By Gail McCarthy
---- — Valentine’s Day is a time when old-fashioned messages on paper are shared with friends and family, despite it being the 21st century when digital media pervades most forms of communication.
And infusing card art with even more heart are the members of Gloucester’s Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative. For the fourth year, the artists are holding their “Cards for a Cause” campaign to raise money for local charities.
Rockport artist Bonnie Gray, one of the 18 members, said the cooperative enjoys using the valentine season as an opportunity to give back to the community with each artist working outside his or her usual medium when creating Valentine’s Day cards.
“We are all very grateful for the support of the Cape Ann community and view this as an opportunity to show our appreciation,” she said.
Each member has made one-of-a-kind valentines, all of which will be donated for this project. A voting ballot was created listing seven local charities: Action Inc., Cape Ann Animal Aid Association, Healing Abuse — Working for Change (HAWC), The Open Door’s Cape Ann Food Pantry, Pathways for Children, Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, and Wellspring House. For each card purchased, the customer may cast a vote for a charity.
Kathy Bucholska, a jeweler and mixed media artist, said this year there is a small change in that the cooperative will award two winners, not just one. The ballots will be tallied the day after Valentine’s Day, and the total proceeds will be divided evenly between the two charities that receive the most votes.
“We urge the organizations to get the word out to their supporters to buy a card and vote,” she said. “We tried to select a variety of causes addressing the needs of adults, children, families, the arts and the abandoned animals on Cape Ann.”
There is a wide variety of offerings by the artists, from “Tin Can Sally” Seamans incorporating tin bookmarks on her cards to potter Virginia Townsend creating a sheep card which declares “I love ewe.”
Christine Garrigan, a recent member and tie dye designer, will create simple paper craft cards, with lots of color, and perhaps some glitter for her contribution.
Donna Amero, a stained glass artist and a founding member, is doing something new this year; creating cards made with animal print paper and red feathers.
Other artists in the cooperative are: Stephanie Bowens, fiber art; Ian Commissioning, fabric art; Pat Doherty, painting; Christin Hale, woodworking; Lois Hertzler, photography; Joe Higgins, fish prints; David Katz, photography; Bob Kulchuk, wheel-thrown pottery and fused glass; Ann Schlecht, jewelry; Jim Sousa, photography; Darren Taylor, woodworking, functional art furniture and jewelry; and Kate Webster, fiber, mixed media, jewelry.
Local Colors is at 121 Main St. in Gloucester. For more information, visit www.local-colors.org.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or firstname.lastname@example.org.