Memorial Hall Library

Artist of the Month

Kristina Trott & Vicki Murphy

Kristina Trott - Artist Statement   

  I've lived in central Andover most of my life, and carried a camera much of the time since childhood, documenting everything from the '54 hurricanes to blizzards to the many Shawsheen floods. It was only when I acquired a 35 mm Canon in the 60's, though, that I could begin to do justice to the local birds, butterflies and wildflowers I've always loved and studied. Even better, since my switch to digital, all financial restraints are off, and I can and do shoot everything I find interesting! And I think there's very little in the natural world that is not. (Most notably fungi, which I belatedly discovered around 5 years ago and have added to my compulsive ID searches, list-making, and photo documentation.)
    Andover is not the town I grew up in, most conspicuously the area above the Center where too many newer homeowners have leveled the original residents' lovingly tended flower gardens/pollinator sanctuaries in favor of chemically treated and commercially (and loudly) maintained turf deserts.(Not to mention one long-time resident's home that was seized and demolished and their extensive gardens leveled for playing fields). In town butterfly species that used to number close to two dozen are down to 5 or 6, and those not at all numerous. Finding subjects for my lens these days requires ranging farther afield, although my own yard (a very conspicuous outlier) and that of one like-minded neighbor still offer welcome finds.
   Fortunately, central Andover still offers much for the nature loving photographer, (mainly thanks to Phillips Academy's benignly neglected bird sanctuary, and nearby conservation land) so I don't need to range too far afield. In fact, everything in this exhibit, except the Holt Hill image, was taken within a half-hour walk of my house. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be living where I do.
   In addition to my nature photography (which I offer for sale in the form of notecards and matted enlargements), I do a limited number of commissioned  horse portraits in graphite, solicited mainly at Springfield Arabian shows in the spring and summer. Horses have been another lifelong passion, although I've never owned one; I've been drawing them from childhood. I have had pieces accepted twice for exhibit at the American Academy of Equine Art annual shows in Lexington, Kentucky.

Vicki Murphy - Original Ewe Wool Works

exhibiting at the library

Interested in displaying your artwork at the library? We'd love to hear from you!

Past Artists of the Month

Avan Shah & Kristina Trott — June, 2017

Avan Shah & Kristina Trott

Night Sky - Avan Shah

About the Artist

Avan Shah is a 7th grader at Doherty Middle School and has always had a passion for drawing since early in his childhood. He loves being outdoors whether it is spending time hiking various mountains, skiing in the trees or swimming in the ocean. His experiences from the outdoors have been the inspiration for much of his art work. This collection includes his favorite landscape drawings and sunset scenes.

Avan has many other interests and hobbies, including playing soccer, skiing and squash, participating in his school math and academic bowl teams, and traveling with his family. Last year, he authored a children’s book of short stories with his grandfather titled “Walks with my Dada” for which he also provided the illustrations for each story. The proceeds from the sales of this book are donated to North South Foundation, which is a charity that provides academic scholarships to deserving, underprivileged students in India.

Artist Statement

These drawings reflect my vision of how I see the world around me. I try to show the wonders of nature which will hopefully encourage others to help stop pollution in an effort to preserve nature and its beauty.     -- Avan Shah

Display Case in Reference Room - Kristina Trott      

Kristina Brainerd Trott's exhibit chronicles the Hurley's house, located at 56 Bartlet Street (see Andover Historic Preservation website, Spaulding House, for a full history) which was taken by eminent domain, and demolished, in 1970. The Town planned future Schools' use of the property. Nothing was done with the land for 11 years, and during the summers of 1973 and '74, Kristina took it upon herself to document the flourishing little ecosystem just down the street, knowing it was doomed (but not when).

  • Wildflower species (58)
  • Tree species (10)
  • Butterfly species (19)
  • A brief essay on the value of “vacant” land
  • Natural history  photographs, taken on  Ektachrome  transparency film with a Rolleicord Vb twin-lens camera
  • Historical and 2017 photographs of 56 Bartlet
Garima Parakh — May, 2017

Garima Parakh

Garima Parakh

Garima Parakh is an Andover based artist. She was born in India and has a Bachelor's degree in Electronics Engineering. She worked in the Information Technology industry for 15 years. She has been drawing and painting since childhood. In 2012, she started painting full time. Her paintings have been accepted in several juried shows and are held in private collections all over the country.


My landscapes are emotional glimpses that show my deep connection with nature. I am alive when I breathe the air and feel the textures. I like to maintain a loose but exciting quality in my artwork by use of dynamic color and composition. Often times, I let my imagination and memory run free.  The result is an amalgam of exciting visual images.

Dominique Lecomte & Connie Taylor — April, 2017

Dominique Lecomte & Connie Taylor

The Illiterate Seagull


Dominique Lecomte spent his early years in Rambervillers, a small town in Les Vosges, France. He studied visual art at Ecole de l'Images in Epinal. After receiving masters' degrees in French as a foreign language and Philosophy, he came to the United States, by way of Cambodia, to teach at the International School of Boston. He decided to specialize in linocuts and woodcuts, mainly due to lack of proper studio space. Photography, which he had always used as a visual travel log, became the base of his work. His work is held in private collections in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, England, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the United States.

Artist Statement

I like the little things of life, the spectacle of nature, the lines and shapes of the world. I use them to create images, to map voyages, to share impressions. It is as simple as that.

Technique used for these prints

Linocuts and woodcuts are original prints in limited and numbered edition, made from a previously cut wood or linoleum block. Once the block is ready, the relief is inked and a thick paper is pressed on it with a hand-pulled press or a wooden spoon. Colors, when present, are watercolors applied later with a brush (details and history of the technique at

Reference Display Case - Taylor'd Eggs
Designs by Connie Taylor

Although egg art includes many forms, from Ukrainian, a dye resist art, to beautifully carved eggs, cutting away the outer shell to expose the membrane, Connie's passion is Faberge-inspired egg designs. She's been egging for over thirty years. She travels to PA, OH, and WA, preparing “egg kits” and teaching the design.  In America, there is a guild for just about every hobby.  She's now become the President of the New England Egg Art Guild (NEEAG). Their members are from both MA and NH. Their Guild is part of the International Egg Art Guild, with members throughout Europe, Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand.  Seven years ago, Connie started holding classes in her basement in Andover.  She named her business, Taylor’d Eggs, which is a perfect moniker as her name is Constance (Connie) Taylor. Eggers purchase their infertile eggs blown out and cleaned. She purchases her eggs from farms in South Carolina and Indiana. She uses ostrich, rhea, emu, quail, and goose eggs. She uses both a Dremel for heavy cutting and an air-powered tool for fine work. The air-powered tool rotates so rapidly, it allows the designer to create fancy cut work without breaking the egg. Remember, eggs aren't just for breakfast anymore.

Pearl White Artist and Photographer — March, 2017

Pearl White Artist and Photographer


"You won't find just families, babies, bellies, pets and corporate headshots in my portfolio. You'll also find the elusive Fae people. I don't just push the button on the camera; I am inspired to create the scenes that come to life when your child walks into my studio. Every detail is meticulously thought out and it takes months to curate all the pieces that bring the scene to life."

Pearl has been part of the photography and art worlds since childhood. Her artwork can be found in private and public collections around the world. The heirloom images she creates for families, at her studio in Andover, will be treasured for generations.

Blending art with photography with art is what Pearl loves to do the most. Visit

Suzanne Robert & Sarah Nourse — February, 2017

Suzanne Robert & Sarah Nourse

Artist Statement

My works on display reflect my artistic journey through many media. I started in black and white, using pencil, pen, charcoal and scratchboard. Introducing color with colored pencils and chalk pastel into my work was my next step. Eventually I started to experiment with collaging and creating works from mixed media. Although not represented in this exhibit, I also enjoy creating pieces from found and recycled materials.

Having grown up at the foot of the Mount Holyoke Range, I developed an early love of nature, and my convocation as an environmentalist. I often try to bring attention to endangered species or landscapes through my art. The subject of my works is almost always depicting some aspect of nature.

About the Artist

Suzanne Robert recently retired as a hydrogeologist from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Having trained as a scientist, she started taking art lessons through adult education classes after completing her formal education. She has also taken continuing education classes at the Mass College of Art and the Essex Art Center to explore different media, refine techniques and develop her own personal style. She has had her art exhibited at several DEP exhibitions, a juried Mass College of Art show, and received a First Place in 2006 for a mixed media piece from  an AIGMV show.

Suzanne is an avid organic gardener. Having received a Certificate in Invasive Plant Management, she volunteers with the Andover Conservation Commission for invasive plant removal and issues involving the Shawsheen River. In addition to creating art, she enjoys expressing her creative side through singing and dancing.

Reference Display Case - Watercolors by Sarah Nourse  

Memorial Hall Library staff member, Sarah Nourse, has worked at the library since 2008, first in the Teen Room and now in the Children's Room. She started painting at a young age with simple finger paints, but eventually took her first art class at the Musuem of Fine Arts in Boston. Art has always been a special part of her life, and she enjoyed all of her art classes through middle school, high school, and college. She likes painting with watercolors because she finds them very easy to use.

Lisa Hertel Drawings & Vicki Murphy Wool Works — January, 2017

Lisa Hertel Drawings & Vicki Murphy Wool Works

Lion Mouse

Artist Statement

Fairy tales, folk tales and myths have always fascinated me. I believe they speak to our Jungian collective unconscious. I have always particularly adored animal tales, which bring out human foibles in anthropomorphized format. In my watercolors, I seek to illustrate those animal tales in as realistic a way as possible, as if it really were possible to keep boots on a cat, or for a grasshopper and an ant to converse. I actually do quite a bit of research to choose as authentic an environment as possible, whether it is what our collective unconscious believes a troll should look like, or what sort of spider would live in Jamaica, which is the American source of many of the Anansi tales.

To produce each painting, I start with a detailed pencil drawing based on photographs. I then ink it using technical pens of varying thicknesses. After the ink has set, I erase the pencil and paint it, then I write the accompanying story, based on as many sources as possible. Some, like Aesop's fables, are merely a paragraph or two; others can be quite long. I write more for adults than children, because I believe we all can still learn from these tales.

                                                                                                                                               --Lisa Hertel

About the Artist

Lisa Hertel is an artist from a long line of artists. Lisa's art is mixed, both 2D and 3D, in a variety of media. She is willing to learn and try anything new. A potter since the age of seven, she makes a variety of ceramics, including wheel work and sculptural items. She loves to draw, and does both pencil work and intensely detailed pen-and inks; she also paints, mostly in watercolors, and does wire sculpture. She often combines media, such as adding watercolors to the pen-and inks, or using glass in her pottery. Recently, she has begun doing encaustics. She has also learned blacksmithing, glass blowing, paper-making, stained glass, and glass fusing. She offers classes in her studio at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, which is the largest art colony on the East Coast. After 25 years as a pharmacist, she quit her day job to pursue a career in art. Her other passions include speculative fiction and volunteering; she helps run literary science fiction conventions and curates an exhibition of art at the Essex County Probate Court. She has been an Andover resident for 25 years. Visit her website.

Reference Display Case - Wool Works by Vicki Murphy

Vicki Murphy's love of working with wool was a graduated process.  It began with knitting, felting and rug hooking but her preference these days, and where she gets most creative, is with wool applique.  After years of pursuing her hobby, she has a huge stash of wool and yarn and finds that working with wool is the best kind of therapy, especially during long cold winter months in New England.


George Thorlin Maps & Clare Curran PEANUTS Memorabilia — December, 2016

George Thorlin Maps & Clare Curran PEANUTS Memorabilia

George Thorlin Andover Village Map

Historic Maps of New England - George Thorlin, Cartographer

Living in New England, it’s difficult not to notice the local history that is all around us.  In many cases our history can be can be told by the buildings… homes, businesses, places of worship, public offices and many other structures that were constructed over the centuries.  People continue to visit many of these historic places to get a sense of what it was like to live in New England years ago. At Historic Maps of New England, we attempt to make that historic experience a little easier by providing high quality reproduction prints of historical neighborhood maps.  Typically, these oversized maps were published in limited quantities between 1880 and 1920. They were used in the real estate and insurance business. Each map was produced as a black and white lithograph and then hand colored and labeled to indicate land usage and individual ownership. Maps reproduced by Historic Maps of New England are in the public domain. Historic Maps of New England has a large inventory of original maps and lithographs from prominent publishers of the time, including L. J. Richards & Co. and Walker Lithograph & Publishing Co.  Our newest additions focus on the Merrimack Valley, Essex County and Barnstable County and include:

  • 1884 - Atlas of the towns of Topsfield, Ipswich, Essex, Hamilton and Wenham, Essex County, Massachusetts, published by Walker Lithograph & Publishing Co. (80 maps & 51 Lithographs, 17.5 x 27” full and half page)
  • 1906 - Atlas of the city of Lawrence and the towns of Methuen, Andover and North Andover, Massachusetts, published by L.J. Richards & Co. (29 maps, 22x32” (North Andover 22 x 42”) full page size)
  • 1910 - Atlas of Barnstable County, Massachusetts: towns of Bourne, Mashpee, Falmouth, Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro & Provincetown, published by Walker Lithograph & Pub. Co., (50 hand colored maps showing the towns and villages of Cape Cod, 14x22” full and half page size)

Reference Display Case - Clare Curran PEANUTS Collection

Clare Curran is a librarian at Memorial Hall Library and has been collecting PEANUTS memorabilia since the early 1970s.

Howard Hoople - Butterfly Photography — November, 2016

Howard Hoople - Butterfly Photography

Monarch Butterfly

After receiving an MBA from Harvard University and having a rewarding career in health care management, in 1999, Howard Hoople began renewing his childhood interest in butterflies. Howard is now an accomplished butterfly photographer and President of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club. He has had butterfly photos published in Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts Butterflies, American Butterflies, and Butterfly Gardener magazines. He also produces an annual butterfly calendar and note cards featuring his photos, and is very pleased to talk with anyone interested in learning about butterflies.


Skip Montello — October, 2016

Skip Montello

Macchu Picchu

Trekking Peru in 2015

The Inca road system was the most extensive and advanced transportation system in pre-Columbian South America. The best known portion is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We journeyed through varied terrain both challenging, awe-inspiring and literally breathtaking as we climbed altitudes exceeding 15,000 feet. As we descended down the trail, the sights only became more enhanced by spectacular topography, lush vegetation, and intriguing archaeological areas.

Infrared, or 'IR' photography, offers photographers a method to explore a new world because our eyes literally cannot see IR light, as it lies just beyond what is classified as the 'visible' spectrum - that which human eyesight can detect. When we take photographs using infrared-equipped cameras, we are exposed to the world that can often look very different from that we are accustomed to seeing. Colors, textures, leaves and plants, human skin, and all other manner of objects can reflect IR light in unique and interesting ways. My camera was converted to record 'near infrared' light just beyond the range that humans can detect with their eyesight. This light range is between 700 - 1200 nanometers. Reflected IR light produces a fascinating array of surreal effects. Vegetation appears white or near white as they reflect IR. Water and sky take on a much more dramatic dark appearance as they absorb IR. Since just one wave length of light is recorded, most images will appear sharper than full spectrum images. All of my infrared images were converted monochrome B&W.

Skip Montello is a photographer working and living in Rockport Massachusetts. He is an exhibiting member of the Rocky Neck Art Colony, Rocky Neck Gallery, Rockport Art Association, Newburyport Art Association and the Griffin Museum of Photography. His passion for photography developed during his career at the Polaroid Corporation, where he spent more than 30 years as a photographic scientist, engineer and technology leader.

Over the years he has moved from film based media to digital. He has a deep love for the area in which he lives and is constantly inspired by the ocean. When not photographing, he is a sport fishing charter captain, sailing instructor and outdoor writer. He also arranges the programs for Fish On! Andover, which is going into its 18th year.

Skip's photography is frequently displayed in many juried exhibits around the country. His photography has earned numerous awards at the art associations in Rockport and Newburyport and the worldwide Nikon Small Wonders Competition. He has exhibited in several solo exhibits including art associations and public libraries. His work is held in private collections in the USA and Europe. Skip is a graduate of Northeastern University, Engineering and Science and a US Navy Submarine Veteran.

Cliff Hauptman & Susie Hauptman — September, 2016

Cliff Hauptman & Susie Hauptman

Cliff Hauptman image

Artist Statements

Cliff Hauptman
During my professional career, I have been a corporate writer, photographer, graphic designer, motion picture editor, outdoor writer, author, fishing columnist, and communications director, often concurrently. Many of the digital drawings in this exhibit are inspired by my photographs, but they contain no photographic elements and are drawn line by line from scratch, using the computer's mouse as a pen and brush. Once printed, I further enhance each archival pigment print with pastels so that each becomes a unique, mixed-media original. I create these digital drawings using Adobe Illustrator. They are vector graphics, which are based on mathematical equations and can be resized to any dimension without pixilating. My digital drawings have a highly graphical quality, which becomes transformed, in varying degrees, by the application of additional details and textures in chalk pastels. The result is a colorfully saturated melding of graphic design and fine art, a changing edge where precision and impression interface. Visit

Susie Hauptman
My necklace designs are inspired by my travels in the Southwest and reflect the desert colors and Native American cultures. While hiking in the high desert, I collect many of the stones I use in my work. One of my favorite places to collect the luminous agates is the area around Abiquiu where Georgia O'Keeffe lived and worked. After polishing and drilling holes, I incorporate these beautiful stones into my work. I also include fossils and petrified wood in some of my pieces. I purchase other stones from Native Americans selling their beads at roadside stands and in small shops in New Mexico. I combine my passion for crochet into my longer necklaces by crocheting with silk thread and waxed cotton. Some of my crochet shawls, market bags, a shell box, and purses are also on display.

Michael Lenihan & Laura Minning — August, 2016

Michael Lenihan & Laura Minning

Path to the Lake

Artist Profile - Michael Lenihan

Michael Lenihan took up oil painting as a pastime at the age of 48 and has been painting landscapes steadily since he began studying in the Newburyport studio of Robert Scott Jackson, a Copley master painter.  Michael is a native of Nova Scotia and moved with his family as a child to the village of Garden City, a suburb of  New York City on Long Island.  He lived and worked in the  New York area until moving his own family to North Andover in the mid 1990’s. Michael and his wife Barbara have three grown children and three  grandchildren.

Michael paints in the academic method and his paintings frequently depict landscapes and seascapes where you experience a sense of relaxation, depth and light. He has painted scenes from the Grand Tetons and the Maroon Bells to the Wolman Rink in Central Park to Peggy's Cove lighthouse in Nova Scotia, to the Grand Canal in Venice. Many of his paintings are of scenes on Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Cape Cod, the Maine coast, the Pocono Mountains as well as the shoreline of Long Island. He recruits his friends to send him their favorite photos from which he finds frequent inspiration. He will gladly entertain doing commissioned work and can be reached at  

In addition to numerous private collections, his paintings are held in several corporate collections throughout the northeast United States.  Michael frequently donates his paintings to favorite causes of his family including North Andover’s Hermann Youth Center, the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, Swim Across America/Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Brain Tumor Foundation at Newton Wellesley Hospital, Andover Chamber Music, the North Shore Artist League, and the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, among others. 

He has found that painting has provided him with an enhanced awareness and appreciation of the ever changing physical world around us all and which he admits he took for granted prior to his putting brush to canvas.

WEBSITE: Michael Lenihan Fine Art, at

Artist Profile - Laura Minning

Laura Minning began writing creatively at the age of nine. She’s become an award winning published poet and author since that time. All in all, she’s written one-hundred and seven individual poems, six articles, two books and one short one-act play, published in both hard copy and online. Her work has been featured in the publications, Literature Today, Amulet Magazine and Slate & Style. Laura received her first Editor’s Choice Award in 1993 for “bronx zoo” and her first international poetry award in 1995 for “introspection” by the National Library of Poetry. recognized her work a decade later by granting her the title of International Poet of the Year. Laura’s artistic accomplishments are equally impressive. She’s had eighty-two original pieces exhibited and eleven published. Her work has been displayed in venues like the VMFA Studio School, Haverhill Public Library and Barcode. The Barcode exhibit, sponsored by Bacardi, featured thirty-six pieces of Laura’s artwork during the month of February in 2016. Additional information about Laura and her work can be found at As a person with low vision and blindness, Laura hopes to inspire other creative people to never allow anything to hinder them from reaching for the stars and accomplishing their dreams If you were to ask her about her creative successes, she would tell you that the difficult is but the work of the moment, and the impossible takes a little longer.

Heather Barker Photography & Gayle C. Heney Raku Potter — July, 2016

Heather Barker Photography & Gayle C. Heney Raku Potter

Heather Barker Photography

Heather Barker Artist Statement

Heather Barker comes from a creative family, many of them pursuing careers in the arts. Heather has worked in human services for over 25 years, including working at a women's shelter answering domestic abuse hotline calls and performing case management. She has also worked with teens at the Department of Youth Services and with adults of various abilities and barriers, finding vocational training through the Mass Rehab Commission. Heather broke state records in Massachusetts with the number of people she assisted in regaining employment. She also worked in the Welfare to Work grant program through the Department of Transitional Assistance.

Over the years, Heather has implemented and organized Expressive Arts groups with the populations she has worked with. About this, she says, "I had a strong desire to help them heal through the arts and learn healthy ways to express themselves. I found it a window at the very least for them to come together as a group and begin to build bonds and support for each other. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to watch street kids give me attitude about doing an art project and then begin working with clay and paints at the same table as their rival gangs.  Art does amazing things to everyone it touches!”

Raising her daughter as a single mother has made her realize that she needs something for herself, some form of creative expression. “After hearing so much of the darkness and struggles in the world through my human service jobs over the last 25 years, I began to snap away. I found photography more valuable than ever to help me focus and to remember the beauty in the world all around me everywhere, people, family, nature, my daughter, events…whatever, I began to snap away."

Current Work

Won Best Color Award at The Whistler House of Lowell, show in 2014.

She plans on doing more shows in the future.  You can follow her photography journey on her Facebook page, Heather Barker’s Photography.

Gayle C. Heney Artist Statement

The process of Raku includes placing glazed pieces of pottery in a kiln, usually powered by gas burners. The glazes respond to the low-fire temperature, which rarely exceeds 2000 degrees F., by melting, bubbling and developing a “shiny look.”  When the glazes are mature, the pot is removed with tongs and placed in a container filled with combustibles such as shredded paper, magazines, straw or sawdust.  In this reducing environment, the combustibles ignite, creating a smoke-filled atmosphere.  Those areas of the pot left unglazed become black as a result.  In addition, metallic luster, crackle patterns and iridescence are possible in this exciting process.  Raku, as a firing method, provides an opportunity for serendipity and immediacy, which enhances its appeal for me. 

Historically, Raku bowls were thought to have been made first by a Korean immigrant to Japan.  His son, Chagiro, (1515-1592) and his family became known as the Japanese “Raku family.”  Chagiro made tea bowls for the famous tea master Sen-no-Rikyu. This genetic line of potters continued until 1944. Raku tea bowls exemplify the Zen emphasis on “simple living,” and were originally associated with the Japanese tea ceremony. Classical Japanese tea bowls are small, irregular, made by hand and without detail.  Their simple form, unadorned rim, lack of detail and understated glazes require handling in order to be fully appreciated. 

Raku in America is very different from its Asian ancestor.  Here, Raku is known for flamboyant color, metallic luster and free form.  Emphasis is placed on the exciting process of firing with glazes that can amaze our senses and challenge our notion of what pottery can be. 

Francois Gossieaux — June, 2016

Francois Gossieaux

Boat Parade in Magnolia, MA

About the Artist
My goal is to capture what happens around me, nature, cities, people…poverty and misery, injustice and victory, beauty and decay, glitz and glamour”—Francois

Francois Gossieaux has captured life through a lens for most of his adult life but he has only recently started sharing his images and perfecting his craft. In 2011, Francois went through a difficult personal journey and his escape became his camera. He picked one weekend day during his journey to travel throughout New England observing, discovering and capturing the beauty in everyday life.

Francois has emerged into a passionate photographer who strongly believes that if we pay attention to what happens around us, we can all become observers and visual storytellers about our environment—the diverse (and sometimes disappearing) cultures that we interact with, the injustices that we witness every day, the beauty that surrounds us, and the daily awe-inspiring experiences that we get when (and if) we open our eyes and pay attention. Francois uses a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 7D with various Canon lenses. His work can be seen at & @fgossieaux.

Traditional “About the Artist”
…a dedicated son, supportive brother, and a very proud Dad
…enjoying his days with the love of his life
…an enthusiastic global and local traveler (observer)
…a passionate photographer, visual story teller, and entrepreneur
…tri-lingual (Dutch, French, English)
…a resident alien here in the U.S. and Belgian by birth
…permanent student of life

Boats: Dreams Made and Broken
The Andover Reads 2016 book, The Boys in the Boat is a story of an epic Olympic journey. This team, of working class boys from foggy coastal villages, dairy farms and smoky lumber towns, reminds you of what can be done through determination, transformation and hope. Although the boat is not the star of this story, the bond between the boys and boat can only be imagined as they row their way to fulfilling their Olympic dream. Francois Gossieaux captures the escape, inspiration and sometimes defeat in his series Boats: Dreams Made and Broken.

Rob Franco — May, 2016

Rob Franco


Artist Statement

My passion for art began at an early age during visits to a neighborhood artist in Newport, Rhode Island. This led to training as an illustrator in the US Air Force and continued as a graphic artist in the Boston area.

After studying with renowned pastelist and teacher, Albert Handell at drawing and pastel workshops in Woodstock, New York, the focus of my work was portraits of children and animals. I continued in this genre for many years.

While a student of the late David Ratner and John Evans, both renowned artists, my passion turned to oil painting. This medium allows me to build paintings with texture, using palette knives, brayers and various size brushes.

My fascination with the ocean continues to inspire my work. I enjoy searching the New England and Eastern Shore coastlines to find subjects that display a mood that will transform into a painting.

Looking into a tidal pool or the reflection of a small boat on the water gives me an emotional feeling of calm. The colors produced by the boat, sky, or water and sand enrich the scene. Shadows on the sand or reflections and shadows on the water are ever changing, and finding these painting opportunities is exciting and priceless for me.

Visit for more information.

Karen Van Welden-Herman — April, 2016

Karen Van Welden-Herman

Flannel Jack by Karen VanWelden-Herman

“For now, we see in a mirror dimly”

What separates reality from memory – emotion, vision, desire, prayers? What moves us beyond a place of certainty to a place where dreams are held? Drawing on an exploration of memory, these images are reflections from my past using places, events and people that have continuing resonance for me. I consider my relationship with family, friends and animals as a starting point to create work in a narrative style that is also influenced by a strong interest in history and material culture. I have studied with Israeli artist, Eli Shamir, and continued my art education with courses at the Museum of Fine Arts/Boston, the DeCordova Museum School, The Haystack Mountain School and the Essex Art Center. I hold a BA/history from the University of Colorado and MA/bilingual-ESL studies from UMASS/Boston. My paintings have been shown in Massachusetts in the Merrimack Valley, Boston and Newton, and in Deer Isle, Maine. Actively working for my community, I serve as Chair of the Andover Preservation Commission, President of the Memorial Hall Library Board of Trustees, and as a board member of the Essex Art Center and the Lawrence History Center in Lawrence, MA. For eleven years I organized the artists participating in “Hair of the Dog “, a wine and art event to benefit the MSPCA Nevins Farm in Methuen, MA, held at the Essex Art Center. Four years ago I became the event coordinator for Crafts in the Park Andover, a high end juried crafts show, now in its 41st year. The event benefits the mission of Christ Church, Andover. I happily share studio space at OH Studios, located on Island Street in Lawrence, with three other artists. I am very pleased to have been asked to show my work at Memorial Hall Library.

Matthew Pearsall & Essex Art Center — March, 2016

Matthew Pearsall & Essex Art Center


Matt is currently an Andover resident who grew up a few towns to the north in West Newbury. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 with a degree in Environmental Engineering and is working within the field in Chelmsford, MA.  Painting is mostly a hobby which he has been lucky enough to pursue thanks to the many hours spent in hotel rooms when travelling for work. When not travelling to job sites in New England, he likes to vacation abroad and is inspired by the unique countries and their trademark landmarks to create many of the art deco travel posters on display here. Inspiration for the oil-based animal paintings comes from enthusiastic friends and family and their all too willing subjects. If you have any questions or like what you see he can be reached at

Essex Art Center Clay Pieces

Essex Art Center Adult Clay Pieces in Reference Area Display Case

Works in clay created by adult classes at the Essex Art Center are on display. The exhibitors include students in Clay Works with Larry Elardo: Gale Batsimm, Christianne Tardif-Kellerd, and Amy Ferguson, and students in Hand-building with Peter Wood:  Virginia Dalis, and Kristen Donegan. Gayle Heney, who has taken classes at EAC, also has two pieces on display.

Kevin Porter and Randy Tustison — February, 2016

Kevin Porter and Randy Tustison

New England Landscapes: A Departure From Realism

Kevin Porter Artist Statement

A ten year absence from pursuing any serious photography has freed my thinking, and along with the digital revolution, given me new insight and inspiration.  Renewed with fresh ideas and a new vision, I have moved from the literal (true to life) renderings of my early work, to creating images that are more expressive of the scenes in nature that inspire me. The prints in this exhibit are an exploration of the shapes, colors, and textures found in the national forests and national parks of New England. All have been printed with archival pigment inks on archival papers.

About Kevin

Kevin Porter has pursued photography as both a hobby and professionally since the late 1970s. He has worked extensively with small, medium and large format film cameras, digital SLRs, film and print processing (both B&W and color), alternative techniques such as Polaroid transfers, macro-photography, the Zone System, digital image editing with third party effects and filters, commercial photography, and studio photography.

Currently, Kevin divides his time between his freelance design and communications business, and his fine-art photography. Over his career he has worked in academia, the non-profit sector, the photo industry, conducted research in the life sciences, and founded creative service businesses. Active in the community, he volunteers time to local conservation issues and serves on the Andover Conservation Commission.

Kevin can be reached at:

Fishing Lure Display in Reference Area Display Case

Boxes of luresA display in the new case in the Reference Area features examples of vintage fishing lures, including lures from the early days of fishing lure manufacturing in America.  In addition, lures from the five major lure manufacturers are on display, as well as vintage lures manufactured in Massachusetts.   The display also highlights saltwater plugs made by craftsman Mike Shah of Workhorse Lures, the featured speaker on Tuesday, February 9 in the Fish On! Andover series.

Fishing lureRandy Tustison was born and raised in Garrett, Indiana - the home of Creek Chub Bait Company (CCBC).   CCBC was one of the five largest manufacturers of fishing lures in America from 1916 until it was sold in 1978.  He acquired a love of fishing from his Grandfather, fishing many of the small lakes in northeastern Indiana as well as Pipestone Lake in Ontario, Canada.  Randy became interested in collecting fishing lures while delving into his family history, learning that his Grandfather manufactured and sold fly rod lures for a short time in the 1930’s.  He is a member of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club (NFLCC) and has written for the NFLCC Gazette.  He is currently retired and lives in Andover with his wife, Kay. 

Stephanie Mobbs Deady — January, 2016

Stephanie Mobbs Deady

Stephanie Mobbs Deady paintings

Stephanie Mobbs Deady is an artist with a zest for life and all things whimsical. Family, laughter and love fuel her and inspire her creative process. Stephanie paints at her home studio in Andover and is available for commissioned works. Visit

Textile Creations by MHL Staff — December, 2015

Textile Creations by MHL Staff

Textiles by MHL staff

Gerry Deyermond, Assistant Head of Circulation

I began hooking rugs about four years ago from a suggestion from co-worker Vicki Murphy. I resisted for a while, but finally gave in and love every minute of it! I like to collect projects from places I have visited. Currently I have two-- the sheep hanging is from Texas, and I have a rug from California of California Poppies that is still in the works.  I have been sewing since I was big enough to push the foot pedal of my mother’s sewing machine, and enjoy quilting and other home decorating projects. I also enjoy wool appliqué and have been doing more of this recently.                                

Kim Lynn, Local History & Reference Librarian

I’ve been a librarian at Memorial Hall Library since 2004.  I’ve always been interested in art and began rug hooking in 2009.  I like the challenge of designing my own rugs.  I’m working on my largest one yet at approximately 7 X 4 feet.  The hobby is even more enjoyable because I share the interest with my co-workers, Vicki and Gerry.                                                         

Vicki Murphy, Assistant to the Director

I have been rug hooking for about 4 or 5 years now.  I transitioned into it after lots of knitting, quilting, beading, and hand appliqué.  I cut most of my strips by hand as I don't own a cutter (yet...) and enjoy the evolution of color as I try out plaids, tweeds, hand-dyed wool, etc. for effect.  I'm drawn to sheep and crows and all things primitive.  I hope to begin designing my own patterns now that I have the technique down.  It's a lot of fun sharing this hobby with my co-workers, Kim and Gerry, and comparing pieces we've made, and giving each other advice and suggestions.  The craft is especially enjoyable on long, cold, winter nights and days, when a lap full of heavy wool is cozy.  I would love to share ideas with interested people in town and welcome their questions about rug hooking any time.   

Paintings by Debalina Sarkar — November, 2015

Paintings by Debalina Sarkar

Debalina Sarkar landscape

Debalina Sarkar is a new artist and a resident of North Reading. As a small girl, she was interested in art, but soon discontinued it for academics. Her parents were called to school in second grade because her teacher thought that her parents had helped her with her art homework. Her teacher made her paint in front of her because she couldn't believe a second grade girl could paint that well. Since then, Debalina has painted many paintings during festivals in India. Although she is a research scientist by profession, she rediscovered her art after almost 25 years, after her son was born. She started painting early this year, and was so excited that she painted over 100 paintings in 5 months, mostly with her newborn in her arms. She paints mostly landscapes, flowers and small animals. She uses traditional oil painting on canvas, but has also worked with acrylics and watercolors.

Her influences include American, European and Indian painters. She has also been inspired by various art forms such as contemporary, wet-on-wet, Madhubani, and Renaissance techniques. A lot of her ideas come from within, but many are influenced by modern day painters such as Bob Ross, Wilson Bickford, Ginger Cook, Kevin Hill, and Gary Jenkins.

Andover Century Project — October, 2015

Andover Century Project

Andover High School students in Mary Robb's 20th Century History class worked in teams and researched a decade in Andover's history from 1900-2000. They collected photographs and information and created posters to reflect what the community looked like by decade.

Of Many Colors: Portraits of Multiracial Families — September, 2015

Of Many Colors: Portraits of Multiracial Families

Ross Walcott Family

Of Many Colors, created by the Family Diversity Projects, includes photographs and interviews with 20 families (children, teens, and adults) who have bridged the racial divide through interracial relationships and/or adoption. In a world where race is considered by many to be a formidable barrier between people, the families in this traveling exhibit have discovered richness and value in diversity. This exhibit of multiracial families has a great deal to teach about racial identity and racism. The same exhibit will be displayed in all five Andover elementary schools during September. Of Many Colors is also available in a beautiful companion book (featuring over 40 families) published by the University of Massachusetts Press. Major funding is provided by the Andover Coalition for Education (ACE) and elementary school PTO's.

Andover Coalition for Education (ACE) partners with the Andover Public Schools to support innovative system-wide, curricula-enhancing initiatives that will inspire our students to succeed in facing today's global challenges. Since 2005, ACE has granted more than $500,000 to support public education in Andover and is continuing its work to broaden support and community involvement in our schools.  To learn more about ACE, visit or contact Jennifer Srivastava at

Shahrzad Shadbash — August, 2015

Shahrzad Shadbash

Shahrzad Shadbash

Shahrzad Shadbash started painting when she was four years old, and studied with some of the most famous master painters in Iran. She studied Traditional Architecture and Architectural Technology Engineering at Azad Tehran University, and began painting with oils professionally in 2000. She began sketching and working with ink in 2009, and has held several private and public exhibitions to showcase these works. She has worked within Cubism, Impressionism and Surrealism, and has also tried a one-stroke technique in some of her work. Most of her work falls within the realm of Realism and a combination of Realism and Impressionistic techniques.

Donna Howard — July, 2015

Donna Howard

Donna Howard

Prismatic and electric, painter Donna Howard cleverly weaves subtle narrative into each one of her bright paintings. Textured and nuanced with an ambient, lyrical sense of space, Howard’s paintings are emblems of a prolifically curious mind, and speak to diverse experiences and moments of human life. Strict, precise brushwork betrays the artist’s ardently playful and whimsical fancies, speaking to the duality inherent in all of our psyches. With every shift and movement of the eye as it engages with Howard’s works, we see refreshingly differently, as if we were looking through a kaleidoscope. An emerging artist, Donna Howard has already exhibited her works throughout the Northeast.

Joseph Gemellaro & World War I Artifacts Display — June, 2015

Joseph Gemellaro & World War I Artifacts Display

Elizabeth Taylor

Joseph Gemellaro is a natural-born talent greatly influenced by the drawing styles of the great Italian masters, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, after having travelled to Italy as a young boy.
He brings this appreciation of European art into the sketches he creates of 20th Century American pop icons, from Charlie Chaplin, Louis Armstrong, Elizabeth Taylor, and Janis Joplin to Superman, Steve Jobs, and Barack Obama.
 "I start with the eyes," Mr. Gemallaro says when describing his method for drawing portraits. And it's the eyes that immediately attract the viewer, drawing them in to the heart and soul of a familiar face.   Nowhere is this more evident than in his portrait of Mohammed Ali. Although this portrait features only Ali's eye and eyebrow, viewers instantly recognize it as the portrait of the flamboyant boxer who floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.
 Similar to Ali's gift for showmanship, Mr. Gemellaro sketches with unabashed force, apologizing to no one as he lays it all on the line.

The Level 2 display cases feature a special display of artifacts which offer a fascinating glimpse into the life of an American soldier during WWI.

Susan Schön & Tom Vartabedian — May, 2015

Susan Schön & Tom Vartabedian

photo of one of the artist's paintings

Level 1

Andover resident, Susan Schön has worked as a textile designer for over twenty-five years, designing products ranging from original one-of-a-kind hand-painted silk clothing, her own line of hand-painted children's clothing, wall coverings, upholstery, apparel, and numerous graphic design applications. Her work as a designer has allowed her to develop many different styles, and her passion for art and design continues to grow, often inspired by observing and exploring the natural world.

Level 2

The Level 2 display cases feature a photo exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, on display until May 10. The collection by photographer, Tom Vartabedian, is entitled “Armenian Village People --- A Country Kaleidoscope” and depicts life in modern-day Armenia, a century following a devastating massacre by the Ottoman Turkish Government that killed 1.5 million people and left another million displaced from their homeland.

A showing of color images represent part of a collection taken by Vartabedian during two trips to Armenia over the past decade, covering scenes of people living and toiling in the mountains and valleys. The images depict life in this historic land whose history dates back more than 3,000 years. The Andover library is among others throughout Merrimack Valley and the North Shore which will feature the exhibit during this centennial year.

Vartabedian, a Haverhill Gazette columnist, worked as a photographer for 40 years before retiring a decade ago.  Much of his photography these days is dedicated to travel and pleasure.

Ron Wybranowski Nature Photography — April, 2015

Ron Wybranowski Nature Photography

Aspen in Fog - Crested Butte Ron Wybranowski

Trees are living, breathing entities very much like people: born from seeds, growing through infant and teen years into large, mature beings.  They have personalities of their own with distinctive shapes, sizes, spring-colored buds and unique shaped leaves which change color in the fall. They drop when the snows come, only to start the same cycle over again in several short months when the ground thaws.  Trees and forests are some of the touchstones of our lives, as we return to them year after year to see how they've changed and grown and perhaps to think about how we've also changed and grown. These images in The Beauty of Trees exhibit capture the unique beauty of different  trees, in different parts of the country, in different times of the year.  Full of gold aspen leaves in Colorado, red and orange maples in New England, in black and white in the high desert country, in snow storms in our own Harold Parker State Park, some sharp, some diffused, they bring us joy and pleasure and ease our mind. 

Ron Wybranowski is a member of the Massachusetts Camera Naturalists, a by-invitation-only organization dedicated to the appreciation of nature and the natural environment.  He is a juried member of the New Hampshire Art Association and a long-standing member of the Merrimack Valley Camera Club (MVCC) in North Andover. He resides in North Andover. For more information and to view his photographs, visit his website

Skip Montello: Simply Reflections — March, 2015

Skip Montello: Simply Reflections

Skip Montello

Skip is a photographer working and living in Rockport Massachusetts. He is an exhibiting member of the Rocky Neck Art Colony, Rocky Neck Gallery, Rockport Art Association, Newburyport Art Association and the Griffin Museum of Photography. His passion for photography developed during his career at the Polaroid Corporation, where he spent more than 30 years as a photographic scientist, engineer and technology leader.

Over the years he has moved from film based media to digital. He has a deep love for the area in which he lives and is constantly inspired by the ocean. When not photographing, he is a sport fishing charter captain, sailing instructor and outdoor writer.

Skip's photography is frequently displayed in many juried photography exhibits around the country. His photography has earned numerous awards at the art associations in Rockport and Newburyport and the worldwide Nikon Small Wonders Competition. He has exhibited in several solo exhibits including art associations and public libraries. His work is held in private collections in the USA and Europe.

Skip is a graduate of Northeastern University, Engineering and Science and a US Navy Submarine Veteran.

Visit his website


Ruth T. Naylor and Cornelia van den Broeke — February, 2015

Ruth T. Naylor and Cornelia van den Broeke

The first floor exhibit features pieces created by two Andover residents, Ruth T. Naylor and Cornelia van den Broeke. The Level 2 display cases feature photographs of past Academy Award winning actors and actresses.

Ruth Tiffany Naylor studied at The Slade Summer School in London, England in 1992 and 1998, locally at The Museum of Fine Arts, the DeCordova Museum School and the Cambridge Center, and at Montgomery College in Maryland, where she earned an Honours Associates in Studio Arts degree in 1993. Currently, Ruth is working with the Board of Trustees of West Parish Garden Cemetery, Andover MA to put on a juried 2-D and 3-D exhibition to show at the Andover Historical Society and the cemetery grounds in October 2015. Local colleges, high schools and artists are participating in this project which is partially funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Cornelia van den Broeke moved to Andover in 1978. After completing high school she moved to Boston and studied at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, graduating in 1990. She lived in New York City for 4 years, returning to Andover in 2000. She is most inspired by Dadaist artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia, as well as contemporary artists Julian Schnabel and Anselm Kiefer. She has worked in various media over the years, and has exhibited in cafes and in group shows in Boston and NYC. 

Sanjeev Nandan — January, 2015

Sanjeev Nandan

Andover resident, Sanjeev Nandan is a self-taught artist driven purely by the passion to create something new and interesting every time he has a blank canvas in front of him. Every painting is an experiment and a learning experience. Over the years, he has been influenced by various artists and their styles. His creations are original concepts designed by infusing real life subjects with a bit of imagination. His style has evolved over time, but one thing has not changed - the paintings are bright and colorful. He uses acrylic paints to give them an almost oil-like effect. To see more of his artwork go to

The Level 2 display cases contain photographs taken by students at Andover High School's Photography Club as part of their Humans of Andover Project. Inspired by the Humans of New York project, the students set out to capture various personalities within Andover. The artwork shown is a combination of film and digital photography and showcases what stood out to these photographers around our town.

Diane Maroun & the Andover High School Photography Club — December, 2014

Diane Maroun & the Andover High School Photography Club

The Level 1 hanging exhibit features artist Diane Maroun.

The Level 2 display cases contain photographs taken by students at Andover High School's Photography Club as part of their Humans of Andover Project. Inspired by the Humans of New York project, the students set out to capture various personalities within Andover. The artwork shown is a combination of film and digital photography and showcases what stood out to these photographers around our town.

Susan Siegel and Rob Franco — November, 2014

Susan Siegel and Rob Franco

1st Floor Exhibit

Andover artist, Susan Siegel has been painting with pastels and acrylics for almost 20 years. The paintings in her exhibit, “Landscapes I Have Known and Loved," focus primarily on color, light, mood, and atmosphere, and are based on her emotional responses to the landscapes of her travels and to her connection with the ocean in Cape Cod. Along with her husband, Susan is both an artist and seasonal gallery owner of the Front Porch Gallery in Wellfleet, MA. She is also a member of several local arts organizations, including the Andover Artists’ Guild, the Newburyport Art Association, the Wellfleet Art Galleries Association, and the Pastel Painters of Cape Cod. Her work has been exhibited primarily in New England and sold throughout the U.S. to collectors from New Hampshire to California.

Level 2 Display Cases

Rob Franco's passion for art began at an early age during visits to a neighborhood artist in Newport, Rhode Island. He trained as an illustrator in the US Air Force, and worked as a graphic artist in the Boston area. A fascination with the ocean and other bodies of water continues to inspire his work. Visit his website at

Steven Noroian — October, 2014

Steven Noroian

First Floor Exhibit Area

Steven Noroian, a fine art photographer from North Andover, combines the latest digital techniques with traditional photography to create bold and evocative prints. With an eye towards abstraction, he works to capture the beauty of his surroundings through strong composition and brilliant color. His work reveals his passion for landscapes, architecture, and still life photography – capturing the essential elements of New England and Europe. Steven has been an Artist at the Brush Art Gallery in Lowell for ten years. At the Brush, he has a studio to display his work, and he participates in an annual collective show. Visit the Brush Art Gallery in Lowell or visit his flickr website.