Cheery kid-friendly drawings and intriguing collages are among the works by Dorchester artists Elisa Girard, Janet Shea, and Abbie Wanamaker currently on display across from the Ashmont T stop. This “art sale and show” titled “Windows, Walls and Time” is the latest in The Real Estate Group’s ongoing series showcasing the talents of local visual artists. The exhibit, curated by Ashmont Hill’s Leslie MacKinnon, will be up through February.
The sale/show offers a great opportunity to shop locally if one is helping Santa out with his lists. In addition, a portion of proceeds from the sale of prints and artwork will benefit the Dorchester Community Food Cooperative, a local initiative affiliated with the Bowdoin St. Health Center that is working to build a permanent space for healthy food sharing and for cultural activities.
The works of the three women featured are complementary, yet distinctive.
Abbie Wanamaker, who lives in Fields Corner with her husband and daughter, is an artist, illustrator, and early education teacher. The most recent of her four self-published children’s books is “Jack and Olive,” a charming hardcover featuring her collage illustrations, a publication that she successfully funded with a Kickstarter campaign.
Abbie is showing drawings from her current “Friendly Mistakes” series. “I am visually influenced by the busy, colorful, sometimes gritty aspects of the city and neighborhood I live in,” she says. “I studied painting at UMass Amherst and went on to get my MFA at the University of Southern California before deciding to go back to school to work with children!” Abbie will be offering Art Explorations, an immersive art playgroup for children two to four years old, with caregiver, at the Dorchester Arts Collaborative’s Erick Jean Center for the Art (157A Washington St.), over four Fridays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., starting Jan. 10 and running until Jan. 31. The cost is $40 for the four-week session.
Another artist/mom/teacher is Lower Mills’s Janet Shea, who is experienced in drawing, painting, collage, and printmaking. She began painting and drawing as a child and went on to study art history and studio art at Simmons College and has a MA in Studio Art from Harvard. Besides teaching, her time is now divided between caring for her son, Gabriel, who has developmental disabilities, and her own art work, which often combines elements of abstraction, symbolism, and landscape. For over a decade Janet and her sister Judy have been co-teaching art to local three-to-five year olds at Dot Art’s Baker Lofts space. Look for the dates of their 2014 offerings of a twice-weekly, two-hour drop-off studio series.
Finally, Elisa Girard, a transplant from Chicago, loves being a part of the Fields Corner community. She works part time as a personal assistant in Brookline and spends her afternoons guerrilla gardening on the vacant lots, school, and T station near her condo, as well as doing local construction with her husband Vivian. Her collages reflect her love of travel, nature, and things that have gained character with age. Like Abbie, Elisa has participated in Dorchester Open Studios.
Leslie MacKinnon and her colleagues at The Real Estate Group welcome the public to a free meet-the-artists reception of this latest group show at its gallery at 1908 Dorchester Ave. on Dec. 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.