June 03 2017

Lyme Academy College ArtsBall Celebrates Student Scholarships and Announces Transformative Campaign

OLD LYME, CONN. – Last Saturday night, Lyme Academy College was alight with music, laughter, and the happy chatter of more than 200 people. The normally tranquil campus green glimmered as guests strolled under twinkling lights and past bouquets of flowers bursting with color. Guests sipped lavender-colored cocktails while admiring works for auction in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery and listened to live musicians under a great white tent in the middle of the Old Lyme campus. Even the attendees sparkled in outfits of wild color and character. This year, Lyme’s annual ArtsBall was all about color. The theme, Kaleidoscope, infused the event with energy and splendor, adding to the night’s bold slogan: “Our Future in Focus.”

The festive atmosphere was amplified when it came time to focus together on the evening’s chief purpose: supporting student scholarships. This year, the wonderful community of people at ArtsBall helped raise nearly $200K for student scholarships. These generous donations will go towards creating new opportunities for students at Lyme. During the evening, several students in attendance gave presentations on how scholarships have fueled unique opportunities at Lyme.

Students spoke about undergraduate research, developing their professional practices, engaging with local and global art communities, and their remarkable experiences at Lyme. These testimonies reflect the academic cornerstones of a new campaign announced at this year’s ArtsBall: Reality Reimagined.

Reality Reimagined is a campaign for Lyme that aims to raise the profile of the institution to a national and international level. Already funded at nearly $5 million, the campaign seeks to raise $10 million for the advancement of Lyme. Support for Reality Reimagined will influence art in context, academic excellence, community and alumni engagement, and a uniquely LYME student experience. As the only independent fine arts college in New England, Lyme is unlike most other art schools. The integration of classical art training and critical thinking, in studio and out in the world, provides a springboard for Lyme’s artists to express themselves with confidence and a strong sense of purpose in contemporary society. Reality Reimagined celebrates the one of a kind opportunities only found at Lyme.

Pat Spratt, a member of Reality Reimagined campaign cabinet and the chief organizer of ArtsBall, noted that this year’s theme, Kaleidoscope, is particularly salient because it echoes this exciting new chapter at Lyme. She says, “It’s a perfect metaphor for New Haven coming together with Lyme and creating something spectacular that magnifies upon itself. It transcends and becomes other things.” Spratt asserts that new transformations at Lyme are “making a better student and a better graduate.”

Stephen Tagliatella, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, has a similar view of Lyme’s future. He says this new campaign is about creating scholarships to ensure that an education in the arts is “still attainable for families and students.” He feels that Reality Reimagined will help uphold “accessibility to an arts education that it traditional in its foundation;” adding, “A lot of schools don’t teach the way we do.” Tagliatella has been a supporter of Lyme for almost 20 years and has seen Lyme grow and change. Today, he recognizes that Lyme is more equipped than ever before to take new leaps. He says, “I see Lyme as a launch pad. I think the school is ripe to take off and reach new accomplishments and new goals.”

The students themselves have a lot to add about emergent opportunities at Lyme. As a part of the announcement of Reality Reimagined, several students spoke to ArtsBall guests about life-changing experiences that would not have been possible without the aid of student scholarships.

Sophomore painting major Justin Ortiz discussed his research project, “Old Masters, New Light,” made possible by the University of New Haven’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program (SURF).

Aubrianna Robinson, a senior majoring in illustration, spoke about programs at Lyme that have helped prepare her to excel as a creative professional.

McKenzie West, touched on the ways Lyme students are gaining international experiences to better understand their art and themselves in relationship to a global society. This past spring, West spent the semester at the University’s campus in Tuscany, Italy.

Lyme Academy College will continue to champion exemplary instruction and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for students. Support for Reality Reimagined and Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts will help ensure that its students develop as artists and artful thinkers, inspired to enrich their community and make meaningful contributions to the world.

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