Friday, December 10, 2010

The Gift of Art

One of my young art students came into my gallery yesterday with his mom to buy some art. The particular art he was interested in he had seen the day before when in art class. I noticed he kept going over to look at these new Christmas ornaments I had just got in from a local artist. He asked how much they were and didn’t act surprised when I said $25. They are intricate tiny scenes hand painted on mussel shells that are ready to hang on any Christmas tree or where ever you like throughout the year. The artist, Ruth Bacon, is from North Billerica but also has a home in Islesboro, ME where she has collected these mussel shells for years. She started out, last year painting lighthouses on them, but this past summer she began to get request to paint other places and homes on the shells. Her customers were so amazed at the detail that they would insist on paying her more money than she was asking for them. Ruth has been one of my art students for many years and I sold lots of her lighthouse shells last holiday season so she came back with a great driftwood display this year to show off her wonderful new collection of mussel shell ornaments. Included in the collection are paintings of the Billerica Library, the Bennett Library, the Congregational and Baptist church, Schooner Ships, New England Lighthouses and more.

My young art buyer took his time picking out the one he liked the best while his mom told me how he had come home from class the day before and asked her how many quarters there were in $25. He then asked if he could buy one of the shell ornaments. She told him he could and he proceeded to sit down on the floor quietly and count out 100 quarters to buy some art for himself. He then counted out another 100 quarters to buy one for his Nana, who also loves art. He looked and looked for the perfect one for his Nana and could not decide, so I showed him a lighthouse shell that had smoke coming from the chimney in the shape of a heart and he was sold. That was the one for Nana! His mom looked at me and said something that blessed my heart, she said, “How could I discourage my child from buying them when he so appreciates art?” As I put each masterpiece into a special gift box for him he lifted his two baggies of 100 quarters each onto my counter with a sweet glow in his eyes that gave new meaning to “the gift” of Christmas. I looked up at his mom and we exchanged knowing-proud-mom glances that wrapped the moment all up in the joy of giving.

Give the gift of art this year to those you love and to others who can not afford to send their creatively gifted child to classes. Come make your own hand painted ornaments (one for you and one to give as a gift) on December 14th or 21st. Both Tuesday evenings are from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. These two workshops will be our first annual Art Scholarship fund raisers. The cost is $25 per person per workshop. Limited space so call today to reserve your spot and create the gift of art not only in your life but in the life of a child.

Contact Colleen at: Colleen Sgroi Gallery & Art Classes, 12 Andover Road, Billerica, MA 01821 Email: 978667-1009

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