NORWAY – The town has added a new piece to its growing collection of local art work.
A watercolor of the so-called “Gingerbread House” on Main Street by Dianne Hooper, a Paris resident, was purchased for $400 at Saturday’s sidewalk art show.
“That one just stuck out. The three of us were all in agreement,” said Bruce Cook, who along with fellow Selectboard member Irene Millet and Frank Shorey, owner of Main Street Furniture, made up the committee charged with selecting the piece.
Last month, annual town meeting voters approved the use of $400 from the Hebert Dennison trust fund to purchase a piece of art from pieces displayed at the sidewalk art show in recognition of the Art Festival’s 40th anniversary.
More than 55 artists from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts registered to show their works, which ranged from classic-two dimensional fine arts to three-dimensional works in metal, glass and other media.
Cook said the mission of the committee was to find a piece of artwork of local interest and there were a number to chose from, including a picture of Main Street with its signature snow pile down the center and one of Pennesseewassee Stream, but the Gingerbread House immediately jumped out at the group.
“Everyone is very impressed,” said Cook, who delivered the art to Town Hall Monday morning where it is expected to be permanently displayed.
Hooper said she tried to depict the house as it would have looked in its heyday by using hundreds of photographs she has taken of the house over the years.
“I’m glad the town got it,” she said of the sale.
The work, which she said took two weeks to paint, involved a “glazing” method in which fine washes of color are layered over and over to achieve the effect. Many of the master Flemish oil paintings were done in the same way, she noted.
Hooper, who has a degree in fine arts from the University of New Hampshire, has been showing in art shows for the past 43 years, including the Norway Arts Festival.
This year she won Best of Show with its $500 prize, two $350 Purchase Awards sponsored by Hanley & Associates and the town and a $200 Merchant Raffle award, which was purchased by Toni Hamlin of Paris. She also sold eight of her paintings.
“It was a good day,” she said of the Norway art show.
Aranka K. Matolcsy, coordinator of Norway Summer Festival and president of the Western Maine Arts Group, called this year’s art festival “a smashing success.”
Matolcsy said the art show went off like clockwork and was a success for everyone but especially for Hooper. “This was Dianne Hooper’s show by far,” she said.
Other artists who won awards, many sponsored by local businesses, are:
• Terry O’Maley of Troy, second in the Best of Show winning $300.
• Rose Wood of Lisbon earned $200 for her third place in Best of Show award.
• Steve Traficonte of Oxford won $200 in the photography division.
• Cam Sinclair of Plymouth, N.H., won the $100 Matolcsy Memorial award.
• Natalie Reed of Mexico, Don Best of Norway and Judy Mayberry of Norway won $95 honorable mention awards. Mayberry also won a $350 purchase award sponsored by Suzanne and Rupert Grover.
• Michael Raymond of Buckfield won the $100 Merchant’s Choice Award.
• Christine Coombs of South China won two $350 Purchase Awards sponsored by Scott Buffington and Oxford Homes.
• Ruth Carlson-Friberg of Oxford won a $350 Purchase Award sponsored by the Benjamin Tucker, Jr. family. Other $350 Purchase Awards were won by Cynthia Bermeister of Paris, sponsored by the Norway Savings Bank; Nancy Engdahl of Waterford, sponsored by the Bessy Motor Sales and Duncan Slade of Norway sponsored by an anonymous person.
• $200 Merchant Raffle Award artists were Marvin Jacobs of Belmont, whose work was purchased by Linwood Lord of Norway, and Mary Silvia of Fairfield, whose work was purchased by Sandy Geddry of Norway.