Brand new art shop opens today at Lyme Academy;  Offers art supplies, gifts, collectibles

Brand new art shop opens today at Lyme Academy; Offers art supplies, gifts, collectibles

A look at the eclectic interior of ‘de Gerenday’s Fine Art Materials and Curiosities’ at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. All photos by Caryn B. Davis.

OLD LYME The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has announced the opening of: the Gerendays Fine Art Materials and curiosities, a new store on the Academy campus in Old Lyme that offers a variety of art supplies and gift items from around the world.

The store will officially open during Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival on Saturday 30th July, with the ribbon cutting at 10am. Everyone is welcome to join the celebration. The shop will be open all day until 5 p.m.

During the festival, the Academy will hold an art show and sale by Lyme Academy alumni along with art demonstrations, live music performances, food, drinks and more.

Modeled after the most famous and legendary art shops in Paris and London, such as: SleepyLake and L. Cornelissenthis destination store is as photogenic as it is substantial.

Nearly every type and color of paint imaginable is on offer in the newly opened store at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Artists will find a wide range of the best quality oil, acrylic and watercolor paints, brushes of all sizes, fine linen paper, canvas on a roll and sculpting tools, all chosen by the professional artists, who are part of the Lyme Faculty Academy.

In addition to supplies for artists, a unique collection of curiositiesadds a sense of old world charm and sophistication to the store. These include an extensive number of new and rare art books, taxidermy, architectural salvage, tapestries and unique decorative items for the home.

The AcademyThe Executive Director, Mora Rowe, used her background in fashion and design to develop her vision for the interior display and carefully curated items for the unique store.

A highlight of the store is the collection of plaster casts of classical European figurative sculptures (see above) available for purchase. These casts come from notable collections in Italy and France and are used for both teaching and study by teachers and students of the Academy.

Visitors to the store will find a variety of items for artists and non-artists ranging in price from $5. The shop also sells submitted artwork, Italian leather journals, candles and jewelry.

Promoting a commitment to local artisans, Hardencoa boutique denim manufacturer based in New Hartford, Conn., was commissioned to produce high-quality artist aprons and zippered bags emblazoned with the Lyme Academy logo for the store.

It’s part of our mission to create a store where both artists and people who appreciate art can shop,” says Rowe, adding: “Our goal was to include some items that are artistic in nature.” so that they can be used by either still life artists or individuals and interior designers seeking products for unique home decorIt iscor.

Rowe comments: “We have also made sure that there is something for everyone who visits the store. Whether you’re a local artist in need of a new canvas, or a community member looking for a gift, the Gerendays will be at the top of your list as a place to shop, while also supporting the Academy.”

Special orders, drop shipping, online shopping, and gift cards are available.

In keeping with Lyme Academy’s commitment to excellence in arts education, we believe it is important that the materials and tools we offer reflect our values,” said co-artistic director Jordan Sokol.

He explains: “We spent many months hand-selecting each brand to ensure the quality of each product. We are delighted with the convenience of the shop here at the Academy, as many of the artists who take lessons and workshops, often being in the studio for up to 12 hours a day.”

Sokol notes, “You won’t find many of these products in art supply chains or on Amazon.”

Store-bought fine art brands include: Michael Harding, Old Holland, Rublev, Artefex, Raymar, Holbein, Winsor & Newton, Chelsea Classical Studio, Silver Brush, Trekell, Robert Simon, Isabey, Raphael, New Wave, Strathmore, Fabriano, Arches, Stonehenge, Staedtler, Derwent, Sennelier , Apollon, Centurion and more.

The stores name honors Laci de Gerenday, the husband of the Academys founder, Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, who was herself a successful sculptor and administrator at Lyme Academy.

The opening of this art store marks one of several planned ventures by the Academy’s new staff, faculty and board to welcome the Old Lyme community to campus, support the city’s thriving local arts scene and support the Lyme Academy to re-establish itself as a premier destination site for artists and art lovers from around the world.

Editor’s Notes: (i) from Gerendays is accessible through the South Campus entrance at 84 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Conn. and is currently open to the public Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm

ii) The mission of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is to teach the fundamental skills of drawing, painting and sculpture in the figurative tradition. Through its commitment to educate students in these skills and a commitment to contemporary discourse, the Academy will empower a new generation of artists. Through its programs, the Academy is committed to enriching the cultural life of the community. For more information, visit

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