Dear Lyme Art Association Member/Supporter,
We hope that you are all healthy and comfortable during this time, and that our mutual efforts bring about a safe, gradual resumption of activity when this is possible. We are tremendously grateful to all those who are in occupations that are critical during this time, and our thoughts are with those whose lives are turned upside-down by the crisis.
Although we have been waiting for some firm dates and concrete plans to share, we did not want to let too much time pass without providing an update on our response to, and the impact of, the pandemic at the Lyme Art Association. As we have been reporting, the gallery, studio and offices have been closed since mid-March. Most of the staff is working from home during this period, and thankful for the technology that makes it possible to continue communicating and sharing art with our community of supporters and members. We have been able to access support from the federal government through the Payroll Protection Plan, which is critical since our income has shrunk to a trickle.
We have, for the first time, presented an all-online show, Birds & Bees. During the online receiving period, member artists uploaded their information and photographs, our juror, Nancy Gladwell, reviewed the work and selected the exhibit, and then LAA staff did all the behind-the-scenes work to put together the online gallery. We are grateful to our member artists for being game for this process. Many artists were reaching outside of their technological comfort zone! We hope that the show brings joy and hope to viewers. We also hope that buyers consider purchasing pieces that speak to them. We are ready to facilitate their decision and transaction in whatever way we can! Just remember to email instead of calling to get the quickest response.
At the time that this is written, we know that classes and workshops will not take place until after May 20. We will follow guidance and direction from our governor and health department after that date to determine when it is safe to begin certain activities. We anticipate that outdoor classes, workshops, and painting groups, where social distancing is easiest, may be the first activities to begin. In-studio classes and workshops, when they begin, will likely be limited in size to provide plenty of space around students.
When nonessential businesses such as ours are re-opened we will be delighted to open our blue doors and welcome visitors into the gallery. We will need to adjust our upcoming in-person receiving periods to reduce person-to-person contact as much as possible for the safety of artists and staff. Once the paintings are hung, however, viewing artwork at the gallery will be, as always, a low contact and socially distanced activity! We will strive to make it as safe as possible.
We are working to source materials and equipment that will make it easier to stay clean and safe at the gallery and in the studio when we re-open. This is our modest and targeted Spring Challenge goal. If you would like to donate to help us purchase hand sanitizer dispensers, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and to renovate the studio sink for easier hand washing, please click here to visit the donation page.
Our first fundraising event of the year, the Swing for Art Golf Party, is being postponed until the fall, date to be determined. The Midsummer Festival has been canceled, and other group events such as opening receptions, lectures, and Palate to Palette may look quite different if they happen in 2020. We know that, like all organizations, we need to be alert and flexible as the year progresses; plans are more tentative than ever before for nearly everything we are trying to accomplish. We appreciate your understanding, your patience, and more than ever, your support.