Seacoast Artist Association Gallery Reopens
Seacoast-area art lovers, rejoice!
The Seacoast Artist Association will reopen its downtown Exeter gallery this Friday, March 5 at 10 a.m. This is their 46th year.
“During the pandemic, the SAA artists were still able to paint, photograph and create,” says Debra Woodward, a Seacoast Artist Association board member and outgoing chair of the scholarship committee. “Actually, making art is a good way to deal with isolation and the inability to travel and be with friends and family. But one of the things that the members miss the most is seeing each other in person. More than anything, the Seacoast Artists Association is a community of artists.”
The Seacoast Artist Association gallery is unique because it is staffed by the artists whose works are displayed in the windows and on the walls. It is an all-volunteer nonprofit group.
Next Friday, March 10, viewers will have the opportunity to see all the inspired artwork created by members during the pandemic.
Looking to the future, the gallery hopes to be open on Wednesdays throughout the month of April to showcase new artwork, including their “The Color of Spring” theme show. In May, they will display “Reflections” and in June “Finally Summer!”
The Seacoast Artist Association will again be offering their Mystery Kits this June, a fun activity for the whole family. The kit includes varying supplies, items and canvas, and participants have the whole summer to create a piece of art, which will be exhibited in October. Proceeds raised benefit their scholarship fund, which assists local graduating public school seniors who will study art in college. This will be their 33rd year assisting local students. “We feel it is one of the most important things we do to give back to the community,” Woodward says.
Woodward also manages their Body of Work program, which is popular with both the artists and customers. Each month, two member artists feature a group of their pieces together in a corner display at the gallery. “Customers love seeing pieces by one artist hanging together and getting to know their styles. Some end up collecting multiple pieces by one artist,” Woodward says.
This program will return in April with watercolorist Kathy Flygare and oil painter Maryclare Heffernan. The month of May will feature Lorraine Makhoul’s watercolors and oils by Jim Ryan, and acrylics by Janice Leahy and photographs by Dave Saums will be displayed in June.
Annick Bouvron-Gromek, the gallery manager, plays a large part in the success of the gallery during the pandemic, Woodward says. They displayed artwork in their windows for passersby and window shopping, which ended up going very well.
Masks and social distancing are required at all times in the gallery.