Holiday Showcase 11/14-12/20/20 Third Prize

Salem Arts Association is proud to present the Holiday Showcase in our beautiful seaside galleries!

My entry is called Sweet Tidings and I was thrilled that it was chosen for 3rd Prize in the show. This painting was the cover for Harbor Sweets’ annual Chocolate Christmas Calendar box in 2018. Yum! (acrylic, 18×18″ framed, $400.) The Guest Juror was Julie Barry, who for over a decade worked as the Director of Community Arts for the City of Cambridge’s Arts Council, and is now Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Salem, MA. Here is what she had to say about my painting:

“This work is chock-full of joyful attention to detail.   Again, with this piece we see another case of ‘the more you look the more you see’!  I stood in front of the work for more than 10 minutes exploring the scene, with its tiny delicate brush strokes, and I am still not sure I found all the hidden gems there in: a parade of animals, loosed form the pet store by a mischievous elf, on a holiday romp through the snow; other little elves peeking out here and there; the family dancing around a tree…  All of this brought so much joy and delight to see and discover – and I think it is safe to say that we could all use a bit of holiday cheer!”

The show will run from Nov 14 through Dec. 20, 2020. Gallery Hours: Saturdays and Sundays noon-6pm. To visit our virtual gallery and shop, visit salemarts.org!

SAA is at 159 Derby St., Salem, MA right beside Derby Wharf and the Friendship.


Juried Member Show: 11/13 – 12/11/20

The Juried Member Show at Galleries @ Lynn Arts (GALA) will run from Nov. 13 to Dec.11 at 25 Exchange St., Lynn, MA. The theme is Media. This exhibit is based on the best work of the artists who are members of GALA. It will be organized by the artists with guidance from the staff of GALA.

I have two paintings in this show.  High Strung, acrylic, 12″x36″, $300, is a “pet portrait” of my favorite instrument, my banjo. It is painted actual size. My other entry is and Pacific Waves, acrylic, 20×25″, $250, which was inspired by a trip to California where I saw the gentle blue Pacific Ocean for the first time.

There will be both a virtual and open gallery. Hours are Fridays 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Sat. 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the last Sunday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00. Cheers!



Virtual Fall Art Show 2020 – 2nd Place Acrylic

The Danvers Art Association is staging a virtual Fall Art Show on the DAA website, www.thedanversart.org. which goes up November 9, 2020. Members have submitted art in many different mediums. Because of safety concerns about COVID, there will be no reception or in-person gallery time.

I have 2 entries: Twitter, acrylic, 16″x 20″, $350 –Psyched to receive Second Prize!!! 🙂  I had painted a smaller version of Twitter, inspired by bright birds in a leafless winter tree, tweeting in the morning near my window. I think it was cardinals and blue jays. It made me think of how fun it would be to paint even more colorful birds against a gray sky on a larger sized canvas.

Black Lives Matter, pastel 14″ x 18″ matted & framed, $250. This pastel was done in a virtual Zoom workshop I took at Salem Arts Assoc, taught by the fabulous artist Janet Schwartz. She had all of us do renditions of her powerful photo of the BLM march in D.C. and it was fascinating to see the many renditions of the same subject from different artists.



Small Works Holiday Fundraiser 11/14-12/24/20

 For the sixth year in a row, the MAA is offering small works at affordable pricing. The Pieces of Eight exhibit is in keeping with the MAA’s long-standing history of offering small works called Hooper’s Treasures. All paintings and other works on paper are 8″ x 8″ and are priced at $100.  Photographs and digital prints are priced at $50. Jewelry and fine crafts are priced at $50 or $100. They make great gifts for art lovers and fellow artists alike. All proceeds of this fundraiser go to support the exhibits, programming, and operations of the Marblehead Arts Association The exhibit will be hung in the Parlor gallery using a grid format for visual impact.
I am happy to be exhibiting five small paintings in this fundraiser. Two of the paintings are views of beautiful Marblehead. One is Abbot Autumn and shows a scene of the iconic landmark amidst colorful fall leaves. The other is Marblehead Light and shows the unusual lighthouse overlooking the harbor with sailboats gliding by. The other three paintings are fanciful images: Sleepy Fox, Rubber Duckies (shown as featured image), and Red Cardinal. All of the paintings are ready to hang and give as a holiday gift or treat yourself!

Feminism & Activism Exhibit 9/18 – 11/4/20

The Galleries at Lynn Arts, GALA, is presenting an exhibit, Feminism & Activism which features art inspired by the Feminist Movement and other activism which has been inspired by the current political situation.

I am thrilled to be part of this show! My art for the exhibit is called “Dear Sirs” and uses my shorthand and typing to send messages a equal rights for women. Stenography is mostly a women’s language; these days, when it is no longer taught in most schools, it is almost a secret women’s language. So it is the ideal language to use in feminist art.

First I wrote a series of letters to the men of the world who have the power to change the system to treat women, more than half the population, fairly. One discusses equal pay and equal job opportunities, one is centered on passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and one concerns a fair and equal split of household responsibilities. First I took the letter down in stenography on the last page of the stenography pad of my youth, then I typed them. The letters are crumpled, burned and stained with coffee mug rings to represent the long journey women have been forced to take to try to attain equal and fair treatment in the world.

Then the letters were collaged with newspaper articles which covered various aspects of Women’s Rights. An interesting and depressing fact is that all of the articles were gleaned from one regular daily Boston Globe — not a special Women’s Issue, not an issue printed on a day special to the Women’s Movement. Lastly, I smeared the whole collage with the shorthand brief form for “Dear Sirs”, done in translucent paint so the letters would show through. The color is the red of blood & lipstick. It is not painted in a gentle and lyrical way, but an angry slash. It is time for women to stick together and be angry about our unfair treatment, and to not worry about whether think it isn’t pretty.


14th Annual Inspired by PEM 9/5-11/8/20

“Inspired by PEM” – 14th Annual PEM Inspirational Exhibition

Salem Arts Association presents an exhibition by local artists inspired by the Peabody Essex Museum’s collections of art.  Artists draw inspiration from any of the work in the PEM’s outstanding special exhibits and permanent collection of art and architecture.

My two entries in the show are part of my Tree Collection, Free Birds and Four Seasons. Both of them are painted with acrylic on canvas, and are trees painted against a mottled metallic background which is accomplished by painstakingly applying layer upon layer of translucent paint. My paintings are inspired by the exquisite Asian panels I have seen at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Free Birds shows a row of three trees with autumn leaves swirling around them. The three trees represent my three children who are pictured as blackbirds flying away from the nest. Two birds representing my husband and I remain behind. The question is….which are the free birds? Free Birds, acrylic, 15″ x 18″ framed, $300.

Four Seasons is a four-panel painting, and each panel illustrates one of the seasons of the year in New England. Winter shows swirling snowflakes, spring depicts the delicate flowers and tiny leaves on a blossoming apple tree. Summer is drifting leaves done in shades of green and blues, and Autumn illustrates spiraling fall leaves in reds, oranges, golds and browns. Four Seasons, acrylic, 4 panels 12″ x 24″ each (total size 48″ w x 24″ h), $1,200.

Free Birds will hang in the actual gallery. Four Seasons is too large for this show and will be part of the virtual online gallery. Salem Arts Association is located at 159 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970, right beside the Friendship at Derby Wharf. Gallery hours are noon to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 978-745-4850. The virtual gallery as well as the Salem Arts shop can be found at www.salemarts.org.

September 5 through Sunday November 8, 2020


Mythology Exhibit Feb. 17 to Mar. 25, 2020

Mythology is full of tales which are intended to teach a lesson, explain the many mysteries of life, phenomenon in nature or describe the customs, institutions, or religious rites of a people. Here we are, in the 21st century, and many of us still enjoy mythological tales. Mythological references can still be found in our discussions about science, art and literature…everywhere you turn, there is likely to be a reference to Mythology. What does it teach us? How did Mythology became modern?

My painting, Shell Selkie, was juried in to this exhibit. Shell Selkie is done in acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, 11″ x 14″. It was inspired by stories in Irish mythology of sea maidens who can transform into seals, and by the haunting folk song The Great Selkie of Sule Skerry.

Opening reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 21 at GALA. Meet and greet the artists, 5:30 to 6:00 p.m., suggested donation $10. Public reception 6:00 to 8:00, suggested donation $5. Lots of food and fun!

The Galleries at Lynn Arts are presenting the exhibit, Mythology, from February 17 to March 25, 2020. The show is on display at GALA, 25 Exchange St., Lynn, MA. Email: galleriesatlynnarts@gmail.com. Phone: 617-909-9211. Website: www.galleriesatlynnarts.org


Ideas About Love — Feb. 13 to March 20, 2020

Artists throughout the greater metropolitan Boston area, northeast of Boston and Southern New Hampshire have been invited by ArcWorks Peabody to share original art work interpreting their own ideas about love. I am happy to learn that three of my pieces of Celtic art have been juried into this exhibit.

My father was born in Ireland, and I have long been inspired by the richness of ancient Celtic art. The three hearts I have put in the show, Ideas About Love, each are embellished with Celtic knots and brilliant colors. Two of the hearts have Irish Gaelic titles; they are all signed with my birth name, Sheila Farren, in Irish ~ Sile O’Farachain.

A Chuisle Mo Chroi (Irish: Pulse of My Heart) is a heart filled with an intricate Celtic knot in shades of purple and blue. It is hung in an 11″ x 14″ frame.

Wee Flower Heart (shown in this post) is a heart-shaped Celtic knot in shades of green, surrounding pressed yellow and purple flowers from the hills of Normandy, France. The heart is mounted on a white paper doily which represents the lace-making tradition of Ireland. This artwork is presented in an 8″ x 10″ frame.

Chroi Seamroag (Irish: Shamrock Heart) is a heart filled with gracefully curving and entwining shamrocks done in green on a soft golden background. It is framed to 8″ x 10″.

The opening reception will be held at ArcWorks, 22 Foster Street, Peabody, MA 01960 on Thursday, February 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. ArcWorks is located in Peabody Square across the street from a municipal parking lot and there is also plenty of on street parking.



Main Street Mural ~~ CuriousCity Museum

It is with the greatest delight that I introduce my newest mural to the CuriousCity Children’s Museum! The mural is a stylized illustration of some of Peabody’s most iconic buildings arrayed along Main Street. It is wrapped around a corner in the museum’s temporary location at the Leather Museum at 205 Washington Street, Peabody, MA. This mural joins my other murals in the EpiCurious and Curious World exhibits.

The mural includes City Hall, the old Post Office (currently Arc Works) on Foster Street, the Fire Station, Civil War Monument, Public Library, and O’Shea Mansion. Along the bottom of the mural are an array of cars and trucks to inspire play.

Visit curiouscitypeabody.org for a list of exhibits and special events!


Tree Show ~~ 1/11/20 – 2/2/20

Marblehead Arts Association will present Tree Show, an exhibit of artist members’ paintings of trees, which will run from January 11 until February 2, 2020. The opening exhibit will be held on Sunday, January 12 from 2:00 till 4:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Trees are my favorite subject, and I selected my painting, Twitter (acrylic, 16″ x 20″) for this exhibit. The painting shows a winter tree bare of leaves, but alive with branches full of colorful tweeting birds.

The show was the brainchild of artist member, D.L. Kaulback, and it will be hung in the Dining Room and Hendrick Gallery of Marblehead Arts Association’s Hooper Mansion at 6 Hooper Street, Marblehead. All the entry fees for this exhibit will be donated to the Tree Committee of Sustainable Marblehead. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday & Sunday, noon-5 pm and Saturday, 10-5 pm. Closed Monday. 781-631-2608. marbleheadarts.org