A few years ago I went to my first Art in the Barn in Essex, Mass. on a gorgeous June afternoon and was enthralled. I asked my husband if he wanted to go back to the barns the next weekend too. That’s when I learned, to my dismay, that it’s an annual fundraising event. As much as I would like to spend many weekends each summer at the Greenbelt’s exquisite Cox Reservation, browsing inspirational art within venerable structures perched above salt marshes, I (and you) must make do with only one weekend per year. This summer’s event wrapped up yesterday. So why mention it now? Well it’s not too late to share some of the featured artists with you, even if you weren’t able to attend.
I spotted Carolyn Kerr’s porcelain dinnerware from Neptune Designz last year, and couldn’t resist it this year. I snapped up a colorful tray, convincing myself that my friend needs it, knowing full well that I wanted it for myself. Black & white photography by Ben Staples and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, each of Ipswich, took my breath away. The rich, tonal range of their work captures the stunning beauty of uniquely New England landscapes. Look for the photography of Dorothy Kerper Monnelly in Between Land and Sea, The Great Marsh. It’s exquisite. Dazzlingly colorful, fiber collages by Claudine Lesk reminded me of The Quilts of Gee’s Bend in miniature. After a quick visit to Lesk’s website, I learned that she too makes stunning quilts. Whimsical, outdoor, steel sculptures by Chris Williams were also noteworthy.
Who knows what would have caught your eye, so next June be sure to look for Art in the Barn 2010. Maybe if enough folks express interest, the Essex County Greenbelt Association would consider a fall Art in the Barn. It’s probably worth asking.
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast