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From  student  to teacher

Sharon Arts: 66th Annual Members Exhibition showcases varied stages of the artist

  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • "Trickster," an alabaster carving by Michal Djuna Noer of Wilton, will be on display at the Sharon Arts Gallery in Peterborough during the gallery's 66th Annual Members Exhibition. The gallery will hold an opening reception for the exhibit on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    "Trickster," an alabaster carving by Michal Djuna Noer of Wilton, will be on display at the Sharon Arts Gallery in Peterborough during the gallery's 66th Annual Members Exhibition. The gallery will hold an opening reception for the exhibit on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • An oil landscape entitled "Marsh Meadow" by Betty Glass of Wilton is one of the artworks submitted to the Sharon Arts Gallery's annual show featuring exclusively Sharon Arts members. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    An oil landscape entitled "Marsh Meadow" by Betty Glass of Wilton is one of the artworks submitted to the Sharon Arts Gallery's annual show featuring exclusively Sharon Arts members.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday.


    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • "Trickster," an alabaster carving by Michal Djuna Noer of Wilton, will be on display at the Sharon Arts Gallery in Peterborough during the gallery's 66th Annual Members Exhibition. The gallery will hold an opening reception for the exhibit on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • An oil landscape entitled "Marsh Meadow" by Betty Glass of Wilton is one of the artworks submitted to the Sharon Arts Gallery's annual show featuring exclusively Sharon Arts members. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Members of the Sharon Arts Center are given their chance to shine during the gallery's 6th Annual Members Exhibition, which opens this Friday. <br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

For 66 years, the Sharon Arts Center has reserved one of its shows to let the local artists that make up its membership shine during their annual members-only exhibit. The result is a show of artwork as varied as the artists themselves who come from all walks of life. This year, one young artist featured in the show said she was inspired by another Sharon Arts member.

One of this year’s youngest participants isn’t even out of high school yet, but is fully committed to her art. McKenzie West, 16, of Francestown has been featured at the Sharon Arts Gallery before, as a member of its Art Access program, which is designed to help students build up a body of work. Now, as a newly minted member of the Sharon Arts Center, one of her watercolors will be featured in her first member show.

West was inspired to pursue art as a career at school. She said teachers at the Well School in Peterborough and the Dublin School, where she attended before transferring to ConVal last year , gave her a nudge in that direction. She’ll be showing alongside one of her former teachers and mentors, Earl Schofield, an art teacher at Dublin School.

“He’s a really amazing guy,” said West of Schofield. “He mentored me. I was only able to stay at the school for a year but I took a lot from him.”

The ConVal junior is still building her portfolio, but has already identified one of her core strengths: painting animals.

“I have a loose hand when it comes to sketching. Since I have such a loose hand, it’s easy to convey shape and volume and fur,” West said in an interview Monday.

When it came time for her to chose a piece to submit to the member’s show, she settled upon a watercolor painting of a Great Horned Owl, a work, she said, that reflects a culmination of her artistic learning. A photograph of an owl served as the artist’s inspiration. West said she was called to translate the photo into a painting.

“It was so detailed. It was a close-up shot, and I could get a whole world into that one part of the owl,” she said.

She used the opportunity to take some risks and try new techniques, using heavier colors and splatter painting.

“I always want to submit work I’m proud of. I was always told, you should always submit your best work, the one you love above all others, no matter what other people think. That big owl shows my talent so far. I’m really proud of it,” she said.

Schofield, 40, of Antrim, taught West when she attended the Dublin School, where Schofield is an art teacher. A longtime member of the Sharon Arts Center, he said he was returning to his roots with his submitted landscape, “November Dawn.”

Schofield, who uses a wax-layering technique known as encaustic to paint, said he started his artistic career with portrait and figure work. But he began to focus more on landscapes after meeting his wife.

“I joked that I found ‘the one’ so I wasn’t looking at other people anymore, but in a way that’s true,” he said in an interview Monday.

He returned to figure painting again after his daughters were born, and has been showing his private portrait work most recently. However, landscapes allow him to express his emotions more clearly, he said, and for the member’s exhibit, he wanted to return to that aspect of his work.

“I find the landscapes an easy place to project my emotions, where with a figure it’s harder to impose myself onto another figure. With a landscape it’s easier to manipulate,” he said.

This work in particular is a reflection of himself, he said.

“The tone and feeling in that painting is pretty close to my core personality. It’s elegant but just a little dark. Very life-affirming, but aware of death and mortality,” he said. Many of his landscapes have a slightly dark edge to them, he said.

“They seldom tend to be happy, sunny landscapes. They lean more towards the sublime, bigger than you, awesome in the truest sense of the word. I appreciate the austerity of it, and I put that in all my works. Landscapes are often beautiful, but there’s often a sinister or dark element.”

The show allows each member to submit a single work, and the result is a mix of artwork in every conceivable medium, from watercolor or oil to mixed media and sculpture. Residents will get the chance to view the selection of artwork beginning Friday during the exhibit’s opening reception.

“It’s a really open-ended show,” said Assistant Gallery Manager Kate Lenahan, who was one of the curators of the show. “It opens it up to a lot of fine arts and crafts from our area. There’s never an overall theme, and it’s all age levels, all skill strengths. That’s the wonderful thing about the show. It’s a chance for everyone to participate and the whole community to become involved, and still have a nice, dynamic viewing for the community.”

The opening reception for Sharon Arts Center’s 66th Annual Members Exhibition is Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Exhibition Gallery in downtown Peterborough. The exhibit will run through Feb. 23. For more information about the about West, visit www.artistmckeniewest.com. For more information about Schofield, visit www.earlschofield.com.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

Wow! Wow! Is this ever impressive. What a girl with talent galore. McKenzie, You are very gifted and also are very mature for your age, able to express yourself about your art and your selections. Keep up the good work, practicing what you love, open to new ideas, seeing subjects with creative eyes, just enjoying the whole world to capture on canvas, and growing in your love for art and expression. Carol and Oran

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