The Freedom Old Home Week Committee is pleased to announce the artist for this year’s t-shirt: Freedom Gallery owner Barbara McEvoy. We love the artwork Barbara created, and how it wonderfully depicts the 2018 Old Home Week theme of “Preserving Freedom’s Legacy – Historical Society’s 50th Year”.
Barbara speaks about her journey and the source of her inspiration:
When our Old Home Week theme was announced, “Preserving Freedom’s Legacy”, I knew immediately that my entry to the t-shirt design had to feature the old buildings that have come to represent Freedom for me: Schoolhouse Hill with the town offices and the bandstand, the village store, the church, town hall and the horse trough re-purposed to planter. My problem was that as a painter, I had purposely avoided painting and drawing buildings of any sort, but now buildings would obviously have to become another step in my “second life.”
My first life included an intense and satisfying career as an educator, but on retirement in 2007, I was determined to realign my priorities and my life. I had always wanted to become an artist and to spend much more time outdoors, preferably in NH which had become my favorite “return to” place. Preparation for this “second life” began with two years at Baum School of Art in Allentown, PA., an accredited art school near my home at the time. Baum gave me a solid background in visual arts: drawing, painting, and figure drawing in acrylics, oils and pastels. It took a bit longer to realize that if I wanted more outdoor time in NH, it made no sense at all to continue living in PA! Once the decision was made to move, the rest fell in place. I took up permanent residence in the “suburbs” of Freedom, September 21, 2010, and counted that the first day of my second life, life as an artist.
At first I was on visual overload, stymied about what to paint. The beauty went beyond the expected, but, starting with painting what I saw out my windows, I worked on simplifying the big picture, in both art and life. I became a juried member of Mount Washington Valley Arts Association, and continued to take art workshops, locally and afar, to hone my skills. Finding hiking companions, and working my way down the list of “The 48 over 4,000 feet,” provided intimate outdoor exposure and inspired my White Mountain Trails paintings (pastel and oil), my “Appalachian Huts in Their Panoramic Settings” (pastel) and ultimately my waterfall series (mostly oil pastels, 20 and counting). The wonderful night skies moved me to start my galaxy series (acrylics and mixed media (23 and counting).
In June 2016 I moved into the center of Freedom, 8 Elm Street, where I have a barn that is now a winterized gallery, features 6 great local artists and provides a place to suitably display my galaxy paintings with their double identity! But even more significant about the move is a result of walking my dog Harry in town. I’ve fallen in love with the buildings and what they represent, truly a legacy of past happenings and a product of past residents. So, for the t-shirt, I was compelled to draw the buildings, my first but not my last work with Freedom’s architecture, no promises about buildings afar!
In these years of my second life life, my life as an artist, I owe thanks to the active artist community we are lucky to have in Mount Washington Valley, the plethora of artists and artist support right here in the Village of Freedom. We truly help and inspire each other. (And, if you are an artist wanna-be, visit Freedom Gallery. We’ll get you started!)
Shirts are available at the Freedom Village Store throughout the month of July, and from the Freedom Old Home Week Committee on the lawn of First Christian Church on Parade Day – Saturday August 4.