The Carten Gallery



“Wood Carvings and Assemblages”: Sculptures by Mary Spitzer
Tuesday, July 3rd, through Monday, July 30th
Public Reception: Wednesday, July 11th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Artist’s Statement:


Wood, a Generous Material; Lending Itself to My Thoughts


From 1950-1952, I lived on Bray St. in West Gloucester. For a while I was the youngest child, then the next-to-youngest when my sister was born. Too young to go to school, I began my career of dragging things home in fascination with their shapes and of making them elements of my creative life.


Cinnamon Rolls

I have never been someone who saw the inner form or spirit of a log and then felt I had to release it. More often the wood has seen something in me and graciously helped me notice it. Logs have patiently waited while I stripped them of bark and sliced or chipped into the wavy layers of their yearly growth. They have tolerated being coated with paraffin and turpentine to slow the natural cracking- all without complaint. I have collected logs and other forms of wood-bureau fronts and construction materials as well as rusted, mangled hardware. All have given generously of their emptiness so I could fill them with my ideas.


Sometimes I mainly carve shapes, other times I build up as in furniture-making, and sometimes I combine the two, using the rude collision to send thoughts spinning.”



About the Virginia A. Carten Gallery

Virginia A. Carten (1906 – 1986) was a local artist who expressed her generosity to the community by bequeathing a significant amount of money to Abbot Library for items relating to art and artists. A portion of that money was used to build a new gallery during the Library building renovations in 1989 – 1990. The Carten Gallery is used for exhibits of area artists whose work might include painting, photography, sculpture, multimedia and more. Those interested in exhibiting work in the Gallery should contact the Library Director, Patricia Rogers, at 781-631-1481 Ext. 222, or at

Carten Gallery
Virginia A. Carten
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