April 01 2016

Curated Art Film Series to Launch - Collaboration Between Lyme Academy College and The Kate

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (the College) and the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) are pleased to announce a collaboration of grand proportions entitled Bridging the Arts.  Bridging the Arts is a curated film series featuring a selection of art films owned by the College and produced by the highly-regarded Checkerboard Film Foundation in New York City, which document iconic artists whose unique and important contributions informed American culture.  Regional curators and other noted authorities will give brief lectures before each film.

The series will launch this spring and take place at the Kate on Tuesdays April 26, May 24 and June 21.  All films begin at 4pm.

Todd Jokl, the Campus Dean of the College, shared “the collaboration between the Kate and Lyme Academy College is another exciting example of how collaborations between high caliber institutions can bear wonderful fruit, especially in the arts.  We are very fortunate and grateful to be able to bring the Checkerboard Film Foundation documentaries to our community.  They are a remarkable set of films that tell the stories of incredibly creative artists.”

“We are thrilled to be embarking on this fantastic series with the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts,” said the Kate’s executive director, Brett Elliott, “as our neighbors across the river, it’s a perfect time to continue to see our communities join together for the furtherance of arts on the shoreline.”

The spring 2016 series will feature:

Ellsworth Kelly: Fragments - Tuesday, April 26

“In my paintings I’m not inventing; my ideas come from constantly investigating how things look.”- ElIsworth Kelly
Ellsworth Kelly (1923 – 2015) is widely regarded as one of the most important American abstract painters, sculptors and printmakers of the 20th – 21st centuries. Kelly’s work reflects the connection between abstraction and nature from which he extrapolated forms and colors.

Since the beginning of his career, Kelly’s emphasis on pure form and color and his impulse to suppress gesture in favor of spatial unity, played a pivotal role in the development of abstract art in America.
This hour-long documentary, shot in High Definition, elucidates the true complexity of the artist’s work. In following Kelly as he revisits the Paris of his early twenties, the film uncovers early influences which became leitmotifs that he would return to, reiterate, refine, and re-work for decades to come.

A spinal sequence showing, from A to Z, Kelly’s creation of two wall sculptures commissioned for the new U.S. Embassy in Beijing, provides a dramatic thrust to the film.

Insightful commentary from scholars and critics including Robert Storr (Dean, Yale School of Art), Anne d’Harnoncourt (Director and CEO, 1982 - 2008, Philadelphia Museum of Art), Alfred Pacquement (Former Director, Centre Georges Pompidou), Ann Temkin (Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA) and Roberta Bernstein (Professor Emeritus, 1981 - 2009, University at Albany) help round out this definitive portrait of one of the true giants of American art.
Winner of Award for Best Film for Television — 26th Annual Festival International du Film sur l’Art (FIFA), Montréal

Roy Lichtenstein: Reflections - Tuesday, May 24
Pop Art draws upon the style and imagery of advertising and popular culture to challenge our preconceptions about the nature of art itself.

This film features one of the great pop artists of our time, discussing his work, his artistic process, and the sources of his inspiration.

Also appearing are several leading authorities on contemporary art including former curators and art historians: Diane Waldman - Deputy Director and Senior Curator (1965 – 1996), Guggenheim Museum, Kirk Varnedoe – Chief Curator and Painting and Sculpture (1988 – 2001), Museum of Modern Art, and Robert Rosenblum - Professor of Fine Arts at New York University and Associate Curator at the Guggenheim Museum. Lichtenstein’s long time dealer, Leo Castelli, was interviewed in his gallery by Isabella Rossellini.
The artist was filmed in his studios in New York City and Southampton, Long Island, as well as on location in Los Angeles and Rome. Featured are Lichtenstein’s Large Scale Murals, Reflections Series, and his Interior Series.

Kiki Smith: Squatting the Palace: An installation by Kiki Smith in Venice - Tuesday, June 21

This film takes a circular approach to an artist who works in overlapping spirals of creative energy.

Smith works in her home – not in a space specifically designed as a studio but on the 2nd floor of her East Village townhouse. There, amidst her books, a pet bird, and tiny kitchenette, Smith goes from drawing to collaging to modeling clay to painting plaster casts and back, again and again, moving from one discipline to another in a way that may seem aimless to a casual observer, but is actually the modus operandi of a highly sophisticated visual artist.

Over the course of the film, it becomes apparent that many of the pieces Smith is creating – including sculptures, photographs, prints and furniture fashioned from liquor boxes – are intended for an eight-room installation at the Fondazione Querini Stamplia in Venice to open contemporaneously with the 2005 Venice Biennale.

We watch Smith collaborate with the artisans fabricating her sculptures and observe her daily interactions with her assistants. We then follow Smith to Venice and witness the complex installation of her exhibition, which proves to be an integral part of the conceptual whole.

The film culminates in a detailed look at the completed exhibition, Homespun Tales: Stories of Domestic Occupation, widely regarded as one of the most successful Venice Biennale exhibitions.

About Checkerboard Film Foundation
Checkerboard Film Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 1979 by Edgar Howard to document, through the medium of film and video, artists, architects, photographers, and writers making unique and important contributions to the American Arts.  Checkerboard’s creative profiles fulfill educational and archival purposes for museums, libraries, universities, and film festivals in the U.S. and abroad. They represent a visual time capsule of artistic achievements spanning the last half-Century.

About Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts
LYME Academy College of Fine Arts, located at 84 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, 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. The program reflects a deep respect for both traditional and innovative forms of teaching and provides an unrivaled foundation for developing unique visual expressions.  Upon completion of their studies, students will be equipped not only to articulate their culture but also to give it shape and substance.  For more information, visit

About the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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