Darrin Wipperman
Littleton Courier

BETHLEHEM – Art lovers could rejoice on Friday evening. The Gallery at WREN, Larcom Studios, Maia Papaya, and 42 Maple featured new work by area artists, as well as Cinzia Fiaschi, an Italian dancer and painter currently in residence at Little River Studio.

Fiaschi showed nearly 100 people her talents during a 15-minute outdoor improvised performance next to the WREN gallery. Entitled “Beauty has no Form”, Fiaschi mixed dancing and painting. The variety of bright colors blended well with the sunny late afternoon sky as Fiaschi rapidly made a new painting as she danced.

Gallery curator Katherine Ferrier, who operated Little River Studio, reminded the crowd about Cultivate, a multi-day dance festival, and ArtWalk, which occur together on August 16. A community mural that has been under development for several weeks will be unfurled on the west side of the WREN Local Works Marketplace at 1pm.

Ferrier also noted the town’s most enduring artistic venue. Across the street, the Colonial Theatre has some art in its windows, she says.

Inside the WREN gallery, visitors could see the new art show for August, which includes painting from Fiaschi and pottery done by Kristine Soleri.

A few doors down, more new painting was on display. Matt Bassett’s “These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For” includes an array of paintings and mixed media works with a science fiction theme. VHS Bots, paintings created from the shells of old videotapes, were part of the show.

Bassett’s work has been displayed in several other places throughout the area. He has a special interest in blending pop culture and science fiction. The title of Bassett’s show comes from an oft-quoted line from “Star Wars”, one of the most iconic sci fi films of all time.

A short walk down Main Street brought art fans to a new show of paintings at 42 Maple. Paula Wolcott’s work was in the gallery space near the front of the building. The large shred studio space was also busy,, as Jennifer Liang, Trissa Tilson and Philip Reeder were on hand. They are three of the five area artists who have working space at 42 Maple.

Liang has been working with wax art recently. She mixes a resin with the wax to ensure her colorful work does not get too soft in warmer temperatures. “The resin acts like a stabilizer,” Liang said.

Enjoying the chance to be around other creative people, Liang said 42 Maple has been great. “The energy here is fantastic,” Liang said. Tilson echoed Liang’s appreciation for the studio used by others. Tilson finds the community feel at 42 Maple was a perfect addition to Bethlehem, which has strongly embraced the arts in recent years.

The dozens who filled Bethlehem on Friday had one more opportunity to see new art. Maia Papaya hosted paintings by Jason Tors and Larry Golden.

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