June 18 2014

Opening Reception for ‘Bird’s Eye View’ Photography Exhibition by Diana Atwood Johnson on June 27

GRACE, Great Egret, Orlando, FL. by Diana Atwood Johnson.

An exhibition featuring more than 50 photos by the former Board Chair of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Diana Atwood Johnson, opens on Friday, June 27, in the Sill House Gallery at the College with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

Atwood Johnson is an accomplished nature photographer, conservationist, and amateur naturalist with a particular love for birds and wildlife.  Since her retirement from 25 years as an innkeeper and restaurateur, Atwood Johnson has spent an increasing amount of time practicing to improve her eye and learn the ever-changing world of digital photography.  After a round-the-clock career in the hospitality industry, she has been able to return to her love of the outdoors, which she learned on fishing expeditions and long walks down the dirt roads of western New York State with her father.

Atwood Johnson is also the publisher of the lavishly-illustrated book, “Swallow Tales,” a pictorial of the hundreds of thousands of swallows that gather over the lower Connecticut River in the early fall.  Copies of the book will be on sale at the Opening Reception, which Atwood Johnson will be attending in person.

The exhibition will comprise a combination of photographs featuring the natural world both locally and further afield.  The North Gallery of Sill House will feature, “Swallow Tales,” made up entirely of images of birds from Lyme and Old Lyme.  The South Gallery will be used to display ‘Large Bird Portraits’ on canvas, mostly from Florida and Connecticut.  The hallway adjoining the gallery will feature small Hummingbird portraits from Atwood Johnson’s birding travels to Namibia, Trinidad, Belize and Cuba.  Finally, the lobby will be used to exhibit photographs from Atwood Johnson’s recent trip to Namibia.

Atwood Johnson served on the board of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts from 1980 and was its Chair from 1996-2003 and 2011-2013.  She was named 2011 Old Lyme Citizen of the Year for her advocacy work on behalf of the arts and the environment.  She is currently the Chair of the Old Lyme Open Space Commission and the State of Connecticut Natural Heritage, Open Space and Watershed Review Board and also serves on the board of The Trust for Public Land.

All photographs will be for sale with proceeds benefitting Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.  There will be both framed photographs and works on canvas ranging in size from 9” x 6” to 40” x 36”.

It will also be possible to view the Selected Student Work exhibition on display in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery during the Opening Reception.  This exhibition comprises the best work selected by faculty and created by students in all four years of the College’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program.  The BFA program has majors in drawing, painting, sculpture and illustration.  Most works in that exhibition are also for sale.

The Opening Reception is free and open to the public.  Both exhibitions will be on view through Aug. 30, 2014.

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