New London Maritime Society starts summer with a special Celebration of Four Exhibitions on Thursday, July 5, 2012, from 5 to 8 PM. The evening is really a Summer Block Party, with openings down Bank Street -- at the Hygienic, Expressiones and next door, at Studio 33. The four exhibitions include two shows about contemporary boat builders: ingenious small boats by David McCulloch, of Old Lyme, displayed in our new Pop-Up gallery (across the street in the former Modern Electric space); and Edward Hellenbrecht's photographs, which document the building of a cutting-edge racing sailboat, a GP-26; the photos will be shown at the Custom House. The boat was ( & still is) being built in Kevin Farrrar's Monte Cristo Garage, in New London, and hopes to launch this summer. NLMS librarian Brian Rogers has curated an exhibition from the museum's Frank L. McGuire Library out of an archive on the War of 1812 assembled in the l970s by Waterford historian Robert Bachman and presented to us by his niece, Ruth Reluga. Adding to that exhibition are special loans of two precious 1812 artifacts from our members, including a period military hat from Siro Toffolon, of Old Lyme. Finally, the July 5 Celebration marks the closing of Sgott MacKenzie's winsome watercolor and sculpture show, the 'Further Adventures of the Giant Squid and the Seagull', featuring illustrations from Sgott's two books for young people. The event is free and open to the public. Call 860-447-2501 to find out more, or consult the museum website at nlmaritimesociety.org.
The July 5 celebration coincides with a special Members' Appreciation Party, also held at the Custom House, and we hope all NLMS members, present and future, will attend. In addition to the exhibitions, the fun & the refreshments, it's an opportunity to learn about how to become more involved at the Custom House. With our members' encouragement, NLMS has taken on a lot this year: more programs, an expanded Museum Shop, a Pop-Up gallery across the street, regular tours of New London Harbor Light, and three Lighthouse Weekends this summer! The organization even is investigating taking on ownership of Race Rock Lighthouse. Members find the Custom House a friendly refuge from the rest of the world. You might well find you like it here, too. Call 860-447-2501 for additional information. The event is free and open to the public.