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Ordway Gallery

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"Boys of a certain age who demonstrate an interest or who have a talent in the visual arts need to be in a refuge, a studio if you will, where they can let their imagination free and experiment with a variety of expressive techniques."Gail Laferriere, AOF Visual ARts Chairperson for 42 Years

The creativity and energy of our students is on full display in our new Ordway Art Gallery. Visitors to this unique space will find hand-crafted oak cabinets created by our talented staff members and an Alumni Spotlight that currently features the photography of Rodney Smith '66. For more information about the Ordway Art Gallery, please contact Cristina Pinton, Chairperson of Visual Arts, at pintonc@avonoldfarms.com.

Featured Exhibits

StoneFox: Architecture Interior Design Art

The Ordway Art Gallery currently features the work of two alumni: Chris Stone ’88 and Andrew Corrigan ’98 have been working together at STONEFOX Architects, a full-service architecture and design firm inspired by the principles of Modernism and energized by an ongoing dialogue between art and the built environment, for years.

Christopher Stone and his partner David Fox founded the firm in 2002 with the belief that all that all successful architecture, interior design, and landscape projects are shaped by listening closely to clients and responding with the polished aesthetic dexterity that has become the firm’s hallmark.

Chris Stone brings over 14 years of experience in architecture and design to STONEFOX. With his passion for planning and detail, and his wide-ranging portfolio of corporate, artistic, and personal projects, Chris is able to anticipate new opportunities for creating spaces with lasting value. He can trace his love of art and design back to his time at Avon, where he says he was, “immediately captivated by the architecture of Mrs. Riddle’s Cotswold Village.”

Andrew Corrigan ’98 joined the firm after pursuing multiple interviews in the New York City area.

As young as six years old, Andrew recognized an interest in architecture & design: he witnessed the architectural possibilities and creation of a space that worked for his family as they build a home when he was young, and the famed architecture at Avon Old Farms only enhanced that interest in architectural design.

"I cannot think of a better example of how architecture influences a person's experience. The proportions of the school, the layout of the dorms, classrooms, and faculty housing - every little detail is a lesson in thoughtful design. Theodate's vision of creating a small village in which the school community interacted regularly steered the way we all lived, and the way we learned."

Designs and photographs of their work will remain on display in the Ordway Gallery for the 2018-19 school year. 

Discover more about STONEFOX

 

Avon Old Farms Student Artists

Students from the Afternoon Independent Project Program have several paintings on display in the Ordway Art Gallery. Additionally, Al Funai from the Class of 1955 donated eighteen pieces of pugilistic art to the school.  Through the strong efforts of our art department, David Rothschild '05 who assisted with the appraisal of the collection, and the maintenance staff, part of the collection is now on display in the art gallery between the Commons and the Casey Brown Auditorium.  

The collection features the first "Fight of the Century" - April 17, 1860 - between Englishman Tom Sayers and American John Heenan. 

 

 

 

Permanent Dedication Display to Honor Gail Laferriere

In 1970, Gail Tyskwicz Laferriere was hired as the first full-time female faculty member to live on the campus of Avon Old Farms School. Her job was to take hold of the scattered art department. Gail married soon after starting her work at Avon, and quickly became known around campus as ‘Mrs. L.’

Throughout her tenure at Avon, Mrs. L became synonymous with the visual arts at Avon - she planned annual art trips to New York City, helped develop award-winning yearbooks, and created the annual Commencement Art Show. Also of note, Mrs. L was a guiding hand in the creation of the original Ordway Art Gallery housed in the water tower.

Mrs. L remembers teaching her first ceramics classes in the classroom off of the Chapel, and others in the old studio in Brown House. The opening of the Estabrook Fine Arts Center in 1989 was a milestone for the visual arts, providing a visually engaging and comfortable space that has remained Gail’s “home” for nearly 25 years. After 42 years of carrying the Avon art department and bringing it a point where it would live off of its own momentum, it was time for Mrs. L to retire and start a new chapter of adventure in her life – a chapter full of travel.

Mrs. L has been publicly recognized for her extraordinary efforts on several occasions. She won the Swan Award from the WALKS Foundation in 1991 for her high standard of teaching, character, and leadership, and was named Avon’s Teacher of the Year in 1992. She has exhibited in many regional galleries—and as far away as Italy—and her works can be found in American and international corporate and private collections.

Exhibit Archive

Rodney Smith '66

Last spring, as part of the grand opening of the Beatson Performing Art Center's Ordway Art Gallery, four pieces of photography done by alumnus Rodney Smith '66 were hung as the inaugural 'Alumni Spotlight.'

Rodney Smith '66 made pictures for nearly half a century. He found his calling while an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, but he did his graduate work at Yale in theology and art—training that he parlayed into a fellowship in Jerusalem, where he took the photos that would become his first book, In the Land of Light. After his return to the United States, he broke into the world of portrait photography, making his mark as a sought-after fashion photographer and artist. Throughout it all, he had retained his signature aesthetic and sense of humor. His personality was of another era, his style is timeless, and he only shot film. Smith's books include The End, The Book of Books, The Hat Book and Rodney Smith Photographs.

To support the arts at Avon, the Rodney Smith Studio Ltd will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from the sale of any signed/editioned prints from their website to the Arts Department at Avon Old Farms.

"With the support of the studio, now the person who buys a print not only gets a beautiful piece of artwork that is very worthy, but also get the satisfaction of knowing the supported art education," said Cristina Pinton, Visual Arts Chair at Avon Old Farms.

Spaces & Places Exhibit 2018

In February 2018, Avon Old Farms School hosted a 13-school collaborative Spaces & Places art exhibit in its Ordway Art Gallery. The show featured artwork by middle and high school students from the local area.
 
“This show’s purpose was to build a collaboration between young artists in the local area and to provide a space for us all to celebrate the arts together,” said Visual Arts Chairperson Cristina Pinton. “Local schools have been trying to organize a show like this for years, and I was honored to host such an event at Avon Old Farms.”
 
Schools that participated in the show include: Avon Old Farms School, Henry James Memorial School, Simsbury High School, Ethel Walker School, Kingswood-Oxford School, Grace Academy, Westminster School, Miss Porter’s School, Avon Middle School, Avon High School, Irving A. Robbins Middle School, Bristow Middle School of West Hartford, and Renbrook School. Each school was allowed to submit up to three pieces of art, of any medium.
 
Special guest Rich Connell of S.L.A.M. Collaborative will serve as awards juror.
 

view photos from the exhibit

Pugilism Special Display

Additionally, Al Funai from the Class of 1955 donated eighteen pieces of pugilistic art to the school.  Through the strong efforts of our art department, David Rothschild '05 who assisted with the appraisal of the collection, and the maintenance staff, part of the collection is now on display in the art gallery between the Commons and the Casey Brown Auditorium.  

The collection features the first "Fight of the Century" - April 17, 1860 - between Englishman Tom Sayers and American John Heenan. 

view photos of display

Theodate Pope Riddle and Avon Display Case


Given that it is Theodate Pope Riddle’s 150th birthday and Avon’s 2027 centennial is only a decade away, a new exhibit display case will be dedicated to Mrs. Riddle in the Ordway Art Gallery. The display is an exceptional way to celebrate Avon Old Farms and Mrs. Riddle’s legacy. The exhibit displays: some of the original tools used by local craftsmen to forge, carve, and chisel this campus into being; original hardware, elevation drawings of Mrs. Riddle’s vision for this building complex; and photographs of the campus being constructed by hand in the 1920s. We are grateful to the Class of 1963 Differ Fund for underwriting the cost of this exhibit.