Ashland Artist Donates Dramatic Seascape to Library
Several library trustees (l to r), Linda Weene, Kab Rabinowitz, and Bonnie Mitchell, were among the group that welcomed Ashland artist Al Perry on July 23. (Photo/Meena Jain)
By Cynthia Whitty
A small group of library friends gathered in midsummer to formally accept a seascape from Ashland artist Al Perry and his daughter Lisa. The painting, called “Thunderous Waves,” now hangs above one of the library’s fireplaces in the front of the building.
“This painting was exhibited here a few years ago, and we just loved it. We are thankful to Al and his family for gifting it to the library where it holds a place of honor,” Meena Jain, Ashland’s library director, said to the group. “Thanks to Larry DeJong for helping us with the acquisition process and for mounting it so beautifully above the fire place.”
DeJong, the library’s art exhibit coordinator, said he first heard about Perry from a former library trustee, who mentioned an artist having an exhibit of paintings in the complex’s community building where they both live. DeJong visited Perry and was amazed by the quantity and quality of his work. DeJong asked himself, “Why have I not heard about him before?”
In 2018 DeJong arranged to have an exhibit of Perry’s paintings at the library. “Thunderous Wave” was placed over one of the fireplaces, and it fit perfectly in the space. When the exhibit ended, DeJong kept Perry’s large paintings up for four more months, until the end of January 2019.
“It was in the early part of this year that Al contacted me and expressed his desire to donate the painting to the library on behalf of himself and his wife, Joyce, who had passed away a few years earlier,” DeJong said.
Now 92 years old, Perry received his BFA degree in painting from Mass College of Art in 1953. Over his distinguished career, he worked as a senior graphic designer, illustrator, painter, fine arts teacher and did fine arts restoration and research.
Perry enjoys doing impressionistic oil painting, abstract painting, and collage. His impressionist work focuses on the beauty of the natural world as seen in landscapes, seascapes, and still life. His paintings and collages have been represented in galleries in New England and New York and in private and corporate collections. “Having fun while insisting on really being serious is the most important part of my work,” he says. “I’m calling on the viewer to exercise their sense of discovery.”
The Ashland library has over 40 works of art in its permanent collection, which consists mainly of local artists. The subjects generally deal with New England landscapes and seascapes. DeJong explained that Perry’s painting is “dramatic and very well done,” and fits well with the Ashland library collection.
Art on Display in the Library
DeJong is pleased to announce that library art exhibits will resume in September.
• September: Nikki Vene—Realistic Paintings
• October: Tom Doran—Photographs (semi abstract)
• November: John Sheiffius—Paintings of Glaciers
• December to Mid-January 2022: Annual Senior Citizen Water Colors
Display Case (Upstairs)
• September to Mid-November: Visi Talik—Ceramics and Jewelry
• Mid-November to Mid-January 2022: Ann Newbury—Ceramics