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VOL: CCCXVII NO: 40 Serving the North Quabbin Region Since 1934
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

home : opinion : columns August 20, 2014

10/10/2012 1:10:00 PM
A View From a Country Kitchen
A beautiful weekend, an art show, and out of town visitors
SCULPTURE — Warwick artist Betsy Alkins with her sculptured creation “Mz. Ter Jones” during the Warwick Arts Council’s recent art show.Photo by Pat Vandenberg
SCULPTURE — Warwick artist Betsy Alkins with her sculptured creation “Mz. Ter Jones” during the Warwick Arts Council’s recent art show.
Photo by Pat Vandenberg
ADN Columnist

What a beautiful Columbus Day weekend we've had. I enjoyed the annual Warwick Art Show and Sale at the Warwick Town Hall spearheaded by Tom Wyatt and a group of energetic artists from the Warwick Art Council. Each year brings new depth, creativity and quality to the show. I'm always awed and impressed by the cleverness and diversity of media displayed. Undoubtedly, talent is overflowing in Warwick and surrounding communities.

This year, several young adults who have grown up along with the Art Show of 22 years, offered unique and interesting pieces. They featured select photographs, watercolors, and sculptures, along with other hand crafted and creative items reflecting their individual personalities. Other members of the community displayed captivating and whimsical works that each year reveal a different aspect of their colorful artwork. Puppeteer Nicol Wander always comes up with a clever presentation of puppets or colorful characters that bring a smile.

The Friday night artists' reception was an especially pleasurable event that brought together artisans and supportive community members all mingling together. Two visitors from New York City purchased a watercolor of the picturesque Bridge of Flowers from local artist Lucille Kumstis. The next morning I met them again at a breakfast and they spoke highly of the artwork and its fine details. During the art reception, home baked delicacies were enjoyed, and Beth Gilgun's lovely dishes and crystal glasses always complement the food and homey ambiance of the evening.

On Saturday and Sunday volunteers manned the welcoming table during the weekend event. While there I met a fellow from Arlington, who spoke to me of his goal of driving through every town in Massachusetts and stopping for brief periods to take photographs of something that "made that particular place special." He then posts it on his personal blog. I pointed out several places of interest along with the eye catching fountain spewing out spring water next to the library, and the white, handmade directional sign indicating nearby towns and distances from Warwick.

I welcomed him to the Art Show where he was drawn to several distinctive pieces. The visitor was quite impressed that a little rural town such as Warwick had so many fine artists putting out interesting and exceptional work. One in particular, a full sized, steel Matador and Bull, crafted by Forest Stone, captivated his attention. Forest had grown up here in Warwick and graduated from the Boston College of Art and Sculpture, and recently moved to Maine.

Artist Betsy Alkins' plaster of Paris sculpture, "Mz. Ter Jones" was a conversational centerpiece that drew visitors to reflect on the sculpture and its meaning. I enjoyed passing on small details that Betsy had told to me about Mz. Ter Jones, and the sculptured critters that surrounded her.

As I was leaving on Saturday, I noticed three out-of-townees posing for pictures in front of the colorful village common. I offered to take their photos all together, and invited them to tour the Art Show and enjoy a cup of fresh cider. As I was heading to my car I neglected to ask where they were from, but offered tidbits of information about our town, the Warwick Inn, the town hall, etc. The woman in the group translated to her Japanese companion each word I said. What fun it was to briefly meet visitors from various out of town locations who appreciated the quiet beauty of our region, instead of a past negative focus and misinformation that's been expressed about our region.

Enjoy autumn. It's my favorite season. And, it would be so nice if winter looked upon us kindly once again.

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