This August, our gallery features the oil paintings of Nancy Kepus. In this exhibit, ‘Nancy Kepus: A Journey In Art’, her love of nature comes through to the viewer. In the painting titled ‘Horses On the Move’ the power and the beauty of each the horses will take your breath away. From bears to rabbits and scenic views, each painting will draw you in to that world.
About the Artist:
Nancy was born in Kingston in 1922. She was just a baby when her parents moved to Michigan where her father found steady work.
Her art journey began when she moved to the state of Washington in the early ’70’s. She lived near an art center and being inspired by the beauty of the mountains, flowers and animals, she began painting classes.
Nancy’s natural talent came through as she delved into watercolors and oils. She was encouraged to enter her works in nearby fairs and many won awards. Her proudest was the ‘Drinking Horse’ painting which won Best In Show and People’s Choice. Nancy was also up to challenges when a neighbor mentioned that horses were hard to paint. As a result, Nancy completed the ‘Horses On the Move’ (24×36 oil on canvas) in less than three weeks. She extended her creativity to calligraphy and added writing with her own poetry. Using these works, Nancy entered contests. Her successes included winning trips to Alaska and Hawaii, as well as miscellaneous gifts. She continued watercolors when she moved to Florida. The flowers and beaches were her inspiration.
In 2007 she returned to her hometown, Kingston, where she participated with Violet Berry’s painting class at the Kingston Senior Center. Then at the age 80 and 90+, Nancy came to cherish the New England lighthouses and nature. She appreciated opportunities to paint with the group and welcomed the challenges to develop her skills with Violet’s keen instruction.
I am proud to share my mom’s story in art. Her presence can be felt through the way she saw the beauty around her.
This June, our display case features the sailboats and cars created by the members of Kingston’s Cub Scout Pack 49.
Each year, Kingston’s Pack 49 gathers together to take part in two fun and exciting Cub Scout traditions; the Pinewood Derby and the Raingutter Regatta.
The Pinewood Derby has been an annual tradition in scouting since 1953. With the help of their parents, the scouts must take a seven inch long block of wood, four nails, and four plastic wheels that have been provided to them, and then tap into their imaginations to come up with a design for their car. Next, they take that design and devote countless hours of hard work bringing that design to life. All of the scout families then gather together on race day and the Scouts take their cars and race against each other down the long, sloping track, putting their faith in gravity to get their car down the track the quickest.
The Raingutter Regatta is the sailboat equivalent of the Pinewood Derby. Only this time, the Scouts take their freshly crafted sailboats and go head-to-head in an exciting race down a water-filled rain gutter using nothing more than a straw to blow wind into their sails in an exciting dash towards the finish line.
Both of these events are about much more than just winning a race or who came up with the best design. In fact, these events teach the scouts many valuable skills and traits such as sportsmanship, engineering, craftsmanship, and creativity. Furthermore, it is an excellent way for children and their parents to spend time bonding while crafting these projects. This display represents just a few of the many spectacular sailboats and cars that came directly from the imaginations of the crafty Cub Scouts in Kingston’s Pack 49.
This June, our gallery features another unique display of posters from the collection of Stephen Lewis. In this exhibit, ‘Revolutionary Art’, we see the power of art to effect social change. Art in this form has been used historically to communicate a message and inspire individuals to take action. The power of the visual message draws their audience in with the beauty as well as the message.
Historically, posters were used by leaders or movements to educate and win support of people who were perhaps illiterate. Some of these posters represent powerful expressions by various poster artists. Others represent the viewpoint of states and political groups motivated by ideology. In a number of countries, posters are used regularly and extensively to convey ideas as well as to generate support for candidates for election. Posters are also an inexpensive way for a group to communicate a simple message. Frequently, posters are created for use for a very brief period and then are discarded and lost forever. It is unfortunate that many posters have suffered that fate. Posters can create a historical reference for a people, a movement or a society. Posters can be a very beautiful form of advocacy. As commercial advertising calls for more consumption, a political poster calls for more action.
This project is supported in part by Roofers Local 33, Painters District Council 35 and by Laborers Local 1249.
Stephen Lewis is a retired trade union leader. He has a collection of over 8600 posters and counting, which he has displayed over the past 17 years in many libraries around the state.
This May, the Kingston Public Library will feature those talented young artists from the Silver Lake Middle School 8th Grade Art Class. In this exhibit, ‘The Vision of 2023’ , the out of this world paintings and sculptures will inspire your imagination. This is your opportunity to see their creativity and imagination on display. You will be delighted when you see these works in our gallery, display case and the flat panels.
We are pleased to exhibit the work of the art students of Erica McGhee. This is their sixth annual exhibition here at the library.
From Erica McGhee to her Students:
I cannot express with words how proud I am of you. You have accomplished so much this year in art class. Art two is an advanced, fast pace class with many challenges and you all excelled beyond my hopes. We dove into many projects with many different materials and with each project you each took on the adventure and improved drastically.
What I love most about teaching you is your enthusiasm for art and your creativity. This year you have all made me a better teacher. You have allowed me to design projects for you that are advanced and fun. You should be proud of the work you have created over these past eight months. I was also your seventh grade art teacher and to be able to see where you have come from and the amount of improvement that has happened in two years has been wonderful and inspiring.
Art does not have to be a career in your future (unless you want it to be). What I want you to take away from this year in art is the love of creating. Being able to look at something and see the beauty in it. Being able to be creative is a gift that you have all explored this year. You have all pushed yourself through these projects, some days were harder than others, some projects we found more challenging than others, but in the end you all completed these projects with great attitudes and some amazing art came out of it.
Please continue your love of art. Please continue to stay creative people, and please always be proud of whatever you create because it comes from within you. Your art can be made to hang on a wall, it can be made for someone else, or it can simply be made for you, whatever the reason you make art allow yourself to enjoy it.
Thank you all for a wonderful year and I look forward to seeing what high school brings for each one of you 🙂
This April, the Kingston Public Library Art Committee features the 21st Annual Sacred Heart Middle and High School Exhibition. This exhibit features their paintings, drawings, digital photography, and mixed media. The students, under the direction of art teacher Julie Trahon, have brought their visions and talents to these unique creations. A reception will be held for the students on Saturday, April 27 at 12 to 2 pm in the library courtyard.
“In art, or “the looking class,” we learn to look harder and try to see things in a different light. We venture into our imagination, endeavor to express ourselves and share our unique perspective. “Through the Looking Class” is a collection of artwork and digital photography which reflects the lessons students have learned this year on the elements of art and the principles of design. These lessons include drawing still-lifes from observation, anatomy drawings, color studies, imaginative drawings, portraiture, multimedia projects, and digital photographs.
This exhibition provides a professional forum for student artists; another important purpose of this exhibit is to foster creativity and promote the importance of the arts in our schools.
This March, the breath of spring will be on exhibit in our gallery and display case with ‘A Preview of Spring: Floral Watercolors’ by Duxbury artist Patricia Flaherty.
Patricia Flaherty studied both English and art in college and pursued a career as an academic editor in Boston and Cambridge. In later years, upon moving to Duxbury, she focused on artistic endeavors, and after working in various media, was drawn to exploring the loose flowing effects that one can achieve from watercolor techniques.
Her work in this medium has sought to demonstrate the ways that water can interact with line, form, and color to elicit the less obvious aspects of the beauty of our surroundings and the artistic potential of the shapes and interactions of elements in the environment. She has applied this technique and design strategy in all her work, including still life compositions and rural landscapes, with a special emphasis on floral images.
Ms. Flaherty is a juried member of the Russell Gallery in Plymouth, the Cape Cod Art Association, and the Eastham Painters Guild. Her work has also been exhibited and received awards at juried shows sponsored by various other art organizations. Several of her paintings have been selected for publication in editions of the Eastham Summer Guide, and she has been a finalist several times in the North River Arts Society calendar competition. In addition, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Helen Bumpus Gallery in Duxbury.
This January, our gallery features the artwork of Eve Smerczynski. This exhibit features paintings, drawings, and pastels of landscapes, still lifes and more. Her use of color in her paintings and drawings is both vibrant and subtle. Eve’s confidence in her artwork and her choice of subjects is evident in this exhibit.
From the Artist:
My name is Eve. I am fourteen and live in Plymouth. I have had a great interest in art ever since I can remember. A few years ago, I started studying with local instructor, Heidi Mayo, who has helped me to get a better understanding of the type of artist I am.
My Favorite medium is pastels and I love to draw landscapes. Recently, I have been taking a small path into paint, because of my situation over the summer. This summer I dislocated my shoulder which resulted in surgery, but that didn’t stop me from my love of art. I talked to Heidi about my options and she encouraged me to start drawing with my left hand, which is my non-dominant hand. I started off rusty and couldn’t even draw a straight line, but with all the support and practice, I slowly got better and was able to draw again using my left hand.
That experience made me realize how much I took the small things for granted. I am back now drawing with my right hand and am feeling better than ever.
Some of the pieces that are on exhibit were done with my left hand. The techniques that I learned over the summer really helped me to make my drawing skills better. I draw whenever I can and keep at least two sketchbooks with me at all times, just in case an idea comes to mind.
Art is my passion and is what makes me the person I am. I hope you enjoy my exhibit and thank you for supporting me.
This January, our display case features a collection of Dedham Pottery. Included in this display are a clock, Christmas ornaments, salt and pepper shakers, a picture frame, bunnies galore, and more.
The Dedham Pottery Company was founded by Hugh C. Robertson, a fifth-generation Scottish potter, after he attended the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. He viewed the pottery from China which had a blood red crackled glaze and this inspired him to create his unique designs. In 1867, the family founded their first firm, the Chelsea Keramic Art Works in Chelsea, Massachusetts which operated from 1872-1889. It later became Chelsea Pottery US. In 1894, Chelsea Pottery purchased 10 acres of land in East Dedham for $6,500 and in 1895 Chelsea Pottery closed and moved to Dedham, MA where Dedham Pottery opened in 1896.
The pottery has a border of flora and fauna. The bunnies are well-known, but they also had 50 patterns which included elephants, lions, chickens, horse chestnuts, clover, butterflies, duck, owl, magnolia, iris, grapes, mushrooms, birds in an orange tree and many more. Artists painted the designs freehand and some initialed their work on the border and the bottom. The rabbit design was drawn by Boston Museum of Fine Arts teachers Alice Morse and J. Lincoln Smith.
The Dedham Historical Society owns the name and the original Dedham Pottery trademark. The Historical Society has the largest collection of Dedham Pottery on public exhibition. The Museum of Fine Arts also owns a collection.
“Great art speaks powerfully, inspires fresh thinking, and connects us to our past.”
This December, our gallery features five of the 40 selections included in the Picturing America series. In this exhibit, the ‘Mission Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion, 1755’, ‘The Peacock Room, 1876-1877’ by James McNeill Whistler, ‘The Boating Party, 1893/1894’ by Mary Cassatt, ‘The Dove, 1964 by Romare Bearden, and ‘The Sources of Country Music, 1975’ by Thomas Hart Benton. The Kingston Public Library applied for and was awarded this grant in 2002.
Picturing America, a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, told America’s story through its art in forty high-quality reproductions of selected masterworks of American art from 1100 to 1996. Designed to reach K-12 classrooms around the country, the project also features an in-depth Teachers Resource Book that provided educators with ideas and background information for using the works of art in core subjects, as well as a dynamic online compendium of lesson plans, interactives, and more.
During its lifetime, Picturing America was distributed to over 55,000 schools and public libraries. In partnership with the Administration for Children and Families in the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, it also served 20,000 Head Start centers across the country.
Although the active life of the project has now ended, the National Endowment is very pleased to continue to offer educators access to the digitized version of the Teachers Resource Book in five languages, with activities organized by elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as over a dozen lesson plans and interactives based on Picturing America works of art, through NEH’s EDSITEment website.
From the Chairman:
Picturing America is an initiative of the We The People program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Launched in 2002, We The People seeks to strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of America’s history and founding principles. To promote this goal, Picturing America brings some of our nation’s most significant images into classrooms nationwide. It offers a way to understand the history of America- its diverse people and places, its travails and triumphs-through some of our greatest artistic masterpieces. This exciting new effort in humanities education will expose thousands of citizens to outstanding American art, and it will provide a valuable resource that can help bring the past alive.”
In so doing, Picturing America fits squarely within the mission of the NEH. The Endowment’s founding legislation declares that “democracy demands wisdom.” A nation that does not know where it comes from, or why it exists, or what it stands for, cannot be expected to long endure-so each generation of Americans must learn about our nation’s founding principles and its rich heritage. Studying the visual arts can help accomplish this. An appreciation of American art takes us beyond the essential facts of our history and gives us insight into our nation’s character, ideals, and aspirations. By using art to help our young people to see better, we can help them to understand better the continuing drama of the American experiment in self-government.”
My own experience testifies to art’s power to stimulate intellectual awakenings. When I was a young child my parents visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and they brought home a souvenir that would alter my life: a portfolio of illustrations from the collections of the National Gallery. As I pondered these great works of art, I had the first glimmerings of what would become a lifelong pursuit: to study and understand the form, history, and meaning of art. This was my gateway to a wider intellectual world. Through that open door, I would delve into history, philosophy, religion, architecture, and literature-the entire universe of the humanities.”
I hope that Picturing America will provide a similar intellectual gateway for students across America. This program will help today’s young Americans learn about our nation’s history. And that, in turn, will make them good citizens-citizens who are motivated by the stirring narrative of our past, and prepared to add their own chapters to America’s remarkable story.
Bruce Cole Chairman National Endowment for the Humanities
This November, the Kingston Public Library will feature local award winners of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Senior Art Competition.
For the past four years members of Violet Berry’s oil painting class have been awarded prizes in the competition. This annual event is open to both professional and amateur events.
Each year entries must comply with a given theme. The submissions in the hundreds from more than 75 of the state’s cities and towns are displayed in the Commonwealth Museum each September. A luncheon and awards presentation is held at the museum at the end of September or early October.
The competition first began in 2011. To view past shows go to the website https://www.sec.state.ma.us/trs/trsgft/gftidx.