Visions of Wareham at Library art reception

Dec 6, 2022

Wareham is in the eye of the beholder at the Bourne Wareham Art Association’s latest exhibition, on display at the Wareham Free Library now until Jan. 2. 

The exhibition features 40 pieces by 13 local artists. At a reception on Tuesday, Dec. 6, the artists shared their unique, sometimes surreal interpretations of familiar local sights.

“That’s a creative license,” said Lori Benson as she and her friend Tom Kinsky scrutinized June Strunk’s watercolor “Evening Snowfall.”

Indeed, Strunk confirmed that the snow-draped barn scene, with an iridescent sky of blue, red, green, yellow and purple, exists only in her imagination. 

When Patricia O’Neill paints scenes of Onset, she removes trees as she sees fit, in order to get a better view of the beach. She also removes people from her landscapes, creating a peaceful sense of solitude.

“I think it’s one of the prettiest places,” said O’Neill, who has lived in Wareham for seven years and has been painting for over 25. “I could paint it forever, all the little houses and fish piers. It’s so quaint. It’s the best view on the Cape, but I’m biased because I live here.”

Her work focuses on the color, light and geometry of Onset. One painting emphasizes the white glare of the sun after a rainstorm, while another shows the golden gleam of the Glen Cove Hotel at sunrise.

“The glow when the sun has set is special,” she said. “I love all the angles of the tightly compact buildings.”

She considers herself not just an artist but a historian as well, painting her beloved old cottages and lamenting every time they are demolished and replaced with what she calls “big monstrosities.”

“I’m documenting the small little places,” she said.

Tim Foley has a gift for reframing Wareham. He photographs cloudscapes and seascapes, and paints from the photographs. He also refurbishes old frames that he gets at yard sales, taking great care to make sure that the painting and frame are a good match.

“It’s like a marriage of old art and new art,” said Tim, who also hung the exhibit. “I love skies and I love water. It’s so peaceful. Even when it’s rough, it’s peaceful.”

He is especially interested in the reflection of the sky on the sea. To achieve this effect, he mixes shades of blue on a separate canvas as he paints, to see which shades work well next to each other.

“Blues can be funny,” he said. “Once you put them down, they can almost look green or purple. You have to be careful.”