Tiny Art

 

"Tiny Art":  A New Exhibit and Reception at Local Colors

Local Colors Artists' Cooperative, now in its 28th year, celebrates its annual art event with a special art exhibit titled TINY ART. This theme, which also coincides with Local Colors Artists' Cooperative 28th anniversary, is a new undertaking for the Co-op as most shows have a more specific subject such as a "fish" or the "sea". This show challenges the artists by limiting the size of the work, but not the subject or medium  they choose. The gallery will highlight the new work of the 16 members from September 30 through October 20th with a reception on Saturday, October 14th from 5 to 8 PM at Local Colors Artists' Cooperative, 121 Main St. in Gloucester.

Each of the 16 artists created work that is approximately 6 by 6 inches or smaller on any subject(s) according to the artist's calling. For special events as this, the artists are encouraged to create works outside their usual medium to allow for growth and expansion of their creative talents.

Donna Amero, a stained glass artist and the only remaining founding member of the cooperative, created a 1 1/2" square glass treasure box with a small pearlized nautilus shell in the lid. She also designed 3" by 6" stained glass "window" panels. She found the theme fun and challenging. She says, "It gives us an opportunity to offer a small piece of art that will fit anywhere at an affordable price."

Kathy Bucholska, a member for 27 years, submitted small sculptures, mixed media and jewelry.  Kathy says,  "My favorites are my "Tiny" sculptures. All three have a petrified wood base supporting either a jasper sphere, an ancient ammonite or carved bone animal totem ranging from 6 by 3 inches to 3 by 3 inches and relate the meaning of the symbols, stones or fossils."

“I love when we do these shows and need to come up with something new,”  Ann Schlecht, a jewelry designer remarks. Ann created a 2 1/4" by 1 1/4" Flower Pot Pendant using her grandmother’s thimble and filled it with wire soil and many different colored sea glass flowers. She recognizes it is always a challenge to come up with a theme that appeals to a diverse group of artists as well as to the public.

Jacqueline Bennett, a painter and our newest member did several 6" by 6" paintings called "Sparkle Flowers" in acrylic with a gold and copper leaf. "My initial reaction to the theme was feeling constricted by the small size, but I had fun with these," says Jackie.  Penn Weston, a woodcarver and another recent member, carved a 6" by 1" baby cormorant. "The idea came to me when I saw a likeness (of it) at a display in Norway at a village near the Arctic Circle," says Penn noting he also carved the mother cormorant which is also available.

Sally Seamans aka Tin Can Sally has made a series of tiny house collages. Each piece is a little over 3" square. "Making these small collages entirely out of found recycled tin was quite a challenge for me," Sally says "but I enjoy challenges."

Pat Doherty, a painter, painted a 4" by 4" oil on canvas of a Gloucester sunset. "I love painting the bright colors found in our Gloucester sunsets. It doesn't change the pleasure I feel when painting whether it is a two foot by four foot painting or a four inch by four inch painting. The color and light found in Gloucester cannot be surpassed," adds Pat.

One of our potters, Virginia Townsend, used sticks from her hydrangeas to create whimsical 4" by 4" ceramic fish tiles. She says through her inspiration from the Cape Ann sea, salt and sand, she keeps her coastal pottery fun.

You'll also find small alarm clocks with 2" diameter photos of Cape Ann in the face made by Jim Sousa, a photographer. He sees these creations as fun mementos that allows you to take a little bit of Cape Ann with you anywhere yougo.

Other members displaying work are Bob Kulchuk and Jim Trudeau for their wheel thrown pottery, Susan Ingram and Marion Rayner for their inspiring and often locally themed paintings, Joe Higgins for his fish prints, Christine Garrigan, a tie-dye artist and Dave Katz, a photographer.

The members are excited to offer to the community, as the founding member Donna Amero says, "a small piece of art that will fit anywhere at an affordable price." The TINY ART show runs from September 30th through October 20th with an evening reception on October 14th from 5 to 8pm, open and free to the public. The hours beginning October 1 are from 10am to 6pm, Sunday through Saturday. The phone number is 978-283-3996.

 

 

tiny2.jpg

For the Birds

 

"FOR THE BIRDS":  A New Exhibit at Local Colors 

September 9th till September 29

 Jim Sousa, an 8 year member of  Local Colors Artists Cooperative, is presenting a special show of his photographs of various birds on various mediums entitled "For the Birds".  He is donating half of all sales from the show to the Mass Audubon Society.  There will be a reception with light refreshments on September 9, 2017 from 5 to 8 PM. Penn Westman, another member and woodcarver,  will be giving a bird woodcarving demonstration during the reception. The reception and show are free and open to the public at Local Colors, 121 Main Street, Gloucester, MA. The show will run from September 9 to the 30th.

 Fascinated by the photographs he saw in National Geographic as a child, he imagined it would be a great job to travel and photograph wildlife. Although not yet a fulltime endeavor, Jim takes every opportunity to photograph wildlife  as often as possible. Jim says that he has a "hobby gone wild." One of his best experiences was photographing puffins in Newfoundland. With research he found an island off the Newfoundland coast where you could walk onto the island to catch the puffins in their habitat instead of taking a boat to an island.

 

 He further explains why he chose Mass Audubon as a recipient of his sales. "I have been photographing landscapes and wildlife for many years and some of my bird photos were shot in Audubon wildlife sanctuaries.  I decided to donate proceeds to them so people like me will continue to have a place to capture these beautiful creatures" says Jim. He also printed a limited edition of50 of his Bird Posters (24 x 36) for his show in which he will also donate to MASS Audubon.

 Jim will be showing photographs (printed on photo paper, watercolor paper and even wood!) of Finches, Cardinals, Puffins, Ospreys, Hawks, Woodpeckers and waterfowl among others. His show will be on display from September 9 to the 30th.

Local Colors is located at 121 Main Street, Gloucester, MA , 978-283-3996.

ForTheBirds.jpg

"Dramatic Nature" with Patrica Doherty

 "Dramatic Nature" is the theme of Patricia Doherty's new oil paintings which will be on display at Local Colors Gallery, 121 Main Street in Gloucester from July 29 until August 18.She loves capturing on canvas the profusion of color seen in the sky and reflected in the water at sunrise and sunset. Her oil paintings are all one of one with no prints made. There will be a reception on July 29 from 7 until 9 pm when you can meet the artist. There will be live music and light refreshments. Please come and enjoy.

upload.jpg

Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos)

Come and join us on 29th July from 6 pm to 8 pm for refreshments, fun and music. See our Day of the Dead art display and write a message on our remembrance altar. 

Hope to see you there!

Local Colors Artists' Cooperative

 

 

COME IN AND MEET MIRANDA IN PERSON!!

We had a wonderful time and thank you all for coming . 

We had a wonderful time and thank you all for coming . 

The brains behind the operation . . . . 

The brains behind the operation . . . . 

Jim Sousa 

Jim Sousa 

Glostoberfest 2016

Glostoberfest

A New Exhibit and Reception at Local Colors

 

Local Colors Artists' Cooperative, now in its 27th year on Main St, is celebrating art, autumn and Cape Ann with an Oktoberfest flair and  a new exhibit with reception. The exhibit begins October 1 through October 22. The kickoff of this celebration is a  reception at Local Colors, 121 Main St. in Gloucester on Saturday, October1 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The public is invited and light refreshments will be served.

This year's theme, GLOSTOBERFEST, a play on the traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest with its cultural and beer festivities  "combines the celebration of art, the change in seasons,  Cape Ann, and the Spirit of the Oktoberfest" says Jim Sousa, photographer, who originated the idea. "It brings a festive atmosphere to the expression of new work by the 20 Local Colors' artists." Jim designed a 20 x 48 inch canvas wrapped photograph that combines several images creating a whimsical Gloucester evening skyline with the silhouetting various beer steins with local buildings.

"It's fun to bring into the community ideas from other cultures and make them our own" says Kathy Bucholska, a mixed media artist and jewelry designer. Kathy created a mixed media piece using beer caps from the Cape Ann brewery as it "melds local beer with a German Oktoberfest flair."

In the last 12 months or so, Local Colors Artists' Cooperative was fortunate to welcome several new members as well as a few returning members:

Sydney Smith, a recent member submitted pastel and acrylic images that  depict fall and the harvest.  She says she focused on "small paintings of fruit and the landscape as the colors change into oranges, reds, and brown.” Sue Ingram, a new member, submitted a painting of Good Harbor Beach which she considers "one of the most popular and beautiful beaches in Gloucester."

Two other new members, David Anastasi and Marion Raynor, submitted some very unique pieces. Dave, a photographer  is visually exploring the parallels between beer and fish through macro-photography and Marion, a painter, inspired by the beautiful interior of Cape Ann, painted three watercolors meant to be hung together entitled Cape Ann Woods.

Pat Tosches, a former member who recently returned, went outside her usual pottery medium and painted a rare blue lobster on canvas paying homage to "Gloucester, home of the ubiquitous lobster - yet if you are lucky you will catch a rare one," she notes. Christine Garrigan, a tie-dye artist and another returning member, submitted a colorful child's dress saying she "drew her inspiration from the ocean, the change of seasons, and the beautiful sunsets we enjoy here in Gloucester." Her designs are festive and bright.

Meanwhile, Donna Amero,  the only remaining founding member, plans to make a stained glass lamp in autumnal colors and a glass Buried Treasure creation housing locally found "treasures." Pat Doherty,  a painter, submitted a magnificent Gloucester September sky painting noting "the fall skies here are so dramatic and beautiful. I love painting them."

Darren Taylor, a woodworker, made a bar with stools and other accessories which  lends a festive Glostoberfest feeling. He reclaimed the cypress wood he used from the water tower of the building originally known as the Good Harbor Fillet built back in 1917. The former location is now the home of  the new  Beauport Hotel. Virginia Townsend, a potter, designed beer steins (a nice complement to Darren's bar) with the "Man at the Wheel" motif as the theme brings to mind "being with friends and drinking local brewed beer."

"For the theme, I thought of autumn using trees as inspiration" says Ann Schlecht, jeweler. "I made amber flow earrings (tree resin) with sterling silver wire, 'leaf peeper' necklace with copper and brass handcrafted leaves, and a copper/sterling vintage leaf with a freshwater pearl acorn." Sally Seamans, aka Tin Can Sally, made bracelets out of many new and vintage beer cans " in recognition of Oktoberfest, the world's largest 16-day beer festival - attended by over 6 million people."

Other members displaying work for the Glostoberfest event are Bob Kulchuk and Jim Trudeau for their wheel thrown pottery,   Bonnie Gray for her oil paintings, David Katz for his creative photography, Ian Commissiong for his fiber art and fish skin framed pieces and Joe Higgins for his Gyotaku fish prints. The work expected is as varied as the current 20 members and their unique art.

For special events as this, the artists are encouraged to create works outside their usual medium to allow for growth and expansion of their creative talents. All the work for this event is displayed on the featured wall and in the front windows of the gallery.

The current hours are 10am to 6pm, Sunday through Thursday and 10am to 8pm on Friday and Saturday and beginning Oct 2, the hours are 10am to 6pm.. The members will be identified with name tags and look forward to greeting the public at the October 1 reception.

upload.png
upload.png

Local Colors welcomes Mandela Washington Fellows from Africa

On July 9th Local Colors hosted a reception for 25 Mandela Washington Fellows participating in a six week Business and Entrepreneurship Institute at Cambridge College.  The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative designed to build connections between rising leaders from across the African continent with individuals and communities across the United States.  The 1000 Mandela Washington Fellows participating in the program this year were selected by the State Department from over 49,000 applicants for this highly competitive program.  The Fellows visiting Local Colors are all entrepreneurs having established vibrant enterprises in a broad range of business sectors.

The Fellows were eager to engage with our artists and learn about the co-operative model used so successfully by Local Colors for over twenty five years.  The Local Colors model of working together as a community of artist entrepreneurs has catapulted several of our artists onto the national scene so successfully.  The energy and enthusiasm was palpable throughout the gallery as the artists and Fellows shared in their mutual love of creativity. One Fellow summed up as "this is incredible."  

 

 

 

New Artist

This past year, Local Colors Artists' Cooperative has been pleased to welcome seven new artists, four in the past month alone. The artists are Dave Anastasi - abstract photography, Christine Garrigan - fiber art of Dancing Barefoot Custom Tie-Dye,  Susan Ingram - watercolor painting,  Pat Tosches - Amethyst Hill Design hand painted ceramics,  Jim Trudeau - wheel-thrown functional pottery,  Sydney Smith - oil and pastel painting,  and Marion Rayner - watercolor painting. The cooperative now has twenty artists and is in its 26th year.  One of the artists is always on duty to welcome the public at 121 Main St. Gloucester. Hours: daily 10am-6pm, Fri. & Sat. 10am-8pm.

 

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Celebration

at

LOCAL COLORS

ARTISTS' COOPERATIVE

121 Main Street, Gloucester, MA

 

Saturday, October 24, 6-8:30 pm

 

Dia de los Muertos is a joyful, colorful fiesta

that honors those who have gone before us and who

have been our source of inspiration

 

On Special Display - Day of the Dead art

 

Fishtown Art: A new exhibit and Reception

Local Colors Artists' Cooperative, now in its 26th year on Main St, celebrates its annual FISH event from May 30th to July 4th with a special art exhibit titled FISHTOWN ART. This annual event, which also coincides with St. Peter's Fiesta and celebrates the fishing tradition and natural beauty of Cape Ann through art. The highlight of this celebration is a reception at Local Colors, 121 Main St. in Gloucester on Friday, June 19th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The public is invited and light refreshments will be served.

This year's theme FISHTOWN ART captures a broad view of our fishing history and traditions as well as Cape Ann's natural and manmade resources. Each of the 16 artists interprets the theme according to their artistic calling. For special events as this, the artists are encouraged to create works outside their usual medium to allow for growth and expansion of their creative talents. The members installing the exhibit never know for sure what to expect until the actual installation. All the work for this event is displayed on the featured wall and in the front windows of the gallery.

This event has evolved over the 25 years I have been a member" says Kathy Bucholska, a mixed media artist and jewelry designer. "To honor the relevance Cod fish have been in the historical development of Cape Ann's fishing industry, I designed a mixed media piece that pays homage to the mighty cod fish." The mixed media piece is designed from embellished domino, scrabble and tile pieces entitled "In Cod, we trust." 

Donna Amero, the only remaining founding member, created a 20" round clear and iridescent stained glass piece with beveled pieces of swimming dolphins. "I was inspired by the playful and carefree nature of the dolphins I have seen on local whale watches. I am so grateful to have such natural resources in our backyard."

Sally Seamans, aka Tin Can Sally, created a one of a kind, intricate tin collage using her most colorful tins. "I thought about what Fishtown means to me and designed my interpretation of Fishtown's scenic skyline to honor the exhibit." 

Another piece, submitted by Ann Schlecht, is a pendant made from a vintage silver plated fork in the form of a fish. "I see a connection between an ordinary dinner fork transformed into an abstract fish as it symbolizes the nourishment fish have provided for us over the ages."

Pat Doherty painted a 12 x 24" oil of a Gloucester cove at sunset. Pat says "The vivid colors and special lighting we experience in Gloucester is like no other place in the world. We are so fortunate. I am forever trying to capture that beauty in my art."

Also, Rusty Kinnunen will debut his latest handmade fine art screen print, “Early Start, Gloucester Harbor”, 18 x 24 inches, in a limited-edition of 150 prints and Virginia Townsend has hand painted one of the most iconic Gloucester images on to a serving platter, seen here in her kiln in Magnolia  The Man at the Wheel speaks for itself.  "Our theme this year - Fishtown Art - represents the incredible history of art in Gloucester" says Virginia.

Each member is asked to submit 2 to 3 pieces for the exhibit, so there will be much more on display.  Other members displaying work are Bob Kulchuk for his wheel thrown pottery, wood turning and fused glass; Bonnie Gray for her oil paintings, Darren Taylor for his woodworking and functional art furniture, Jim Sousa and David Katz for their creative photography, Ian Commissiong for his fiber art and fish skin framed pieces, Joe Higgins for his fish prints, Kate Webster for jewelry, mixed media and fiber arts, and Teri Scott Ludwig for her wearable art made from upcycled sweaters.

The current hours are 10am to 6pm, Sunday through Thursday and 10am to 8pm on Friday and Saturday. The members will be identified with name tags and look forward to greeting the public at the June 19th reception, but the exhibit is on view now.

25 Years on Main Street

Local Colors Artists' Cooperative celebrates its 25th year on Main St, Gloucester this October. The celebration which is open to the public includes an artists' reception on October 25th from 6 to 8 pm with new original artwork, live music, refreshments and a raffle to benefit the Cape Ann Animal Aid. The raffle item is a stained glass nautilus piece donated by the remaining founding member, Donna Amero. "Having this raffle as part of our 25th anniversary celebration is our way of thanking the community for it's support over the last 25 years," says Donna.

Local Colors was started by a small group of local artists in the fall of 1989 in the space which is now Passports Restaurant. After a few years they moved further up Main St and came to their present location at 121 Main Street after a fire in the building on, ironically, Friday, July 13, 2001 forced the last move . "I was very lucky to secure our current location by Monday and we were up and running again in a little over a week. We are so fortunate to have our present space and landlord," remarks Donna.

As the only remaining founding member Donna still regards the ability to be part of such a business venture not only a great opportunity to display her work and be part of the community by meeting the public on her work days but also a chance to continue to grow artistically. Over the years, her membership was a catalyst in building up her stained glass business and commission work.

Local Colors is Cape Ann's oldest artists' cooperative where the artists share in the duties necessary to manage an ongoing business. The artists are able to offer "studio" prices as they receive 100% of their sales without paying a commission on pieces sold. Over the years the number of members have varied from a high of 33 to a low of 13. "I remember that low point," says Kathy Bucholska, a jewelry and mixed media artist and 24 year member. "There was real concern about our ability to continue with only 13 members, but we managed to recover fairly quickly." Kathy, who submitted a silver chain and gemstone necklace for the special anniversary display, appreciates her membership at Local Colors for the lasting friendships she has developed.

Many members stay for years while others sometimes don't go beyond the initial 6 month commitment. Some former members see Local Colors as having given them a start in the arts and others move on to open their own businesses. When Larry Martin-Bittman, a former member, joined Local Colors he felt he had a great interest in visual art but no formal artistic education thinking the label "primitive artist" reflected his artistic professionalism at the time. "It was the warm, friendly atmosphere and professional advice of the cooperative members that helped me to find my own artistic and visual language and opened the door to large Cape Ann audiences and customers. I feel very lucky that I was able to spend 10 years with this gallery. It was the most creative period of my life," says Larry.

There are currently 17 members whose reasons for being part of Local Colors varies as much as the artwork in the gallery. "I not only enjoy the artists with whom I work, I also enjoy getting to talk with people from all over the world who come into Local Colors," says Pat Doherty oil painter and member for 5 years who recently received a thank you note from a customer from Florida thanking her for her assistance when she was working. Pat is well known for her paintings of the Gloucester sunset.

A long time member, Kate Webster, a jewelry, fiber and mixed media artist who designed colorful necklaces for the exhibit, has a practical approach: "being a member of Local Colors keeps me in touch with other local artists and allows me to sell my work, which in turn enables me to buy more supplies to continue making new artwork."

The newest member, Teri Ludwig, who makes unique "upcycled" clothing feels "honored to be a part of such a fantastic group of artists" and gets her inspiration from the work in the gallery and appreciates the opportunity to explain her art to customers and answer questions that folks may have."

Members were asked to "go all out" in creating work for the anniversary display. For group displays, members are encouraged to create outside their medium. Ann Schlecht, a jeweler, did just that: "For our 25th anniversary, I have created a vest made with ribbon yarn with a newly designed sterling silver shawl pin sold separately." Jim Sousa, a photographer, submitted two photographs but not printed in the usual manner. One, a photograph of the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine, is printed on textured metal while the other of Fire Island Light in Long Island is printed with a triple diamond printed mat.

Bonnie Gray, a painter, submitted a piece called "Summer Bouquet" and believes the Cooperative provided her the opportunity to reinvent herself as an artist after her retirement from the Rockport School system. Sally Seamans, a tin artist and jeweler, appreciates the support of the community and it brings her immense joy when a customer says "You're Tin Can Sally? I LOVE your stuff!". She submitted a beautifully fabricated "tin" bird for the occasion. Virginia Townsend designed a profile of Thatcher Island for her platters representing the history and strength of Cape Ann.

These are just a few of the many pieces on special display from October 18 through November 7. The artists' celebration on October 25th from 6 to 8 pm is open to the public and current members invite all former members to come and help them celebrate!

Fish Tales

The Local Colors Artists' Cooperative, now in its 25th year on Main St, celebrates its annual FISH event from June 1 to July 4th with a special art exhibit titled FISH TALES. This annual event, which also coincides with St. Peter's Fiesta, celebrates the fishing community and natural beauty of Cape Ann. The highlight of this celebration is a reception at Local Colors, 121 Main St. in Gloucester on Friday, June 21st from 6 - 9 pm with refreshments that is open and free to the public.

This year's theme FISH TALES captures a broad view of our fishing community and Cape Ann's natural and manmade resources. Each of the 18 artists is free to interpret the theme according to their artistic calling. For special events as this, the artists are encouraged to create works outside their usual media to allow for growth and expansion of their creative talents. The members installing the exhibit never know for sure what to expect until the actual installation. All the work for this event is displayed on the featured wall and in the front windows of Local Colors.

"This event is so meaningful to me on many levels" says Kathy Bucholska, a mixed media artist and jewelry designer at Local Colors for 24 years. "Not only is it a celebration of the fishing industry and way of life, but the fish symbol brings special meaning to me. In my work I use the fish to represent abundance and spiritual nourishment." She submitted a 3 strand amethyst necklace with schools of fish beads. "Not only do I feel abundance and spiritual nourishment from the fish, but amethyst brings peace, protection and contentment."

Kate Webster who does jewelry, fiber art and mixed media expresses a similar sentiment. "When I make something fish related, I feel that I am honoring and celebrating the community that I live in and love so much."

Virginia Townsend was inspired by the biggest "fish tale" ever told by Herman Melville celebrating man versus nature here in New England. "I would like to honor this history by painting whales on a large platter representing the huge part whales play in the New England culture."

A few of the other pieces already submitted are:

· Bonnie Gray painted a dynamic surf fishing scene. "Surf fishing for striped bass is a popular sport here on Cape Ann. Fishermen can often be spotted along the Back Shore of Gloucester, all hoping to catch the big one. In my painting, I have tried to capture the thrill and excitement of the first cast of the day for that elusive striped bass. "

· Jim Sousa submitted some unique photographs. "Wood and rope were two of most used materials that were used in the early days of the Gloucester Fisherman. This has inspired me to use these in my prints where the Fisherman and the dolphin/mermaid were printed on birch plywood and used manila rope in the framing" says Jim.

· Ann Schlecht created a brand new charm of St. Peter, the Patron Saint of fishermen. Schlecht created the charm in celebration of the Fiesta and Gloucester's fishermen. "Each charm comes with a small picture of the iconic statue as well as a brief history and is available in silver or bronze. There is just one more of many other charms available."

· Lois Hertzler has included a unique photograph. She says "Every year, the members of Local Colors look forward to celebrating St. Peter's Fiesta with our community. I couldn't resist photographing the corner of an old gate that reminded me of a fish!"

· A longtime member, Sally Seamans, aka Tin Can Sally, supports the fishing industry by using recycled sardine, tuna and anchovy cans to make whimsical, fish wall ornaments.

· Patricia Doherty hand painted a fish and anchor on mirrors that were decorated using sea glass and pottery pieces we found on local Gloucester beaches with each piece being one of a kind.

Each member is asked to submit 2 or 3 pieces for the exhibit, so there will be much more on display. Other members displaying work are Donna Amero, the remaining founding member, known for her seashells imbedded in stained glass art; Stephanie Bowens for her fiber art; Bob Kulchuk for his wheel thrown pottery, wood turning and fused glass; Darren Taylor for his woodworking and functional art furniture, Ian Commissiong for his fiber art and fish skin framed pieces, Joe Higgins for his fish prints, Dave Katz for his creative photography, Rusty Kinnunen for his screen and linoleum block printing and our newest member, Teri Scott Ludwig for her wearable art made from upcycled sweaters and tee shirts.

he current hours are 10am to 6pm, Sunday through Thursday and 10am to 8pm on Friday and Saturday. The members will be identified with name tags and look forward to meeting the public at the June 21st reception, but the exhibit can be viewed beginning June 1 through July 4.

Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

FIESTA AT LOCAL COLORS ARTISTS' COOPERATIVE

Three artists from the Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative, Donna Amero, Kathy Bucholska and Lois Hertzler, are coordinating a unique event celebrating through art Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. This special exhibit which involves the work of at least 12 other members is on exhibit from October 19 through November 8. There will be a fiesta reception on November 2 from 6 to 8 PM with lively music and light refreshments “to celebrate the artists, family and friends who have gone before us and who have been our inspiration,” says member, Lois Hertzler.

The exhibit will highlight Day of the Dead art by 15 members as well as a festive ofrenda or altar where the public can leave a note of remembrance. “It is a holiday that is often misunderstood by New Englanders as it occurs around the same time as Halloween,” says Kathy Bucholska. “Unlike Halloween with its scary characters, this holiday celebrates the return of departed loved ones two days a year with food, photographs, flowers and drink.”

Celebrated originally in Mexico, this holiday welcomes back departed family members on the1st and 2nd of November through music, brightly decorated sugar skills and orange marigolds. It’s not a sad occasion but a happy one. Death is viewed as the continuation of life where the culture depicts a vibrant afterlife. The Day of the Dead art often depicts brightly festooned skeletons doing everyday activities as imagined in the afterlife.

“Since our Cooperative’s anniversary falls at approximately the same time of year as the Day of the Dead event, we are using this event as an opportunity to also celebrate our 24th anniversary and remember our humble beginning as well as those many artists who have passed through our doors” notes Donna Amero.

Since Day of the Dead art often involves satire and humor about the human condition, the window displays have a satiric theme. “An unsuspecting Miranda, adorned in a colorful tie-dyed shawl by member Christine Garrigan, fastened with a tin flower pin by member Sally Seamans and handmade tissue flowers in her hair by member Donna Amero, patiently waits for her dinner and wine seated at a wine barrel bistro table by member Darren Taylor. It’s a dinner that will never come as Luis, the chef, smartly attired in an apron made by member Ian Commissiong, overindulges on “cooking” wine and is, well, passed out with his spoon, empty wine bottle and pot," offers Kathy Bucholska. “We tried to incorporate the artists’ work into our skeletons and at the same time offer something a passerby can smile at.”

Before coming to Local Colors, Christine Garrigan worked with the Latino community in California where she was inspired by the community’s preparation for the holiday through the creation of art and remembrances. She learned the art of cutting a papel picado banner which is an intricate design created out of colorful tissue paper also on display with her tie-dyed mandala fabric creations.

Lois Hertzler offers several photographs showing skeletons doing everyday activities such as listening to an iPod while reading a book and Dave Katz, another photographer depicts a jubilant skeleton Red Sox fan. Jim Sousa, inspired by the famous artist Andy Warhol, offers a photograph of brightly colored skull heads in the Warhol tradition.

There are colorful paintings by members Bonnie Gray and Pat Doherty in the spirit of the theme as well as a skeletal like fish print by Joe Higgins. Donna Amero offers a unique stained glass skeleton fish and Tin Can Sally created an impressive mirror and frame of flowers, skulls and bones made from recycled tin. Kathy Bucholska designed mixed media pieces with unusual skeletons and skulls as well as jewelry using skull heads in various stones and metals. Virginia Townsend designed a sushi plate with a fish skeleton as the highlight.

Not to be missed are the diverse pieces of festive skeleton jewelry by Kate Webster and sterling silver fish skeletons on sea glass by Ann Schlecht. Ann went a step further by creating tributes to both her departed Mom and Dad who were a source of inspiration for her current work. Also offered are humorous Day of the Dead greeting cards.

The artists invite the public to enjoy the display, write a remembrance for the altar and celebrate the free event on November 2nd from 6 to 8 pm with light refreshments and festive music at 121 Main Street, Gloucester, MA, 978-283-3996

"Autumn's Up" at Local Colors

With summer winding down, things are warming up at Local Colors. The cooperative will open its “Autumn’s Up” exhibition on Sept. 7th. The exhibition will run through Sept. 28th, and will feature new work by the artists. On Sept. 14th, the artists will welcome the public to their semi-annual evening reception and open house, at 121 Main Street in Gloucester, from 6PM to 9PM.

The “Autumn’s Up” theme is a play on words with an oblique reference to Oktoberfest (think “bottoms up.”) In this spirit (so to speak), Cape Ann Brewery will present a tasting of microbrews at Local Colors on the evening of the reception. Appetizers and other beverages will also be served.

“Having our own early Oktoberfest is fun,” said Stephanie Bowens, a fiber artist at Local Colors, “But you can also draw a connection between the autumn, or harvest, season, and the new directions a number of our artists have been taking. A good harvest is the result of a season of growth and development. The same can be said for much of the new work currently exhibited, itself the result of artistic growth and development.”

Christine Garrigan, also a fiber artist, is presenting tie-dye pieces dyed to her signature color saturation. Pastel painter Kathy O’Brien is displaying her beautifully rendered views of the Ipswich and Essex marshes. Ian Commissiong, a fiber artist who creates colorful designs using Marimekko textiles, continues his experiments with the translucency and patterning of fish skin in glass-framed displays. Water-colorist Rusty Kinnunen has expanded into the graphic arts and is offering hand-pulled linoleum block prints of ocean motifs.

Other works include Sally Seamans’ (Tin Can Sally) collection of tin clocks, new work by photographers Lois Hertzler, Dave Katz, and Jim Sousa, Donna Amero’s colorful stained glass creations, and oil paintings by Pat Doherty and Bonnie Gray.

Woodworker Darren Taylor is presenting new furniture pieces, gyotaku artist Joe Higgins now offers prints of his larger scale original work, and Kathy Bucholska continues her mixed media experimentation with fossils and contemporary found and recycled materials. Stephanie Bowens offers knitted pieces in autumnal tones, Ann Schlecht has new beach glass, copper, and silver jewelry, and ceramicist Virginia Townsend now offers pieces in customized geographic coordinates. Pottery and fused glass by Bob Kulchuk, and creative mixed media work by Kate Webster complete the extensive offerings on display.

Local Colors is a cooperative of 19 artists from the Cape Ann area, all producing original art. Its members include glass artists, painters, jewelry designers, photographers, fiber artists, mixed media artists, ceramicists, and woodworkers. It is located at 121 Main St. in Gloucester. The current hours are 10am to 6pm, Sunday through Thursday, and 10am to 8pm on Friday and Saturday. The cooperative’s open house and reception celebrating “Autumn’s Up” will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14th, from 6PM to 9PM.