TOWNSEND --A retrospective exhibition entitled "Sam Thorpe Remembered" is on display in Townsend's Meeting Hall Gallery during October, 2012.
More than 30 works of the familiar local artist who died in 2005 have been loaned by friends and relatives for the exhibit. Sam's wife Louise, who helped the committee arrange the art, requested that works of her granddaughter and great granddaughter be included. "I want people to know that the family tradition of art talent continues,"she said.
Subject matter of Thorpe's paintings ranged from local scenes to ocean landscapes and winter settings featuring sugar houses. "Saw mills were a specialty of his," Louise said. He has been described as "atmospheric painter, using elements of light, shadow, color and composition to create a certain mood or feeling to his paintings."
For several years he maintained a gallery in Kennebunkport, Maine.
At times the artist was commissioned to do special scenes. Herk Fortin employed Thorpe to paint the Fortin home (from the back) as a present to his wife Louise. Sue and Ken Gerken also had their home painted (from the front).
In sharp contrast to New England scenes is a large painting of a western landscape complete with stagecoach. The picture of a horse's head is a special favorite of hers, Louise said. "Sam painted it for me when he was in the Air Corps in Japan."
A piece of new work is included in the show: local artist Jim O'Rourke recently painted the Sam Thorpe studio in its woodsy setting where many of the works now on display were created. The label he put with it reads: "Painted out of admiration for the works of out late, great local artist, by whom I am greatly inspired."
A public reception will be held on Oct. 13, from noon to 2 p.m. when prints of Thorp's work will be available for purchase. Other items associated with his art work will be shown.
The gallery, located in the library/senior center complex at 14 Dudley Road, is open during regular hours of the two facilities. Exhibitions have been presented regularly during the past three years since the complex, donated to the town by Sterilite Corp., was dedicated.
A committee of five volunteers oversees operation of the gallery. Individual artists and groups have shown their work, while other events, like the current one, are conceived and presented by the committee.