By Mary Catherine Karcich, Contributing Writer
Hudson – For Hudson native Tracy Wesinger, art is more than just a subject in school. It’s her passion.
Inspired by Claude Monet, Frank Benson and other American and European artists, Wesinger has dedicated herself to teaching other art enthusiasts and sharing her knowledge to help them along their own creative paths.
Wesinger follows twisting path to arts education
Wesinger’s love of art began when she first learned how to draw and paint at age eight.
That didn’t immediately turn into a career, though. In college, Wesinger pursued her other passion, business, and earned a degree at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.
Yet, after almost 10 years in the corporate world, Wesinger did return to art.
She spent 18 years teaching at local schools including Hudson Catholic High School, St. Michael’s Grammar School and The Advanced Math and Science Academy before opening her own studio, Gallery in the Pines, in 2009.
Gallery in the Pines becomes beloved studio
Gallery in the Pines welcomes adults as well as children ages 8-18, with students attending from across the Metrowest region.
Wesinger offers private lessons in eight-week segments from September until June, in addition to a small, one-week summer camp.
Wesinger teaches oil painting, a style she describes as “more fluid and more mixable.”
Her classes focus on the belief that looking at the natural world is important, emphasizing human study and using mathematical calculations – something not often found in art lessons – to ensure students’ pieces are proportional.
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
When they reach the age of 13, Wesinger’s younger students compete against 16,000 other artists across Massachusetts in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
The country’s longest-running art contest, those awards regularly recognize local students primarily with “gold and silver key” awards. Judges also dole out honorable mentions, while elevating gold key winners to compete at the national level for gold and silver medals.
Though she’s still waiting on results from 2020 submissions, Wesinger’s students have won an average of five gold awards and 25 overall awards per-year in past years.
Submitted work has to be original. While it takes time for students to reach that point, Wesinger says the contest helps build confidence and gives them the chance to strive for something big.
COVID-19 disrupts arts operations
The coronavirus pandemic has hit Wesinger and her students hard.
Gallery in the Pines normally hosts exhibits at the Bolton and Hudson libraries. But these events have been put on hold due to the pandemic.
Adult classes are limited and classes for the elderly, meanwhile, are also on hold.
“I’m hoping and praying that things turn around really soon,” Wesinger says. “I have a huge group of students chomping at the bit to come back.”
Making a difference
Still, pandemic aside, Wesinger feels blessed to do what she loves every day. She connects with most of her students and says a couple of them have gone on to become art teachers themselves.
That’s an honor for Wesinger.
“You want to do something in your life that made a difference,” she says. “If somehow I positively affect a child, then that makes me happy.”
Visit http://www.galleryinthepines.com/ to view artwork from Tracy’s students.