‘Artful Pride’ celebrates congregation, LGBTQ+ ‘vitality’

Jun 30, 2024

On a small table, almost an altar, in the First Congregational Church of Wareham, a rolled-up, rainbow umbrella shares space with four figurines and a canvas with white flowers painted into a rainbow backdrop. 

It was created by Christine Markola, and “This is the first piece of art she did,” said Katherine Hanson, the organizer behind the church’s Arts at the Stone Church program. “She said, ‘Oh, I did something in one of those pottery painting classes, but it’s not really art,’ so we brought it, and… people were just drawn to it.”

That piece and many more were part of the Arts at the Stone Church’s annual Pride art show, held at the close of Pride Month from Friday, June 28 to Sunday, June 30. 

Artists who contributed to the show were asked to consider the humor, inclusivity and connection of the LGBTQ+ community. 

“We wanted to celebrate the vitality of the LGBTQ community and its influence on people, a positive influence,” said Hanson. 

Some of the artists who contributed were part of the LGBTQ+ community, while others were parents of LGBTQ+ children. 

Carvings made by Ron Westgate lay on a table, intricate wooden pieces in the shape of birds. 

“Ron is now in his 90s,” said Hanson. “He’s been doing this obviously for many years… How patient must you be to carve this?”

Mary Westgate, Ron’s wife, contributed two quilts to the showing. The one had patches made from t-shirts, each shirt a souvenir from somewhere the Westgates traveled. 

The other had delicate pentagons sewn together in a repeating pattern. 

“Her grandmother got her started on that when Mary was ten — it took her till she was 60 to finish it, because she was at work, and stuff like that,” Hanson said.