By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Westborough – John Hayes-Nikas, who taught visual arts at Westborough High School for 31 years, has assembled a gallery show featuring work by nine talented artists who all live in Westborough. Between now and Saturday, April 29, the show will be on display at the Westborough’s 300th Anniversary Committee’s 1717 Shoppe, located at 18 Lyman St. (Westborough Shopping Center).
An evening reception was held on April 8 to celebrate the opening of this show.
In addition to Hayes-Nikas, the Westborough artists include Mickie Aylward, Linda Crawford, Ernie D’Elia, Tim Evans, Rick Grayson, Conor Nolan, Michelle Stevens, and Edward Turner.
“The exhibit includes a diversity of artwork, from product illustration, fine art, marketing and graphic art,” Hayes-Nikas said.
“I am happy that Westborough residents will have the opportunity to view a diverse and exciting collective from nine gems quietly hidden in the town of Westborough,” he added.
Each of the nine artists has a unique style.
Hayes-Nikas described himself as, “… a teacher, image maker, painter, collagist, printmaker, drawer, and illusionist.” His pieces in the show are “abstract formalist,” meaning they have a formal structure, with contradicting dimensions.
Mickie Aylward, a graduate of the Worcester Art Museum School, designs arts and crafts projects for teachers and group leaders for the Dennison Mfg. Co.
Linda Crawford, a visual arts teacher at Mill Pond School, focuses on portraits. Using watercolor, Crawford said, “I’m working on perfecting faces, especially children’s,” now that she has an almost three-year-old grandson.”
Ernie D’Elia, a graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago, is a freelancer who creates sets of small-scale 3D sculptures, which are photographed, and used as book illustrations.
Tim Evans is fascinated by abstract images of human faces. Using oil and acrylic paint, metal and stone, he creates intensely colored portraits. Evans is a participant of the Artist Group of Charlestown and Arts Worcester.
Rick Grayson, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, is a freelance illustrator who works mostly in Photoshop and Illustrator, but still likes to draw. He has worked for Disney, Lucas films, Dunkin Donuts, and others.
Conor Nolan, a graduate of Pratt Institute, is an illustrator whose clients include MTV, Phish, Jim Henson, State Farm Insurance, and Dungeons & Dragons.
Michelle Stevens is interested in portraiture, landscapes, and architectural pieces. She is a sophomore at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Ed Turner, owner of the Westborough Art Emporium and Frame Shop, is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Among his many endeavors, Turner is the cartoonist for the Community Advocate, self-published book artist, leads art classes, helps arrange exhibits at the Westborough Library, and restores historical frames and art from Westborough.
The 1717 Shoppe, which opened in December 2016, is a 7,000-square foot space that features Westborough commemorative items, consignment pieces by artisans connected to Westborough, a book corner, event space, and of course, an art gallery.
Payments are accepted in the form of cash and checks.
The shop is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information and to view merchandise, visit the shop’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/the1717shoppe. If you are interested in volunteering, or seeking more information, contact Reene Hatherley at [email protected] or 508-341-8089.