Salon Des Refuses: 6/7 to 7/28/19

In 1863 the most prestigious exhibition in Paris, the Paris Salon, rejected art work in the new Impressionist style.  Manet, Courbet, Whistler and Pissaro were among the rejected artists.  In protest they exhibited their work in their own exhibit, the now famous “Salon des Refuses,” which brought their beautiful and innovative work to the public – and made them famous.

In recognition of the fact that a lot of wonderful work doesn’t get accepted into art exhibits Salem Arts Association is holding its own “Salon Des Refuses” including work not accepted in the Salem Arts Festival Exhibit, other exhibits and other innovative and avant garde work.

My painting juried into the show is “Forest River Summer”, acrylic, 12″ x 36″. Forest River Park is one of my favorite places in Salem. The way the light flows over the grassy hills in the late afternoon is magical. I hope this painting makes you want to visit this beautiful seaside park.

The reception will be held on Friday, June 7 from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. Live music will be provided by Johny Fireseed & the Junkyard Dogs featuring original Earth Rock, Green Punk and Junk Funk. Gallery Hours are every Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 noon until 5:00 p.m. Please contact gallery@salemarts.org with questions.




Salem Arts Festival: June 7, 8 & 9, 2019

On June 7th – 9th, the 11th annual Salem Arts Festival will present a free celebration of arts, culture, creativity, and community! This popular family-friendly event features over 200 artists and performers and includes a variety of art, music, dance, and theatre performances. Public activities include four performance areas, onsite art-making for all ages, local artisans and makers selling their creations, a juried art exhibition, and a temporary eco-friendly public art installation on Artists’ Row. This year’s festival is sponsored by Peabody Essex Museum.

The reception for the Festival art exhibit in Old Town Hall will be held on Friday, June 7 from 6:00 until 9:00. My painting which has been juried in to the show is “Old Town Hall Holiday”, acrylic, 15″x15″ framed. If the artwork looks familiar, it is because this painting was commissioned to illustrate the poster for 2018 Holiday Artists’ Market. It shows a tiny Old Town Hall inside a snow globe. A family of mice inhabit and enliven the old building with all sorts of artistic activities.

The festival is rain or shine; in the event of inclement weather, performances will be moved into Old Town Hall and Front Street Coffeehouse.  Visitors interested in attending the Salem Arts Festival can find easy access to the downtown by public transportation or parking at one of the many downtown lots in the City. For more information and for the full festival schedule, performer information and listings of street fair vendors please visitwww.salemartsfestival.com.


Roots — 5/10 to 5/26/2019

In conjunction with the Salem Arts Festival, Salem Arts Association presents an exhibition exploring the meaning of “Roots”, one of the themes of the Festival.  Interpretations include living things and their roots, ancestry, home and country, family and any other creative explorations of this theme.

I am excited to have five pieces of artwork juried into this show: Changing Seasons, acrylic, 30″x40″; Mighty Redwood, watercolor, 32×38″; Summer Afternoon, acrylic, 12×36″, Slainte, pen & colored pencil, 11×13″; Seamroag, pen & colored pencil, 12″x14″.

Changing Seasons shows a stylized rendition of a tree during summer, winter, spring and autumn painted on a dappled metallic background. Mighty Redwood was inspired by my visit to the awe inspiring Muir Woods in California. Summer Afternoon is my interpretation of a day just before sunset at Forest River Park in Salem, MA. Slainte and Seamroag are both drawings done in the Celtic style, reminiscent of the detailed, jewel-toned drawings in the Book of Kells.

Opening Reception: Friday, May 10, 2019, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: May 10-26, 2019

Gallery Hours are every Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Salem Arts Association Gallery
Salem Old Town Hall
12 Derby Square
Salem, MA  01970

Please contact gallery@salemarts.org with questions.


ART ON THE WALLS: Apr. 26 – Aug. 4, 2019

ReachArts, Swampscott’s Community Art Center, launching a project called ART ON THE WALLS, a 3-month rotating exhibition platform for local artists.

Four of my creations have been juried in to the first show for this project. Two of the pieces are mixed media,  13″ x 13″ framed in shadow boxes; and both have won awards in art shows, including Best of Show and Peoples’ Choice. ‘Sea Breeze’ is a view of Ten Pound Island in Gloucester through a library window, and ‘Relax!’ shows a claw foot tub beside a window overlooking Salem Harbor. ‘Raven Tresses’, acrylic on illustration board, 11″x14″ is an Op Art abstract in black and white. ‘Crochet’, acrylic on illustration board, framed to 22″x28″ is an intricate abstract incorporating every color of the rainbow in a very orderly design evocative of crochet.

The work will be on view at ReachArts from April 26 through August 4, 2019. ReachArts is located at 89 Burrill Street, Swampscott, MA 01907. For further information, please go to their website, reacharts.org.


Members Showcase: Apr. 6-20, 2019

The Salem Arts Association will present their Member Showcase exhibition at Old Town Hall, Salem MA. The opening reception will be held on Friday, April 5 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The guest juror is Kate Luchini, Staff Planner for Art and Culture at City of Salem.

I have five entries in the show. Boston Skyline, acrylic,  11”x14”, shows a view of Boston that I could see when I was trapped in traffic one frustrating morning — lemons to lemonade. Devereaux Morning, acrylic, 12”x24”, is a misty view I painted on location on a cold July morning, as part of the Marblehead Festival of Arts when artists paint local scenes all over town. The Silversmith, watercolor, 16”x20”, in a lovely antique frame. Knowles Landing, acrylic, 16” x 20”, was painted on location at Stubby Knowles Landing in West Gloucester on an idyllic summer afternoon. More Power, mixed media, 16”x20” matted and framed was the inspiration for the electric light box I painted at Riley Plaza in downtown Salem.

In addition to the gallery show, Salem Arts Association will be running a shop, chock full of original art, prints of members’ work, jewelry, photography, textile work, etc. — all for sale to art lovers. I will be showing small Celtic style paintings, and matted prints of my other paintings.

The exhibition dates are April 6 to April 20, 2019, and gallery hours are every Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m. Salem Old Town Hall is located at 12 Derby Square, Salem, MA 01970


CuriousCity Museum Opening March 31, 2019

CuriousCity is a temporary pop-up children’s museum in downtown Peabody that inspires curiosity, a love of learning and the healthy development of children of all abilities, ages 2-10 years old. A children’s museum invites kids to touch, explore, interact and make noise! Museums are awesome places to visit in general, but children’s museums come with the added bonus of actually inviting children to touch and feel, interact and make noise as they do. Children’s museums are heaven to children, who are naturally curious, learn by touching and are excited about new. CuriousCity pop-up museum will open its doors March 31, 2019 and be open for 3 months.

I am proud to have been chosen to design two of the exhibits. Epi-Curious is a farm-to-table space where children can play with a toy barn, farm animals and straw table. Then they can play at the farmers’ market complete with cash register and baskets of play food before bringing it to the play kitchen to ‘cook’ and serve at the little table and chairs. The room is surrounded by my art: two big murals, one of an apple tree and another of a farm scene, and also a cut paper children’s barn. I have also created a fun photo-op mural which is placed outside the barn so kids can get their pictures taken peeking through the mural as farmers, and beekeepers.

My Curious World exhibit is a place for kids to play with a variety of maps and an interactive world globe. There is a magnificent Augmented Reality sand table where children can build their own land and water forms, literally changing their world with a sweep of their hands. Also, in this exhibit, is a Biome carousel constructed of my 4 murals of Desert, Coral Reef, Tundra, and Rain Forest. Children can sit in the area and play with toys matching that biome.

CuriousCity is housed in the historic George Peabody House and Peabody Leather Barn at 205 Washington St., Peabody, MA 01960. This is the birthplace of George Peabody, the father of modern philanthropy. The rooms of the house hold kid-friendly exhibits:  a wonderful play George Peabody Bank; a story exhibit complete with giant storybook, puppets and costumes; a Sensory room, a Mindfulness exhibit; and my two exhibits, Curious World (geography), EpiCurious (farm to table). The adjacent Peabody Leather Museum has been transformed into a big creative area for children to explore building, a wind tunnel, rocks & minerals, art and more.

Peabody Main Streets has used “pop up” events to test out new ideas before committing a vast amount of resources. The 3-month trial will allow the City to determine the feasibility of a permanent museum. There is plenty of parking both in front of and behind the museum, as well as along the street.



Exhibitions, Uncategorized

Harbor Sweets Advent Calendar 2019

Harbor Sweets, a woman owned business is located in historic Salem, Massachusetts has been producing the finest handmade chocolates since 1973. They pride themselves on working tirelessly to ensure the best quality product available.

Here’s what their catalog says about the Advent Calendar I created for them this year. “Sweet Tidings!” The excitement and bustle of the season is captured in this charming Christmas Eve scene from Harbor Sweets’ friend and local Salem artist Sheila Farren Billings. Create holiday memories and a tradition your family will want to continue for years to come when you count down the days to Christmas with Harbor Sweets. A delicious, gold folded treasure behind every door will make waiting for the big day a little easier.

My design for the advent calendar was inspired by the brownstone and brick buildings so popular in Boston and other New England cities and towns. The homes and shops are decorated for Christmas, and if you look closely, you will see mischievous elves sliding on rooftops, peeking out windows, and generally spreading the holiday spirit. The names of the shops have been customized to represent people and products dear to the heart of Harbor Sweets, and the street sign reads Leavitt Street, the address of Harbor Sweets.


Salem Arts Assoc. Members’ Showcase

The Salem Art Association is presenting its Members’ Showcase running from the opening reception on Friday, November 9 until December 14, 2018. There is no theme this time. Since members have been asked to submit their best and favorite work, there is a wonderful variety of subjects, mediums and styles.

My entry for this show is my painting, The Silversmith, a large watercolor. It is framed in an elaborate antique frame I found in my attic when I bought my house — just like in a movie! One of the reasons I decided to enter this painting right now is in response to the recent terrible massacre at a Pittsburg synagogue. If only we could all see the humanity in each other.

The Salem Arts Association gallery is located at 211 Bridge Street, Salem, MA. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5:00 p.m.



Artisan Shop — Marblehead Arts Assoc.

I am honored to have been chosen to exhibit my New England paintings and Celtic style drawings at the Artisan Shop of the Marblehead Arts Assoc. from November until mid-January. Also on display are matted prints of my paintings and mini paintings with their own wee easels. (Shown: Boston Light, acrylic 4″ x 12″, gallery wrapped canvas.)

Seven to eight MAA members display 20-25 pieces of affordable art for sale on a three month rotating schedule. All merchandise is juried, keeping in mind price points under $260 per piece as well as  quality craftsmanship and professional finish. With the entire shop being refreshed four times a year to feature all new work by new artists/artisans; there is always a reason to stop by and see what is available for sale. Each artist/artisan has an interesting story behind their work and their craft that our gallery associates enjoy sharing with buyers. These pieces are one of a kind affordable works of art that make great gifts and cannot be found elsewhere!

Come check out the new assortment often to find something unique for a birthday, graduation, wedding or holiday present. The Artisan Shop is located at 8 Hooper St., Marblehead, MA.

October 27, 2018- January 15, 2019
Sheila Farren Billingssheilabillings.com – Paintings
Fletcher Bolandfletcherboland.com –  Photography
Pat FlahertySedgwick Fibers – Woven Textiles
Ellen GarveyeGlassy Lady – Handblown Glass
Jill HamiltonJill Hamilton Designs – Handcrafted Silver Jewelry
Barbara Harrold – Crefftwr’s Trees –  Soft Sculptured Handmade Puppets
Kate Luchini/Tim Hansen- Digs Enamels – Handcrafted jewelry
Deborah Pinciaro –  Porcelain Ceramics

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday & Sunday, noon-5 pm and Saturday, 10-5 pm. Closed Monday.


Artists’ Row Public Art — Haunted Happenings

On the sweetest, warmest, sunniest October 2018 day, I was invited to paint the concrete traffic barriers set up at the New Derby Street entrance to Artists’ Row in Salem, MA. The barriers were already painted bright orange in hopes of reminding lost visitors from wandering down this pedestrian walkway in their automobiles. Still, they were kind of industrial looking.

I had fun painting all manner of Halloween images on the barriers — witches’ hats, pumpkins, spiders, etc.— while visiting with people from all over the US. Everyone was in a good mood and delighted with life.

One little girl of about 11, however, was quite worried about my well-being and didn’t quite trust my actions. “Are you sure this is legal?”, she asked suspiciously. She continued questioning me in spite of my continued assurances. “Do the people in charge know you’re doing this?” “Did you ask permission?” Her brothers and father just shook their heads in sympathy with me. I was grateful that she cared about my entering a life of vandalism!