. The family-owned business began in 1930 as little more than a bicycle-cart ringing a

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S E C T I O N

Destination: Connecticut Shore  
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