OLD LYME, Conn. (WTNH) – “This family has a store on Rome’s antique row,” said Mora Rowe, pointing at jewelry in a display case at a new store.
This new space was born out of necessity but has grown into an attraction.
“We are so excited,” said the Executive Director of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.
This new wonder is called de Gerenday’s Fine Art Materials and Curiosities on the academy’s campus.
“Now we have not only the best materials to work with and offer the community but also a space that’s inspiring both for artists and non-artists,” said Rowe.
The small store feels like a room from a Harry Potter book. Rowe said it honors shops in Europe.
“It’s all of those little stores you find down the cobblestone streets that really inspired this space,” she explained.
But sales of items in the shop, like classic casts from Italy and France, also support a good cause.
“All the money we make in revenue help to support the school which helps to keep tuition affordable for everyone,” said Rowe.
The Academy has experienced a renaissance of its own, re-opening a year ago with a heightened mission to serve the community with offerings such as upcoming after-school programs focusing on foundational skills.
“I think the thing we can do here is to get kids to slow down, take their time and learn to draw what they see,” said Rick Lacey, Director of Youth Programming, who graduated from the academy in 2011.
“Our student body, the range is vast, you can be 14 years old or you can be 60,” said Rowe.
Old Lyme is known as an art community. The hopes are that the new store helps bring folks to campus to be curious about creativity and beauty.
“I would love for people to come,” said Rowe. “I think the store inspires conversation, conversation builds community and that’s important.”
de Gerenday’s Fine Art materials and Curiosities is open now and after-school programs begin at the Academy on September 6, officials said.
Click here to learn more about the store.