ANDOVER — Wendy Hutchins and her Andover neighbor Pam Berry are excited about next month’s two-day Andover Old Home Days event.

The pair and other “senior” artists, as they call themselves, paint together weekly. The group will convene an art show from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2.

“This is our first time producing an art show,” Berry said Wednesday at Hutchins’s house on Wentzell Road in Andover.

“It’s a fun project,” Hutchins said. “I really think it’s a celebration of a town’s culture.”

The show will consist of their works and those of Andover artists who have passed away, such as Anne Fox, Lavinia Bailey, Bill French, Judy Hall, and possibly David Chaisson. It will also include artists still living, such as pen and ink artist Dick Johnston, who is now blind, Hutchins said.

“There are a lot of past Andover artists that did quite good work,” Hutchins said. “I mean, it’s excellent stuff. There’s a lot of examples of their work around town, so we’re going to include those, too.”

Their venue, which they are calling the Maple Street Art Gallery, is Tom and Maggie McGuire’s house at 71 Maple St. Tucked away behind the Town Common and church, the McGuire house is for sale, but on loan to the group for the show.

Besides Hutchins and Berry, a retired longtime art teacher at Oxford Hills Middle School in Paris, other members of the painting group are Denise Hurd of Andover and Elly Dufault of Bethel.

“We’re all older and most of us are retired,” Hutchins said. “Pam’s a retired art teacher and I’m a retired school secretary and substitute teacher. I didn’t realize I could even paint for a long time. I was 62 or 63 before I knew I could.”

Hutchins said she wanted to be a school tutor, but according to state law, could only do it for two years without an associate’s degree or an equivalent degree. So she went to college and saved 15 weeks of art classes for the last semester, because she fretted she had no talent.

That, however, proved untrue. She took three to four semesters of art and started painting.

“Art is a whole new world for me,” she said.

Hutchins said Berry, who once taught art to Hutchins, dabbled in creating her own art, but never really had the time due to teaching it to more than 7,000 seventh- and eight-grade students in Paris in 24 years.

“There’s not much time left over,” Berry said, between teaching and commuting to Paris every day from Andover.

Hurd, who just learned how to do watercolor in April, is the youngest of the group.

Previously, Hurd had done what Hutchins and Berry called a ‘great’ acrylic painting of the Kimball Farm in Rumford, showing it off inside Hutchins’ living room.

They also brought out their own paintings. Hutchins displayed an oil painting she did of Howard Pond in Hanover and one of Andover Falls off Route 120.

Berry showed one of a scene from Aziscohos Lake titled “Eagle Island” and another of three crows she said she watched all winter in her yard. She calls that one “Morning Debate.”

Berry said she also works in pastels, colored pencils and Conté crayons, which are a charcoal or compressed powdered graphite drawing medium mixed with a wax or clay base.

Dufault, who owns her own studio in Bethel, works in acrylics, oils, watercolor, pastel and pencil drawing and has been at it since the 1970s, Hutchins said.

The four artists also attend art classes at the Senior College in Bethel.

Hutchins said some of the group’s work will be for sale at their art show, along with prints, and they can also get prints made of art pieces, too, on request.

Hutchins said Andover’s signature event used to have an art show and a group collecting local art, but it hasn’t been a group producing it.

So she and members of the group decided to hold one, but needed a venue. Berry set that in motion when she went into Pete’s Hardware store one day and told owner Pete Coolidge about the idea.

She said Coolidge, who is the caretaker of the McGuire house, said the couple, who live elsewhere, wanted to find a way to have their house used for the Andover Old Home Days.

“These people are very generous,” Berry said of the McGuires.

“We couldn’t believe our luck,” Berry said. “It was like putting it out there and having it come true.”

Berry and Hutchins also credited the Western Maine Art Group and art supplies vendor 100 Aker Wood, both of  Norway, for providing guidance and quality of materials.

Both said they want to continue painting after the show and make connections with other artists. Admission to the show is free, but no food, drinks or pets are allowed and all children must be accompanied by an adult.

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