The Franklin Gallery to showcase works by several local artists in March

Mar 1, 2024

The Franklin Gallery, at RiverStones Custom Framing, 33 N. Main Street in Rochester, will host a multi-artist exhibit during the month of March entitled “Art at the Franklin Gallery.”

The exhibition features seven artists, including Renée Hardy, Kimberly Muese, Jill Vendituoli, Grace Ferguson, Evelyn Nitzberg, Corina Willette, and Peter Abate.  Coordinated by local artist Peter Abate, the exhibit will consist of 35 works of art in a variety of styles and mediums, including needlepoint, oil, watercolor, and acrylic ink. An artists’ reception will be held on Friday, March 15, from 4 to 6 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.  Light refreshments will be served.

Renée Hardy is a self-taught visual artist who lives in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. The surrounding lakes and mountains inspire her artwork. She is highly sought after for her commissioned pet portraits and her landscapes She most enjoys painting florals. Renée’s medium ranges from oils, watercolors, and acrylics. She loves the ability to work in all mediums giving her more flexibility to be creative. When she is not in her home studio you can find her in the field with her camera.

Kimberly Muese is a nationally acclaimed still-life watercolorist who returned to New Hampshire after a 30-year absence. Her unique technique combines sumptuous detail with extraordinary mastery of color. The results are watercolor works that are extremely realistic and unusual for the medium. Kimberly takes watercolor painting beyond traditional loose methodologies to create works that defy the confines of representational painting and surmount the challenges inherent in water-based media. The results are exquisitely deep, rich paintings that have become a career-long passion.

Jill Vendituoli is a self-taught needlepoint artist residing in West Newfield, Maine. She has spent the last three decades exploring this traditional fiber art form and challenging herself and the perception of this medium by stitching needlepoint tapestries in styles, physical forms, and non-traditional 21st-century fibers. Because fiber art is a “flexible” medium, Jill has discovered within needlepoint, a historically female form of creativity, a multitude of opportunities to explore and restructure the boundaries of her craft.

Grace Ferguson is a painter, photographer, and printmaker. She received an MFA from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1987. She retired a few years ago and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area during the winter and spring and in New Hampshire during the summer and fall. She is a New Hampshire native and her work explores the world around us and is a response to beauty in nature and ideas.

Evelyn Nitzberg, an award-winning oil painter and Signature Artist, “Society of Western Artists”, 2012.  Her accolades include an Award of Merit from the California State Fair, innumerable Best of Show, and first-place awards from a lifetime of exhibits beginning at the age of 14.  Evelyn’s 4’x16’ mural depicting the history of printing technology, presented to an international coalition in San Francisco, 1984, “lives” in the permanent collection of the Union History Archives on the San Francisco State University Campus. In 1985-86, her style turned 180 degrees. Evelyn started composing still-life set-ups using her collection of old toys that “spoke to her”, telling whimsical stories of life’s ironies, concerns, and fears. Her observational skills honed as a biological illustration transferred into looking deeply and expressing subtle detail.

Corina Willette is an artist and educator. Her work bridges feelings and thoughts providing an understanding between seeing and being, and imagining. Her mediums are primarily painting and drawing materials such as oils, charcoal, graphite, watercolor, and ink. The materials used are dictated by the subject matter and intuition.  Willette is inspired by the things that make us human: created structures, curiosity, feelings, experiences, perceptions, play, and magic. Willette’s work has exhibited at venues including the Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, NY, and the New Britain Museum of American Art in CT.  Willette is an Adjunct Professor of Studio Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz and has taught art locally and internationally.

Peter Abate resides in West Newfield, Maine.  Peter’s mediums include watercolor, assemblage, collage, and photography.  His art and photography have been exhibited in a variety of venues throughout the region.  Since 2004 Peter has organized monthly art exhibits at the Gafney Library in Sanbornville, as well as exhibits throughout New England for the “The Art Group” networking with artists from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.  Peter has been actively involved with the art community in and around Wakefield N.H. for over 24 years.  He is a juried member of Mt. Washington Valley Arts in North Conway and is a member of the Curatorial Committee of the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts.

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