Lighting up Main Street

Decorated lighthouse project coming this summer


Addison Lezinsky, 9, a student at Eli Whitney Elementary School, holds up the concept that she and other Whitney students will include on a fiberglass lighthouse. — Melvin Mason photo

Many have traveled to the end of Prospect Drive to view the majesty of the Stratford Point Lighthouse.

This summer, those pining to see a lighthouse need only travel along Main Street, though the structures will be significantly smaller and a lot more colorful.

Professional artists and students from local schools are working with Stratford Street Sculpture to design artwork that will appear as part of a summerlong exhibit called Stratford Light The Way.

Organizers Aubrey Booska and Michelle Genuario wanted to emulate the success of the artistic bench project from 2015. This year, 20 scale model lighthouses will be uniquely decorated and placed along Main Street from Paradise Green through Stratford Center.

Booska said fellow teacher Julia Seeber encouraged using lighthouses for this year’s street art exhibit.

“We learned that they are super popular and people follow them. We thought they would be a good forum to use,” she said.

Mary Schiffer, a Stratford native now living in New Haven, works on her artistic lighthouse. — Melvin Mason photo

The fiberglass lighthouses are being decorated and painted at several schools in town and at a studio next to the Big Y supermarket near Hawley Lane Mall.

Mary Schiffer, a Stratford native now living in New Haven, spent Tuesday placing old maps and pictures of sea life-like oysters, horseshoe crabs, seaweed and seagulls on her lighthouse. She was inspired by her father, who shoveled mussels and used to catch bluefish and stripers off Long Island Sound.

“I’m an old Stratford girl and my family goes back many generations,” Schiffer said.

Addison Lezinsky, 9, a student at Eli Whitney Elementary School, said her project was inspired by Seattle artist Gary Hirsch. The Whitney lighthouse features a robot and dominoes, much like Hirsch’s designs.

“I like to paint and it’s fun to be a part of things,” Addison said.

Booska and Genuario said they know topping the benches project from two years ago will be tough. But they’re hopeful people will be anxious to take photos alongside the lighthouses as eagerly as they did the benches.

“We want to bring people from other communities to Stratford,” Booska said.

Booska and Genuario are hoping to have some of the lighthouses on display in the Memorial Day parade. An opening party will be held on June 13 at the Housatonic Boat Club off Elm Street near the Shakespeare Theatre.

About author
Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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