Saturday, June 13, 2015

"In Memoriam" A Tribute to Past Members of the NSAA

2014 and 2015 were sorrowful years for Cape Ann's artistic community and for the North Shore Arts Association in particular. The art world lost a number of master painters and the loss of their talents, leadership and friendship is deeply felt. As a tribute to our esteemed and accomplished colleagues the NSAA presents the "In Memoriam" Exhibition,  filling the staircase walls with masterworks by these great artists, Rudy Colao, Robert Douglas Hunter, Betty McMillan, Donald Allen Mosher, Edith Socolow, Don Stone N.A., and Tom Sutherland. The rich legacies of these artists live on in our collective memories and in their inspiring images. We are grateful to the collectors and family members who donated works from their private collections,  making this exhibition possible, and we invite you to experience these works of art in person this season at the NSAA.

Thatcher Island Lighthouse
by Rudy Colao, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

Rudy Colao    1924 - 2014

Rudy died suddenly on Saturday, October 4th while on his way home from one of his frequent walks to downtown Rockport. The news came as a shock because just a short while before he was to all appearance in good health and spirits and was planning to attend an event that evening at the Rockport Art Association.

Rudy was born in Peekskill, New York. He attended the local schools there and was drafted into the US Army at the end of World War II. After that he attended the Art Student's League in New York City on the GI Bill. There he studied painting under Frank Vincent DuMond.

After art school and marriage he settled in Manhatten on the Upper East Side. At this time he painted almost exclusively florals and still-lifes.

In 1971 he left New York with his family and moved to Canaan, New Hampshire. He had a space in the barn converted into a studio.

In the early nineties he moved to Rockport, which he had first visited in the ninteen fifties. He established himself there and became an integral part of the art scene. During his years in Rockport he painted landscapes and seaside scenery in addition to florals and still-lifes.

Rudy was very sociable and good natured, with a lively sense of humor. He was full of vitality and enthusiastic about his interests in people, language, culture and art. He especially enjoyed opera. In the early 1980's he began to take a serious interest in Zen Buddhism which he maintained for the rest of his life. He is featured in Who's Who In American Art.

Metal, Glass and Crockery On White
by Robert Douglas Hunter, oil on canvas, 14"x24"

Robert Douglas Hunter    1929 - 2014

Bob was born in West Roxbury in 1929. After serving in the United States Marine Corps, he attended the Vesper George School of Art, graduating in 1949. Following graduation he studied at the Cape Cod School of Art with Henry Hensche. There he met Boston School painter R. H. Ives Gammell who had studied with William Paxton, who in turn had studied in France with Gerome and Jean Paul Laurens. Bob accepted Gammell's invitation to study with him and spent the next five years practicing Gammell's disciplined approach to painting.

Bob went on to develop a distinctive style of still life painting that was uniquely his own. His designs present large, quiet, orderly arrangements seen at eye level and at life size. Bob taught at the Vesper George School of Art from 1950 until it closed in 1983.

In 1968 Bob married Elizabeth Ives Valsam who was Ives Gammell's godchild. Commenting on her husbands work she notes:
"His work ethic was nothing short of amazing. He painted six days a week. He might take a day off if one of his children had an activity, but he would make up for it on Sunday afternoon." She added, "Painting was a job to Bob, but it was a job he loved."

A born teacher, Bob was a mentor and instructor who taught many grateful students over his long career. He is remembered as being kind, eloquent, and witty, always encouraging to younger students.

Bob was a member of many art organizations, including more than fifty years as a member of The North Shore Arts Association. Bob served as president of The Guild of Boston Artists from 1973 to 1978. His work is in the permanent collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Still Life
by Betty McMillan, watercolor, 31.5" x 34"

Betty McMillan    1922 - 2015

Betty was born in New Orleans in 1922. She was brought up in Philadelphia. After graduating from High School, she attended a combined art program at the Philadelphia Art Museum and the University of Pennsylvania.

Her studies were interrupted by the onset of World War II. Betty altered her birth certificate so she could enlist. Betty became a Lieutenant in the Women's Army Corps. Initially, she was stationed at Cape Hale in Leadville, Colorado, home of the Ski Troops. There she learned to ski and developed a love of the Rocky Mountains.

In the spring of 1945, she was transferred to a WAC post at the New York Port Authority where she supervised decoding of secret messages. While there, she learned that her fiance, Ed, a B17 pilot shot down over North Africa and a prisoner of war for twenty-seven months, was on the first ship bringing servicemen back from Europe. He was summoned to the deck and handed an envelope with a message inside from her, "Darling, I'll be on the dock." He was the first man off the ship and the photograph of the two embracing made the front pages of newspapers around the country.

After the war, Betty obtained her pilot's license. Captain of her High School tennis team, and an avid tennis player throughout her life, she won doubles championships at the Manchester Bath and Tennis Club.

Betty devoted many hours to working with children, teaching swimming and Red Cross courses and leading Girl Scout troops. She was an accomplished artist and was a member of the North Shore Arts Association as well as Betty Lou Schlemm's Rockport watercolor group. Her paintings won many awards. In addition to her paintings, Betty loved creating beauty in her gardens.

Low Tide, Corea
by Donald Allen Mosher,  oil on canvas, 22" x 28"

Donald Allen Mosher   1945 - 2014

Born in Malden, Don's family moved to Topsfield, and then to Saugus, where Don graduated from high school. Don's interest in art led him to the Vesper George School of Art, where he met his future wife Christine.

The Moshers settled on Cape Ann in 1974 living at the Rocky Neck Art Colony. In 1980 they bought the Gallery in Rockport on Main Street where Don and Christine's work can be seen today.

Don was a member of many art organizations including The North Shore Arts Association, The Rockport Art Association, where he served as president, and the Guild of Boston Artists. Over the years, Don has won over two hundred awards, including many gold and silver medals.

His paintings have been featured in several national publications including Yankee Magazine and American Artist Magazine. His work is included in the collections of The Peabody Essex Museum, The Massachusetts State House and the Rockefeller Collection.

Outgoing and gregarious, Don made friends wherever he went. A devoted practitioner of  Plein Air painting, Don often journeyed to Maine and Vermont in search of inspiration. He never slighted Cape Ann however, and could often be seen at his easel painting one of his favorite local spots.

Christine Mosher is an award-winning member of The North Shore Arts Association.

Salt Island by Edith Socolow, oil on canvas, 24" x 36"

Edith Socolow     1921 - 2015

Edith Socolow was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She was raised in a family with a rich cultural and intellectual heritage. From an early age she was possessed of an enthusiastic and iconoclastic spirit that manifested itself in the arts.

She was highly accomplished in both the visual arts and music. She studied art in New York City and went on to work in the fields of design and advertising.

Following her marriage she lived in Dallas Texas, Boston, Harrisburg Pennsylvania, and Gloucester.Throughout the years of raising her family her dedication to her artwork never wavered. At the age of sixty-seven Edith earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Goddard College.

Through the years she affected many lives by teaching, first at the Jewish Community Center of Harrisburg and then for many years at the Harrisburg Area Community College. Her final teaching years were at Endicott College in Beverly.

Edith was always active in community art organizations wherever she lived, and most recently here at The North Shore Arts Association. In her later years she continued to paint and draw her seascapes, inspired by the view from her studio overlooking Salt Island. Also with her lifelong interest in music, she continued to play her beloved piano.

Elemental to Edith's nature was her ongoing free spirit and love of life. Her core humanist convictions, love of family and animals, and her dedication to social justice have left an enduring legacy.

Sailing Under an August Moon
by Don Stone, N.A., oil on canvas, 30" x 24"

Don Stone, N.A.     1929 - 2015

Don was born in Council Bluffs, Indiana. As a child his family moved to Gloucester. He graduated from Gloucester High School, where he played on the hockey team. He attended the Vesper George School of Art in Boston. Shortly after graduating he was drafted into the Navy, serving as a Gunnery Yeoman on a destroyer.

After the Navy, he taught at Vesper George and at The New England School of Art. He was a commercial artist and cartoonist for The Boston Post and The Lowell Sun, before pursuing fine art full time.

In 1954 he accompanied fellow artist Paul Strisik to Monhegan Island. He found Monhegan an ideal place to paint, in the ensuing years spent increasing amounts of time there, painting, teaching workshops, and eventually moving there.

In addition to the North Shore Arts Association and Rockport Art Association, Don was elected a full member (N.A.) of the National Academy of Design. He was also a member of The American Watercolor Society, The Salmagundi Club, The New England Watercolor Society, the Guild of Boston Artists, and The Hudson Valley Art Association and Allied Artists of America. His work has been shown at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Portland (Maine) Museum, and The Cape Ann Museum.

In addition to his artistic gifts, Don was a skilled musician, mastering the banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. He played banjo with the local group Loblolly Five.

Don's son Caleb is a member of the North Shore Arts Association.

Painting With Puccini by Tom Sutherland, watercolor, 30" x 24"

Tom Sutherland     1944 - 2013

Tom was born in Brunswick, Maine. His family moved to Quincy, Massachusetts before moving to Melrose. Tom graduated from Melrose High School in 1962. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and later graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Engineering. He worked as a civil engineer and project manager for several years before finding his life's calling as a woodcarver and painter.

Tom had many passions in life and embraced every interest with unwavering confidence. Always calm, Tom never met a challenge too big. His interests varied widely from painting and woodworking, to playing the guitar and piano.

When he was given a woodworking set, he soon made himself into a professional sign maker. He quickly built a reputation as an excellent craftsman, and produced thousands of signs for restaurants all over the world.

Tom also had a passion for painting. He often found himself painting streetscapes across the North Shore. He displayed his work at area art shows and was know for his live painting performances to classical music. Tom was a member of many area art groups including the Malden Sketch Group, The North Shore Arts Association, Concord Art Association, and Rockport Art Association. He was the former President of the Melrose Arts and Cultural Association and the Reading Art Association.

-Peter Tysver, NSAA Archivist and Historian

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