Throughout the month of February, gallery owner Glenn Johnson is hosting the “Expressions of Love” exhibit at his Handworks Gallery of American Crafts in Acton, where he dedicates about half of his gallery space to showcase, free of charge, the special work from artists, craftspeople, and makers from of all ages and abilities.
In the exhibit, now in its 18th year, each piece offers a backstory, explaining how and why it was created. Next
Harvard resident Marilyn Jenney sculpted this bronze piece to express her love for cats. Jenney, a self-proclaimed cat hoarder, tells the story of how she rescued and homed 28 cats and kittens. She writes the background for her piece,
"Good homes were found for kittens, and 21 formerly feral cats shared our home and fenced-in yard to live much longer lives than they would have in the wild. Over time, diabetes, kidney failure, thyroid disease, heart failure, and cancer claimed 12 of the 21 gentle lives. Nine are left to greet us when we come home, curl up on our laps, and keep us warm at night. But it’s their love and affection for each other that touches my heart and is what I’ve tried to capture in my bronze sculpture ’Head Butts'. Next
Jill O’Reilly from Lexington honors the 300th anniversary of the town she’s been calling home for over 40 years with a bracelet inspired in the presence of stone walls in Lexington.
“Stone walls abound in Lexington. I can see them from my studio window and from almost every window of my home. I can imagine farmers clearing land and building the walls 300 years ago when Lexington was founded. The textures, patina, and irregular shapes of the stones are the inspiration for this series.” Next
A self-portrait by Mokey
The youngest contributors are 6-year-old Kate Spengler and her 8-year-old sister, Leah. The Spenglers, from Pepperell, created a portrait of Muppets’ character Mokey for this year’s exhibit. The piece pays tribute to their godmother and friend, Helen Yetman-Bellows,who they say resembles Mokey in fashion, style, and personality. Next
Pictured are 12 out of the of the 24 artists who submitted pieces to the "Expressions of Love" exhibit . They were present at the artist reception on Feb. 3 2013.
The artists stand by the sides of Glenn Johnson (center), who created the exhibit 18 years ago to connect with the local crafspeople and showcase their talent. From this annual show, he said, he has built lasting relationships with community members. Next
An Experimental and Enjoyable Journey
Acton resident Alice Brunton made this organic neckpiece. Brunton, a devoted silversmith and jewelry maker, made the piece by using faceted topaz gemstones, forged silver wire, and copper crystals, which her husband, being a electrical engineer, once introduced her to. She calls this neckpiece, "an experimental and enjoyable journey. Also an expression of love for a man of similar interests." Next
Sisters Through Chemo, Sisters Through Life
(From left to right) Karen Tarr, Ruth Armstrong, and Pat Burns stand beside the "Sisters Through Chemo, Sisters Through Life" photograph at the exhibit’s artist reception.
Sisters Karen (left), diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2011, and Pat (right), diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2011, coped together with the anxiety and side effects that come with a cancer diagnosis. Their mother, Ruth (center), was also diagnosed with breast cancer that year. The exhibited photograph, "Sisters Through Chemo, Sisters Through Life," shows a snapshot of the sisters when they were going through chemo, with balding heads and wide smiles, and another snapshot after the treatment, "laughing in the face of cancer!" they said. Next
Ritva Ojanen examines the details of "Mermaid Shrine," made by Nancy Craemer, during the artist reception at the Handworks Gallery.
Ojanen submitted a piece, "Heart Box Necklace," made with a strand of head drilled pearls and a silver heart shape she designed for the braids maids of her niece's wedding in 2011. Next
An Ice Cream Sundae
Littleton resident Sunny Sandock submitted a stained glass frame. Sandock explained the story behind it,
"When Rob and Chris decided to adopt a little girl, they had already birthed three handsome, intelligent and well-behaved sons, Robbie Jr., Tyler and Brad. Everyone was involved in the many preparations and when Olivia Cherry Mae finally arrived, their family was indeed complete. I made this stained glass frame one Mother’s Day for this photo that Chris had taken of her ‘Family Love Pile’. The photo clearly shows it all. As Rob put it, referring to an ice cream sundae, ‘Three scoops with a Cherry Mae on top.’ I am proud to have this loving family as an extension of my own family and even prouder that I am Godmother to all four of the kids." Next
Acton resident Frann Addison holds the craft she made for the exhibit.
Always incorporating Judaic symbols into her work, Addison engraved a quotation from the "Song of Songs" from the Old Testament into the base of the cup, made of pewter. The cup is also made of pewter and the stem is made with lead crystal. Next
“This whole show is my expression of love to all the different craftspeople,” said Glenn Johnson.
The gallery’s hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Handworks Gallery is located in 161 Great Road in Acton. Back to the beginning
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