By Newlin Tillotson
Cohasset, Mass. – The South Shore Art Center’s 58th annual art festival graced father’s day weekend with a community-oriented three day event from June 14-16 that included works of local artists, artist demonstrations and art activities.
The festival was held on Cohasset Common, a grassy park nestled between the town hall and Main Street. Various booths exhibiting the work of an array of artists lined a pathway where people could wander about and take in the art.
The work ranged from the wood block prints of Linda Mahoney to etchings done by Leo Donahue. In a large tent behind the booths was a juried show of the South Shore Art Center’s members’ work, including pottery, photography, oil paintings and etchings that were judged by Barbara Grad, an artist and professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Jane Young, owner and director of Chase Young Gallery in Boston for various first, second and third place prizes. Best of Show was awarded to ceramic artist Jeanne Wiley for her “Organic Pitcher.”
The atmosphere was friendly and each artist had a story to tell. Stephanie Mason, a Rhode Island School of Design alumna, had a booth showcasing her fish rubbings. The work was colorful and included imprints of squid, sea bass and cod caught in local harbors.
“When my son was in preschool I started getting interested in these fish rubbings and sort of grew a following with the art,” Mason said. “I just started printing fish and everyone loved it, so I’ve been doing it for a long time.”
Jewelry designer Blair LaBella’s booth showcased necklaces, bangles, earrings and rings created from found beach stones. LaBella, a metal smith for 23 years, visits beaches such as Scituate’s Egypt Beach and Campobello Island in Canada to collect stones of various colors and shapes. The stones are left unaltered when she puts them into the bezel sets.
“I see the stones, I lay them all about then it’s all about composition for me,” LeBella said. “The sterling silver bezel set is just a small enough band around the edge that let’s the stone really stand on it’s own, and some of the stones have fabulous detail already.”
Other artist crafts for sale included handmade leather bags and decorative glass. In addition to art, there was also a Festival JaZZ reception featuring Ten Tumbao on Saturday evening and food booths including a New England specialty — lobster rolls.
(The South Shore Art Center is located at 119 Ripley Road, Cohasset, Mass. For more information call (781) 383-2787 or visit www.ssac.org.)