, Gloucester, MA

June 20, 2013

"Off The Hook": Local Colors artists try different media for new show

By Gail McCarthy
Staff Writer

---- — Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative wants to reel in residents and visitors with its new ocean-themed show, “Off the Hook.”

This is the cooperative’s annual exhibition, which coincides with St. Peter’s Fiesta, held in honor of the patron saint of fishermen.

The public is welcome to the free evening reception and open house on Saturday, June 22, at Local Colors, 121 Main St. in downtown Gloucester, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The exhibition, which runs through July 6, features new work that reflects the fishing history and maritime culture of the city, the nation’s oldest working seaport.

“This is our opportunity to honor the Cape Ann community,” said Kathy Bucholska, a long-time member who works with fossils and recycled materials.

The organizers ask the artists to do new work just for this show, with the caveat that the artists experiment in a different medium — with the idea that a new medium lets them “off the hook.”

The result is both serious and playful interpretations by the 19 member artists, including several newcomers to the cooperative, now celebrating 30 years, noted Stephanie Bowens, who created knitted works for this show.

The results are diverse including work by fiber artist Ian Commissiong, who experimented with the translucency and patterns of fish skin in a first offering of glass-framed displays. Water-color artist Rusty Kinnunen created hand-pulled linoleum block prints of ocean motifs.

Sally Seamans, aka Tin Can Sally,created a series of fish pins; photographer Lois Hertzler captured images of local fish markets; Donna Amero, a stained glass artist, created a mermaid motif; Ann Schlecht created new fish motif beach glass, silver, and copper jewelry; and woodworker Darren Taylor designed furniture pieces with surfaces carved in the ripples left by water droplets and rivulets left in wet sand.

Painters Bonnie Gray, Pat Doherty and Kathy O’Brien display their talents on canvas. Virginia Townsend created sea-related ceramics and Nantucket baskets, and Bob Kulchuk created sea-inspired pottery.

But these are just some of the offerings to be found in the shop bursting with new ideas by its member artists for this summer season.

For more information, visit

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or