Music In Motion

Thrilled that my mixed media creation, All That Jazz, has been juried in to the Music In Motion exhibit at GALA (Galleries at Lynn Arts)! The show runs from June 3 until July 12, 2023.

Music in Movement in the Main Gallery celebrates the interconnectedness of music and visual art. Throughout history and across cultures artists have attempted to paint music. From Classical music to the Harlem Renaissance music has inspired great artworks. Rhythm and Movement are integral parts of the artist’s language. This exhibit at GALA called for interpretations of music through art making, whether visually creating movement to a beat of a drum or finding inspiration in a song that conjures memory or stirs emotion.

My mixed media piece, All That Jazz, 22.5″ x 18.5″ matted & framed, employs a combination of bright colors and strong, varied lines & shapes to represent the vibrant sounds of jazz music. In making the piece, I used a brush to make the lines, then filled the shapes with full intensity colored pencils. I see the shapes almost dancing across the artwork.

The Opening Reception for Music in Motion is Friday, June 2nd from 5:30-7:30PM. This will be a big party with refreshments and lots of entertainment! Masks acceptable for those visitors who want to wear them. We have returned to our usual lively fun filled affairs! The reception will kick off with a special performance by competition dancers from Cultura Latina Dance Academy. Followed by Music by JazzBlackett, a saxophonist based in Boston, Massachusetts. JazzBlackett’s unique sound combines jazz, dubstep, afro beats, and R&B. Using loops in Abelton Live and combining dynamic custom made FX, JazzBlackett pushes the limits of live soundscape to create the experience of a jazz ensemble in a jam session with an electronic music dance vibe. We are asking attending guests for a suggested donation of $5, funds which help keep our all-volunteer organization going. The artists will bring food for the sharing table, which allows the community to come together over shared food and drink.

In our Community Gallery, GALA will kick off Pride month with The LGBTQ+ Pride Flag & Color Symbolism exhibit in collaboration with United Lynn Pride. For this exhibit submissions are based on the symbolism of the colors included in the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag. The original LGBTQ+ Pride Flag was created by artist Gilbert Baker and made its debut on June 25th, 1978. Since its debut, the original flag has changed and been updated to represent the intersectional diversity of the LGBTQ+ community.

GALA is located at 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA 01901. Gallery hours are Thursdays 1:00-4:00 and Saturdays 11:00-5:00. Please call 617-909-9211 for other questions. www.galleriesatlynnarts.org


Be Still 5/19-6/17/23

Salem Arts Association’s newest exhibit, Be Still, will host an Opening Reception this Friday May 19, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public! I shall be there and hope you can come by and say Hello! My painting of the Beverly/Salem Bridge, Making Connections (acrylic, 12×24″, $485) has been juried into the show which will run from May 20 to June 17 at their beautiful gallery, 159 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970. Salem Arts hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 6:00 p.m. The first floor houses the SAA Gallery Shop and the Paul Nathan Gallery. Upstairs you will find the exhibits, including Be Still.

This show was open to both artist members of the SAA and to non-member artists. They were met with the following challenge: The Oxford Dictionary defines “Stillness” as the absence of movement or sound. Stillness can be a moment of solitude, the calm surrender that we feel during meditation, the quiet moment just before an intense storm, the tranquility of water, or the uninterrupted surface of a frozen pond. This exhibition features artworks that depict the stillness within and all around us, or the glimmer of the storm to come.

My painting, Making Connections, was painted from a photograph I took of the Beverly/Salem Bridge. The title reflects all the connections shown: the bridge between Beverly and Salem, the railroad bridge, the water, the sky, the radio/phone tower, and even the red light on top of it which communicates with the airplanes in the sky. One early morning as I drove from Danvers to Beverly, the sky and water were so calm and the color was so stunning that I had to pull my car over to capture the moment. When painting, I did take artistic license and placed the railroad bridge in the distance which allowed me to have the legs of the Beverly/Salem Bridge reflect directly against the water without having the train cut them in half visually. That is the fun of being an artist; I can control the world on my canvas.

Guest Juror: Claudia Paraschiv

2023 Salem Public Artist in Residence (PAiR) on Artists’ Row

Claudia Paraschiv is an architect, public artist, and educator. Born in Romania and raised in Los Angeles, Claudia now lives with her family in Salem MA, where she started her design practice, Studioful Design in 2016. Studioful takes on a varied constellation of projects for more meaningful living and engages people to participate in the transformation of their worlds as purposeful places of stewardship, democracy, social gathering, self-expression, and imagination.

Claudia will continue these explorations as the 2023 Public Artist in Residence (PAiR) on Artists’ Row with her project the Tree of Care + Wonder / Árbol del Cuidado + del Maravillas, a large scale sculpture of a whimsical tree featuring migrant stories and a magical canopy!

The Tree of Care + Wonder / Árbol del Cuidado + del Maravillas will transform streets in Salem into community spaces of art and friendship to demonstrate the potential of streets to do more than move cars: local artists (poets, visual, musicians, dance, and theatre) will collaborate to produce civic-art events centered on migration stories, food memories, local history, and novel visions of how a future city might take care of and bring wonder to its residents. 


Registry Members Exhibit

ReachArts Celebrates the Work of its Artist Registry Members with a Spring Gallery Exhibition May 6-7, 2023.

This inaugural Exhibition will feature the work of 35 ReachArts Members. My entry in the show is titled King’s Beach Sea Wall, a 10″ x 20″ framed acrylic painting. It was painted from my photograph of the view one breezy November afternoon just as the sun began to break through the clouds. I loved the way the sun shone brightly on the horizon.

Saturday, May 6th 5 pm – 8 pm Exhibition Reception. Artist Registry Members will be voting for “Artist’s Choice” and awards will be presented to the winning work within Traditional Painting, Abstract Painting, Photography, Mixed Media/Sculpture and Applied Art (Jewelry, Ceramics). All Artist Registry Members who are present will be eligible to vote (including those who are not part of the exhibition.)

Sunday, May 7th 11 am – 2 pm Open Gallery, Artist Demos. 11:30 am “Juror’s Talk” and painting demo by Mark Shasha.

Both events are free and open to the public.  Artwork will be available for sale both days. ReachArts is located at 89 Burrill Street, Swampscott, MA 01907. Their website is www.reacharts.org

Exhibiting Artists:

Amy Montague FriendLisa Boehmer
Carin DobinLisa Richardson Bach
Catherine JohnsonMarc Maccini
Claire DonnellyMary Jo Mitchell
David ShearMikhail Glikberb
Deb PerezNancy Marland Wolinsky
Dennis VargoRena Shear
Diane McAlisterRobin Boots
Eleanor FisherRuth Rooks
Ellen GarveySammia Atoui
Hannah SharplessSheila Billings
Heather GoodwinStanley Wood
James TrevinoStephanie Fitzgerald
Jan CovilleSusan Burgess
Katherine MiuraTiago Serpa
Katya PopovaVincent Commeau
Lara GoodwinVivian Sparacio
Laura Louise Lester

Juror Biography
Swampscott artist Mark Shasha is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, member of the Copley Society, Guild of Boston Artists, Oil Painters of America, signature member of American Society of Marine Artists, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, among others.  He’s an invited artist at many painting events around the country and a frequent educator and presenter at Streamline Publishing events. More about Mark at markshasha.com.


Spring Show!

The Danvers Art Association will be hosting its spring show this weekend and next, April 22, 23, 29 and 30. The Opening Reception will be Friday night, April 21 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Members of the DAA have offered their finest work inspired by this beautiful season in many mediums: oils, acrylics, watercolor, pastels, pen & ink, pencil, mixed media, photography and mosaics. The DAA is an artist cooperative, so you will find that prices are much more reasonable than in a commercial gallery!

My entry in the show is titled Connections. It is done in acrylic paint on gallery wrapped canvas, 12″ x 24″ and is wired to be hung on your wall. The painting was inspired by a photograph I took of the Salem/ Beverly Bridge from the Danvers/Beverly side. It was a particularly lovely sky and so quiet and serene looking. But so much activity was happening! Cars and trucks crossed back and forth on the wide arc of the bridge. Beside it, a straight low bridge carried the Purple Line of the MBTA. Boats go out to sea and back all day under the bridge, and planes fly overhead guided by the red light atop the tower. Way to the right in the painting you can see a peek at the gas tank connected underneath the City with pipes.

Danvers Art Association is housed in a lovely old 1910 2-room brick schoolhouse which was renovated by DAA members and is leased to us by the Town. There is plenty of free parking and has a great location right on Route 62. The address is 105 Elliott Street, Danvers, MA 01923.


GREEN 4/7-5/17/23

This exhibit is a reaction to the color or idea(s) of “Green”. Local artists responded to this by creating artwork that features the color or concept Green. According to color psychology the color green is often associated with nature, luck, money, health and envy. The color green is also known to bring us tranquility and also motivate us. What comes to mind for you when you think of the color green? Coincidentally, Earth Day happens to be on April 22nd, 2023, during the time of this exhibit. Celebrate green as a metaphor for the Green Movement as a symbol for saving the environment or part of the planet. Imagine green!

I was happy to have two paintings juried in to this exhibit: Summer Tree, acrylic, 4″ x 12″, $65 and Sheehan’s Pond, oil, 16″ x 20″, $300. Summer Tree was inspired by the sunlight shining through the leaves of the trees around my house and by the breeze making those leaves dance gently.

My oil painting, Sheehan’s Pond, was inspired by a painting demonstration by the popular local artist, Dennis Sheehan. He uses a technique where, using just a few colors, he smears paint randomly on a canvas using paper towels! Then he looks at the shapes that were made to see if any images begin emerge and uses a brush to bring that image out.

For Sheehan’s Pond, I used two colors of oil paint — alizarin crimson, and phthalo green and smeared them randomly around the canvas with paper towels. Magically, the beginning of an image of a misty New England pine forest surrounding a little pond emerged! With the addition of titanium white to tone down the sky and water, and to add some mist, I used a medium sized brush to bring out the finer features of the trees. Voila!

The exhibit with remain at Galleries of Lynn Arts (GALA) at 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, Massachusetts 01901 from April 7 until May 17, 2023. The entire show can also be visited, and paintings can be purchased, virtually at www.galleriesatlynnarts.org by clicking Exhibit, then Green. For gallery hours, please call 617-909-9211.


Our Roots Run Deep

In celebration of Salem Ancestry Days, Salem Arts Association invited artists to submit artworks that celebrate culture and heritage. From portraits of ancestors to a celebration of traditional visual culture, Salem Arts Association encouraged us to tap deep into our roots for inspiration. It is an open call, both member and non-member artists’ work will be displayed.

My painting for the show is a colorfully imagined image of my childhood home with every flower in every one of my parents’ gardens in bloom all at once. The title of the work is Alice & Mike’s American Dream and it is done in acrylic paint, 12″ x 24″. The painting is not for sale — pretty much the first one ever.

Both of my parents dreamed of owning a house. Mama grew up in a series of very happy apartment homes, but always aspired to have a place where her kids could tap dance any time of day or night! She wanted a place that she knew was hers that she wouldn’t have to move out of because a landlord’s child needed a place to live. Dad was an immigrant and grew up in a violent place where his home was not safe from the unrest in the streets and was repeatedly looted and set on fire — a place where his parents could own their home but not the land underneath it. All he wanted was a safe, happy place that was all his and where he could plant a flower garden.

Once my parents found this little white house, they nestled in and never left. The gardens were sumptuous, full of flowers. The trees were tall and full of fruit. We could have all our friends run and play on the grass and climb the trees. The swing set and porch were magnets for our games. It was a safe, blissful childhood and a very happy home.

The show will be juried by the SAA Jury Committee and will by judged by Kate Fox who is the Executive Director of Destination Salem, the Office of Tourism & Cultural Affairs in Salem, Massachusetts, where she oversees the destination marketing efforts for the city of Salem. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Salem Chamber of Commerce, the Salem Main Streets Steering Committee, is a Commissioner for the Essex National Heritage Commission, is a past president of the North of Boston Convention & Visitors board of directors and is a North Shore LEADS Fellow.  

The opening reception will be held on Friday, April 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and the exhibit will be on display until May 13. Salem Art Association Gallery is located at 159 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970. Gallery hours are every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m. You can also visit our Online Galleries and Online Shop. www.salemarts.org


Spring Exhibit 4/1-5/8/23

Finally Spring! The Swampscott Arts Association is celebrating with a Spring Exhibit from April 1 until May 8, 2023. The event will be shown in the gallery at the Swampscott Senior Center, 200R Essex Street, Swampscott, MA — right behind Swampscott High School. Lots of free parking!

The Opening Reception for the show will be held on Tuesday, April 18 at 2:00. Light refreshments will be served, and it is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

My artwork for the show is titled Little Teapot. It is made from cut paper; the teapot is cut from handmade paper featuring pressed flowers from Provence in France. I found the paper when I there on a Mediterranean cruise with my daughter. What a lovely place.

I hope you will be able to visit the show and enjoy the spring stylings of local artists.


People’s Choice Award

The artwork of local artists will be on display at the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers at the Spring Awakening Exhibit. The show is sponsored by the Danvers Art Association.

My entry in the exhibit is Purple Twilight, a fanciful painting of a spring evening under a full moon at twilight. The trees are starting to show their delicate leaves, and the whole scene is reflected in the quiet water. Many thanks to all the folks who voted to choose my painting for the People’s Choice Award! I am deeply honored and grateful.

This painting was made especially for my talented late friend, Tommy Gagnon, who was the proprietor of Boston Woodturning at Artists’ Row in Salem. Tommy’s shop was a gem. To set off his exquisite wooden creations, he liked to show the work of local artists, including my many variations of trees. He liked the contrast of the earth tones of his wooden pieces with my jewel-toned paintings. Purple was the only color missing from his gallery section, he asked me to do a purple/ magenta piece, and here it is!  

I hope my painting warms your heart and will inspire you to visit my website, www.SheilaBillings.com

The show will run from the opening reception on March 11, 2023, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. until it closes on April 22, 2023. The library is located at 15 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923. Hours are Mondays through Thursdays 9 a.m to 9 p.m

Peabody Institute Library
15 Sylvan Street
Danvers, MA 01923
DirectionsTEL: (978)774-0554
FAX: (978)762-0251
E-MAIL: danversref@noblenet.org


Welcome Spring 3/12-4/30/23

Spring is just around the corner and who isn’t looking forward to longer days, shorter nights, and a whiff of fragrance in the air? Come and lose yourself for a while in interpretive images of emerging life and new energy by artists and photographers of the Swampscott Art Association. All you stand to lose are the winter doldrums!

I have two paintings in this exhibit. H7G Garden, acrylic, 8” x 10” framed, was painted en plein air in the lovely gardens of The House of the Seven Gables in Salem, MA. It is a wonderful place to paint because as I work I meet visitors from all over the world. The other painting accepted into the show is Honeysuckle, 6” x 6”, acrylic on canvas. It was done in my own garden on a warm summer day last year. I am lucky that my neighbor’s gorgeous honeysuckle vine drapes over my fence, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Swampscott Art Association began in the 1940’s when a group of well-known professional artists came together at the Swampscott Public Library to meet and create exhibits. Today the group has grown to over 70 members. Membership is non-juried and open to local artists and photographers to encourage exhibits for their work. The SAA seeks to foster and encourage art in Swampscott and the surrounding communities through camaraderie, workshops, and exhibits for both the artists and those who appreciate art. 


The Cloister Gallery is located at 135 Lafayette St., Marblehead, MA. It is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to noon. Ring the doorbell at the back door for admittance. For more information contact Gallery Coordinator Laura Tufts, cloister.gallery@gmail.com


Tell Me A Story

Salem Arts Association is excited to open the 2023 exhibition schedule with a themed showcase of Member Artists. Tell Me a Story: Myths, Narrative, Dreams, and Fairy Tales features works of visual storytelling in each artists’ chosen medium and style. Artists think beyond the traditional definition of “narrative art” and embrace the diverse ways in which we all “tell our stories.”  

I am pleased to have my original screen print accepted into the exhibit. It is titled Time Travelers, and was inspired by a photograph of my daughter as a little girl when she first met the Heiau Ku at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. I imagined the tales they could tell each other. My 11″ x 14″ screen print is the second of a run of seven prints and is done in two ink colors, brown and black on white rag paper.

The opening reception is on Friday, March 3, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Salem Arts Association Gallery at 159 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970. All are invited. The exhibit will run from March 4 until April 1, 2023.