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Small Works Show

GALA, the Galleries at Lynn Arts, www.galleriesatlynnarts.org, has selected the paintings for their Small Works Exhibit and 2 of mine will be included! The show will run from February 3 until March 16, 2023 at their beautiful galleries, 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA 01901. The opening reception happens on Friday, February 3 from 5:30 till 7:30. The event is free and open to the public and donations are gratefully accepted to help support the organization.

One of my paintings is Writer’s Block, acrylic, 6″ x 6″ x 1.5″. This one was inspired by painter’s block! I was thinking about “What to Paint?” and was doodling on a piece of paper, using the Op Art style I love. The wavy lines and pools of ink reminded me of penmanship lessons when I was in grade 4.

If you can believe it, we actually used old fashioned writing pens with nibs which we dipped in an inkwell built into the top of our school desks. The biggest, strongest eighth grade boys (never girls — it was back in the bad old days— got to walk up and down the aisles with glass gallon jugs of ink; then they would pour that blue-black ink into those tiny inkwells. No wonder we had dark tiled floors and very ink-stained desks. The cool hues in my painting were inspired by those blue stains.

The size of Writers’ Block makes it a fun addition to any decor; it is wired to hang, and the depth of the canvas allows it to stand unsupported on a shelf — or on your writing desk.

The second painting in the show is Snow Penguins, acrylic, 8″ x 10″. It was inspired by an animal documentary I watched on Netflix. I guess that elevates “Netflix and Chill” to kind of a nerdy yet creative place. 

Looking at all those penguins standing around with absolutely nothing but snow and ice as far as their bright little shoe-button eyes could see, all cooperating with each other to stay warm and mind their babies ……. I started to think about them having a little non-Netflix fun and working together to build snowmen. No! Snow Penguins! I know, I have to get out more.

As a former kindergarten teacher and the illustrator of a few children’s books, I love to paint in a fun, happy, colorful style. Snow Penguins would be fun in any child’s room. Or let it warm up your winter decor. I hope that my little painting warms your heart!

Please visit my website for a peek at some of my other creations.

www.SheilaBillings.com

Facebook — @ Sheila Farren Billings: Artist

Instagram — @ Sheila F Billings

www.galleriesatlynnarts.org

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GALA Shop

Looking for something a little different for your holiday gift shopping? Try visiting the gift shop at Galleries at Lynn Arts (GALA)! Local artists from Lynn and surrounding communities have stocked the shelves with their unique creations. You will find jewelry, paintings, prints, sculptures, cards, ceramics, textiles, and so much more.

My offerings at the GALA Shop include my mini paintings with easels and matted prints of my artwork. The work I am showing during November and December is all in a winter and Holiday theme. The mini paintings are 3″ x 3″ and are each tiny, originals done in acrylic paint on wee wooden easels. They are perfect to tuck into a stocking or gift box and add Holiday flair to any corner of your home or office.

The GALA Shop is located inside the gallery at 25 Exchange Street, Lynn. You can check the GALA website for hours and special events. www.galleriesatlynnarts.org

The Galleries At LynnArts (GALA) is an arts based collaborative, artist run community art gallery and a 501 (c) (3) tax deductible private foundation.  It is lead by a group of local artists and art organizers who have designed two galleries and a gallery shop.  These spaces are used to exhibit group and solo shows as well as house a gallery shop filled with arts and crafts produced by North Shore artists and makers.  We work with artists and makers at every stage of their career.  Emerging artists are given support in developing their work, preparing work for professional presentation and exhibition, and access to the local gallery system.  GALA is a community where the gallery spaces and outside events are used to promote and sell artwork from artists who traditionally have had access to galleries as well as those makers who might not have had access into the space and to honor their products and objects equally.  We create community through exhibit receptions, artists’ sales and fairs, and by using the gallery spaces for public and private events.  It is our intention to support the whole artist by creating programming to promote skills growth, wellbeing, and foster a healthy art community.

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GALA Exhibit 11/11-12/16/22

The Galleries at Lynn Arts (GALA) are exhibiting the autumn Member Showcase! Come and enjoy the many styles of the local artists who are taking part in the show. Members’ artwork will hang from November 11 until December 16, 2022 at GALA’s beautiful showrooms at 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA. You can also view the paintings in the exhibit from the comfort of your home by going to their website www.galleriesatlynnarts.org

I am happy to have two paintings in the exhibit: Snow Cardinal, acrylic, 8″ x 10″, $250 and Snowy Gables, original screen print A.P., 11″ x 14″ framed, $200. Snow Cardinal was inspired by a cheerful cardinal that visits my yard all year. Most of the year, he lifts my spirits with his beautiful songs; but in the winter, he also looks stunning against the snow and bare tree branches. Snowy Gables is an original screen print done in blue and black ink on 100% rag paper. It had a small run of only about 8, and this one is an Artist’s Pull. It was inspired by the way that the old houses’ steep roofs look in the snow when the moonlight shines on them.

The opening reception on Nov. 11 is open to the public and donations are welcome! Please call GALA for more information. http://www.galleriesatlynnarts.org

“The Galleries At LynnArts (GALA) is an arts based collaborative, artist run community art gallery and a 501 (c) (3) tax deductible private foundation.  It is lead by a group of local artists and art organizers who have designed two galleries and a gallery shop.  These spaces are used to exhibit group and solo shows as well as house a gallery shop filled with arts and crafts produced by North Shore artists and makers.  We work with artists and makers at every stage of their career.  Emerging artists are given support in developing their work, preparing work for professional presentation and exhibition, and access to the local gallery system.  GALA is a community where the gallery spaces and outside events are used to promote and sell artwork from artists who traditionally have had access to galleries as well as those makers who might not have had access into the space and to honor their products and objects equally.  We create community through exhibit receptions, artists’ sales and fairs, and by using the gallery spaces for public and private events.  It is our intention to support the whole artist by creating programming to promote skills growth, wellbeing, and foster a healthy art community.”

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North Shore Children’s Museum

I’m so excited to have three of my murals featured on the walls of the new North Shore Children’s Museum! The museum is the culmination of the successful pop-up CuriousCity Children’s Museum which was so successful in 2019. The Peabody Main Street mural has been saved from CuriousCity and enjoys its new home at the NSCM, and I have also painted the murals for the Outer Space exhibit and the Construction Corner room. My work at the NSCM has given me the opportunity to use my career experience as a teacher for 24 years and express it with my art.

Here’s what they say on their website! “The North Shore Children’s Museum believes an accessible and inclusive museum must address each visitor’s experience. The museum features hands-on exhibits designed to provide a fun and enriching learning experience for children ages 2-10. Located at 10 Main Street in downtown Peabody, the museum is in the heart of the North Shore, serving children from Northeast Massachusetts and beyond.

Each hands-on experience in the North Shore Children’s Museum explores different themes to tap into a child’s imagination. From building and designing to investigating new materials to reading and engaging in dramatic play, learning has never been so fun! Unique workshops and classes will also be offered.”

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Art in Giving New Painting!

Art in Giving raises funds for childhood cancer research through the sale of fine arts.

Talented artists exhibit their work with Art in Giving and fifty percent of the purchase price of their artwork sold goes directly to talented cancer researchers working on breakthrough ideas to identify causes of and cures for brain tumors and gliomas. 

 To date, Art in Giving has granted $1.4 million in seed funding to researchers at Stanford University Medical School, Yale University School of Medicine, Barrow Neurological Institute, University of Pennsylvania, The Broad Institute, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Mass General Hospital, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Our business model increases the amount of money targeted for pediatric cancer research, a severely underfunded area.

  • People buy from us rather than a commercial gallery, and still make donations to their favorite charities
  • Interior designers purchase art for their clients while supporting innovative research
  • Companies purchase art using facility management and gift, not philanthropy, budgets

 With Art in Giving, children with cancer and their families, pediatric cancer researchers, artists, art enthusiasts, and corporations all benefit.  

The newest painting I have created for Art in Giving is Copley Skyline. It is done in acrylic paint on wooden board, 43″ x 30″ framed. This painting was inspired by a photograph that I took while strolling through Copley Square this summer with a group of friends. It was a beautiful day, and I was struck by the interesting shapes and contrasts of the rooftops in Copley Square. I also loved the reflections of older buildings in the sleep modern mirrors of the John Hancock Tower. I hope you will visit www.artingiving to check out the wonderful art. And best of all, a full 50% of the price of the art goes straight to researching the fight against childhood cancer.

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GALA Exhibit 8/5-9/15/22

Galleries at Lynn Arts has a new exhibit! Landscapes/ Oceanscapes/ Cityscapes. I am delighted that 3 of my paintings have been juried into the show.

My seascape is Peaceful Cove (Shown), 11″ x 14″ acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas was done en plein air by the ocean behind the busy street of restaurants and arcades at Salem Willows in Salem, MA. It was a perfect summer day and I was painting with a group of friends. I turned to a little rowboat moored among the waving sea grass with a view of the boat yard at Winter Island in the distance. Pure peace! It was fun to see the other artists’ various choices of subject.

The landscape painting in this show is Frosty Morn, 12″ x 24″, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. Frosty Morn was painted from my kitchen window; I was inspired by the beauty of my neighbor’s evergreen trees with coats of newly fallen snow and by the lovely early morning sky and a pair of noisy blue jays. The fun of painting is that I had the choice (and took it!) to omit everyone’s trash barrels and cars parked helter skelter along the street. I left out all the houses and added a beautiful frozen lake.

My third painting in this exhibit is Boston Skyline, 11″ x 14″, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. One day I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on Route 1 South, going into Boston and took a picture of the breathtaking view of Boston’s skyscrapers lined up against a soft blue sky. I loved the strong shadows and the contrast of hard edges against the organic clouds. I have since painted this study of Boston in a large format, in slightly different colors, which can be seen on my gallery page at Art In Giving, www.artingiving.com which is a wonderful charitable foundation.

Galleries at Lynn Arts (GALA) is located at 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA 01901. The show runs from the opening reception on Friday, August 5 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. until the closing on September 15, 2022. The reception is open to the public and will include music and refreshments as well as a LOT if wonderful art from talented local artists. A donation of $5 is requested to help GALA in its mission to support local artists.

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Marblehead Art Assoc. Member Exhibit

The Marblehead Arts Association will be presenting a wide variety of their members’ artwork in the Summer Member Exhibit which will run at the same time as the Marblehead Festival of Arts. I was glad to learn that my painting has been chosen to be part of the show.

My painting for the Summer Members’ Exhibit is Marblehead Harbor Panorama, acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 36″. It was painted in 2019 as part of the MF0A Paint the Town Exhibit, a plein air event; and it was chosen for the People’s Choice Award at that time. It is the painting that inspired my 2022 Cod for the MFoA Cod Auction benefit.

The day of the 2019 plein air event, I drove to Devereux Beach in Marblehead hoping to make a painting of the colorful beach umbrellas in the sand. However, when I arrived, the sky had darkened and it had grown cool. Instead of painting the deserted beach, I turned and decided to paint the dramatic view of Marblehead Harbor. The sea was a luminous light green due to the sun just beginning to break through the dark clouds. The white boat masts of the many crafts docked because of the bad weather shone against the glowering sky.

The exhibit will be on display June 25 to August 7, 2022 at Marblehead Art Association, 8 Hooper St., Marblehead, Massachusetts. Call 781-631-2608 for gallery hours.

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ArtBox Salem, MA 2022

It has been a tough few years! The City of Salem, MA has decided to brighten up the city and raise citizens’ spirits with their Positive Thoughts Art Box Project. Following the theme of Positive Thoughts, artists will paint their utility boxes with bright cheerful imagery and incorporate uplifting words into their designs.

My utility box is located on the corner of Boston and Nichols Streets in Salem, MA. When I first saw it, the box was dirty and covered in graffiti and stickers. Once it was cleaned, scraped and primed, it was ready for some Positive Thoughts. My design shows a sunflower garden, full of cheerful flowers, butterflies and bumblebees. The sunflowers march around the box on all sides and positive quotes are painted both on the street side and the sidewalk side.

The street side sports a quote I have seen associated with sunflowers. Sunflowers, which always turn their faces to the sun seem made to illustrate this quote. “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.”

I had originally thought this was a quote from Helen Keller, but while doing research I also found it ascribed to Walt Whitman. Diggin deeper, I found that both of these people were using the quote, but had not initiated it. The earliest version I could find is an old Maori proverb, so that is the one I used.

The quote on the sidewalk side is by the Dalai Lama XIV. “To make others happy, practice compassion. To make yourself happy, practice compassion.” I like this quote because sometimes it seems that compassion is lacking in today’s world. But I also like the reminder to also be good to oneself

Shore Lights
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Connectivity / Diversity Show

Help Celebrate Arts Days in Salem MA and kick off the Memorial Day weekend! The Salem Arts Association will host an exhibit, Connectivity/Diversity, during the Salem Arts Festival. It is an open-themed exhibit showcasing the diversity of artistic and cultural expressions within the community.

My entry in the show is Shore Lights, acrylic, 16″ x 20″. This painting was inspired by an evening walk along the shore of the beautiful beach which runs from Swampscott, through Lynn and all the way to Nahant. That night, there was no moon and it was very dark. The water and sky were black, and the white foam of the waves was illuminated only by the headlights of the passing traffic and the streetlights. The ocean was brightened a bit by reflections from colorful taillights and traffic lights.

The artwork in this show will be on display from May 21 through June 25, 2022. The opening reception will be held Friday, May 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public at the SAA galleries at 159 Derby Street, and also at the SAA virtual online gallery, the online shop, and on social media. Salem Arts Association gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 6:00 p.m.

The judge for Connectivity/Diversity will be Linda Mullen. Following 15 years in architecture, Linda launched Grace & Diggs in 2016. Grace & Diggs began as a shop on Salem’s Artist’ Row where Linda sold hats made out of paper bags and provided photo backdrops made out of recycled materials. She credits that experience for helping her set down roots in Salem, grow as an artist, and expand her work into the area of public art. She is involved in multiple committees and advisory groups including Salem Main Streets Steering Committee and Culture House Advisory Board.

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Environmental Awakening Show

My small painting, Nasturtiums (watercolor & ink, 10″x12″) has been curated into the GALA Environmental Awakening exhibit! The show will be up 4/1 – 5/12/22 at Galleries at Lynn Arts, 25 Exchange St., Lynn, MA 01901.

The curators were Emmanuelle Le Gal, Stefanie Timmermann and assistant curators Nathan Hammerschmitt Le Gal and Nathanial Boyd. Many thanks to all the behind-the-scenes volunteers as well as the cleaning and hanging crews!

The Opening Reception for Environmental Awakening is Friday, April 1st from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. Three special guests will be attending. The first two, Lisa Wallace and Richard Valine, are founders of The Community Path Coalition. The association gifted us a bench made out of 100% recycled plastic waste that can be purchased at the exhibit. All proceeds will support GALA. Our third guest is Nathan Gray, owner of House Factory US, who worked with The Community Path Coalition. He’ll show us how he recycles plastic waste by shredding it, melting it, and then molding it into new objects. Creating small gifts made on-site to take home, Nathan will be located in the back of the LynnArts building (parking lot), so make sure to stop by! At 6:30PM all special guests will share insight on their collaboration and what’s coming next for them.

Additionally, Curator Stefanie Timmermann will present a unique installation out of recycled materials. She built an igloo-style prototype out of all the recycled milk and juice cartons donated by members of the community. At nearly 6 feet across, this dwelling is big enough to crawl inside, and once installed, she invites you to do just that… She’ll even provide a blanket!”

Due to Covid restrictions this will be a casual drop-in affair with no refreshments or food. We’ll return to our usual lively fun filled affairs as soon as we are able! Masks are strongly encouraged.

We’re asking attending guests (not artists) for a suggested donation of $5 if they are able. These funds help keep our ALL-volunteer organization going! Please invite family and friends and help spread the word about the show.