The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 30, 2004


Art at the Gleason this summer captures youthful season

Most kids will name summer as their favorite season. If you visit the Gleason Library this summer, you'll find the theme of youth present everywhere — from the promotion of summer events for children, to kids at the computers during morning hours, to the artwork on display.

The library features three artists this summer including photographer Nina Nickles, printmaker Annie Downes Catterson, and children's author/illustrator Deborah Loverd. All the pieces examine different aspects on the theme of youth and literature. The work on the walls all feature black-and-white presentation, somehow emphasizing the clarity of youth.

The first floor of the library includes an exhibit of photographs taken by Nina Nickles for the book Things I Have to Tell You by Betty Franco in 2001. Nickles lives in Arlington but is one of the artists who works at the Highland Studio in Carlisle. The book contains moving poetry written by teenage girls about their hopes, fears, and everyday experiences. Nickles took unposed photographs of the teenagers to illustrate the writing, and her shots lend a stark realism to the work. The black-and-white photograph prints are matted simply on a white mat with a black frame.

Nickles won an American Society of Media Photographers Big Picture Award in 1999. She has displayed work in galleries in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. She graduated from Binghamton College in New York in 1984.

The second floor of the library echoes the color and presentation of the previous artist. Here, Annie Downes Catterson illustrates three Cree Indian legends compiled by her father, P.G. Downes, a North American ethnologist in the 1930s. Now the child has taken the stories of the parent and given them life through skilled and imaginative use of the woodcut relief print. In her artist's statement, Catterson talks about her connection to animals and the natural world.

Catterson teaches visual arts at the University of Chicago laboratory schools in Illinois. She received a master's in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1985. She earned a master's in Fine Arts in printmaking from Ohio State in 1978 and a BFA there in 1976.

In a case on the landing of the second floor, illustrator/author Deborah Loverd reveals how to prepare a children's book for publication using her own Mrs. Moss's Monstrous Purse as an example. She shares her "book dummy" of the work for editors which contains black-and-white illustrations with one drawing finished in color.

Loverd works as an artist in residence at the Emerson Umbrella in Concord. She has received a bachelor's in Fine Arts from Syracuse University and has conducted graduate work at Syracuse, Columbia University, and the DeCordova Museum School in Lincoln. She has displayed work locally at the Concord Library, the Powers Art Gallery and the Blanchard Gallery.

This summer take time to visit the Gleason Library. You will be moved by the stories of others, as well as get ideas on how to illustrate your own stories.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito