Passion Fuels Annual Spring Show for Leominster Art Association
By Cheryl Cuddahy
The Leominster Art Association is made up of people who have a love and passion for art and are a diverse group of individuals who have come together to share and learn from each other.
To showcase this passion, members of the association are excited to celebrate their Annual Arts, Crafts & Photography Exhibit, which is held annually in the spring.
Now in its 54th year, the exhibit will be held Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7, at St. Leo’s School auditorium, 120 Main St.
An artist’s reception will be celebrated from 6 until 9 p.m. on Friday, April 5.
The community is invited to view the exhibit on Saturday, April 6 from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 7, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
This exhibit will showcase artwork completed by individuals from the ages of 15 to 90 in three divisions of work -- student, intermediate, and advanced.
Two professional judges will evaluate each piece of work based on predetermined criteria. Many pieces will receive ribbons or special recognition, including the Mayor’s Award given by Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella.
“The Leominster Art Association started with a man and a dream,” begins Cindi Peterson, publicity chairperson of the association. “His name was John DeLibero and with his wife Ellie, who were my aunt and uncle, together devoted their lives to the growth and longevity of this dream today. We are in our 54th year and hope to keep it alive well into the future.”
The Leominster Art Association, with over 200 members, is led by Brian Beaudoin of Westminster and Jane Keough of Leominster.
Brian joined the association when his aunt brought him to a monthly meeting at the age of 14 and has held many offices since that time, currently serving as president and co-chair of the Spring Exhibit.
“Being president of such a long-standing association is both an honor and privilege,” Beaudoin says humbly. “I am honored to be an integral member of this group of creative right brain thinkers, which nurtures and supports the importance of art in our communities. In addition, it is a privilege to continue to be surrounded by such wonderful individuals who have helped me developed my passion for Art Education since my teenage years.”
Beaudoin is also an art educator at Overlook Middle School in Ashburnham. He is in his 33rd year of teaching and during the school year gives group art lessons at his home studio in Westminster.
In addition, he provides workshops and demonstrations in various locations throughout the communities. He has also done numerous commission pieces.
He strongly believes that “anyone can be taught how to create art. You first have to teach them how to see.”
It is this teaching others “to see” that continues to fuel his passion for teaching others.
Keough has been a member of the Leominster Art Association since her early 20′s and is currently vice president and co-chair of the Spring Exhibit.
“Although I began painting with oils, I now enjoy creating watercolors. I had no experience in drawing or painting when I first began, simply always admired people who could create beautiful artwork,” she says.
Keough’s favorite words of encouragement to those who doubt their own abilities, “Would you ever pick up a violin and expect to play? With lessons and practice, we can all achieve our own level of accomplishment wherever our interests lie. Don’t be afraid to try!”
This year’s exhibit will feature more than 200 pieces of artwork, some will be for sale. Featured exhibiting artist will be Kathleen Patry of Lunenburg. She is a watercolor and acrylic artist who also enjoys photography.
“Kathy has been a loyal Leominster Art Association member for over 30 years,” says Peterson, “and has participated in many art association’s shows and winning awards.”
Her work has also been juried into the Fitchburg Art Museum Regional shows. Her paintings have been in galleries and shows throughout New England, as well as in private collections in the United States and Japan. She has also had the honor of displaying art at the Statehouse in Boston.
Kathy has studied with some great teachers while taking art workshops and attended classes at the Fitchburg and Worcester Art Museum.
“She is always eagerly learning new techniques and using materials to express her visions,” Peterson adds. “Her enthusiasm has led her to start her own painting circle of friends that meet weekly. Plein air painting is enjoyed by all in her group.”
The exhibit will also feature artist’s demonstrations, raffles with winnings including artwork, museum passes, and gift certificates.
“A special theme this year is ‘Chaos’ where members have had an opportunity to be creative with the topic and the entries are always amazingly fun to view,” adds Keough.
There is no charge to visit the exhibit, however donations are accepted and appreciated.
The Leominster Art Association meets the third Tuesday of each month at Congregational Church, 583 Main St., in North Leominster.
“We have monthly meetings with guest demonstrators and in December and June we have pot luck suppers at the Fitchburg Art Museum,” adds Peterson.
Peterson, Beaudoin and Keough all believe that the association is important to the communities because it promotes exposure to art, in all forms, to all ages, from young to old.
“The association has provided me with many wonderful friends who share similar interests, opportunities to learn about various types of media through monthly meetings, professional demonstrators, and occasional outings,” Keough says.
The Leominster Art Association invites new members and welcomes fresh new ideas to share with each other.
“Art is important in our lives because it releases creativity and imagination; everyone can be an artist, in one way or another,” Peterson says proudly.
Got a column subject or item for Community Conversations? Email ccuddahy@sentinelandenterprise. Read her blog at blogs.sentinelandenterprise.com/communityconversations