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April 26, 2024 – Old Lyme, CT – The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts announces two major May events: the opening of Beyond the Figure: A Student and Faculty Exhibition and In Conversation with the WSJ’s Lance Esplund: A Preview Event

The public is invited on Saturday, May 18th, for an insightful and engaging conversation with Lance Esplund, art critic for The Wall Street Journal, and Emily M. Weeks, Ph.D., Lyme Academy’s Principal Art Historian. This ticketed event will be followed by a special exhibition preview and reception for Beyond the Figure: A Student and Faculty Exhibition, the latest original art exhibition curated by Co-Artistic Directors Amaya Gurpide and Jordan Sokol and the inaugural exhibition of Academy works. The exhibition will open to the public on Sunday, May 19, and will remain on view until September 1, 2024. 

In 2021, with fresh leadership at its helm, the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts reopened its doors to students and welcomed a new generation of artists to its Core Programs. Beyond the Figure: A Student and Faculty Exhibition is the first opportunity to witness the results of this rebirth, through the work of its faculty and their students. 

Lyme Academy is quickly being recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative arts curriculum and as an epicenter for drawing, painting, and sculpture in the figurative tradition. This exhibition is an invitation to learn more about the Lyme Academy’s uniqueness and impact today, as it trains the success stories of tomorrow.

The Academy’s Co-Artistic Director Jordan Sokol comments, “The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is forging a new educational model, one that bucks the current trend of deskilling in art education. We’re thrilled to see such a surge of interest among aspiring artists in our mission to reintroduce time-honored traditions in a modern idiom. This exhibition is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the students who are coming from all over the country to study here, as well as the world-renowned faculty that is instructing them.” 

Faculty members that are represented in the exhibition include: Todd Casey, Hollis Dunlap, Chad Fisher, Michael Grimaldi, Amaya Gurpide, Zachary Kainz, Rick Lacey, Thomas Lapine, Mina Mohtasham, Alicia Ponzio, Edmond Rochat, Alex Venezia, Gary Weisman, and Treacy Ziegler.

The events begin at 4pm with In Conversation with the WSJ’s Lance Esplund, which will take place in the Academy’s Cole Studio. This will be followed by an exhibition preview and reception in the Academy’s Chauncey-Stillman Gallery from 5 to 6:30pm. Please note that select artworks from this exhibition will be offered for sale. 

Tickets are available for $100 ONLINE and at the Academy’s on-campus art store, de Gerenday’s Fine Art Materials & Curiosities. 

Lance Esplund writes about art for The Wall Street Journal. Previously, he was US art critic for Bloomberg News and chief art critic for the New York Sun. He has taught studio art and art history at the Parsons School of Design and Rider University, and has served as visiting MFA critic at the New York Studio School. His essays have appeared in Art in America, Harper’s, Modern Painters, and The New Republic, among others. Esplund lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Emily Weeks received her Ph.D. from the Department of the History of Art at Yale University in December 2004. Currently she is an independent art historian and consultant for museums, academic institutions, auction houses, private collectors, and multimedia organizations in America, Britain, Europe, and the Middle East. She also serves as Principal Lecturer in the Histories of Art at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Dr. Weeks is a leading expert on Orientalism and 19th-century British and European visual culture; she is also the acknowledged expert on the artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, about whom she is curating a major exhibition in Doha, Qatar.

Chauncey-Stillman Gallery
Lyme Academy of Fine Arts
84 Lyme Street, South Parking Lot
Old Lyme, CT 06371

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday through Sunday 12 pm to 4 pm

Holiday Hours: Closed July 1-4

Tickets for Preview Event on May 18