Local landscapes celebrated in art center exhibit

Oct 15, 2021

MARION — Talking a walk through land trust properties in Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and Wareham is serene. But if you can’t make it to a trail yourself, the Marion Art Center has the next best thing.

The art center held a reception for its newest gallery in collaboration with the Sippican Lands Trust, “Along the Trails,” on Oct. 14.

The gallery, open through Nov. 12, features art depicting and inspired by properties of the Tri-Town and Wareham land trusts.

The gallery runs tri-annually, but is normally limited to properties of the Sippican Lands Trust. This year, the art expanded to include land in Mattapoisett, Rochester and Wareham.

“It’s been an important partnership for the Lands Trust,” Sippican Lands Trust Executive Director Jim Bride said.

Art sold from the gallery benefits the artists and the art center. But for the Sippican Lands Trust, the exhibit is about exposure, and showing locals the natural beauty at their disposal.

“We get publicity, and that’s great,” Bride said.

Artists scoured the Tri-Town and Wareham to find just the right spots to depict in their pieces. For Dartmouth resident Peggy Call-Conley, that was the Munn Preserve, owned by the Mattapoisett Land Trust.

“I had never been there before,” Call-Conley said. But after visiting, and searching the area for more properties to paint, she was drawn back.

“I liked this view at this place best,” she said. “The view is just gorgeous. It had all the elements I like.”

Marianne DeVaux, a drypoint etching artist, was particularly drawn to the milkweed ponds in Mattapoisett’s Old Aucoot District, where monarch butterflies are abundant.

“They’re just about to migrate south,” DeVaux said. “I just thought it was really cool that there was a spot that they loved.”

Artists aren’t the only ones enamored with local landscapes, either. Recent Marion resident and host of WCVB’s “Home, Life and Style” Parker Kelley moved to town in no small part because of the beauty.

“Because they preserve their land,” she said. “Their people are lovely and their arts are flourishing.”

Kelley said that looking at the art in the gallery gave her a real sense of what it was like to be at any of the land trust properties, hiking the trails or kayaking the rivers.

“I might not go to these places, but I can go there with these artists,” she said.