BETHEL — The weekend following the Fourth of July is “Arts Weekend,”  in Bethel.

Three local arts events are happening on Saturday, July 6. They are the Plein Air Artists Open House; The Shy, Novice & Closeted Art Show; and Bethel Area Arts & Music Summer Market.

On July 6, Artist Mary Isham will welcome you to her Albany home for the Plein Air Artists Open House. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

Open House

“We decided we were no longer ‘shy and novice,'” said Artist Mary Isham of Bethel area Plein Air Painters group. Isham, with husband Don, will open five rooms of their antique Albany home as exhibit space for the Plein Air Open House.

Some of the eight Plein Air artists had originally exhibited in the Shy, Novice, and Closeted Art Show, explains Isham, but then began selling paintings so started their own group about 10 years ago. “If anything, we are bold and brassy [now],” she said.

The eight artists’ meet once a week, year-round, to paint outside, or through the Isham’s window –depending on the weather.


The artists’ mediums are varied – they create art with pastels, acrylics, caustics, oil, watercolor and more.

This year Isham has invited her spinning group to knit and spin at the open house, too. Artists’ ages range in both groups. The youngest was a baby when she first came with her mother thirty years ago to the spinning group. Now Katie Turnbull, is part of  both arts’ groups, said Isham.

When visitors pull up to the Isham’s house July 6 they will likely see Robin Henney on the front lawn spinning under a tent. A plein air artist may be out there, too, or, if it’s raining, they could be painting the field and mountains through a window.

Featured Plein Air artists are: Melody Bonnema, Sandy Crowell, Betsey Foster, Linda Isham, Mary Isham, Floyd Lawrence, Peter Musso and Kate Turnbull.

 Plein Air Artists Open House is July 6, 10 a.m – 4 p.m,  Isham Farm Studio, 1006 Vernon St., Albany Township. (About five miles from Bethel Village).

Bethel Arts and Music Coordinator, Kate Webb left, teaches Nova Roberts, 9, of Bryant Pond how to make butterflies and dragon flies out of coffee filters at the Summer Market at The Philbrook Place in 2022. The hand dyed indigo towels and scarves surrounding them were for sale to benefit BAAM and were donated by Rebecca Zicarelli. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen



Seven year-old artist, Odessa Adams sold her first piece of artwork at last year’s Shy, Novice & Closeted Art show. “It means a lot to be a part of something when you are so young,”  said her mother Jessica Adams. The young artist from Mason Township creates watercolor, abstract, 3D work that she will display in this year’s 20th anniversary event.

Director Janet Willie hosts all the SN&C artists’ work at her Bethel Village home.

Willie said, “Over the past years folks from Bethel and all surrounding communities have participated with their art made from all mediums, with all levels of ability, from folks of all ages. Some SN&C artists are so shy you never see the whites of their eyes.

Others show the one and only piece they’ve ever made. Some artists literally have a closet full of art rarely, if ever, seen by anyone else. To participate you need only consider yourself to be a shy, or novice and/or closeted artist.”

Willie mentions Bill Patrick a long time painter, who had been extraordinary with art making. “From crayon melted on wax paper, to oils, to watercolor,  to his bumper to bumper Buick with the inside roof liner of a hubble telescope photograph imprinted on the fabric. It was quite an entry,” she said.

Bethel teens Cody and Cassidy Scanlon have participated for a few years, said Willie, while others have been making and showing art for a very long time. Dwight Mills of Greenwood, is one of the long-time artists.


SN&C artists of past and present, friends and family will celebrate the night before with music by Davy Sturtevant and Tom Zicarelli.

The 20th Annual SN&C show is July 6,  from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  18 High St. Bethel

Summer Market

Bethel Area Arts and Music (BAAM) Coordinator Kate Webb said they have seven newcomers to the Summer Market, now in its fourth year.

One newcomer is Woodstock School third grader, Alessia Pollino of “Alessia’s Bips and Bobbles,”  who “draws inspiration from the fantastical places of her imagination, Alessia recreates landscapes, characters, and emotions in her art. She is enjoying exploring different creative processes that give form to her imagination and help others reconnect with their imaginations,” said Webb.

Acrylic and mixed media artist Jennifer Morris paints on canvas in an abstract expressionist style.


Newry’s Brooks Morton of Bear River Glassworks creates functional items using glass fusing and slumping techniques.  As a child, Morton became fascinated with melting glass the day after throwing a bottle into the bean hole pit as they covered the coals over the cast iron pot for their annual 4th of July picnic.

Frank Caruso of Belleau Wood Designs creates functional items out of exotic and domestic wood such as charcuterie boards, cheese slicers, and signs.

Other local artists at the BAAM Summer Market are: Appleshade Woodworks, Aunt Fizz Creations,  C-A Art & Design, destinedtobecrunchy, Matt Champness Art, Mt Crescent Crafts, Ojalá Designs, Repant! Totes, Roxy Kai Art, Wildly207, Wondrous Waters Art, and YOUniquely MEcycled.

There will be live music all day long at Summer Market from various local musicians: Eva Garrant, Maya Best, Monica Mann & friends, and MJ Johanson.

Bethel Area Arts and Music Summer Market is July 6,  from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at The Philbrook Place, 162 Main Street, Bethel.

Join the Conversation

Please sign into your Sun Journal account to participate in conversations below. If you do not have an account, you can register or subscribe. Questions? Please see our FAQs.

filed under: