Art Exhibits Provide Beauty Aplenty

            If you are still finding it difficult to go to art museums, look no further than the Marion Council on Aging and the Marion Art Center to get your visual art needs satiated.

            On September 9, two painting groups came together in a joint exhibit now on display at the Marion Council on Aging. Coordinating the exhibit is Mary Ross, longtime art aficionado, art exhibit promoter, and visual artist in her own right. Ross, with great success, has brought together the talents of the Rochester COA Monday Morning Art Group and the Canal Side Artists. Both groups are filled with painters from the Tri-Town area and beyond, painters whose works speak to their passion for the art form and their ability to execute glorious visual refreshment.

            While the Monday Morning group doesn’t have an instructor, Helen Johnson was the de facto organizer on this night. She said the intent of the group is to “support one another and give friendly critiquing,” while exploring the richness that painting brings to their lives. Johnson is herself a masterful painter with floral renditions both lush and gentle.

            The Rochester group has been going strong for about 10 years with artists working in a variety of mediums.

            Janet Smith-Flaherty of Rochester has been with Canal Side Artists for a number of years. Her watercolors are delicate pieces evoking stained-glass-like visuals. She has recently started to use yupo paper, a synthetic product made from water-resistant polymers. Smith-Flaherty said that, given watercolors, her preferred medium, do not get absorbed by the “paper” but in fact dry on the surface, one will either paint with the yupo lying flat, or move it to create deeper textures. On her pieces of yupo, Smith-Flaherty created a color pallet over which she drew floral representations resulting in finished works of unique stained-glass appearance.

            Kate Furler, instructor to the Canal Side Artists, said that in the past the group had submitted paintings to the Secretary of State Office for a juried events for seniors who paint. “Individuals received awards,” she stated. Recently, global conditions put a stop to those events, but she hopes that one day her group will once again participate at the state level. Of the painting group, Furler said, “We welcome everyone.”

            Jane Egan, formerly of Mattapoisett, another member of the Canal Side Artists, had several pastel works on exhibit, most notably a tiger and a swan. Pastels with their rich textures and deep saturated colors worked wonderfully here to give the animals pelts and feathers versus flat effects.

            The artists from the two groups whose paintings are now on display at the Marion COA are: Egan, Furler, Smith-Flaherty, Johnson, Janet McDonald, Jennifer Cipriano, and Judy Tallman.

            On September 10, it was the Marion Art Center’s turn to fling open its gallery doors and let all comers feast their eyes on works by Marion residents Sarah Brown and Judy Carver in a two-person show extraordinaire.

            The petite galleries of the MAC were splashing over with natural scenes from ocean edge to farm pastures in an exquisite display of gifted talent, technique, and, of course, use of color.

            Brown, who is a well-known instructor as well as painter, said of this exhibit of her work, “Water is my inspiration.” And that is evident as one passes by canvases covered in pastels that bring moving water to the edge of spilling over and light filtering through setting suns and cloud cover.

            Carver’s pieces are watercolors that demonstrate her masterful grasp of the medium, especially when painting fine architectural details she observed in her winter residence in the southwest.

            Both exhibits are open now through early October.

By Marilou Newell

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