March in Stetson Gallery features the paintings of Marblehead resident Jane McKenna. McKenna’s exhibit will be celebrated at an opening reception on Sunday, March 8, from 12-2 p.m. at the Gallery, located at 28 Mugford St., Marblehead.

Stetson Gallery is delighted to host Jane McKenna for “The Seven Feet of Snowstorm Blues,” her first exhibit in several years. (Her most recent exhibit, in fact, was also at Stetson!) A well-known and respected artist, McKenna took a respite from painting for awhile, but has created a body of work specifically for the Stetson exhibit. Jane, the daughter of the late Tillie Swazey, grew up in our church and is delighted to be exhibiting here again.

For her subject matter, Jane McKenna was inspired in part by a comment Georgia O’Keeffe wrote for a 1925 exhibit of her paintings of Lake George:
“I wish you could see the place here – there is something so perfect about the mountains and the lake and the trees – Sometimes I want to tear it all to pieces – it seems so perfect – but it is really lovely – And when the household is in good running order – and I feel free to work it is very nice.”

Jane McKenna was also inspired by the postcard-like sentiment “I wish you could see what I see outside my window. The world is so very beautiful.” All the paintings were created as she worked in her home studio watching the snow and the sea. The result is a glorious exploration of the beauty of snow, sea, and light.

“This exhibition is a body of work created on small gesso boards with oil in my home studio,” McKenna explains. “My intention is to share my response to the natural environment outside my window this winter. What I sense is really lovely. My impetus is to express and record it in the beautiful subtle relationships between form and light, especially the prism play of light on the blue cast of snow.”

Jane McKenna earned a Bachelor of Science degree in special education from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Montserrat College of Art. Her work has been shown in many exhibits throughout the North Shore, where she has won several awards. She has also been an instructor and teacher at the Marblehead Arts Association, Salem State University, and other schools. She has been a member of the Marblehead Arts Association, the Swampscott Art Association, the Art Guild of Marblehead, and the Ashwell Gallery in Beverly.

Stetson Gallery is open weekdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (1 p.m. Mondays) and during Church events at other times. The winter/spring 2015 Gallery season will continue with: April, watercolors by Winnie Burns; May, art by the mother and daughter duo Elaine Caliri Daly and Dianna Daly, featuring music by the Daly family at the opening reception; June, floral photographs by Rev. Wendy von Zirpolo. Curators Anthony and Jo Ann Silva welcome inquiries from artists for the 2015-2016 gallery season at stetson@uumarblehead.org.