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March 14, 2013

Saltbox show features two Cape Ann artists

Two Cape Ann artists, Barbara Donnelly and Gayle Macklem, will be part of the 25th anniversary show of the Saltbox Gallery, which will be held at Coolidge Hall at the Topsfield Fairgrounds this weekend.

This is the gallery’s largest show ever, with a free public reception tomorrow night from 7 to 9.

Gayle Macklem of Manchester is one of the newest members, and one of 13 painters in the group, which also includes a few artisans.

She works in watercolor, although her recent paintings have a new twist with her use of sumi, a Japanese ink, which she uses together with watercolor. Macklem’s son lives in Japan, and he sends her Japanese ink, watercolor and paper.

“It’s a little different than working with traditional ink,” she said. Macklem explained that many traditional inks are waterproof and designed for writing whereas sumi ink is more conducive to painting.

“It adds tremendous drama to the work,” she said.

Macklem is also a member of the North Shore Arts Association, the Beverly Guild of Artists, Cape Ann Painters and the 8th Maine Artists. She studied many years with Betty Lou Schlemm.

Barbara Donnelly, who has been a member of the Saltbox Gallery for about six years, has worked out of a waterfront studio on Harbor Loop in Gloucester since 1979.

She is described as a strong, traditional, representational painter in watercolor and oil. She often paints the harbor, surf and boats.

Donnelly also travels abroad to paint. Her awards include an international two-month artist-in-residency in France. She was honored by the French Embassy with a solo show in Washington, D.C. She is an artist member of New England Watercolor Society, Copley Society, Academic Artists, American Artists Professional League, Rockport Art Association and North Shore Arts Association.

In this show’s set up, the works of the 13 oil and watercolor painters will surround displays of the artisans, which include two woodworkers, a potter and two jewelry artisans. The show is open Friday through Sunday, March 15 to 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the artist reception Friday night from 7 to 9. There is free admission, free parking, and easy wheelchair access at Coolidge Hall at the Topsfield Fairgrounds.

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