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Hampden Art Guild to host first show in town

Date: 11/2/2009

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

HAMPDEN -- For the first time in the Hampden Art Guild's history, its artists will have their own space in Hampden to display their works.

Dorothy Fritts, a member of the Hampden Art Guild (HAG), noted that shows had been hosted locally at the Hampden Public Library and by the historical society -- and at the First Church in Springfield, at the Little Red Schoolhouse in East Longmeadow and at the Wilbraham Public Library -- but never in its own space. That changes with this weekend's show at 486 Main St., between the Grog Shoppe and Hampden Hardware.

"We are so grateful to Dick Patullo [owner of the 480 Main Street Building] for donating this space for our show," Fritts said. "And I'm so thrilled about what people are doing. The Big H [arts and crafts festival] sparked a lot of interest in what we do."

HAG's "Seasons of Art" exhibit, sale and celebration will feature paintings in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors, mixed media collages, wood carving, metal sculpture, fiber arts, marble sculpture, photography and more.

"We did the Big H and we wanted to do something more," HAG member Kathy Foster, a photographer, explained. "The building we're in had been empty for about a year and we approached the owner to see if we could rent the space." The former Curves was repainted and HAG members now have their art hanging there.

One featured artist of the upcoming show is Rosanna Coyne, a woodcarver and wood turner. She said she's loved making things since she was a kid and, because her father was a general contractor, she used to watch him make things before she stepped up to the power tools and did it herself.

Coyne uses traditional woodworking tools to carve but uses a lathe to make different creations from wood, including bowls. "You use the tools at the wood is moving," she explained.

She's been doing wood turning for two years and likes to use local and native wood, like ash and sugar maple, in her work.

"This is a new way for us to display our work and involve the community," Foster told Reminder Publications. "I can't tell you how excited we are to be doing this. We're excited to see this space come alive."

"Seasons of Art" opens Nov. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. with a wine and cheese social. The show continues Nov. 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with another wine and cheese social from 4 to 6 p.m. The show closes on Nov. 8 from noon to 4 p.m. with cider and donuts. Music will be provided all three days by local talent T.J. Dwyer.

The public is invited to meet the artists and browse their work. Baskets will also be on hand to collect non-perishable food donations for the Open Pantry.