Franklin Gallery’s April Exhibit:
Powerful Minds, Beautiful Expressions — Works By Hampton
Artist Sharleene Page Hurst And Special Guest Artist Garrett Young Pittsfield
The Franklin Gallery at Ben Franklin Crafts, 60 Wakefield Street in Rochester, will host an exhibit called Powerful Minds, Beautiful Expressions — highly imaginative works by well-known Hampton artist Sharleene Page Hurst and special guest artist Garrett Young of Pittsfield — April 1st through April 29th during regular business hours.
The Gallery will host an informal Opening Reception for both Hurst and Young on Sunday, April 1st from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Refreshments will be served, and as always, the public is invited and urged to join in the festivities and meet the artists.
Sharleene Page Hurst’s instantly recognizable, high-octane images have become legendary in northern New England and beyond. She’s a prolific, exceptionally skilled artist with a playful, one-of-kind vision; a vision influenced in significant ways by her long ago diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. Her impressive accomplishments, in spite of a difficult childhood and other formidable challenges, have earned her a large, devoted following in the Seacoast region.
Born in 1959 in Northampton, Massachusetts, Ms. Hurst, who is a member of the New Hampshire Art Association and the Hampton Arts Network, has been a New Hampshire legislator and a successful business woman. She is passionate in her conviction that no one should be harassed, ostracized or written off because they were born different.
“I want kids to have genuine hope,” says Hurst, “to grow up feeling good about themselves, then follow their own, unique dreams.”
Garrett Young, a senior at Pittsfield Middle High School, has been gifted with his own very special, highly imaginative way of seeing things as an artist. He has been drawing, prolifically and passionately, since his elementary school days. His autism has affected him in ways that have given both him and his extraordinary art their own unique identity and brought immense pleasure to those who have watched him grow as an artist.
William Mitchell, a respected Seacoast area printmaker who has been Garrett’s art instructor for the past four years, describes him as “a remarkable artist and natural storyteller who possesses an uncanny memory for images and an ability to clearly and spontaneously describe what he sees in his imagination when drawing directly onto a surface. He obviously loves color and works to combine vivid color combinations in a joyful way.”
Garrett’s mother, Alice, is understandably proud of her son. “Garrett is surrounded by many loving and caring people who’ve gotten involved in his life,” she says. “It really does ‘take a village,” and my son has been blessed with a very supportive one!”
Claire A. Drew, who has worked with Mr. Young since the fourth grade as a para-professional educator, has the same deep appreciation for his gifts. “Garrett has always had the natural ability to make others smile,” she says, “and now he is bringing happiness to everyone around him through his art.”
The Franklin Gallery and Ben Franklin Crafts are open Monday through Friday 9 am to 8 pm, Saturday 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm.
For information about Powerful Minds, Beautiful Expressions and other Franklin Gallery exhibits, write to Ross, the gallery manager, at email@example.com.