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This sculptor is bringing his experience – and his bronze foundry – to Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

"Torso" by sculptor Chad Fisher, who is the new Charlotte Colby Danly Sculpture Chair at The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.
Provided Photograph
The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts
"Torso," by sculptor Chad Fisher, who is the new Charlotte Colby Danly Sculpture Chair at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has hired internationally known sculptor Chad Fisher to head up its new sculpture program.

Fisher’s work in bronze has resulted in commissions for numerous military memorials. He’s also made sculptures for the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Now he’s bringing that experience – and his bronze foundry – to Old Lyme.

“Chad’s an amazing sculptor. He has an incredible amount of experience in many different aspects of sculpture, from the actual act of sculpting, but also making molds, casting sculpture, and this is particularly special, casting bronze,” said Jordan Sokol, artistic director of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

“He had a bronze foundry built on his property in Pennsylvania; he’ll be moving that foundry here to Old Lyme,” Sokol said.

Sokol said that with Fisher’s vast resume and experience, he expects Old Lyme will become a haven for sculptors in the future.

Chad Fisher adjusts the patina on his bronze sculpture 'Avarice.'
Provided Photograph
Lyme Academy of Fine Arts
Chad Fisher adjusts the patina on his bronze sculpture "Avarice."

The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts opened in 1976 as a place where budding artists could learn the foundational skills of drawing, painting and sculpture in the figurative tradition – think art derived from real-world objects, like the human body.

That mission got sidetracked for a few years when the institution became part of New Haven University. Lyme Academy had to adjust its curriculum so that UNH art students could earn a traditional bachelor's or master's degree in art.

But that relationship ended in 2018, with Lyme Academy going back to its pedagogical roots as an academy, rather than a bachelor degree-granting college. Now, with the addition of Fisher as the new Charlotte Colby Danly Sculpture Chair at Lyme Academy, the institution has come full circle. The art school was founded by renowned sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler.

Sokol said that with Fisher on board, Lyme Academy can offer students of sculpture something that’s becoming harder and harder to find.

“Sculptors don’t really have a place to go to learn the skills of figurative sculpture, let alone how to make molds of their work, cast their work, and cast their work in bronze,” Sokol said. “It’s just so difficult to find a place to study that.”

In a statement, Fisher said he’s thrilled with his new position.

“To teach is to provide students with a space to grow emotionally, intellectually, and experientially,” Fisher said. “As an art educator, I am here to help amplify each student’s dream through a very human and personal experience, and to provide the tools that are necessary for them to grow expansively, both artistically and professionally.”

The new figurative sculpting program will begin in the fall of 2023.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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