Lief Nilsson


Chester, CT artist Leif Nilsson paints the winning image

Connecticut’s Historic Gardens group is pleased to announce Chester, Connecticut artist Leif Nilsson (shown above with winning artwork) as the winner of its fourth annual Historic Gardens Day Poster Art Contest.

Launched in 2012, the Historic Gardens Day Poster Art Contest gives local artists a chance to showcase their talents while advertising this important, statewide event. The contest aims to join Connecticut artists with the group’s historically significant homes and gardens.  Along with a cash prize, the contest offers the winning artist widespread exposure – at the annual Connecticut Flower & Garden Show (February 23-26, 2017, booth 413), at each of the 15 Connecticut’s Historic Gardens sites throughout the year, and at Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day itself, an event that attracts thousands of garden lovers throughout the state and beyond. This year’s Historic Gardens Day takes place on Sunday, June 25, 12-4 pm.

Contest winner Leif Nilsson paints in an impressionistic style, en plein air to capture the beautiful surroundings of the Lower Connecticut River Valley he calls home. Leif (pronounced Layf) studied art at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, CT from 1980 through 1986, and continued his education on several sojourns to Scandinavia, Asia Minor and Europe. His painting style reflects the influence of early 19th and 20th century painters Monet and Bonnard for their use of color, Pissarro and Vuillard for composition, and Van Gogh for his energy. Leif has been a successful working artist for over 20 years. He exhibits his works at several galleries throughout the United States, as well as in his own studio in Chester, CT, Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery. You can see his works on his website or visit the artist’s studio at 1 Spring Street, Chester, CT, which is open weekends from noon to 6:00 pm.

The winning painting was inspired by the gardens at Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, and was painted there during the filming of the special production “Artists in the Garden, American Impressionism and the Garden Movement.”

Please visit this page later this year for 2018 contest rules. For more information in the meantime, contact Lea Anne Moran at