Lifestyle, News

Lynn galleries present Pinkham fine art, creepy ‘Dark Arts’

Tia Cole is the curator of the “Dark Arts” exhibit. (Elizabeth Hall/mizlizzee photo)

LYNN — Collaborations among the city’s arts organizations are increasing, and one of the more exciting ones begins Friday night.

Galleries At Lynn Arts (GALA) presents “Fine Artists of the Lydia Pinkham” in its main gallery, 25 Exchange St. An opening reception will be held Friday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The show features the work of Jackie Diehl, Rolf Flor, Christine Johnson, Freda Nemirovsky, David Pfaltzgraff, Kathleen Speranza and Mary Spitzer. Each artist has a studio in the Pinkham Building on Western Avenue. 

Annette Sykes, GALA president and gallery director, said Lydia Pinkham herself (played by Michelle Guzman of Lynn Walking Shoe Tours) has already RSVP’d for the opening reception. 

In addition, GALA presents a “Dark Arts” exhibit in its smaller community gallery. This horror/spooky/Halloween art show, which also begins Friday night and features local “noir jazz” band Black Lodge, will be open during the run of Arts After Hours’ theatrical presentation of “Carrie: The Musical,” Oct. 18 to Nov. 2. Arts After Hours and Lynn Auditorium are also holding their first collaboration Oct. 26, a festive evening highlighted by a screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” 

Sykes said a similar fine art exhibit was presented two years ago. “I thought it was time to bring the groups together again. Rolf (Flor) agreed, and this will also serve as a preview for the upcoming Open Studios at the Pinkham (Nov. 23-24).”

The Pinkham artists said the GALA space, with its white walls and large area, is an ideal room to spotlight their paintings, much better than their cramped brick-walled studios on Western Ave.

“Lydia Pinkham (studios) is outside of the city center. It’s important to get our work seen here, as not everyone will get to our place,” said Flor.

“It’s nice to see what’s happening here at GALA,” said Spitzer. “The whole city is embracing the arts, as well.”

Diehl is showing a series of vibrant acrylic paintings. “I live in Nahant, surrounded by the ocean and a wonderful environment,” she said.

Pfaltzgraff, of Swampscott, creates wonderful bowls, mostly out of trees that have been cut down, including a red maple in Marblehead. A cherry tree that was going to be used for firewood by his brother in Iowa was repurposed, and includes areas where barbed wire had worked its way into the wood.

Flor paints watercolors from sketches he makes of vacation sites, many from a recent visit to Ireland’s west coast.   

Spitzer, of Marblehead, has two pieces in the show. One colorful entry uses found objects that became part of a wall hanging. The other is a wooden sculpture that she carved from a log. 

Johnson, who lives two blocks from the beach, creates magical, soothing abstract paintings with layer after layer of acrylic washes. She said they’re like a deep breath in a world filled with so much craziness.

Speranza and Nemirovsky, both accomplished artists, are represented by several paintings.

Tia Cole, an artist and active member of GALA’s board, curated the creepy “Dark Arts” show. “It’s a diverse show, with an ’80s horror/Steven King feel. Some of the works are dark in color, some are dark in spirit.” Theatergoers attending the “Carrie” musical down the hall, will get a kick out of it, she said.

Galleries At Lynn Arts (GALA) presents “Fine Artists of the Lydia Pinkham” and “Dark Arts” in the LynnArts Building, 25 Exchange St., Oct. 4 to Nov. 3. For more information, go to Arts After Hours presents “Carrie: The Musical” Oct. 18 to Nov. 2 in the Neal Rantoul Black Box Theatre, 25 Exchange St. For details, go to 


More Stories From Lynn