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NAA juried show exhibits local ingenuity

By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff

Well-seasoned Needhamites know that the Needham Free Public Library (NFPL) has much to offer. With books and events aplenty, there is one more exceptional highlight to upgrade the cultural aspect of your next library trip: a new art exhibit has reached NFPL, and it features Needham neighbors. The exhibit transforms the second floor gallery for the Fall Judged Exhibit of the Needham Art Association (NAA).

Artists working in multiple diverse media display their work on the walls adjacent to the reference desk. Each unique piece stands out in contrast alongside the other, with watercolor and acrylic pieces complementing felted wool and fiber works.

Representing the NAA, artists choose to have their work available for sale, while some opt to keep personal pieces view-only. Glorious portraits such as “Jennie” by Paula Rosen and “Fancy Hair Day!” by Mena Levit brighten the space with thoughtful expressions and meticulous detail. Judge Justin Life and chair member Mark Richards judged the exhibit recently on November 10.

Vice President of the Needham Art Association Barbara Marchilonis is enthralled by the exhibit. A member for almost ten years, four of which she’s served on the board, Marchilonis noted of member submissions: “There’s variety. It’s a colorful, lovely presentation exhibit with varied artists and work. It’s very stunning. It’s a full wall with a nice presence in the library.” The variety extends to all-encompassing subject matter. Still-lifes, scenic depictions, florals, and abstract pieces all find harmony in the show. 

For over seventy years, the NAA has impacted the community by empowering artists in professional, recreational, and educational capacities. Marchilonis thanked the organization for upholding the mission and serving the community. “We want the Association to succeed. Long before any of us, this organization formed in 1949. In 2024, we are going to be 75 years old. We’re adding to the longevity of art in the community by keeping this one and only association in the community going. It’s quite a legacy.” The involvement continues to grow and new members accumulate from other communities once they visit juried shows and see the diversity of work within the NAA. 

“It’s very heartening to have a lot of people looking,” Marchilonis added. 

Creativity is clearly abundant throughout the NAA exhibit, and the opportunity to see the work in person is one that should not pass you by. The second-place piece, Hilary Hanson Bruel’s “Clark’s Island XIII”, a mixed-media work, utilizes impressive encaustic paint (a type of hot wax) technique with thread. The work holds a vibrancy that is discernible in the library. 

The first place oil painting, “The Mixer” by Bobbie Suratt, will have viewers studying each paint stroke and expression on the subject’s face.

Prizes were also awarded to Nelson Hammer’s beautifully detailed “Motif No. 1 at Low Tide” (third place), with Nancy M. Daly, Mark J. Richards, Nancy Motley Walton receiving honorable mentions.

The community will have an ample opportunity to view the show and reflect on the work; the Needham Art Association Fall 2022 Juried Show will be on display at the Needham Free Public Library through January 1, 2023.

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