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Art Exhibits Archive

Cynthia Brody, January, Gallery

Imaginings - The Surreal Art of Cynthia Brody: Familiar/Impossible Images of Women, Gallery, Opening Reception, Saturday, January 28, 1:00 pm, on view January 4-30: Cynthia Brody combines photo imagery with acrylic paints and found materials to create allegorical stories and moods. For this show she has created pieces that depict Victorian era women, often in surreal surroundings. She enjoys giving a new life to these women who are no longer alive as she casts them in unusual environments.  It is only upon closer inspection that the viewer recognizes the foreign elements. Her works incorporate elements of beauty contrasted with the strong statements and pensive attitudes of the women depicted. In most cases the stories develop around the character, as do the clothing and position. It is all a mystery, even to the artist, until completed.

Cynthia Brody has exhibited her art for over 40 years. Her interest in the psyche is reflected in her work. She is contributing editor of Bittersweet Legacy - Creative Responses to the Holocaust. She strives to raise the awareness and sensitivity of others regarding the human experience.

Leann Shamash, January, Main Hall

Seasonal Bouquets: Wild and Cultivated by Leann Shamash, Opening Reception, Thursday, January 5, 7:00 pm, on view January 4-30, Main Hall: A self-taught photographer, Leann Shamash uses the wordless language of photography as a way to share the world as she sees it. This series of photos, taken in more or less chronological order from April through November, documents the foliage and flowers in the artist’s yard (and in some cases nearby yards). Through her art, Ms. Shamash hopes to share the beauty, diversity, strength, color and wonder of these plants.

The April photos indicate the beginning of the growing season with the limited number of plants in bloom. May provides us with the freshest photographs of the season, as the flowers are not likely affected by drought, disease or too much sun. June, July and August include a bright assortment of the flowers from vegetables, herbs and ornamentals. For the month of September a bouquet of pole beans harvested from the garden is included. The autumn flowers of October and November indicate the impact of time and weather on the plants, but also reveal the beauty that age adds as they dry and wither. In most photos there is a generous supply of delightful yet willful wild flowers of the area, which add strength, color and character to the garden.

Displays January 2017

Teen Gallery and Second Floor Display Cases:

Portraits and Ceramics from Newton North High School, second floor Teen Gallery, on view through spring 2017: After looking at portraits by artists like Max Beckman and Oscar Kokoschka as well as Fauvist works and finally the work of Jean Michael Basquiat, students created their own Expressionist portraits. Working with oil pastels, the students used color as a way to enhance the expressions.

Students worked with negative space, scale, texture, surface and volume to create the ceramics in the display cases. Some students chose to tell a story or work with shape to create provocative forms.

Thanks to Eric Blomster of Abraxis Framing Co. in Newton, who provided the frames cost-free. (Image by: M. Haider)

January displays will be on view through 1/30.

Atrium Case One: Find out about the library's ELL & Literacy program including opportunities for volunteer tutors and learners. Info: 617-796-1364 or email Visit us at

Atrium Case Two: Learn about Newton's Sister City Project (SCP) in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Since 1989 the project has been working to improve education and public health there and sending volunteers from Newton North and South High Schools. In that time the Newton SCP has financed nearly 18 one-room schoolhouses in rural communities, and supported the highly successful Free High School for Adults, with 1001 graduates since 2002. Thanks to Newton, hundreds of families now have efficient Ecostoves with chimneys that get smoke out of rural houses and BioSand Filters, that rid contaminated well water of harmful bacteria and parasites. Find out about volunteer opportunities here or email

Three Main Hall Cases: Hail to the (New) Chiefs traces the history of elections and inaugurations in Newton. Learn about some of the city’s most illustrious elected officials through their campaign materials including the first mayor, James F.C. Hyde, and the first female alderman, Adelaide Ball. See artifacts from the Newton Women’s Suffrage League and quilt patterns influenced by politics. Consider how a wooden box once used to collect paper ballots compares to our electronic systems today. Presented by Historic Newton.

Third Floor Language and Literacy Center Country Display: Learn about Cambodia from a display of books, CDs and DVDs!