Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative members will be celebrating the Valentine season in a rather unusual way. Members will be making original Valentine’s Day cards and offering them for sale at the gallery at 121 Main Street in Gloucester. However, 100% of the proceeds from the cards will go to a local non-profit charity in the Gloucester/Cape Ann area. The members are donating their own materials, talent and time to offer these original and unique items for a deserving organization. The event will culminate in an Artists’ reception on Friday, February 11th from 5 PM to 8 PM to further promote the event. Refreshments will be served and the public will have a chance to meet the artists and see their special ‘Local Hearts for Charity’ exhibition.

Since there are so many worthy organizations in the area, members decided to invite the community to help in the process of voting for an organization when they purchase a card. Since it wasn’t practical to list all the organizations on the ballot, the members listed 6 specific organizations (Action, Inc., Cape Ann Animal Aid Association, HAWC, Open Door/Cape Ann Food Pantry, The Gloucester Fund Inc, Wellspring House, Inc) with a 7th option for the customer to ‘write-in’ a non-profit charitable organization of their choice that benefits the Gloucester/Cape Ann area. The one organization that receives the most votes will receive all the proceeds from the sale of the cards. Cards are available January 18th with new ones arriving throughout the event.

The members expressed creative enthusiasm in making their cards. For instance Sally Seamans (aka Tin Can Sally) offers hearts on her cards made from vintage tin cans. Lois Hertzler created a scanography of fruit named Edible Illuminations in the shape of a heart. She is also making cards using her red floral photography which she cuts into heart shapes and intertwines them. The message on the outside of the card is “Two Hearts” and on the inside is “Intertwined. Happy Valentine’s Day.” Kathy Bucholska offers mini collages often using original photographs in the collage. Larry Bittman offers card reproductions of his romantic, often humorous, original watercolors. Some of Bonnie Gray’s cards offer original painted cards. One depicts two giraffes nuzzling noting “Necking…Brought to a New Level!!” Kate Webster is making hand sewn fabric Valentine cards.

These are just to name a few of the creative ideas the artists are offering for the charitable event. Members are hoping the event will provide an opportunity for customers to buy a Valentine for a friend or ‘significant other’, as well as assist those in need from the community.

Local Colors has 17 artists who do a variety of work in the gallery. The current 17 members offer the following work on an ongoing basis:

Donna Amero: Stained Glass

Stephanie Bowens: Fiber Art

Kathy Bucholska: Jewelry and amulets made of semi-precious stones, fossils, amber and more

Pat Doherty: Painting

Bonnie Gray: Painting

Lois Hertzler: Photography

David Katz: Photography

Rusty Kinnunen: Painting

Bob Kulchuk: Wheel-thrown pottery, wood turning and fused glass

Larry Martin-Bittman: Watercolor and Acrylic Painting

Kathy Roberts: Painting

Ann Schlecht: Various jewelry including beach pebbles and beach glass

Sally Seamans: Tin Art, Jewelry & Mobiles

Jim Sousa: Photography

Darren Taylor: Woodworking, Functional Art Furniture

Virginia Townsend: Ceramics, Basket Weaving

Kate Webster: Fiber, Paper & Mixed media Art & Jewelry

According to Donna Amero, the only remaining founding member, the Cooperative began in the fall of 1989 by a group of friends who thought it might be fun and maybe even profitable to ‘setup shop’ for the holiday season. The group started in what is now Passports Restaurant on Main Street in Gloucester and continued far beyond that first holiday season. Membership grew from a half dozen members to a high of about 35 members at one time. This is their third location on Main Street. Many local artists and artisans have shown their work at Cape Ann’s oldest artist’s cooperative gallery over the last 22 years.

Local Colors Cooperative Gallery offers unique work at studio prices since they all contribute their time and efforts to the gallery without the additional cost of employee and management overhead.

Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative, 121 Main Street, Gloucester, MA is open daily 10 am to 5 pm. 978-283-3996 www.local-colors.org


For more information about the event or Local Colors Cooperative Gallery, please contact Kathy Bucholska, Advertising Committee, at 978-546-3567.