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September 2017

News, Quotes of the Month, & Whether Being an Artist is Hard Work

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August 2017

News, Quote of the Month, & Judging Children’s Artwork

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December 2016

News, Quotes of the Month, & Why the Arts Matter

 

News

Don’t forget to stop in at the “Picture Yourself!” Frame Shop (17 Central Square, Chelmsford MA) before the end of December. On display are 14 of my “Home for the Holidays” paintings.

At the Chelmsford Public Library (25 Boston Rd), I have two paintings in the Chelmsford Art Society’s Members Exhibit, from Dec. 5, 2016 to Jan. 17, 2017. There will be a Reception on Jan. 14, 2017, 2:00-4:00.

Quotes of the Month

"The arts are what makes life worth living. You've got food, you've got shelter, yeah. But the things that make you laugh, make you cry, make you connect - make you love are communicated through the arts. They aren't extras." - Barack Obama

"Between the marketplace and government there exists all of that which makes life worth living - family life, spiritual life, the art and culture that make our spirits soar ..." - Hillary Clinton

Why the Arts Matter

It is difficult to put into words! Below are some thoughts from www.arts.gov/art-works/2015/why-arts-matter

Art allows you to see the world from different perspectives

Art provides the opportunity to learn something about people and places you would have never known otherwise

Art helps us understand ourselves and each other

Art can comfort us in grief, and energize us in celebration

Art gives hope

Art offers a powerful source of individual and collective identity

Art helps us understand people, places, periods of history, and issues with which we may otherwise be unfamiliar

Art allows us to experience different ways of seeing and thinking about life

Art has the power to change a person's perspective, mood, assumptions, beliefs, and ideas

Art is like a gift from one soul to another

So… Smile – Art makes you Happy!

November 2016

News, Quotes of the Month, & Why Create Art?

 

News

I am still enjoying Fall in New England, even November is quite colorful!

During the months of November and December, I will be exhibiting a selection of paintings at the “Picture Yourself!” Frame Shop (17 Central Square, Chelmsford MA) Picture Yourself!

I am producing the newsletter for the Chelmsford Art Society. Click this link to check it out! Chelmsford Art Society

I am taking a course at The Wild Salamander Art Center in Hollis NH, titled, “Creativity and Mindfulness”, led by Chris Volpe and Jim Fallon. For me, painting is meditative and it is what keeps me sane. Thinking about that brings to mind the whole concept of “Art Therapy”.

Quotes of the Month

“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” - Carl Jung

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for." - Georgia O'Keeffe

Thinking About Art – Why Create Art?

Art Therapy is a mental health profession. Art therapists use art, and discussion of the produced imagery, to help people reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and achieve insight into their problems.

The purpose of art therapy is essentially one of healing. The act of producing art is therapeutic. It:

- Distracts thoughts of illness

- Decreases negative emotions and increases positive emotions

- Reduces depression

- Reduces stress and anxiety

- Eases expressions of emotions

- Creates peace of mind

Who wouldn’t want to reduce stress and anxiety, increase positive emotions, and reduce the likelihood of depression?

As I write this in November 2016, I think that we could all use a little (or even a lot) of art therapy. Shutting off the computer and the TV and creating something, works for me. Just saying.

I created this acrylic landscape painting with a pallette knife, and didn’t realize until I looked at it later that I had painted into it what looks like a kitty angel (the cloud in the center of the painting). I added a few more kitty clouds and have named it “Isabel’s Journey”, in honor of our sweet, 13-year old cat we had to say goodbye to in October.

October 2016

News, Quotes of the Month, & Lyrical Abstraction

 

News

It was a beautiful weekend Sept. 24-25 for the annual Art Festival at Beaver Brook in Hollis NH! I had three nature-themed paintings in the exhibit, “Winter Stream”, “April Sunrise”, and “Off on a Hike”.

The foliage is beautiful in New England – a pleasant surprise after the excessively hot and dry summer we had!

Quotes of the Month

“While ordinary visual seeing is a given, artistic seeing is a matter of spirit - which is to say, the artist’s inner life of imagination, memory, and sensation, compounded with one’s highest ideals concerning art and life. These things inform the kind of work one wants to make, and this in turn literally informs what and how one sees in the world.” – Chris Volpe

I am borrowing the following quote by Paul Gaugin that I read on Chris Volpe’s Blogspot http://christophervolpe.blogspot.com/ as I think it concisely sums up the stage at which I find myself painting nowadays as I venture further into abstraction based on the natural world:

“Paint freely and madly; you will make progress… Above all, don't sweat over a painting; a great sentiment can be rendered immediately … Don't copy nature too closely. Art is an abstraction; as you dream amid nature, extrapolate art from it and concentrate on what you will create as a result." Paul Gaugin

Thinking About Art - Lyrical Abstraction

I am currently taking a course taught by Tamara Gonda: Abstract Expressions using acrylic paint. The focus is on color and Lyrical Abstration. Check out her web site to view her paintings: http://www.tamaragonda.com/lyrical--abstract.html

Lyrical Abstraction is a form of art that expresses the ideas or emotions of the artist and conveys a spiritual outlook. The approach to the artwork is just as essential as the basic elements of art: composition, tone, value, line, hue, texture, etc.

Below are some examples of my recent artwork.

September 2016

News, Quote of the Month, & Why Own Art?

 

News

At the Chelmsford Center for the Arts in Chelmsford, the “Driven to Abstraction” exhibit will be on display until October 2. My abstract acrylic painting, “Spring Concerto” (see image below) is in this exhibit. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 2-4:00, and Thursdays 4-6:00.

My watercolor painting, “Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Maine” (see image below) will be displayed in the “By the Sea” exhibit at Gallery 529 in Littleton, until September 29.

Gallery 529 http://gallery529.com/

I will have some paintings on display at the upcoming annual Art Festival at Beaver Brook in Hollis NH on September 24 and 25, 11-5:00.

Quote of the Month

“Art improves our quality of life.” - Alan Bamburger

Thinking About Art - Why Own Art?

Owning original artwork has numerous benefits. The article, “Why Should People Buy and Own Art?” is on this web site: http://www.artbusiness.com/whatgood.html I have summarized some of the reasons the author, Alan Bamberger, gives for buying and owning art.

Original Art:

  1. Is an expression of not only the artist, but also the one who owns the artwork.
  2. Encourages people to think “out of the box”, to visualize a different existence, such as how life might one day be better than it is now.
  3. Gives people permission to share thoughts, feelings, ideas and impressions.
  4. Prompts children to dream of unlimited possibilities. It teaches them how to be creative and have fun with life.
  5. Has a certain energy about it that reproductions and mass-produced decorative items don't have; you know another human being made it, not a machine.
  6. Collections are like mini museums and can increase the esteem of the owner among his or her peers.
  7. Makes people proud to live and work where they do. They show off their art collections with pride. Seeing original art on their walls at home and in their offices has positive, productive, inspirational and uplifting effects; it makes life more livable.
  8. Reflects, enhances and even magnifies the personality of the individual who owns it.

In other words, buying art and supporting artists serves far higher purposes than simply decorating your walls. Buying original artwork provides artists with the means to continue improving the quality of life for us all. Not only is art worth experiencing, enjoying and appreciating, but it can provide a lifetime of gratification and enjoyment.

August 2016

Categorizing Art, Quotes & News Items

 

Quotes of the Month

“Art is a way of knowing what it is that we actually believe.” – Pat B. Allen

“Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colours, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.” – Wassily Kandinsky

“Art never expresses anything but itself.” – Oscar Wilde

Thinking About Art - Categorizing Visual Art

Generally speaking, visual art can be divided into three main categories: Representational, Abstract, and Non-objective.

Representational Art is most simply described as artwork that depicts something which is easily recognized by most people. It’s ongoing popularity may be because the average person looking at art appreciates knowing that a piece of artwork is “good” just by looking at it, as opposed to viewing abstract or non-objective art and feeling as if they are stupid because they don’t “get it”. Regionalism, Realism and Plein Air painting are forms of representational art.

Abstract Art is generally considered objective (abstracted from an object), and includes sub-categories such as the Impressionists, who didn’t “finish” their paintings, Fauvists, who used color in non-realistic ways, and Cubists who painted objects from more than one viewpoint.

Non-objective Art can illustrate ideas for which there are no words. This visual language brings thoughts, feelings and emotions that are on the inside – to the outside. And vice versa – what is on the outside (the artwork) elicits thoughts, feelings and emotions in the viewer. This visual language is composed of elements such as shape, form, color and line. Well-known artists in this category include Kandinsky, Pollack and Mondrian.

Categorization is a handy tool in discussing artists and art styles, in spite of the fact that there is a lot of cross-over in attempting to categorize either artists or art. For example, artists grow by experimenting with different ways of making art and may pass through as well as in and out of several or many art categories and subcategories during their lifetime; Plein Air and Impressionism movements can be variously categorized as Representational, Abstract or Non-objective art. In addition, there are many, many ways to categorize art!

“Spring Concerto” is a Non-representational acrylic painting by Nan Quintin.

News

By the Sea is the theme of a new exhibit at Gallery 529 in Littleton. I have a painting juried into this exhibit, “Pemiquid Point Lighthouse, Maine”, with the following statement: “Although it is wonderful to visit Maine during the warm months, I wanted my painting to depict additional aspects of life by the sea, in particular, the vagaries of weather and the need to be vigilant. Although picturesque, the lighthouse is a potent symbol of just how unpredictable and violent life by the sea can be.”

Exhibit dates are Aug. 2 – Sept. 29; and a reception will be held on Sunday, August 14, 4:00 – 6:00 PM Gallery 529

“Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Maine”, a watercolor painting by Nan Quintin, on Yupo (synthetic) paper

Don’t miss seeing the Fitchburg Art Museum’s annual regional exhibit; it is up until September 4, 2016, and includes my watercolor painting, “In a Vacant House”. > Fitchburg Art Museum http://www.fitchburgartmuseum.org/

July 2016

Quote of the Month, Artist’s Block and News Items

 

Quote of the Month

“Blocks are simply part of an artist's natural cycle, and mine come whenever I reach a plateau in my work. I'll feel bottled up with negativism, but when I blast through all the garbage, I find I've emerged in a new place as a better artist.” - Nick Payne

Thinking about Art – Artist’s Block

It’s really hard when one’s creative energy disappears you just don’t feel like painting. Most artists have had a creative block, have one now, or will have one in the future; it’s the nature of the beast! It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes a break is needed and it is time to do something else for a while. It doesn’t mean the artist has lost any of his/her talent or skills; once back to work, they will be better than ever.

There are lots of activities that can be done while waiting for the inspiration to come back (and will help give it a boost). I have created and posted a list in my studio of 50 things to do to beat Artist’s Block. Some of my favorites include:

  1. Meet with one or more artist friends and paint together
  2. Look through your library of art books, or go to the library, and study the paintings of your favorite artist(s)
  3. Take reference photos to use later
  4. Experiment with new materials or new methods
  5. Paint a picture of a place you’d rather be
  6. Go someplace you’ve never been
  7. Look online at www.YouTube.com “How To Paint (something)” videos
  8. Go for a long walk
  9. Clean your studio and organize it
  10. Go to a museum or gallery

News

Nan Quintin with her watercolor painting, “Broken Window Theory”

At the Chelmsford Art Society’s 4th of July Festival, my painting, “Broken Window Theory” won 3rd place in the Professional Water Media Under Glass division! This painting, along with “River Styx” and “A New Day” will be on display at the Chelmsford Library until July 27, 2016.

Two of my paintings, “Gold Standard” and “Tractor and Sunflower”, are on display at Gallery 529’s “Farming” exhibit in Littleton, MA during the month of July. A percentage of the sales will benefit Littleton Community Farm. Come and enjoy the exhibit, shop in the fine arts and crafts section, and have lunch, supper or Sunday brunch at the new Gallery Café! Gallery 529

My watercolor painting, “In a Vacant House”, is currently in the Fitchburg Art Museum’s Annual Regional Exhibit. This juried exhibit is especially good this year, don’t miss seeing it! The exhibit is up until September 4, 2016. Fitchburg Art Museum

While you’re at the Floral Arts Gallery in Westford, checking out my paintings and other great artwork, don’t forget to buy some coffee and pastries at the Stem and Bean coffee shop attached to the gallery; in addition, if you like excellent BBQ, visit Bubba’s Real Pit BBQ between 11:00 and 2:00 (until November) – it’s in the same parking lot!

June 2016

Quote of the Month, Naming Paintings and News

 

Quote of the Month

“No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.” Edward Hopper

Thinking about Art - What’s in a Name?

When I look at paintings in a museum, I always read the label that has the title of the painting and additional information about it. I can enjoy a painting without knowing its title, but I like to have some idea of what the artist was thinking, who the artist was, and when the painting was created. It helps me “complete the picture”, so to speak.

Now, how to name a painting…hmmmm…this can be complicated! There are a number of conventions, for example: descriptive or factual, which includes the name of the place, or the person sitting for their portrait; numerical titles are used in series, such as “Something Series #1”, “Something Series #2”, etc; some nonrepresentational titles use words such as joy, misery, passion; mysterious titles are sometimes used for things that are difficult to explain or enigmatic; sentimental titles express nostalgia; and landscape titles might convey a season or mood.

I try not to be overly specific when I name a painting because I want the viewer to bring his or her own experiences and opinions to the painting as well. I sometimes reference literature, poetry, or quotes that fit the general concept. Sometimes the name is descriptive (“Tractor and Sunflower”), and that’s enough, or it can be a play on words (“Open House”). If the place is important, I put it in the title.

What do you think of untitled paintings? I have only once named a painting, “Untitled” (see below). It’s not that I couldn’t think of a title (I can think of many!), but I believe this painting can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and I don’t want to limit the viewer’s reaction to it. For the same reason, I feel it’s even more important to not be too specific when naming abstract paintings. I prefer each piece of artwork has its own unique title.

"Untitled" acrylic painting by Nan Quintin. What name would you give this painting?

News

I have delivered some new paintings to the Floral Arts Gallery in Westford. Stop in, and don’t forget to buy some coffee and pastries at the Stem and Bean coffee shop attached to the gallery!

At the Chelmsford Center for the Arts in Chelmsford, the “Fairy Tales Reimagined” exhibit will be on display until June 19. I have two paintings there! Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 2-4:00.

"Witch’s House" a watercolor painting by Nan Quintin, is currently in the “Fairy Tales Reimagined” exhibit

Two of my paintings are on display at Gallery 529’s “Farming” exhibit in Littleton, MA during the month of June. A percentage of the sales will benefit Littleton Community Farm. Come and enjoy the exhibit, shop in the fine arts and crafts section, and have lunch or supper at the new Gallery Café!

Gallery 529 http://gallery529.com/

May 2016

Phoenix Trip and Quote of the Month

 

Quote of the Month

"If the mind is correct, the brush will be correct." (Japanese saying)

Thinking about Art - Mindfulness

Mindfulness is intentionally being aware of the present moment. By reducing stress, it is connected with physical and mental well-being; it is an effective way to handle emotions. Each occurring thought, feeling or sensation is acknowledged and accepted as is.

Shodo, a Japanese term, is a way to spiritual realization: it is more than just brushwork. The mind controls the brush through the hand - the marks the brush makes directly reflect the mind. In this manner, the artwork becomes the artist's witness, an immediate and visible barometer of the harmony of the mind and body.

Creating art is a way of being mindful. Cares and worries fall away while paying attention to the smell of the paint, the feel of the brush or palette knife on the canvas, and the mixing of colors.

Trip to Phoenix

I had a wonderful trip to Phoenix recently. The Phoenix Art Museum was definitely a highlight – I highly recommend it! Other adventures included hiking in the various mountains surrounding the city, visiting a ghost town, and a long car trip to Tuscan and back through national parks and Indian reservations with spectacular scenery, including forests of giant saguaro cactuses. The Sonoma Desert Botanical Garden is awesome, and their art gallery had a display of Scratchboard Art presented by the International Society of Scratchboard Artists. Kartchner Caverns was another highlight – huge, with beautiful, surreal formations. And, of course, we had to go to Tombstone and Boot Hill - the entire town is a museum (and haunted!) A lot of history there…

Nan Quintin, painting in Kartchner Caverns State Park

Did I mention the weather was great too? Sunny and warm every day - big change from our oh-so-variable New England weather!

Nan Quintin, painting in in Saguaro National Park

Below are some watercolor sketches I made while being “mindful” on vacation. Some were done very quickly in the passenger seat of the car!

Watercolor sketch by Nan Quintin, in Saguaro National Park

Watercolor sketch by Nan Quintin, in Kartchner Caverns State Park

Watercolor sketch by Nan Quintin, in Superstition Mountains, at sunset

Watercolor sketch by Nan Quintin, in Saguaro National Park

Watercolor sketch by Nan Quintin, in Tonto National Park

Watercolor sketch by Nan Quintin, view from Tonto Basin Cemetery

Watercolor sketch by Nan Quintin (Shimmering Cactus in Thunderstorm, reminiscent of Charles Burchfield)

Watercolor sketch by Nan Quintin (on Apache Trail – 40 miles of cliff-side dirt roads!)

In Other News…

"New England, Naturally!" my solo exhibit at The Summer Place on Summer Street in Chelmsford, is on display until the end of May. Sponsored by the Chelmsford Art Society; this exhibit is free and open to the public daily.

Gallery 529’s “Home” exhibit in Littleton, which includes two of my paintings, is open until May 31. A percentage of the sales will benefit Habitat for Humanity. The Gallery Café is now open! Gallery 529 http://gallery529.com/

I have two paintings on display in the Chelmsford Center for the Arts, “Fairy Tales Reimagined” exhibit in Chelmsford, MA, until June 19. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 2-4:00.

April 2016

Solo Exhibit at The Summer Place and Quote of the Month

 

Quote of the Month

“Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.” Gertrude Stein.

Thinking about Art

I had a discussion with a fellow artist which led to these thoughts: Isn’t it funny how some artists think paintings should be completed in one fell swoop, while others put on many, many layers of paint; and some artists think only transparent colors should be used, and no black – or white - heaven forbid! Isn’t it great that we can all paint whatever we want; on whatever surfaces we want, using any paint or other media in any way we want!!!

We each own our creativity, and it is sad to see artists copying other artists’ styles or artwork. Each person is unique and amazing and has many wonderful, personal thoughts and feelings to convey to and connect with other people!

Breaking the Rules...if everyone painted according to the same plan, using the same “rules”, all of our paintings would look alike. There are too many “rules” for painting. It’s nonsensical to think an artist needs to learn the rules of good art so he/she can break them. Many great artists never took the time to learn to be an artist – they just are!

Solo Exhibit at The Summer Place

Come visit my newest exhibit, "New England, Naturally!" at The Summer Place on Summer Street in Chelmsford. Enjoy a touch of Spring! There are 18 paintings on display with lots of greens in them! This exhibit is sponsored by the Chelmsford Art Society; it's free and open to the public daily during April and May. A Reception will be held on Sun., April 17 from 2-4:00.

Nan Quintin, at the "New England, Naturally” solo exhibit at The Summer Place (photo by Roberta, CAS Exhibits Coordinator) Below is one of the paintings in the exhibit, "Off On a Hike".

Other News

I am really enjoying my oil painting class with Chris Volpe. Long-lost oil painting techniques are slowly coming back to me, and I’m learning some new tricks of the trade!

“Gold Standard”, an oil painting by Nan Quintin, is on display at the Wild Salamander Art Center in Hollis NH, April 1 - May 14

I had two paintings on display recently at the Westford Regional Art Exhibit, “Broken Window Theory” (below), and “Signals, Sounds and Vibrations”.

“Broken Window Theory”, a watercolor painting by Nan Quintin

Wine Glass Design and Colored Printout for Library Fundraiser

The Wine Tasting Fundraising Event at the Lawrence Library in Pepperell on April 2 was very well attended! Every ticket-holder received a wine glass with a Pepperell image, this year it was the Foster Street Fire Station. Below is the line drawing I created for the wine glass, and the framed, colored printout that I created for the raffle.

Design on Wine Glass by Nan Quintin

This matted and framed image of the Foster Street Fire Station was raffled off at the Lawrence Library fundraising event.

Coming Up

"Gold Standard", an oil painting (shown above), and “Harvest”, an acrylic painting are included in the Wild Salamander Art Center’s “Farm Fresh” exhibit in Hollis, NH, from April 1 - May 14 (Opening is April 1, 6-8:00). Wild Salamander Art Center

Two of my paintings, “Twilight at Beaver Brook” and “Snow Moon”, are on display at Gallery 529’s “Home” exhibit in Littleton, MA from April 8 - May 31 (Opening is April 8, 5-7:00). A percentage of the sales will benefit Habitat for Humanity. Also on April 8, the gallery re-opens and the Gallery Café debuts. Gallery 529 http://gallery529.com/

March 2016

Quote of the Month

I am sometimes asked, how do I know when my painting is finished? According to Paul Gardner, “A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places.” I stop when I am satisfied with the painting, I like it, and it ceases to niggle at me!

Thinking about Art

The experience of creating a painting is as valuable to me as the final product. No matter how much I like THIS painting, I look forward to painting the next one!

2016 Exhibit Schedule

- Floral Arts Gallery, Rotating Seasonal Exhibits, Westford, MA (ongoing)

- Chelmsford Art Society, “Winter Members Exhibit”, Chelmsford, MA, Dec-Jan 2016

- PCA, “Westford Regional Art Exhibit”, Westford, MA, March 11-20

- Summer Place (Solo Exhibit), “New England, Naturally!” Chelmsford, MA, March-May

- Wild Salamander Art Center, “Farm Fresh”, Hollis, NH, April 1–May 14

- Gallery 529, “Home”, Littleton, MA, April 8-May 31

- Ch. Ctr for the Arts, “Fairy Tales Reimagined”, Chelmsford, MA, Apr. 22-June 19

- Gallery 529, “Farming”, Littleton, MA, June 5- July 31

- Fitchburg Art Museum, “Annual Regional Art Exhibit”, Fitchburg, MA, June 24-Sept 4

- Chelmsford Art Society, “4th of July Festival”, Chelmsford, MA, July 2, 3 &4

- Chelmsford Art Society, “Summer Members Exhibit", Chelmsford, MA, July

- Gallery 529, “By the Sea”, Littleton, MA, Aug 2- Sept 29

- Beaver Brook, “Fall Festival, Art & Photography Show”, Hollis, NH, Sept 24 & 25

- Chelmsford Art Society, “Winter Members Exhibit”, Chelmsford, MA, Dec-Jan 2017

February 2016

Quote of the Month

I occasionally take workshops to improve my painting skills and enjoy the camaraderie of other artists. I like the philosophy contained in these words by Carolyn Henderson: “The best students, and the ones who leave most satisfied, are confident enough in themselves to realize that everyone does things differently, but humble enough to recognize that there is much good in trying something new. These students are here, not because they feel they ought to be, but because they want to be. They listen with an open mind, ask pointed questions, absorb the answers given to not only their own questions, but to the questions of others, and use the limited workshop time to its full advantage.”

Although I mostly paint using acrylic and watercolor paints, I have recently unpacked my oil paints, ordered some replacement colors along with some new canvases, and am looking forward to a workshop this spring with Christopher Volpe . I am intrigued that he “paints poetry.” Check out his web site!

Thinking about Art

Many of my paintings are scenes of nature that capture the beauty of New England, the area in which I have always lived. And yet, many of my paintings contain man made items as well. This contrast sometimes enhances the beauty of nature, and sometimes the man made objects enhance the scenery! Not only are we humans part of nature, but we can live harmoniously with our environment and be part of its beauty.

Wine Glass Design

A Wine Tasting Event will be held at the Lawrence Library in Pepperell on Saturday, April 2, 2016 (6:30-9:30 pm). Tickets are $25.00 each and include a complimentary wine glass with an original design of a Pepperell landmark, created by yours truly! In addition, each ticket holder will be entered into a raffle for a hand-painted printout of the wine glass design (also created by yours truly!). Please come and support Pepperell’s great library!

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