Creativity, Community and Collaboration
Katherine McCabe, 20 year resident of Londonderry, was an artist to the core, but nobody had any idea of the breadth or extent of her work, until after her death last year. Daughter Elsie Smith and the rest of McCabe’s family established three goals with respect to distributing her voluminous body of work: Family members had first choice,with the rest of her work made available to all those who wanted it — friends, community members, etc. — with all proceeds from the sale of her work to benefit the Mountain Valley Medical Clinic.
An exhibit, ‘From Paper to Stone,’ began to take shape when community groups came forward to help. The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Vermont volunteered to underwrite a catalog and curate the show. The Londonderry Arts and Historical Society volunteered the Custer Sharp House to showcase the show. Green Mountain Gardeners and the Mountain Valley Medical Clinic provided volunteers to man the exhibit. And the Southern Vermont Art Center included McCabe’s work in a posthumous exhibit of four women artists who died in the past year, with proceeds from her work going to the MVMC.
The steering committee for the project (Berthe Cowles, Priscilla Grayson, Sally Ogden,and curator Susanne Rappaport) knew how to put on a show that would sparkle; professionals were recruited, including photographer George Bouret, Peggi Price at Inkspot Press and Wendy Colmar at Jenner Custom Framing.
Susanne Rappaport and Elsie Smith, spent five months going through McCabe’s work. Says Elsie, “It was a herculean task. Even those of us in her family had no idea how prolific she was. Everything was an art project for my mother. And it is all on display at the Custer Sharp House.
‘From Paper to Stone’ has been a wonderful surprise on so many levels! Visitors to the show are amazed by the diversity of Katherine McCabe’s work: printmaking, oils, local watercolors, stone sculptures, terracotta figurines, pottery, floorclothes, needlepoint pillows…sometimes abstract, sometimes traditional, and sometimes with poetic license. And since the work is affordable, everyone has fun shopping. We have raised over $25,000 for the MVMC.”
From Paper to Stone is open Fridays, Saturday and Sundays, from 11 to 3, at the Custer Sharp House, 2461 Middletown Road, Londonderry, until September 1.