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Featured Exhibit July-August 2024

ASTRID SHECKELS:  Watercolor Whimsy

Opening reception with live music Saturday, July 13 from 2-4pm

Artist Astrid Sheckels is an award winning children’s book author, illustrator, and watercolorist from Greenfield, MA.  Her books include the Hector Fox series, Sea Dog, and Sea Dog Boats: an Alphabet Book. 

Watercolor Whimsy is a collection of original paintings inspired by familiar New England landscapes and cozy European villages. These pieces were, in the artist’s own words “created as the fancy took me and without a distinct narrative attached.  However, each one does have a unique story to tell…” If you look closely enough, each piece reveals the possibility of a narrative within itself, featuring smartly dressed animals in scenes reminiscent of classic paintings and theater productions.

Astrid is a member of The Western Mass Illustrators Guild and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She has won a number of art awards, including the prestigious Lupine Honor Award (2009), the Moonbeam Award for best picture book for all ages (2010, 2013, 2022), the Moonbeam Award for best illustrator (2022), and the Northern Lights Book Award for best author/illustrator (2021).

DANA SCHILDKRAUT:  Colorful Countenance

Opening reception with live music Saturday, July 13 from 2-4pm

Sculptor, painter and educator Dana Schildkraut investigates the complex connections between humans and animals through art.  Using a variety of materials such as clay, papier-mâché, Bristol board, collage and paint, she creates anthropomorphic masks and sculptures with a range of human expressions, encouraging viewers to create their own meanings and interpretations.

Colorful Countenance is a collection of masks and sculptures that use bold colors and dreamlike imagery to create unusual characters, setting a scene where the viewer is left to explore possible narratives.

Schildkraut studied Studio Art, earning both a BFA and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Manhattanville University. Her artwork has been exhibited in adjudicated shows across the USA, including at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden (MD), the Cape Cod Museum of Art (MA), the New Bedford Art Museum (MA), and the McCord Gallery & Cultural Center (IL). Noteworthy commissions include the design and creation of masks and giant puppets for the technology-meets-dance company, iLuminate, and the creation of a series of stage masks for the Newton Theatre Company. Feature articles about her sculptures have been published in Art Doll Quarterly (2013) and in Paper Art Magazine (2014). Since 2006 she has worked primarily in art education.