life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for July, 2014

Long River Studios: Lyme’s “Hidden Gem”

I didn’t write this one; the new owner of Long River Studios did. But it was so well done that I wanted to publish it somewhere. (I’m still not sure how to get it in the magazine, or on the website, or in an eNews.) Let me know if you think it is a good idea to get more advertisers involved in editorial, and what you think of this article:

Long River Studios: Lyme’s “Hidden Gem”

By Dave Celone

Lyme has a hardware store, an Italian restaurant, and two inns that flank the quintessentially northern New England town common replete with cannon, statue, and kids playing soccer. It’s a local scene, and one you may have driven by often, maybe even this past winter when the townspeople set up an ice skating rink on the Common. Lyme remains, well, pretty much as it was back in the day, with those who live here feeling as though they’ve found their own little slice of nirvana to call home.

Yet, there’s more to Lyme than meets the unaided eye. Tucked away behind Mascoma Bank is Long River Studios. This fine art gallery, fine craft studio and gift shop has been in Lyme for more than 22 years! Started by a group of women who wanted a place to show off the artistic talents of their friends and neighbors, Long River Studios has moved from one end of the Common to its present location at 1 Main Street as it has grown and thrived over the decades.

Long River Studios (LRS) features fine art and fine craft from local artists whose talents we are so fortunate to have in our region. The Upper Valley is well represented with artists from Hanover, Norwich and Windsor to Orford, Thetford, Lyme, Lebanon, Bethel and beyond. There are some further flung artists from New Hampshire and Vermont, and even a few from Maine, but, for the most part, the work at LRS represents a great cross-section of Upper Valley art and craft talent.

Stepping into Long River Studios is like poking your head into your favorite gift shop, or like a kid who looks, wide-eyed, at the colorful candy counter of old for the first time. There are beautiful, handmade bowls of wood and clay, glassware, jewelry, window disks, wooden spoons and spatulas, scarves and socks, handbags and books, children’s toys, stuffed dolls and clothing for American Girl dolls, timepieces, hand carved pens, pottery and handcrafted occasional furniture of all shapes and sizes. There are even some delicate hand-blown glass earrings over which people marvel, plus some new discoveries like Bee’s Wrap that replaces plastic wrap in organic and biodegradable style for your kitchen. And that’s just in the front room!

Wandering back into the art gallery is a whole new experience that thrills art aficionados as well as art novices. Here, the artistic talent of the Upper Valley is on display like no other place around. From oil on canvas to woodblock printing to acrylic on board, there are landscapes, abstracts, photorealism, impressionism, photography, piezography and more. A visit to LRS will make your inner child dance in wonder and amazement at what can exist in this world — and so close to home.

Long River Studios was recently “inherited” by new partners, Dave and Lisa Celone. There seems to be a new energy infusing the Studios, as more new artists and craftspeople find their way to its front door and beyond. There’s even a coffee maker that makes some pretty decent coffee and chai latte to be sipped as you listen to classical music. A newly added patio with bright red French bistro tables and chairs is an inviting place for locals and visitors to sit and chat under the summer sun. A local artist is almost always on hand as a shop sitter to help answer your questions. LRS often features artist demonstrations and Lisa serves wild blueberry buckle, a recipe that she received long ago from her grandmother.


A trip to Lyme is always a treat, but the next time you visit, plan on adding some extra time to include a look at Long River Studios and the collective of close to 100 fine artists and fine craftspeople.

“The old adage, art saves lives, is as true today as it’s ever been,” says Dave Celone. “That life may be theirs, or yours, or whoever gets enjoyment from the locally made crafts or lovingly labored-over paintings and prints that grace the shelves and walls of Long River Studios.”

LRS hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment at

Dave Celone lives in Lyme and is a partner in Long River Studios with his wife, Lisa. He enjoys most outdoor activities, and is pursuing a master of fine arts degree in writing. Dave has been active in Upper Valley art, education, and nonprofits for more than 25 years. He’s lived in South Royalton, Thetford and Lyme.