Friends of the RMFA
The Friends of the RMFA is made up of a unique group of people who all have one thing in common: a love of art and community. The talents of our friends cover a wide range of artistic media; including sculpture, oil, acrylic, watercolors, pastel, drawing, photography, and other works on paper. Friends have the chance to exhibit their works together, collaborate, and have fellowship with other artists and art lovers. The Friends of the RMFA is an all-inclusive group open to artists of all ages, disciplines, and levels of proficiency.
Click here to view the 2020 Friends of the RMFA Virtual Exhibit
Click here to view the 2020 Friends of the RMFA Virtual Exhibit
- Artists are included in a directory on the museum's website.
- Artists are invited to participate in an annual virtual exhibit on the museum’s website.
- Artists must provide personal statement/bio, contact information, and 1 headshot or image that best represents their work.
- Images for the virtual exhibit must be high resolution and high quality.
Peter Abate is originally from Massachusetts and now resides in West Newfield, Maine. Peter creates art in various mediums including watercolor, assemblage, collage and photography. He is a past member of the advisory board at Willowbrook Museum in Newfield, Maine where he coordinated the summer art exhibits from 2006 to 2010.
Peter coordinated monthly art exhibits for over 10 years at the Gafney Library in Sanbornville, New Hampshire, he created the popular annual "Art at the Gafney" fundraiser and continues to help organize the event which is in its 11th successful year. Peter also has coordinated shows each year since 2004 throughout New England for the "The Art Group" networking with artists from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. In 2012 through 2015 he was involved in the founding, organization and management of the Garvin Gallery Five art gallery in Sanbornville New Hampshire.
He has had the great pleasure of being invited to guest judge for Marblehead Festival of the Arts events in Massachusetts, and is involved with judging coordination for the MWVAA yearly summer event "Art in the Park" in New Hampshire. Peter has been actively involved with the art community in and around Wakefield N.H. for over 19 years. He is a juried member of Mt. Washington Valley Arts Association in North Conway, N.H. and is currently a member of the Curatorial Committee of the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts in N.H.
Becky Barsi is a multimedia artist whose background is as varied as the artwork she creates. Coming from a family of artists and creatives, she approaches creation with experimentation and play. Her most recent work explores abstraction, color, and texture. Earlier work by the artist has explored themes of body image, emotion, and power, and have been presented through a variety of media including photography, installation, painting, collage, performance, and gunpowder.
Barsi completed her M.F.A at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the summer of 2017. She holds a B.S. in Visual Arts Education from SUNY New Paltz and an A.A.S from SUNY Cobleskill. Her work has been exhibited at Kelley Stelling Contemporary, Carolyn Jenkins Gallery, Nave Gallery, Patricia Doran Gallery, 3S Artspace, the Lamont Gallery, Karl Drerup Gallery, and many more. She is affiliated with the Women’s Caucus of Art, NH State Council for the Arts, National Art Education Association, NH Art Education Association, the Art Association of New England Preparatory Schools, and is on the Executive Board of the NH Scholastic Art Awards. Becky is the chair of the Visual Arts Department at the Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire, where she teaches visual arts classes and manages the Lyceum Gallery. She lives in the woods of southern New Hampshire with her husband, Chris, and their dog, Charlie.
Art teachers are often expected to understand and teach with a variety of media and techniques. In contrast, fine artists are often categorized into singular categories, e.g., painter, printmaker, or sculptor. As an art teacher AND a fine artist, my artwork bridges these two worlds. I am a creator.
I create my work in a variety of media, and I never hesitate to jump from one project to another. The real challenge in creating and being a full-time art teacher is simply having enough time to devote to my artist practice. Creating new artwork is essential for finding balance in my life. It isn’t always easy. Even if I am able to make it to my studio only once a week during the school year, those few hours to devote to my creativity, to get messy, to listen to music, and to breathe are a success. In turn, my experiments in the studio (digital or physical) help me to be a better teacher. My studio space becomes a place to take risks, to experiment, and to make mistakes. I practice with new media and techniques, research artists, and then I bring my experiences back into the lessons I teach my students every day. I create so that I may help others to create.
Peggy Brewster is an independent, award winning photographer currently living in Newport, Oregon. Peggy is a member of the Women’s Caucus for Arts - OR, The Art Group of Wakefield, NH, and Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.
She has worked in a variety of photographic careers over the past 40+ years, including expert photo restoration specializing in antique photos. She now concentrates on art photography on her travels both locally and internationally. All photos are archival Giclee pigment prints, printed by Peggy.
In recent years she has added Encaustic painting , eco-art/nature printing, Gyotaku, Kelp art, and Recycled Art of whimsical mushroom sculptures.
My expressions of art continue to grow and expand my own art horizons. # Photographs to invoke dreams of exploration, evoking discussion, and seeing our world with a different perspective. Encaustic paintings that incorporate nature’s art. Nature printing, Gyotaku and Kelp art with objects found near and far. Recycled/Found Object Art mushroom sculptures I call Funki Fungi."
My name is Bob Farrell and I’m an artist. I’m 54 years old and have lived in Berwick, Maine for 17 years. When I was young, I started doing lettering and graphics. I designed a few new fonts and I created a lot of designs. When I got older, I started painting with oils. I did abstract and surreal paintings. Dali was a big influence.
While I was going to Jefferson Community College in Watertown, NY, I was the Art Assistant for Klaus Ebling, art teacher. We did murals for an Irish festival and we went to Milwaukee to compete in a snow sculpting competition. After a year and a half at JCC, I transferred to the School of Visual Arts in NYC for graphic design.
While in New York City, I painted abstracts and explored surrealism. I also learned how to mix urethanes. I bought a 35mm camera and took black and white photos. I went to Coney Island a lot and all over NYC, even to the World Trade Center. I learned how to develop film and I printed my own photos. I also started to work with double exposures. I use a wide variety of techniques creating art. Snowballs dipped in paint. Pouring paint on a fan to create 2-5 pieces at a time. Tar, tar paper, found objects and using various objects to move paint on canvases. While in NYC, I began using found objects for creating art. Encountering and recycling found objects sparks a motivation within me to create unique objects of art.
I’m a past member of the Berwick Art Association, MODspoke, Wrong Brain, and Blackbird Studio & Gallery. I’ve shown at Gallery at 100 Market St., Artstream, Berwick Library, Gafney Library, Rochester Library, DOO, Buoy, 2nd Landing, East Tower Gallery, and Gallery 280. I also have a studio at the Rollinsford Mills and at the Art Center in Dover, NH.
An early retirement prompted me to start a new career as an aspiring artist. While taking art lessons, I met Bob Sinclair, an accomplished photographer, who re-animated my interest in photograph. With Bob I quickly learned that it was a lot easier to carry a camera and a tripod than an easel, chair, paints and canvas. He introduced me to the world of thirds and composition, how to “create” a scene as opposed to just taking a photograph.
The main body of my work is sea/landscape photography. No matter the weather, I can be seen outside trying to catch that perfect sunrise or storm cloud. Since my favorite scenes depict the ocean or coastal landscapes, living in Marblehead has only intensified my passion for outdoor photography.
I was the executive producer and editor of several original programs that I developed for Marblehead Cable TV Station. # Once again I am evolving, I find that artists are always looking for a new horizon. I have now gone into digital art photography and gone back to painting.
I’m a past member of GLACS, a board member and Secretary of the Swampscott Arts Association, member of the Marblehead Festival of Arts and committee chair, photographer member of the Marblehead Arts Association past member of the Greater Lynn Photograhers Assoc. and Salem Art Association. My work has been exhibited in many New Hampshire, Maine and Mass. Galleries. Though I have won many awards the one I prize most was when I won an OSW from the curator of the Peabody Essex Museum. My work can be found at the Little Harbor Art Studios, Marblehead Ma.
A New Hampshire native, Grace spends her time in Brookfield New Hampshire and in Northern California. Grace works in various mediums including watercolor, printmaking, ceramics and photography. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Washington University, and continues learning by taking art classes and workshops. Grace is interested in capturing intriguing imagery and beauty in nature.
Danielle Festa first began exploring the dimensions of personality constructs developed by clothing at the University of Amherst Massachusetts as a Fine Arts major. In her thesis work, she started incorporating textiles in combination with her traditional oil painting techniques. Since graduating in 2007, she has been painting and exhibiting in the New England area. Recently, she has moved to a studio at the Washington Street Mills in Dover, NH after working out of Somerville, MA for nearly a decade.
"For the last 15 years I have focused on the importance of dress to define our persona by incorporating fabrics into my realistic oil paintings. In each piece, I experiment with the transition between paint and fabric, allowing my subjects to transform into the characters I create. I like for viewers to enter through the comfort of realism, and then allow the distraction of material to lead them towards my concept. Avoiding blatant conceptual announcements, I prefer for viewers to experience the journey of their own interpretation of my vision.
There are many factors that contribute to perceptions of dress, deriving both from the individual’s choice and the viewer’s preconception. The endless combinations of these variables are what keep me exploring my theme.
I alternate between drawing both from subjects that are strangers to me and from those who are very close to me. This juxtaposition allows me to be both another judgmental outsider in some cases, and in others, someone who knows well that the subject’s personality can rarely be defined by his or her projected image. Based on real moments in the lives of my subjects, I work to call attention to the importance we put on clothing. I want onlookers to experience the independent choices, the religious mandates and the social constructs that influence both what we wear and how we view others.
JP Goodwin grew up on the seacoast of Massachusetts. She has been painting since the 1950’s and holds degrees in Fine Arts and Residential Design, attended Garland College and The Univ. of Georgia. She has studied with Harold Pride, Ross Smith, Kay Paterson Parker, Nan White, Caleb Stone to name a few and has been a principle in five coop galleries in Marblehead and NH over the past 30 years.
She has enjoyed membership in the Marblehead, Swampscott and Lynn Arts Associations, is past President of the Mt. Washington Valley Arts where she served on the Board of Directors for 14 years. Now exhibiting with ArtWorks Gallery in Chocorua Village, NH she hold a position on their Board.
JP is a plein air painter reveling in the light nature brings to the scene. For the past 12 years she has facilitated the Friday Painters, a free plein air group associated with the MWVArts which paints thoughout the Mt. Washington Valley and beyond. She also paints with Norman Royle’s group in the Wakefield area of NH and is beginning a winter plein air group in Jackson NH.
Her focus is on the changing landscape of NH often as it comes up against man made intrusions. The play of mountain light intrigues and keeps her going back for more.
I’ve considered myself a landscape painter for more than a decade, but my Master’s work has prompted me to inquire into precisely where my work fits into the landscape tradition and why I choose this particular motif as my primary focus.
The description of intimate spaces and sublime vistas are my response to the way the landscape reflects the light and creates patterns on the forms of natural surfaces. Through the use of graduated hues, abstracted mark-making and highly saturated color I am able to articulate a range of emotional responses that speak to aesthetic rationales, and to psychological and spiritual concerns, allowing access into the magic of those special places.
While producing my work, I find myself feeling nostalgic for childhood memories that revolved around sweet spots in the environment. In order to have a greater engagement with these ideas, I invited friends and neighbors to take me to the places that resonate most deeply with them. Along with the pure attachment to aesthetic qualities, my new work reflects an engagement with events that cause a disruption through the hand of man and nature. I have addressed issues concerning “saving place” through an involvement with installation that incorporates constructed sculptural forms, creating an environment that invites viewer interaction. Ultimately, this passion to articulate the landscape appears to be a long and never ending journey that brings attention to both beauty and responsibility.
My name is Suzanne Cormier/Jolin. I’m from Rochester and lived here my whole life. I’ve loved art as long as I can remember. I started drawing at a very young age, self taught. I started drawing cartoons and developed my talent and steered towards still lifes. The medium I’ve always used was pencil or charcoal. As I gotten older I started to paint using acrylics. I started taking some group painting classes at Artstream, when they were located in Rochester. From there I took some private lessons at The Pottery Paddock with Ruth Caron. Now I continue to practice my skills on my own.
Anita Muise is a self-taught collage/mixed media artist and former librarian who embraced mid-life crisis, dropped out of the corporate world, and moved to rural New Hampshire to become creatively self-employed. Anita also designs jewelry, fabric, and digital art prints. Anita’s Beads on Route 153 in Wakefield, New Hampshire is home to Anita's art gallery which is open during shop hours or by appointment.
My focus is on color and pattern and how they can be combined to elevate mood and energy. I have adopted the square format almost exclusively and designs develop intuitively from the center. The act of making art is a form of meditation and it is my intention that the viewer be energetically shifted into a higher dimension while viewing the work.
Jill A. Vendituoli
Jill is a self-taught needlepoint artist residing in West Newfield, Maine. She has spent the last three decades exploring this traditional fiber art form and challenging herself and the perception of this medium by stitching needlepoint tapestries in styles, physical forms and with non-traditional 21st century fibers.
Because fiber art is a “flexible” medium, Jill has discovered within needlepoint, an historically female form of creativity, a multitude of opportunities to explore and restructure the boundaries of her craft. With her needle, extraordinary contemporary fibers and a visionary approach to stitching, she has created works that explore nature, abstract expressionism, and three dimensional structural forms.
Her work been juried into national and international fiber art shows, has been included in various publications including New York Magazine, Nature Inspired Autumn & Fiberart Masters and is in both private and corporate collections throughout the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. She has also taught needlepoint design at Winterthur Museum in Delaware and has operated a seasonal gallery, Sunnyfield Studio, at her 18th century home in West Newfield for the last decade.