Show of solidarity

August 06, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

The Spectrum Seven, a group of local Maryland and Pennsylvania female artists, are showing several of their works at the Mansion House Art Gallery through Sunday, Aug. 27.

The group began meeting in the mid-1990s when Elisabet Stacy-Hurley thought it would be a good idea to have a group for oil painters. The group's aim expanded beyond oils to a group of women critiquing each other's works at monthly lunch meetings.

"We limited it to seven because that's all that would fit around my dining room table," says Stacy-Hurley, of Boonsboro.

The women don't paint together, but they show their works together about three times a year.

An artists' reception is being held from 2 to 4 p.m. today at Mansion House Art Gallery, 501 Highland Way, in Hagerstown's City Park.

The Mansion House Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. There is an artists' porch sale today.


"Crystal" is Waynesboro, Pa., artist Donna Bingaman's granddaughter. "She's 12 1/2 going on 30," Bingaman says. Bingaman created the oil painting from a photograph she took. Crystal Cook, of Waynesboro, had trouble staying still just for the photograph.

Becky Dietrich of Mont Alto, Pa., was among a group of artists who visited the home of a fellow artist near Boiling Springs, Pa., about 10 years ago.

"He built a log house out of old log houses he'd taken apart and he had antiques everywhere." Those antiques included "The Bottle Collection" featured in this acrylic painting.

Marjorie Tressler of Waynesboro is a professional portrait artist. In "Mouse, a Real Cowboy," she has painted Geoffrey, aka Mouse, in his dress outfit. Tressler likes to create genre paintings with people.

"I'm always looking for people doing something ... something with a story."

For Eliane Ambrose, who is French, "The Gardener" is a French connection.

In France, many of the homes date to the 1600s and 1700s so lots of flowers are used to cover up the old walls.

With this oil painting, "I wanted the viewer to go through the window and look for the gardener," says Ambrose, of Greencastle, Pa.

"What's Your Favorite Color?" features Hagerstown artist Donna Mason's great-niece Jasmine. "She was coloring on the floor at Thanks-giving, and I decided I just had to take a bunch of pictures of her."

Mason, who is president of the Valley Art Association, joined Spectrum Seven earlier this year after the death of original member Louise Gage Keuper in 2005.

Marguerite E. Cyr of Hagerstown enjoys painting florals such as "A Summertime Floral." Still lifes are usually static, but with flowers a still life comes alive, she says.

Elisabet Stacy-Hurley of Boonsboro usually does metaphorical paintings. This one, "Ouroboros," is more of a message painting, she says. Ouroboros is a Greek symbol - usually of a snake devouring its tail - representing the interconnectivity of the world.

"At first, I was thinking about soccer moms, and then I got to thinking about abortion," Stacy-Hurley says. "I was kind of thinking about the good side of women and the dark side."

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