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“Drawing is an act of interpretation informed by purpose, study, experience, intuition, and knowing one’s craft. To varying degrees, a draftsman harmonizes three domains: perceptual, cognitive, and affective—or, in other words, the sources for the drawing derive from that which is seen, known, and felt. Thus, a drawing will reflect these elements necessarily in great variety as both the hand and the heart of the draftsman are revealed.”
– Deane G. Keller, former Drawing Instructor, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts

Students at the Academy commit to a rigorous two-year foundational program that is both grounded in tradition and progressive in its vision. During their first year, students focus on historical approaches to the development of critical observational skills and technical facility. Inside our custom north-lit studios, students work from direct observation of plaster casts and live models, utilizing a sequential, systematic progression, first taught in the Renaissance academies of Europe and, later, at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts. In year two, these methodologies are applied to painting, through increasingly challenging studio work with the cast and in the model room.

The curriculum in both years is comprehensive and intense: Classes are conducted five days a week, from 9 am until 9 pm, with weekly supplementary instruction in anatomy, sculpture, and the histories of art. Landscape, still life, and portraiture are included in the program, as are dedicated explorations of the properties of light and form. In addition to faculty and guest lectures, intimate class sizes allow for in-studio demonstrations and individualized critiques, as well as museum and gallery visits. Students who choose to pursue their studies at the Academy past the second year may stay for a third and fourth year of advanced study. During this time, students will work to further hone their skills and develop a unique visual vocabulary that represents their own artistic intentions.

Integrated into this instructional framework is the progressive philosophy of the Academy, and its commitment to preparing each student for their future in the arts: By instilling confidence through the disciplined learning of skills and technique, and through an appreciation of the history, process, and potential of their craft, Academy students are equipped not merely to engage with today’s art world, but also to influence and shape it.

Interested in this program?

Please complete and submit our Program Inquiry Form and we’ll be in touch.

Academic Calendar 2024-2025

The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts uses a trimester schedule. Trimesters are separated into Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. Each Trimester is eleven weeks.


First Day of Fall Classes – Monday, September 30
Thanksgiving Holiday – Wednesday, November 27 – Sunday, November 29
Last Day of Fall Classes – Friday, December 13
Winter Break – Saturday, December 14 – Sunday, January 5


First Day of Winter Classes – Monday, January 6
Last Day of Winter Classes – Friday, March 21
Spring Break – Saturday, March 22 – April 6


First Day of Spring Classes – Monday, April 7
Last Day of Spring Classes – Friday, June 20

2024-2025 Core Program Tuition

Annual Tuition $12,555

Students are billed on a trimester-to-trimester basis. Payments are due one month prior to the first day of class each trimester. Students are required to keep their financial accounts current. Art supplies are not included in the Annual Tuition Fee.

For newly enrolled students a $1,000.00 non-refundable deposit must be paid within 10 days of acceptance. The deposit will be applied towards the first tuition payment.

Tuition and fees are subject to change and annual increases.

Your tuition includes use of one shared (two-person) studio space. Studio spaces are 8′x10′ and feature partial (9′ tall) privacy walls and open doorways for easy accessibility.


Fall Tuition – $4,185.00 due by September 1

Winter Tuition – $4,185.00 due by December 3

Spring Tuition – $4,185.00 due by February 28


We accept cash, check, major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover), or money order.

Check: Please make checks payable to: Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. Checks may be mailed to:

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts
c/o Admissions
84 Lyme St.
Old Lyme, CT 06371

Credit Card: A 3.5% processing fee will be added to the tuition payment.


A $50.00 per week fee will be assessed for late payments.
A $50.00 fee will be assessed for checks returned by the bank.


As part of the Academy’s commitment to making art education affordable and supporting Core Program students in the pursuit of their artistic goals, we offer a variety of merit based work-study scholarship opportunities. Students must complete at least one trimester in the Core Program to be eligible for a scholarship.

The Carleton Wiggins Scholarship for Painting
Established by Grafton Wiggins in memory of his father, Carleton Wiggins, a scholarship granted annually to a different recipient each year. Awardee is selected by Artistic Directors with input from faculty and announced at graduation.
2023 awardee – Nathan Pennington

Opus Animae Caritas Travel/Study Abroad Scholarship
Awarded to a Core Program 2nd or 3rd year student for the purpose of international travel and to immerse oneself in artistic and cultural activities that will advance his/her artistic & professional development, expand learning, and provide opportunities to connect with local artists, as well as international students & peers.
Made in loving memory of Opus by best friend Christopher Morrissey


Students who are accepted into the Academy and need housing assistance will be granted access to a network of available rooms and rentals in the local area.  Securing acceptable housing is ultimately the student’s responsibility. We work with our community to provide the best possible options for accommodations.  Please contact our Admissions Office for further details.

International Students

Lyme Academy is currently not authorized to accept international non-immigrant students. We are actively pursuing SEVP certification to issue I-20 forms, allowing candidates to apply for Student Visas. Please check back regularly for updates.