The Carten Gallery


“Studio 301: Four Artists from the Lydia Pinkham Building”
On View: Friday, January 3rd through Thursday, January 30th
Public Reception: Sunday, January 5th, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

“Studio 301: Four Artists from the Lydia Pinkham Building” will be on view in the Virginia A. Carten Gallery at Abbot Public Library in Marblehead from Friday, January 3rd through Thursday, January 30th. All are invited to the Public Reception on Sunday, January 5th from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.


Artists’ Statements

“Donegal Bay” by Rolf Flor

Rolf Flor: “Stirred by the American watercolorists Homer and Sargent, Prendergast and Marin, I have practiced plein air watercolor painting for the past 15 years. I have primarily pursued landscape subjects along the North Shore with varying degrees of abstraction and realism. During the past five years, having joined the artists of Studio 301 at the Lydia Pinkham building, I have added studio work to my practice.

This year I have been working in the studio on landscapes in which I draw on my recent travels to Ireland. I try to reflect my love of Ireland’s rugged northwest counties-from County Clare to County Donegal-in watercolors of varying scale.”

“Just Passing Through” by Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson: “In this crazy world where we are surrounded by all kinds of chaos, I use the influence of living near the ocean to try and create an environment that is calm and peaceful. To me, there is something magical and even spiritual that happens in the space where the sky meets the water. Is it liquid, or solid, or something else?

The intention of my painting is to portray a sense of depth by layering washes of color that can take you to a place that, although abstract, looks and feels like water or sky that you can swim or float through as you fall into peaceful contemplation, meditation or reflection.

I don’t always start with a vision in mind of the finished painting. I often start with a color and let it flow where it takes me. I enjoy producing larger size paintings that can fill my field of vision, and that involve my whole body to create, but usually produce small studies on paper first. Over the last couple of years, I have come to realize that I enjoy the small works just as much and that they can stand on their own with the same calming effect.”

“Lady’s Slipper 2,” Gelatin Silver, 2016, by Patricia Scialo

Patricia Scialo: “My photographic works are created primarily from an intuitive starting point, transforming the subject through light.

With the use of a lens, I start the process of image-making, creating abstract forms that emphasize line and shadow. Through the printmaking process I continue to manipulate the image with various techniques such as hand-applied light-sensitive emulsions, encaustic, and graphite.

Within the imagery I compose, I strive to create depth, giving the viewer the opportunity to look within, pause, and contemplate the subtleties of what lies beneath.”

“Beautiful Philadelphia” by Mary Spitzer

Mary Spitzer: “I work mostly in wood-found logs and lumber, and some newly purchased. Carving in wood constrains me in many ways. The grain can catch my gouge and pull my cut in a certain direction. The light and dark of the grain is often very sensual and interesting but it can distract from the visual power of the volume I am trying to carve.

In representational art, when I work with a volume which was once a tree a superficial sense of recognition and attractiveness can get in the way of the idea I am trying to carve. When I am working abstractly and start out thinking, “I am just fooling around with forms,” an idea often arrives anyway and then I can pursue that.

Constructing from planks and found wood means joining wood in a convincing way so that the result is more than the sum of its parts. Proceeding this way requires planning and seems more intellectual. Carving always seems more risky and intuitive because the interior is hidden from me.

The dynamic interplay of these possibilities and requirements is central to the meaning of my work.”




“Second Wind – Second Look”
Art by Isabelle K. Brown, Barbara Dowd, and Linda Lea Bertrand
On View: Sunday, February 2nd through Thursday, February 27th
Public Reception: Saturday, February 8th, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Three women met in a painting class of Paul George, an award-winning artist on Cape Ann. They formed a bond of mutual respect for each other’s varied background, passion for art, and interest in developing their individual artistic styles. They joined in a collaborative called “Second Wind” for exhibition of their work. “Second Wind” refers to enthusiasm for a new beginning by reinventing themselves through art.

“Schooners at Rest”-oil by Isabelle K. Brown

This exhibit, “Second Wind – Second Look,” includes landscape and seascape paintings inspired by taking a “second look” at the scenery where they live on the North Shore. As nature is always changing and the artist is always developing, even paintings of the same subject will always be new and different.

These three women are:

Isabelle K. Brown was a former newspaper reporter and Executive Assistant in local and state government. She is a mother of three children and grandmother of four. She started painting in watercolor with Paul George and in oil with David P. Curtis, both award-winning artists on Cape Ann. She currently paints with K. T. Morse in Ipswich. She is a member of Marblehead Arts Association and the Rockport Art Association and Museum. She has exhibited her paintings at the Annisquam Art Gallery, Sawyer Free Library, The Bookstore in Gloucester, and Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester.

“Close-Up Beauty” – oil by Barbara Dowd

Barbara Dowd is a retired pediatrician and mother of six children. Her grandchildren inspired her to write and illustrate a children’s book which was published. Barbara has studied watercolor, drawing, pastels and oil painting. Her interests in gardening and sailing are evident in her paintings of floral and nautical scenes. She is a member of Marblehead Arts Association. She exhibits her work there, the Marblehead Festival of Arts, and the Gold Coast Gallery in Beverly, MA.

Linda Lea Bertrand started painting in watercolor while working as a Nurse Practitioner, teaching skiing and sailing. A chance meeting with the David P. Curtis’s Plein Air Group motivated her to begin oil painting. She has been a plein air painter ever since. She is a member of Marblehead Arts Association, Rockport Art Association, and North Shore Arts Association, where she exhibits. She recently became Director of the Gallery at AdviniaCare, Salem, MA.

“Fort Beach” – oil by Linda Lea Bertrand

“Second Wind – Second Look” will be exhibited at the Virginia A. Carten Gallery at Abbot Public Library from Sunday, February 2nd through Thursday, February 27th. Please join us for the Artists’ Reception on Saturday, February 8th, from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.



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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