Click photo to enlarge
Pownal artist Annette Dixon displays a sampling of her works at the town's first Arts and Artists Gallery Day
Pownal artist Annette Dixon displays a sampling of her works at the town’s first Arts and Artists Gallery Day
Pownal artist Annette Dixon displays a sampling of her works at the town's first Arts and Artists Gallery Day (Derek Carson)

POWNAL -- The Pownal Historical Society presented on Sunday its first "Art and Artists of Pownal Gallery Day" at the Solomon Wright Library.

The event featured works from over 20 local artists, including weaving by Judith Blackmer, paintings, sculptures and drawings from Pownal state representative Bill Botzow, watercolor and pencil on paper pieces from his wife, Ruth Botzow, oil paintings on wood by Patricia Bratcher, pottery by Ray Bub and Susan Nykiel of Oak Bluffs Cottage Pottery, leather and fabricwork by Colleen Dence of Four Ponies Enterprises, landscapes by Jim Dignon, quilting and crewel by Annette Dixon, paintings by Rico Dovey, digital photography by Doreen Forney, oil paintings by George Hartley, ceramic sculptures by Owen Johnson, landscapes by John Leavey, porcelain and stoneware pottery by Helen Olshever, weaving and tapestries by Eve Pearce, woodworking by Rose-Marie Pelletier, pastels, ceramics, pen & ink, and watercolor paintings by Maggi Randall, wood sculptures by Laurie Sargent, acoustic guitars by Steve Sauve of Sauve Guitars, pottery and clay sculptures by Jackie Sedlock, photography by Sue Sweeney, and a variety of artwork from Joe Towslee.

The gallery was open from 1-4 p.m., and gave community members a chance to chat with the local artists about their work. "I had no idea we had so many talented artists in the community," said historical society member Walt Klinger, who helped organize the event. Klinger said that the society hopes, based on the success of Sunday's event, to host more in the future. Forney, standing by her collection of digital photography echoed his sentiments, saying, "I hope this becomes a yearly event."

Dixon, who had several quilts and pieces of embroidery on display, said the works represented only a small portion of what she had done over the years. "These are some of the ones I kept," said Dixon, who donates many of her completed pieces to Project Linus, a non-profit group dedicated to providing homemade blankets and quilts to children who are seriously ill, have recently experienced a traumatic event, or who are otherwise in need. Dixon said she had started with crewel and cross-stitch embroidery, and had eventually "graduated" to making quilts.

Pearce's most prominent artwork on display with a tapestry entitled "Four Little Girls and an Apple, Tangbe, Mustang, Nepal. A provided description describes her journey to Nepal, and the moment that inspired her to create the tapestry. "Now," she wrote, "traveling with my daughter, I wanted to go somewhere apart from the stream of visitors, but I did not expect to be magnetized by this arid landscape in the way I had been by the glorious peaks I had known. Almost immediately I realized that this place was vivid with the essential energies and that the apparent vast empitness was charged with sounds and spirits. No place has ever touched me so much, and since I am a weaver, these tapestries are my way of expressing my astonishment, my awe, my gratitude, and to share with you perhaps a whiff of my joy." The tapestry itself features four girls, who Pearce met in the small village of Tangbe, lined up for a photo. However, instead of viewing the girls from the front, we see them from behind, one hiding an apple behind her back. "I've spoiled her secret by sharing this image with you," wrote Pearce.

Towslee explained to an admirer the history of one of the pieces he had on display, a clock's face mounted on slate. "That's a piece of old roofing slate," said Towslee, who said he had made several functioning clocks from a pile of the material he had in his barn.

Bub and Nykiel, who are married, run Oak Bluffs Cottage Pottery out of their home/studio in Pownal. According to Bub's website, the couple founded the the business in 1978, and offer a seven-week adult pottery class for those interested in either learning how to use a pottery wheel or techniques for hand-crafting pottery.

The Pownal Historical Society, founded in 1994, lists as its goals, "To raise public awareness of Pownal's history, its founding fathers and its early inhabitants, to stimulate our children's interest in the history of Pownal, to gather and preserve historical data and artifacts, and to share with other communities data relevant to their history."

The group meets for informal get-togethers at the Solomon Wright Library at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, and invite prospective members to join them.

Membership costs $10 for students, $15 for individuals, and $25 for families. More information can be found at their website, www.Pownal.org.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB