News

April 28 2015

27-year old Lyme Academy College ArtsBall Has Italian Theme

OLD LYME, CONN.—The sights, sounds and flavors of Italy’s la dolce vita will permeate the University of New Haven’s Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts’ annual scholarship fundraising gala on June 6.

The ball is Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts’ 27th. Revelers this year will converge on the Lyme campus, 84 Lyme Street, from 6 to 11 p.m. for “La Bella Vita! ArtsBall Italia.”

“The ArtsBall is always a signature event, unofficially ‘opening’ the summer season in Old Lyme and surrounding areas,” Campus Dean Todd Jokl said.  “It is the single most important event for raising important scholarship monies to support our students.”

Nearly all of the students at Lyme receive scholarship funds. “Without the generosity of patrons at the ball,” Jokl said, “the reality of an exceptional Lyme education in the arts would not be possible for many of our students.”

Traditionally, the event attracts some 400 guests from throughout the region and mirrors the creativity of the art school using the talents of a core group of volunteers. This year, guests will feel like they’ve been transported to the Tuscan countryside.

“Everything we do addresses the challenge to make the ball exceptional,” said Fritz Jellinghaus, Lyme’s vice president of development. For instance, table linings for the event are being designed by Patricia Spratt, a member of the Lyme Academy College Board of Trustees. Spratt runs a leading linen design company and will use fabrics of Florentine design for this year’s event.

Wines are courtesy of Angelini Wines of Centerbrook, Conn., a firm of winemakers, importers, and distributors of fine wines. The Italian-inspired menu will be provided by chef/owner Jonathan Rapp’s River Tavern of Chester, Conn., known for its innovative offerings that use farm-fresh ingredients. Guests will dance to music by Power Posse.

This year guests will sit at long “communal” tables under two tents leading out from a yellow central dance floor to create the visual of a sunflower. And they will be surrounded by greenery reminiscent of Tuscany. Longtime college friend, Louis Raymond, who runs the well-known landscape/garden design firm “Renaissance Gardening,” will use various sources for loans of exotic trees and bushes, plants and flowers to fit the décor to the event’s theme.

“For last year’s ‘garden of art’ theme, Louis singlehandedly brought in and removed dozens and dozens of trees, plants and flowers to create a dynamic garden setting befitting a Newport estate,” Jellinghaus said. 

As many as 25 well-known area residents participate in “A Community Paints,” producing 3 foot by 3 foot paintings that become part of the décor and are auctioned at the end of the evening.

“We don’t simply decorate. We engage creative people throughout the community to share their vision of the theme,” Jellinghaus noted. 

Following welcome remarks by University of New Haven President Steven Kaplan, a live auction will be led by Robbie Gordy from Christie’s.

New to the auction this year is “Build Your Own Dream Trip to Florence,” the brainchild of Anemone Schweizer-Kaplan, wife of the UNH president, a fitting addition considering UNH’s Italy campus is located 20 minutes outside of Florence, in Prato. The week in and around Florence will offer comprehensive commentary on the art, history, and cuisine of the area by resident experts.

Among the donated items that will be auctioned is a painting of Venice by award-winning artist Christian Peltenburg-Brechneff of Hadlyme, Conn. 

“This is a chance for friends of the college to enjoy a special event with fellow patrons and support a wonderful cause. Their involvement in making a Lyme education accessible is valued beyond words,” Jokl said.

Patron Tables are $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500. Special friend tickets are $1,000 and $500 per couple. Individual tickets are $150.

“It’s a party to remember,” said Jellinghaus. “We say the dress is festive or black tie. I don’t think anyone will come in a toga, but you never know.”

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 www.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 4,600 undergraduates.

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