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St Joseph Hospital Healing through the Arts program welcomes new artists

NASHUA – Healing Through the Arts is a collaborative project between St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Nashua Area Artists Association ArtHub Gallery.

The following artists will be showing a collection of their paintings at St. Joseph Hospital during the next three months – Debbie Auclair, Marilene Sawaf, Howard Muscott, Madeleine LaRose, Gregory B. Searle and Stacy Topjan Searle.

The art opening will be from 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 18. All are welcomed and refreshments will be served

Debbie Auclair

Debbie Auclair grew up in Long Island, New York, but has lived in the Nashua area for the past 40 years. The beauty of New England has inspired both her art and photography, although for the last several years she has turned more to painting as a form of self- expression.

Primarily self-taught, her current painting style is mostly abstract expressionism, impressionism or lyrical abstraction. Her recent work was created with a colorful palette and is both vibrant and bold, so as to create a feeling of joy and happiness for the viewer. Her more representational pieces reflect her love of the ocean and the outdoors.

She is an award-winning artist and has exhibited her art in numerous juried shows and galleries in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and her work is held in private collections throughout New England, and other areas of the country. She is a member or Nashua Area Artists Association and also a juried member of the Hollis Arts Society.

For this exhibit, she showcases paintings from her floral abstract collection, and her hope is that the viewer feels the same sense of delight and pleasure that they would feel walking along a beautiful garden path

Madeleine LaRose

“I try to depict the wonder of the world around us in my artwork. I strive to bring this sense of joy and awe to my audience, and I hope that they will connect to my experience,” LaRose said.

A lifelong native of Nashua, she has been drawing and painting since childhood. Although she has no formal training in fine art, she has benefitted from instruction with various local artists over the years. Her earliest artistic attempts were limited to pencil sketches and copying published material. Later, she worked in watercolor and experimented with other media, such as pen and ink, charcoal, photo oils and acrylics.

Today, her primary media are pastels and acrylics. New England landscapes, and New Hampshire in particular, provide inspiration for much of her work. Flowers are especially enticing and form the basis of much of her work in pastels. Using photographs she has taken as her basis for inspiration, most of her painting is done in studio.

LaRose has become an active member of the arts community in the Nashua area since her retirement from teaching English in the Nashua school system. She is currently the gallery coordinator for the Nashua Area Artists Association for the their gallery, the ArtHub at 30 Temple St., where she regularly exhibits her work. She also holds membership in the Hollis Arts Society as a juried member, and the Pastel Society of New Hampshire.

In 2017, LaRose was one of 10 lead artists in the citywide arts project, Comeback Kitchen Table, sponsored by City Arts Nashua. In April 2018, she was the featured Artist of the Month at the NAAA ArtHub Gallery.

Her work has been juried into eight exhibits over the past two years at Grace Chapel Gallery in Lexington, Massachusetts. In November 2018, her artwork was included in the New Hampshire Pastel Society’s national juried exhibit at the Discover Portsmouth Center. In winter 2018-2019, she was one of six artists invited to exhibit in the Healing Arts Gallery of Monadnock Community Hospital.

Howard Muscott

Howard Muscott’s photography has captured the exquisite beauty of the natural world and the amazing wildlife within it for more than 40 years.

Grounded in his years of hiking, backpacking and mountain climbing, Muscott’s love for nature photography is fueled by the exquisite beauty of the natural world and the wildlife residing within their various ecosystems.

“The ideal photograph tells a story that speaks directly to the heart and moves people to self-reflection. It combines one’s vision for the image with the best natural, ideally golden light. It requires persistence and opportunity,” he said.

Self-taught, Muscott has had more than 25 individual and 50 group shows highlighting among other things nature, autumn colors, Southwestern peoples and light, the mountains of Alaska, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest and wildlife. His work has been published on the cover of national journals in education, in newspapers and books and used on educational and other websites. He has won numerous awards for both wildlife and portraits, including most recently, Best in Show at Beaver Brook Association four years in a row. He was recently honored as the 2019-20 Artist of the Year of the Manchester Artist Association.

Muscott is a lifelong special educator and retired professor who directs the New Hampshire Center for Effective Behavioral Interventions and Supports at SERESC in Bedford. His work can be found on his website and at various stores, galleries and office buildings around New Hampshire.

Marlene Yoakim Sawaf

Marlene Yoakim Sawaf was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and has lived in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. When she came to live in the United States in 1980, her first paintings were inspired by her education in interior design and architecture and her taste for enigmatic, colorful images. For the past 40 years, she was involved with many galleries, countless art exhibits and a constant research into the creative side of painting. In 2006 and 2008 she received awards from the Currier Museum of Art for her figurative paintings. In 2011, she became a member of the Copley Society of Boston.

Her art is a blend of bright colors and designs taken from the Mediterranean. Sawaf created her style by combining traditional images of the countries where she lived. Her tall, slim ladies from her first years which started in 1981, were inspired by stain glass paintings and the stylized art in vogue in Europe and the Middle East. Slowly, she introduced symbols and imagery from Oriental carpet designs, Indian, Russian, Japanese and Persian art and also was influenced by Medieval Art and the brightness of the colors of the Middle Ages.

Gregory B. Searle

Gregory B. Searle is a digital computer artist from Nashua, with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the University of Lowell (now U-Mass at Lowell) and a computer programming background. He combined these seemingly opposing skill-sets to create unique computer-generated “fractal” imagery using his own custom computer code. This allows him to explore a whole world of mathematically-generated imagery, carefully crafting the limitless parameters to produce one-of-a-kind, high-quality fractal prints.

Stacy Topjian Searle

Stacy Topjian Searle is a pen and ink artist who works exclusively in black and white. She uses on-site sketches and photographs as references for her work. She begins by laying out the general composition of a piece in pencil. Once a composition is in place, she goes over the pencil outline in ink to create a contour drawing of the scene. Detail is developed through a combination of cross hatching, contour lines, parallel lines, stippling and scrumbling techniques which create a rich blend of values and textures. While creation inspires most of her work, she also draws old barns and mill buildings that were once so central to life in New England.