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.
This December, our display case features the blown glass icicles created by artist S. J. Davis.
S. J. Davis received his B.F.A. from Jacksonville University in 2012, where he studied with glass artists Mark Hursty and Bill Slade, One of the only persons ever to apprentice to Dominic Labino a co-founder of the American Studio Glass Movement with Harvey Littleton. Davis also studied under Brian Frus, the former Director of Education at Urban Glass in New York City and alongside Andrew Erdos while in college. After taking workshops at the Corning Museum with Matt Eskuche and Venetian Maestro, Gianni Toso, Davis moved to Boston in pursuit of a career in hot glass. He opened a contemporary glass studio/gallery space and in 2013 received the coveted “Best of the South Shore Editor’s Pick Award” from South Shore Living Magazine for his “hypnotic sculptures.” He has opened a glass studio in Jacksonville, Florida
Davis has exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe, and is included in many public and private collections. He has received commissions for his art work from the State of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the iconic Herring Cove Beach Bath House at the Cape Cod National Seashore, and many local businesses. His works have appeared in the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Alexander J. Brest Museum in Florida, the New Bedford Museum of Glass, Poudre River Gallery in Foco, the 263 Gallery in Cambridge, the Shimko Gallery in Palm Springs, California, Artist Exposure Gallery in Plymouth, MA, and many other places. Influenced by nature, Davis’ art demonstrates a deep reverence for the beauty in the natural world. He states, “While nature holds the key to our understanding of everything we could ever possibly imagine in the universe, the actual key itself, which unlocks the great mystery of the cosmos, is human imagination.”
“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.
This October, the Kingston Public Library will exhibit work by the students of A. Violet Berry in their Wednesday morning oil painting workshops. The students featured in this exhibit are Diane Wilson, Ruth Littman, Richard Stevens, Sue Mrosk, Rita Bento, Gail Burgess, Armando Enriquez, Bill Mello, Gladys McGarry, Maralyn “Gig” Paris and Bruce Faber. Their exhibit features a variety of animals, landscapes and more.
All of the students are senior citizens, most from Kingston. Some have painted before, but for many this class has been their introduction to painting.
For the past 15 years, Mrs. Berry, for many years an art teacher in the Kingston school system, has been teaching oil painting through the Council on Aging. Former Council on Aging Director Muriel Boyce made the original suggestion to Mrs. Berry and her late husband Patrick, and worked with them to plan and promote the class to seniors, and it has proven very popular; most of the students from the first class have continued through several years. Classes are held in the spring and fall at the Senior Center on Wednesday mornings.
The exhibit will be on view in the library’s gallery and display case throughout October.
This September, we feature the paintings of Sylvia Vaz. In this exhibit, many of the paintings are of places that have changed or are greatly altered. The others capture a moment in time that is gone.
From the Artist:
“I have lived in Kingston most of my life and at West Street since 1962. I graduated from Silver Lake Regional High School and attended the Massachusetts College of Art in 1959. I have taken art courses at Bridgewater State College over the past several years. I received great encouragement and support in my love of art from family, friends and teachers.”
“Art has always been very much a part of my life. I believe that when we are born, God stamps something on our soul, which is deeply ingrained in us forever. We do many things in life, but that which is in our core is always there waiting to be expressed.”
“Through the years, I have worked in many media, including sculpture, pen & ink, scrimshaw, charcoal, pastels, intaglio printmaking, acrylic and oil painting. Most recently, I have been “cartooning.” Great fun.”
“This exhibit is a collection of old and new paintings. I have explored many approaches to painting and have enjoyed experimenting with different styles. There is no end to the ways in which these images can be presented. Many of these subjects have a special significance to me, others so delightful I just had to paint them.”
This August, we feature the paintings and carvings of Ruth Goddard. In this exhibit, Ruth’s watercolors feature landscapes from New Hampshire, Rockport, and Canada. Many of her pieces highlight historical Wakefield locales and the Gloucester Lighthouse.
In the display case, Ruth’s among the carvings featured are a Box turtle, a Trojan horse, a Bald eagle, and the poet Robert Frost. She also painted on wood and metal. Her two decorative plates are included in this display.
Ruth attended the Massachusetts College of Art and then drafting school sponsored by the United States Government from there, she worked as a draftsman at Genrad Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, She also worked as a draftsman at the National Radio Company of Malden, and Lam Lighting in Wakefield.
Ruth was a brilliant watercolor artist and created hundreds of paintings for family and friends. Many of her pieces highlighted historical Wakefield locales. She exhibited at the Co-op Bank in Wakefield and the Wakefield Library. She was one of the Wakefield Art Association founders and won several prizes for her watercolors. Ruth was the President of the Wakefield Arts/Crafts from 1966 to 1968.
Ruth was a member of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Wakefield. She taught Sunday school and was very active in church activities. Out of the many things that she did…one was the artwork for the stone sign in front of the church, still there today.
As if she wasn’t busy enough–Ruth was a very active member in the Wakefield Garden Club for many years and, was a noted quilter, winning first prize for one of her quilts at a local show.
She and her family loved boating and spent many happy hours enjoying the ocean in Essex and Nantucket. She also loved figure skating where she met her husband of 58 years–Fred Goddard who was from Plymouth.
Ruth passed away on Friday, April 4, 2014 at the age of 91.
Today, we may see gypsy moths outside our homes or in our woodlands and think nothing of them, but this insect has a tumultuous history in the United States.
In 1869, an amateur entomologist imported this species from Europe to his home in Medford, Massachusetts. He intended to use the moths to breed a silk-spinning moth that would be more resistant to disease than the domestic silkmoth. Unsurprisingly, several adult moths escaped from their enclosures, setting a number of problems in motion that we continue to grapple with today.
Stop by to learn more about Kingston’s efforts to eradicate this pest in this month’s local history exhibit!
This April, our gallery features the 20th Annual Sacred Heart High School Art Students Exhibition. This exhibit features their paintings, drawings and photographs. The students, under the direction of art teacher Julie Trahon, have brought their visions and talents to these unique creations.
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.