Goal is to showcase burgeoning artists' work by using an historic inn as a palette; share with the public; help artists sell & prosper.
The Bee and Thistle is a lovely historic inn located in the art colony of Old Lyme, Connecticut. Linnea and David Rufo, The Bee’s innkeepers, are building a truly inspirational environment which serves as a gathering place for artists to collaborate, display and sell their work. The inn is also accessible to the general public, so all people can view the beautiful art and enjoy the breathtaking grounds.
While retaining the integrity of the historic landmark built in 1756, the transformed Bee and Thistle Inn provides a link to the past while nurturing artists of the present. The inn serves as a 'springboard' for artists to feature their work and gain exposure; dining rooms and common areas are filled with work by local artists. Currently, two guest rooms have been redecorated featuring work by artists Brian Keith Stephens, Pola Esther and Chandler Davis; one is reminiscent of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 honeymoon suite at the Amsterdam Hilton where they held their “Bed-In-For-Peace.” Instead of song lyrics scripted on the walls, the artists have painted excerpts from love letters from Mark Twain to his wife, Olivia, and from Johnny Cash to June Carter. The artists' photography, metal wall sculptures and paintings also embellish the room.
Striking outdoor art installations by Michael McLaughlin and beautiful shell sculptures (also by Chandler Davis) dot the picturesque grounds surrounding the inn. As part of this project, we also plan to have an artist build a light sculpture on the front lawn in time for the holidays to draw attention to the "Bee Inspired" Art Inn from the road.
The Innkeeper donates her time to curate and manage the project; staff members are educated about each artist in residence and are well versed about their particular styles and techniques in order to properly represent them. All of this art is offered for sale, and the Bee and Thistle takes no commissions. In no way, shape or form is the inn profiting from this project, except for support from the community.
Through this project, we hope to dedicate three more guest rooms for artists to visit and create masterpieces; provide funding for their supplies and materials; develop an online gallery and printed booklet of featured artists' work; and ultimately sell their drawings, paintings and sculptures so the artists can thrive and prosper. In order to do this, we will need to take three rooms out of the Inn's inventory for two months, which will cause a significant loss in income. With only nine rooms total in the inn, and all of the tremendous expenses involved in maintaining and operating an historic building, this creates a huge financial hardship. There are also expenses involved to strip the existing décor, prepare the walls and surfaces, purchase supplies and materials, produce and print a descriptive booklet for distribution, and seek technical assistance to create the online gallery. We hope to complete the rooms by October 1 and outdoor light display by November 1 in order to produce the booklet and online gallery... and showcase the artwork through tours over the holiday season. Without the help of friends and patrons, we will not be able to make this magical initiative happen.
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Two months is the maximum amount of time that we can take these three rooms out of the inn's inventory, particularly since the summer and fall are the busiest times of the year for overnight guests and we are running on a very tight operating budget. We will be depending on the artists to stay on schedule and complete the work on time and within budget. To do this, we will monitor the work very closely and complete major structural and decorative elements quickly. However, portable items such as paintings and sculptures can be added later if necessary.
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Large vintage-style matchbox with printed artwork by a Bee and Thistle featured artist.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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Canvas tote bag handpainted and signed by a Bee and Thistle featured artist.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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A framed 8" X10" signed photograph by featured artist, Pola Esther.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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Signed limited edition cookbook with original artwork by renowned chef and author, Jacque Pepin, titled "Chez Jacques." Jacque's artwork is on display at the Inn.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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Experience the Bee and Thistle's beautiful artwork and enjoy a two night stay at the Inn, including one three course dinner in the Chestnut Grille, country continental breakfast each morning, and two passes to the Florence Griswold Museum.Estimated delivery:
- (60 days)