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Building Bridges


October 7, 2022 @ 11:00 am
December 18, 2022 @ 5:00 pm

A century ago, the Mystic River Bascule Bridge was the first of its kind in the country. Today it is the oldest still in operation. The throngs of spectators present at the bridge’s opening ceremony on July 19, 1922, could not possibly have imagined the communities it continues to serve in 2022. A speech marking the event by the Reverend George L. Farnham expressed the hope that, in addition to connecting the Town of Groton with the Town of Stonington, the bridge would also “bind them together with a closer community spirit, which would lead to future developments little dreamt of a few years ago.”

Randy Richards, Bascule Bridge, mixed media. Rudy Grunwald Award for Best in Show

In honor of this iconic bridge’s centennial—and culminating Mystic Museum of Art’s year of narrative art—MMoA published a call to contemporary artists to interpret what it meant to them to build bridges and forge connections between people, places, and things in their artwork. Juried by Dayne Rugh, the Director of the Slater Memorial Museum, this exhibition in MMoA’s Halsey and Liebig Galleries is their response.

Lisa Miceli, The Weight of Light, watercolor on paper. Second Prize

Artists spoke through media that ranges from time-honored and venerable: oil on canvas, watercolor, pastel, and wood; to newer media and techniques: acrylic, photography, painted metal, collage, and digital manipulations. These images and sculptures, combined with the stories shared in their accompanying artist’s statements, address BUILDING BRIDGES’s theme of exploring how art can bridge the gaps between people, opening us up to each other and making room for empathy, discovery, and simple observation.

The artists who founded this organization in 1913 as the Mystic Art Association intended it to become a museum. Their goal was to foster the arts in Mystic for practitioners as well as viewers. Thanks to their vision and those who have sustained it for more than 100 years, MMoA itself continues to build bridges through art in the community.

Lisa Lyman Adams, In Their Shoes, acrylic. Third Prize

List of Participating Artists and Works

Read the Juror’s Statements Here

Support for this exhibition was provided by CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and  Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.