WESTERLY — Stonington summer resident Stephen Lash, chairman emeritus of Christie’s Americas, has been appointed to the newly-created role of Ocean House Advisor on the Arts.

On Saturday, Lash will inaugurate a new Ocean House arts program, "In Conversation with Stephen Lash," with hotel owners Charles and Deborah Royce, widely known for their support and promotion of the arts. The three will talk about the extensive art collection at the Ocean House and how it was acquired. The property has received global recognition for its collection of more than 250 pieces of work including those by Ludwig Bemelmans, French artist SEM, also known as Georges Goursat, Howard Chandler Christy, Garrett Price and other notable artists.

Lash, who served as chairman of Christie's Americas for more than a decade, has been tapped to grow the hotel's art program by bringing in well-known personalities and speakers for the new series of art talks and presentations tailored for resort guests and the Westerly area community.

 "Our goal is to create extraordinary experiences that foster creativity and enhance knowledge while giving individuals added pleasure in their Ocean House visit," said Daniel Hostettler, president and group managing director of Ocean House Management Collection the parent company for Ocean House, said in a statement. Adding Lash to the staff, "further elevates the property's art offerings, and provides a new level of programming for guests and local residents," he said.

Hostettler said Ocean House's programs compliment public interest in the arts. According to a survey from Americans for the Arts, 72 percent of participants said they enjoyed the arts in "non-art" venues, and 69 percent of the adult population believe the arts "lift them up beyond everyday experiences," he said.

Lash joined Christie's in 1976 and has been involved in many historic and record setting auctions. He is a trustee of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and New York Landmarks Conservancy, where he was chair for several years. He served on the board of the Preservation League of New York State and the co-chair of the Maritime Visiting Committee at the Peabody Essex Museum. Lash was the founder and first president of the Ocean Liner Museum, now part of the South Street Seaport. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale and his MBA from Columbia Business School. He and his wife Wendy Lehman Lash live in New York and spend summers in nearby Stonington.

— Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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