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Artists Work on Behalf of Lyme Academy College’s 40th Anniversary ArtsBall

The natural beauty and luminous light that first drew artists to Old Lyme more than a century ago will bring a group of accomplished artists to the area this spring who will apply their talents, create new work, and donate it to benefit the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven’s annual scholarship fundraising gala on Saturday, June 4.

On Saturday, May 21, the artists, including many well-known alumni of the college, will participate in an en plein air painting day at 10 iconic outdoor home settings on the water, along fields and marshes, and at the harbor. Their work will be featured during the school’s silent auction at its gala event. 

This year’s gala, with the theme, “Starry, Starry Night, Bedazzle in White!,” will see revelers bedecked in casual and elegant white, surrounded by a matching décor. The ArtsBall will take place at the school’s campus on 84 Lyme Street from 6 to 11 p.m.

This year’s ArtsBall is particularly special as it commemorates the school’s 40th anniversary.

"This makes it more exciting, interesting and important," said Fritz Jellinghaus, Lyme’s vice president for development.

Jellinghaus is delighted that the accomplished artists who will paint en plein air to benefit this year’s event reflect a sentiment expressed by Old Lyme art colony founder Henry Ward Ranger, an American painter who famously wrote of the area: "It looks like Barbizon, the land of Millet. See the gnarled oaks, the low rolling country. This land has been farmed and cultivated by men, and then allowed to revert back into the arms of Mother Nature. It is only waiting to be painted."

Marking the college’s anniversary with the participation of so many alumni and friends in an effort to raise scholarships is important, said Todd Jokl, campus dean.

"Scholarships are critical in two ways," he said. "First, they make an exceptional education in the arts attainable for many of our students. Second, scholarships enable the college to attract the best student artists. Attending this special event is a way to directly support the growth of the creativity of our student body while enjoying a very memorable evening."

Typically drawing some 400 attendees from the region, the event has become known to kick off the summer social season in the area.

Jellinghaus credits a dedicated group of creative volunteers -- artists, collectors, and gallery owners -- who once again brainstormed to create this year’s theme and atmosphere.

Co-chairs of the event are Patricia Spratt, a member of the school’s Board of Trustees, who runs a leading linen design company in Old Lyme; interior designer Lisa Schroeder; and psychotherapist Terry Klee.

This year, the event will feature a dinner menu designed by celebrity chef Jacques Pepin and catered by River Tavern in Chester. Dancing will be to live music by the acclaimed seven-piece band ETA.

Longtime benefactors who will be honored include:  trustee Suzanne Joffray, Board of Trustees Chair Emerita Diana Atwood Johnson and former trustees Charlotte Danly Jackson and Charles Hamm.

Newer supporters of the college who will be also be recognized that night include automobile dealership magnate Herb Chambers; trustee Robert W. Pratt; and artist, Lyme alumnus and Vice Chairman of the Board Robert Manice.

Patron tables are $15,000, $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500. Individual tickets are $200.

For more information, please contact Fritz Jellinghaus at fjellinghaus@lymefs.newhaven.edu or (860) 434-3571, ext. 125.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is a college of the University of New Haven.  Its mission is to educate aspiring artists through a rigorous studio curriculum rooted in figurative and representational art.  The college offers a comprehensive liberal arts education essential for advanced critical and creative thought.  For more information, visit: http://lymeacademy.edu/

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920, the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 5,000 undergraduates.