Arts & Culture
Old Lyme is an exceptional destination for artists and art lovers to call home. Painters, potters, sculptors, woodworkers, photographers, textile artists, and others find Old Lyme the right environment for their craft and lifestyle.
Our place in American art history comes from more than a century’s desire to capture what has been called the “Lyme light” here. With estuaries and the Connecticut River meeting Long Island Sound against a backdrop of woodlands and rocky inclines, it’s no wonder the American Impressionist movement began here. Careful stewardship of our natural resources means Old Lyme remains a timeless place where artists can still capture this natural beauty.
Learn more about the artists who arrived at Miss Florence Griswold's boardinghouse and created a movement by reading "An American Place: The Art Colony at Old Lyme."
You'll find robust arts programming in Old Lyme. Students enjoy a strong arts department in our school system, while adults and teens can find the right workshop or intensive program to hone their craft. A printmaking shop and pottery studio are available through community nonprofits, as well as galleries to appreciate the work of others, or perhaps show your own work.
Creativity abounds beyond the visual arts. Musicians can drop by Nightingale’s Acoustic Café for “Pickin’ Parties” and open mic nights. See our Arts & Culture and Community Life pages for additional organizations. Our Artist and Artisan’s Resource Directory provides information on programs and support services specific to the creative community. We hope to soon add to this website a directory of Old Lyme artists and artisans with links to their online shops as we further support our creative residents.
Florence Griswold Museum
96 Lyme Street
Offering a variety of programming and events of particular interest to artists and creatives, including painting demos, Sunday outdoor "make a painting" sessions, and crafting evenings. See guidelines welcoming painters onsite.
The Print Shop @ Lyme Academy
84 Lyme Street
A 1150 s.f. north-light printmaking studio equipped with 4 presses, including a Charles Brand etching press. Relief printing (woodcut, linocut), drypoint, collagraph, monotype/monoprint, and intaglio are all possible.
Con Brio Choral Society
Performances @ Christ the King Church
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Con Brio is a classical, auditioned chorus known for the variety of its repertoire, sparkling programming, and excellent musicality. Con Brio's Christmas concerts kick off the season for many.
Artists in Old Lyme have long taken their easel and brushes outdoors to paint en plein air, a practice that became prevalent at the turn of the 20th Century as the Lyme Art Colonists embraced a new technology: paint in a tube. It is not unusual to see a painter or pastelist set up along Lyme Street, or in one of our preserves or open spaces. The Lyme Art Association offers paint outs and outdoor painting groups. The Florence Griswold Museum opens its grounds to painters with guidelines. Artists can also still capture some of the iconic views favored by painters more than a century ago, the Barbizon Oak, the Lieutenant River, and a favorite of Childe Hassam, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.
Welcome to Old Lyme
Welcome to Old Lyme, a small, historic town on the Connecticut coastline. We are known for our art galleries and beaches, and have so much more. Whether you are thinking about relocating your home or business here, or just looking to visit for the afternoon, welcome! We are glad to have you.