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Globe West Arts

As galleries, libraries serve artists and art-lovers

Nineteen photographers from the Stonybrook Camera Club are displaying their work at the Norfolk Public Library. ' Day Dreaming' by Bob Doyon is included. Nineteen photographers from the Stonybrook Camera Club are displaying their work at the Norfolk Public Library. " Day Dreaming" by Bob Doyon is included. (Blackstone Photography)
By Nancy Shohet West
Globe Correspondent / July 7, 2011

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For studio artists of all kinds, finding opportunities to exhibit their work can sometimes seem like a lifelong quest. The popular and well-trafficked exhibit spaces in local libraries are one way that artists can catch a break and have their worked viewed by the public. Among the locals benefiting from this opportunity to exhibit their art this month are a painter from Hudson and a group of photographers based in and around Wrentham.

►Photography show at Norfolk Public Library through July 30: Nineteen photographers from the Stonybrook Camera Club, which meets weekly at the Wrentham Senior Center, are displaying their work at the Norfolk Public Library at 139 Main St. The public is invited to meet the artists next Wednesday at a reception from 7-9 p.m.

“In total, we’re showing more than 50 pieces,’’ said Anthony Mistretta, incoming club president. “We consider ourselves serious enthusiasts of photography, and we aspire to professional quality in our work. The pieces in this exhibit cover a tremendous range of topics, from race cars to flowers to landscapes to castles. Most are color; some are black and white.’’

Mistretta, who lives in Holliston, is exhibiting three works, two done in the medium of infrared photography. The format of their weekly meetings varies, Mistretta said; sometimes outside speakers visit, other times they critique each other’s pieces.

“With 165 members, we’re at maximum capacity for our meeting space, but this is our only public exhibit all year,’’ he said.

To find out more, including the library’s hours and directions, call 508-528-3380 or go to library.virtualnorfolk.org.

►Hudson painter exhibits at the Framingham Public Library through July 14: The main branch of the Framingham Public Library is featuring the work of Dennis Knecht, a Hudson artist who paints in watercolor, acrylic, oil, and more. Knecht said he has loved to paint and draw throughout his 61 years. He studied art in college in the late 1960s, but then got drafted and served in the military until 1978. After his discharge, he continued his studies through how-to books and local classes.

“I’m always trying to improve,’’ he said. “I’ve learned all different types of styles, including traditional, watercolor, acrylics, oils, landscapes, seascapes. I also work in cubism and other abstract modes, so you could say I’m all over the map stylistically.’’

For inspiration, Knecht, who is not employed due to disabilities, visits different sites - forests, fields, cities, seashores - and takes photos, which he then brings back to his studio.

“I rarely paint on site because it’s too hard to preserve the materials - paint, paint thinner, and so forth,’’ he said. Music inspires him as he works in his Hudson studio, whether it’s Roy Orbison or something classical. Although the sunsets on Cape Cod and lighthouses of Maine capture his imagination as painting subjects, he also enjoys foraying into futuristic images. While still in college in the 1960s, he painted a robot - and was shocked to see almost the identical image years later as R2-D2 in Star Wars.

In selecting the paintings to hang in the Framingham Public Library, Knecht tried for variety. “This show includes some of my favorites,’’ he said. “One example is ‘Birch and Mountains in Winter,’ and another is ‘Red Alien,’ an ET-like figure I painted back in 1969. I even included my first watercolor, which I painted just two years ago.’’

The library is at 49 Lexington St. For hours and more information, call 508-532-5570 or go to www.framinghamlibrary.org.

CONCORD ROLLS ALONG: Concord Youth Theatre’s Young Adult Players present “Merrily We Roll Along’’ tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Middlesex School’s Cornelius Ayer Wood Theatre, 1400 Lowell Road, Concord. The plot of this musical, by Stephen Sondheim, involves the ups and downs of the relationship among composer/producer Frank Shepherd and two close friends, beginning with their unhappy estrangement in middle age and moving backwards through time to their much brighter early adulthoods. General admission is $15 and may be purchased online at concordyouththeatre.org or by calling the theater box office at 978-371-1482, mailbox 1. Tickets will also be available at the door, but reservations are recommended as performances sell out quickly. The performance is recommended for audience members ages 10 and older.

WHERE WALTHAM INTERSECTS WITH OKLAHOMA: Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston kicks off its summer season with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!’’ on stage tomorrow through July 17. Tickets are $35 to $57 for adults, $25 for youths ages 5 to 18, with discounts for senior citizens, groups, and student rush. Available online at www.reaglemusictheatre.org, by calling 781-891-5600, or in person at the box office at the Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington St., Waltham. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and performance days 9 a.m. till curtain.

‘CATS’ MAKES ITS WAY TO ACTON: Theatre with a Twist, Inc. presents the amateur production of “Cats,’’ based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’’ by T.S. Eliot. This free performance takes place at NARA Park, 25 Ledge Rock Way, Acton, tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday at 8 p.m. (rain date Monday). For more information, go to www.theatrewithatwist.org.

Send ideas for the Arts column to westarts@globe.com.