New Museum Designation for Mystic Arts Center, Now Mystic Museum of Art

New Museum Designation for Mystic Arts Center, Now Mystic Museum of Art


Mystic Arts Center announced today that we will change our name to the Mystic Museum of Art (MMA). Having recently celebrated our centennial anniversary in 2013, we intend to operate all of our affairs according to the established professional standards of the industry. Mary Anne Stets, President of our Board of Directors said, “This new designation befits the organization’s community-minded spirit, broad educational focus, and standards of excellence.” On the heels of a strategic planning process and following a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, the name change will take effect January 2, 2016 and be part of a rebranding effort that will be implemented over the next several months.


We were able to conduct and complete a three-year strategic plan thanks to a capacity building grant from Connecticut Humanities that funded the engagement of our consultants. The process provided a tremendous opportunity for MMA leadership to have discussions about our identity, value to the community and contribution to scholarly programs. A large survey of constituents as well as focus groups were part of the feedback solicited to help our leadership identify strengths and opportunities as well as a name that would best describe the next century of activity for our 102 year-old organization.


MMA will continue to engage the regional art scene, teach art, foster creativity, and serve as a gathering place for the exchange of ideas. Executive Director, George King, stated that “the museum designation underscores, above all, our wish to be committed to community and place. We will be introducing and assimilating into the existing program, exhibitions that have scholarly content focusing on diverse subjects, both historical and contemporary with national and international merit, that will require exhibiting our collection, while borrowing works from other private and public lenders.”  It is our goal to enhance our publications program with catalogues that will accompany the new exhibition program.  Once adequate funding is secured, the Permanent Collection, will undergo a thorough assessment and review to determine its long term use, how the Museum cares for it and the development of a conservation plan.


The Museum designation also requires that we operate to the standards benchmarked and espoused by the American Alliance of Museums, the New England Museum Association, and the Association of Art Museum Directors.



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New Yorker Cover

In light of our upcoming MAAd Men Exhibition, which features three notable Abstract artists, we study the 1951 New Yorker cover by Garrett Price.

This famous cover depicts an artist arriving at Mystic Arts Center, then know as the Mystic Art Association (MAA) for an exhibit with a rather interesting piece. A number of other artists are depicted including Yngve Soderberg, Beonne Boronda, Harve Stein and the famous portrait artist Robert Brackman. Artwork for the cover is by Garret Price (1896-1979), a well known illustrator and Connecticut resident who was active in the Mystic arts community for many years. 

The following is reproduced from “A Time to Remember; Art and Artists of the Mystic, Connecticut Area, 1700-1950”, published by Stone Ledge Studio Art Galleries, Noank, CT.

While Price has taken liberty with the general setting, the character of the locale is definitely the main gallery of the Mystic Art Association building. Identifiable individuals are: Brackman with hammer in hand and cigarette in mouth, Soderberg on the ladder, and Stein fastening screw eyes in a frame. Bonnie Boronda is placing a piece of sculpture. Garrett Price uses himself as the modernistic artist bringing in the new art. 

In the great tradition of Daumier and other social satirists, Price is here pointing out, in a humorous fashion, the grave changes in American art that have influenced the character of Fine Art in the Mystic region since approximately 1950. 

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Developments at 15 Water Street

The renovation continues at 15 Water Street. Read the article from The Day here.

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Local Crafter and MAC Holiday Show Participant Enters National Contest

Mystic resident, Andrea Leiser competes in the Staples “Make Your Idea Happen” contest, in hopes that her “Little Hat Workshop” goes large-scale. Click here to read the article in The Day, and see her video on the Staples contest website.

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Winter Studio Registration Has Begun!

MAC is kicking off 2014 with an extensive list of Winter Studio classes with some of your favorite faculty members. Click here to see MAC faculty member Jack Montmeat’s process as he paints a still life. Montmeat will be teaching Portrait Drawing and Basic Figure Drawing this season.

View all of MAC’s Winter Studio offerings here.

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Eat, Drink and Be Merry at MAC’s Winter Art Gala, Friday November 15th!

MAC is abuzz today as we receive fine art entries for our Holiday Fine Art Show! We have already seen spectacular works of art in a variety of media, from pastels to oils, solar-plate etching to watercolor. In addition to fine art, MAC will be featuring several local and regional artisans as part of our Artisan Gift Salon. The artisan crafts include knit work and apparel, pottery, jewelry, tote bags, holiday ornaments, wood work and more. The Holiday Show is beautiful in and of itself, however, it also provides an array of unique and varied gift opportunities for the coming holiday season.

MAC looks forward to welcoming guests this Friday evening for the official Holiday Show reception; our Winter Art Gala. This relaxed and festive evening will feature music by solo jazz guitarist, David Zuckerbraun, and goodies provided by some of our favorite local caterers; A Thyme to Cook, Coastal Gourmet, and Gourmet Galley. The event offers patrons the chance to enjoy food, drink, music and holiday shopping all in one place! What’s more, all fine art and artisan crafts for sale that evening will be tax-free! We hope to see you there, but if you miss it – don’t fret – the show and sale will run during gallery hours through December 28th!

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Rhythm and Color Collide in Lynn Walker’s New Exhibition

What do you get when a painter and a dancer combine their talents? The answer to that can be found in Connecticut artist Lynn Walker’s luminous new series of paintings, “Rhythm in Color” on view in the Schuster Gallery at Mystic Arts Center through June 22. The exhibition, which was awarded to Walker after winning first place in last year’s Regional Show, is the result of her collaboration with dancer and choreographer Christine Poland. Read More »

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Q&A with Karen Ohren, new volunteer at Mystic Arts Center

Recently, Mystic Arts Center welcomed art enthusiast Karen Ohren to our galleries. Karen has been an incredible support to MAC in a variety of ways including; reception in our galleries, assisting with exhibitions, and managing special projects from our marketing and education departments. In the Q&A below, Karen shares with us why she chose MAC for her volunteer experience.   Read More »

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Intern at Mystic Arts Center

Mystic Arts Center offers a number of unpaid internships for undergraduate or graduate students with interest in arts, art education and arts marketing. Build your resume while you get behind the scenes of a bustling arts center.

For more information and application instructions, see our internships page online

MAC Volunteers Isabella Nowakowski (left) and Maggie Adams (right).

MAC Volunteers Isabella Nowakowski (left) and Maggie Adams (right).

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Honoring Historical Figures From MAC’s Past

In honor of our centennial year, the cover graphic of our Spring newsletter is dedicated to important figures from Mystic Arts Center’s long and influential history. MAC is proud to sustain the legacy of our founding members and dedicated supporters by continuing to foster creativity in the region. Below, please find a visual key with information about these figures. Read More »

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