Of every shade and hue: Wareham area artists dazzle in library exhibition

Dec 8, 2023

The work of 14 artists from in and around Wareham is on display  at the Wareham Free Library this December. Their work is part of a show from the Bourne-Wareham Art Association. 

There are a variety of artists on display, but more striking is the variety of artworks. Every artist works in their own medium, from acrylic paints to watercolor and ink to found objects in upholstery fabric. 

"As you can see, the variety of work is amazing," said Show Manager Tim Foley. "And it's good work; these are good artists."

The Association meets once a month, with artists hearing from presenters about different techniques or showing each other their works. It has 30 members at present, 14 of whom contributed work for the show. 

Foley's own work takes inspiration from the natural environment. One of his paintings on display depicts the view from the patio of the Gateway Tavern; another takes inspiration from Race Point beach in Provincetown. 

The painting is only half the artwork, however. For Foley, the frame is a work of art all of its own. 

"The frame oftentimes will drive the final project," said Foley. He rescues frames from thrift shops, cleans and repairs them and uses them to set the size for the work itself. 

Trisha O'Neill has a series of small paintings on display, each depicting a scene from the beaches of Wareham. She does a lot of plein air painting, the practice of painting outside, and takes inspiration from the natural world, she said. 

"Usually I do really big stuff, but this is more convenient" for display, said O'Neill. 

Artist June Strunk takes her inspiration from places further afield. One of her works depicts Yosemite National Park, as seen on a trip to visit her daughter in California; another portrays the pagodas and cherry blossoms she saw while she was in Japan.  

"I didn't do any art until I was at least in my 70s," Strunk said. "I had no interest in art whatsoever, until all of a sudden I started sketching something and said, 'Oh, this is fun.'"

Strunk works in watercolors. The work she has up for display has linework in pen and ink with watercolor paint layered on top.  

Pam Foley has work on display that eschews paints and inks entirely; she takes a canvas covered in upholstery fabric and sticks pins and other jewelry into it, creating a display themed around summer insects. 

Foley started making that kind of artwork after collecting boxes of jewelry as thrift store finds or as single earrings when their pairs went missing, she said. "And then I had all this jewelry, and I [said], 'Look at all this fabric, I think what I'm going to do is just put them on as I get inspired,'" she said. 

Her mother, whose name was Rose, passed away around the time Foley started making the boards. In her honor, Foley places a different color rose in the corner of each work she makes. 

The art will be on display throughout December in the Wareham Free Library, 59 Marion Road. The artworks are available for sale, and 20% of the proceeds will go to support the Friends of the Wareham Free Library.