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Phelps remembered through works next month

Phelps remembered through works next month john-phelpsbw.jpg
GREATER SPRINGFIELD The artists at Indian Orchard Mills are pleased to host a special event featuring the works of acclaimed artist John Edward Phelps (1907-2002), to coincide with the 102nd anniversary of his birth. The opening exhibit and reception will be on Oct. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Dane Gallery, 34 Front St., Indian Orchard. The show will remain on display and can be viewed every Saturday through Nov. 7 from noon to 4 p.m. Phelps was a well known artist, teacher, curator and restoration technician. He practiced art for over 60 years; anyone involved in the arts in the Springfield area knew of Phelps. Over six decades of work will be represented at this show in mediums ranging from watercolor, charcoal, pastel, india ink, pencil, oil, monotype and egg tempura. Farmland scenes of Holyoke, Amherst and Southampton, sketches done while in the military and many architectural studies of local structures will be on exhibit and for sale. Phelps was born on Oct. 12, 1907. He studied at the Massachusetts School of Art in Boston then served in the military where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He returned to Western Massachusetts where he had family ties and opened a studio and laboratory for the study of color. In 1934, Phelps worked with Roger Wolcott in painting the mural in the Hall of Man in the Springfield Museum of Science. Phelps instructed many classes at the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum including diorama design and mural restoration. As a teacher Phelps believed that anyone who has a burning desire to draw can be taught to do so. Phelps believed that art instructors only teach people to see what is already before them the rest is up to the individual. Phelps exhibited with the 20th Century Club, First Boston Arts Festival, the Silver Mine Guild in New Canaan, Conn., the Deerfield Valley Art Association and the Springfield Art League. He also mounted many solo shows to demonstrate his diverse talent and ability to push beyond a parameter. Joel Phelps, his son, approached the artists at Indian Orchard Mills with the idea of creating an event which would showcase his father's vast experiences and contacts in the Springfield area. The concept was accepted enthusiastically by the group since many of them knew Phelps personally and some were even students of his. They are all familiar with his work and the impact he had on the Springfield area. For more information call 543-3321 or log on to www.indianorchardmills.com.

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