Art center members bring variety, color to winter exhibit

Jan 10, 2020

MARION — There were no shortage of interesting and diverse artworks to look at as artists gathered at the Marion Art Center to celebrate the opening of the Winter Members Show on Jan. 10. Works ranged from paintings and photos to sculptures. 

Many of the artists used the event as a way to get feedback from attendees about their work. 

Photographer Russell Saunders said he worked at Polaroid for 38 years. Originally, he started because his mother worked there, and offered him a two week position filling in for someone. Saunders, who was making $1.05 an hour at another job, jumped at the chance to make $5, even if it meant getting to work at 5 a.m. 

Saunders explained that he took his photo, “Days Gone By” of an old garage in Kennebunkport. Now, the days of the charming garage and old gas pump have, in fact, gone by, and the building has been converted into a house. 

Diane Kelley is a new art center member who works as an interior designer, but is now venturing into art. She said she was inspired by many of the artists that she saw at the show, but her goal was to be more approachable. She wanted people to see her work and say, “I could do that.” 

While Kelley formed one of her sculptures from PVC pipe, marbles, and a halloween mask (cleverly morphed into a tree using paper mache), her other works rely more heavily on natural materials, including pistachio and walnut shells, wood, bark, grasses, black beans and cork. 

Her work is also designed to be customizable. With her “Celebration Sentry” Kelley aimed for a pose that was military, while not being threatening. The statue sports a sign that says “Merry Marion!” for this exhibit, but comes with other signs saying “wine time” or “game time.”

John Magnan carved his “Diorama” to represent a book from the Philidelphia Atheneaum. He chose “The Young Carpenter’s Assistant,” which was published in 1805, using ten architectural designs in a layered sculpture. He also carved with the grain of of the wood, using the layers of the tree to dictate the project’s thickness. 

A few artworks are also on display at the Marion General Store, and, like the other works on display, can be purchased.