Artists display works at annual event
The Lawrence Barn Community Center, a red-sided landmark on Depot Road in Hollis, was recently transformed into a grand showcase for paintings, woodwork and jewelry, along with handcrafted art in many other media.
The extravaganza spanned Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4-5, and comprised the annual art show and sale hosted by members of the Hollis Arts Society.
The society is renowned as a regional haven for artists whose passion is displayed through their work. Members of HAS specialize in one or more of dozens of art forms. Other supporters join merely to enjoy the many art-related presentations and workshops offered at various meetings.
Grace McGinnis, president, noted there were 25 exhibitors this year. She said the diversity of the presentations was a tribute to all involved in organizing the event. Her framed pastels were well visited by the crowds.
“It’s the juxtaposition of one color against another, light against the dark,” McGinnis said of a red hibiscus. “You can see the shadows, and that’s what gives you the shape.”
The framed flower was illuminated by a small spotlight. Alongside the hibiscus, a jungle iris laden with subtle colors and bright streaks of contrasting color called attention to the method of alternating light and dark.
Pat Osten, of Pepperell, Mass., currently the secretary of HAS, noted that guests marveled at the talent revealed that day.
“Everybody enjoyed the show,” Osten said. We have a variety of artists doing different medium and it’s a fun time.”
Meanwhile, Joanne Naugler, of Hollis, a past member of HAS, is well known in the region for her creations in oil paint and acrylic paint.
“This show gives the residents of Hollis and surrounding areas a great opportunity,” Naugler said.
“It’s a chance to see art that is created in this area and made available at a local venue.”
McGinnis later introduced some first-time participants including Paul Charland, of Litchfield, whose wooden creations and pastel paintings drew rave reviews.
Charland’s portion of the gallery displayed pastels depicting Monet-like landscapes, along with portraits of rustic buildings and close-ups of multi-colored tulips. His handcrafted wooden candle boxes and photo frames of cherry and poplar drew interest.
“This pastel is of a Columbine blossom from an original seed I planted 40 years ago,” Charland said. “This is the pastel and the one next to it is the negative of it.”
Elsewhere, Kimberly Leach, of “Kimberley’s Creatures,” was another newcomer with a collection of unique cloth and paper mache sculptures. Most were dragons, fanciful creatures rendered of recycled materials. Their colors were vivid and the spiny details exquisite.
“I’ve been making my dragons for six years and selling for four,” Leach said. “Everything I use comes from recycled materials – newspapers, coat-hanger rods and bedsheets from hotels that discard a lot of used linens.”
Nearby, the booth of Wendy Wetherbee, owner of Pure Dichotomy, in Derry, was brilliantly lit to display jewelry she made that included some pendants whose reverses were as richly decorated as their fronts. Gemstones and precious metals graced some pieces, all handmade with saws, hammers, files and heat.
Onlooker Caroline Liebenow, of Nashua, a visitor to the show and an artist specializing in graphic design, deemed the work of Wendy Wetherbee “magical,” as she estimated the many hours of work entailed in completing each piece.
“As a fellow artist, I can truly appreciate all the elements,” Liebenow said. “The jewelry was magical.”