Artistic Interpretations of Land Trust Properties

Wooded vistas, marshlands, trails thickly padded by fallen leaves, birds at rest, colors in shadow and light, the surprise of unexpected objects adorning a tree… The Marion Art Center’s show “The Lands of the Sippican Lands Trust” features all of these images and so much more, now on display through November 12.

The show is a masterful partnership between the Sippican Lands Trust and the Marion Art Center (MAC) that offered local artists the opportunity to render their impressions of these protected open spaces using a wide variety of mediums.

On October 12, the opening night reception quickly found artists and art lovers cheek to jowl as enthusiasm for the show swelled. The gallery walls were heavily covered with 39 pieces by 26 different artists whose creations were simply breathtaking.

Although this show was not juried, the level of artistic endeavor and achievement was unmistakable. From fabric to shadow box to oil pastel, from watercolor and oils to pencil images depicting land trust spaces, the artwork drew the viewers into a suspended moment in time.

While there were a fair number of local professional artists, works on display also included first-timers such as young Blake Gagne of Rochester, whose shadow box titled “Dragon Lair” delighted the attendees. His mother, Michelle Wood, also entered pieces of fanciful fairies created in pencil, making it a family affair.

Professional artist and teacher Sarah Brown selected the White Eagle property for her pastel landscape, while Janet Smith-Flaherty of Rochester, who has been painting for 18 years, joined her friend and fellow artist Jane Egan of Lakeville visiting land trust properties.

“We had a fun day making sketches and taking photographs to bring back to our studios,” Smith-Flaherty said.

Egan, a Mass Art graduate, has had her own exhibition in the past at the MAC. Working in oil pastels, Egan said doing so was a “messy affair,” but the end result is a rich, layered, dense work of art.

Sippican Lands Trust Director Jim Bride explained, “It’s the third time the art center has held this event. We take the artists out on walks in the properties so they can be familiar with the spaces.”

And finding inspiration in one of the many natural settings isn’t difficult. The artists selected locations such as Kenney’s Landing, Brainard Marsh, Peirson Woods, White Eagle, Ludes Estuary, Benson Brook, and Piney Point to name a few.

“I love the idea of this collaboration,” MAC board member Jennifer Webb said.

MAC Executive Director Jodi Steven added, “This is the third year we’ve done this show with the land trust … on an every other year basis. … The result is wonderful.”

Given the number of guests attending the opening reception, it is clear that the collaboration is a natural pairing. Visit for dates and times.

By Marilou Newell

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