Framingham Artists' Guild

The First Sixty Years

1954 - 2014

William Butler Yeats         


        Begun as the brainchild of Rose Tideman and art-minded women in 1954, the Framingham Artists' Guild is now celebrating its 30th year with a greatly increased membership.

These five women, Rose Tideman, Catherine Eames, Helen Lewis, Margaret Kendall and Helen Smalley, all artists, met first in private homes. They founded an organization based on principles which have endured through the years. Their aim was to attract artists who practiced or pursued the arts, or those who by their support helped to lend encouragement to those in the field. At that time the decision was made that those applying for membership  submit at least two examples of their work for judging.

The Guild became popular and soon outgrew the private homes, so meetings were held in the Civic League. As the membership increased it was necessary to find larger quarters and the Guild moved to the United Fund Building on Union Avenue, then to the Vernon House and the Old Stone Library, both in Framingham Centre. When the Danforth Museum opened, meetings were held in the lower floor quarters. During the past four years the Guild has found a home in the attractive rooms at the Framingham Public Library on Lexington St..

Exhibitions have been an incentive for the members to show their work at the Spring and Winter shows. Early exhibitions were held at Shoppers World, first in unoccupied stores and later on the Mall under tents. These exhibitions were ably conducted by co-chairmen Ralph Claflin and Warren Buzzell, and an enthusiastic committee of Guild Members.

Exhibitions have also, been held at Natick Mall and in local stores and banks. At the present time exhibitions are held each Spring and Winter at the Framingham Public Library.

Judges for these have been for the most part of national repute, and the Guild has been fortunate having such distinguished appraisers. In 1969 the Guild honored one of the founders, Catherine Eames, an accomplished artist, by establishing THE CATHERINE EAMES MEMORIAL AWARD. This Silver Revere bowl is presented for the BEST OF SHOW and suitably engraved with winner's name and year. In addition monetary awards are given for FIRST, SECOND and THIRD prizes.

There have been outdoor shows too. Two were held at Gleason' Park on Concord Street in beautiful Fall settings. Artists also, demonstrated various techniques during the day. Exhibitions were also, held at the grounds of the Historical Society building and on the Common in Framingham Centre. More recently the streets and park area around the Danforth Museum were closed to traffic for an exhibition in cooperation with neighboring art associations.

Many members exhibited at the Annual Arts Festival on Boston Common, at the Boston Fine Arts Museum, in several galleries on Newbury Street in Boston, in Boston banks and in galleries all over New England. One man shows of member's work have been held in General Cinema galleries from Peabody to Brockton arranged for by Delia McDonald, Art Consultant for General Cinema and a charter member of the Guild.

 Some of the members have opened their own galleries in surrounding towns and in the art colonies of Rockport, Gloucester, Cape Cod, and Maine with great success.

Lively meetings brought artists from all the New England states to give demonstrations and lectures. Locally these included noted sculptor Meta Warwick Fuller, oil painter Alice James, a member of numerous art associations, and from Wayland, Barbara Willis, sculptor and painter and a member of the faculty of the Art Institute of Boston. There were many other of National Note; artists and professors from the State College at Framingham;  and the State College at Boston; all leaders in their field who have contributed much to the Guild by their demonstrations and critiques.

Some of the members have gone on to receive national fame and to become members of prestigious art associations. Larry Webster, now of Topsfield, is one of these. He has achieved national recognition by his prize winning paintings in national and international watercolor exhibitions, and through reproductions of his work in books and publications. He also, is in great demand as a judge in national and international watercolor exhibitions. Dean Minor is now Corporate Art and Exhibitions Director at Dennison's in Framingham, Tom Manguso is Creative Design Coordinator at Dennison-Carters Division in Waltham, and Bob Jorgensen is an instructor in commercial Art at Keefe Vocational School in Framingham. These four artists have been presidents of the Guild. Maris Platais, a winner of many awards, has had his work reproduced in national publications, Virginia Avery, now of Marshfield, in addition to her art teaching, conducts painting tours to Bermuda. Bill Wallace of Northboro, recently designed and painted the huge African dioramas at the Worcester Science Museum. Bill, Virginia and Maris are also, watercolor artists.

Others have art classes where they teach privately in Framingham and surrounding towns. Russ Cross who has accepted the presidency of the Guild for a second time, conducts classes and is an esteemed illustrator for national publications and does paintings for interior decorators. Recognition and membership in national art associations have come to many.

 Two very successful art auctions of members' work were held at the Wayside Inn Barn in Sudbury which brought buyers from Boston and numerous towns around the state. Over the years art scholarships have been awarded to students from the local high schools.

A delightful tea and exhibition at the historical Wayside Inn marked the Tenth Anniversary of the Guild. The Twentieth Anniversary was celebrated with a tea at the Alumni House at Framingham State College when the Guild donated a generous check to Mr. Paul Marks for the new Danforth Museum. Angie Colontonio of Milford was president at that time.

Painting excursions to Gloucester and Rockport and visits to various art museums and galleries provided the members opportunities to do some painting and to view the work of others.

All media an styles; the formally art educated and the novice; the professional and the amateur and those who just like art; all are members of the Guild and enjoy getting together at meetings. This is an interesting group and over the years much has been accomplished. The Framingham Artists' Guild is looking ahead to another interesting and progressive thirty years. Inquiries about membership in the Guild are welcome.

 Delia McDonald                 


The Following Years

 1984 - 2004

        Since 1984 the Guild has indeed remained interesting and progressive. From the original five artists the Guild has swelled to about one hundred and fifty members, artists from over twenty five area cities and towns and even three artists in Russia. Most of the artists previously mentioned have gone on to bigger and better things in the art world. Many new member artists are joining those ranks. The original format of demonstrations, critiques and exhibitions has been continued, but also, there have been changes. 

The Guild now has a room of its own on the third floor of the old high school building on Union Avenue, Framingham, which presently houses the Danforth Museum of Art and the Performing Arts Center. Many hours were spent cleaning and painting to make the room presentable, and this year, 2003, a donated, brand new laminate floor was installed by the members. A remarkable piece of work. Technology unknown and non-existent in 1984 is in full use: video tapes, camcorders, computers, e-mail and a web site. The Guild has achieved official 501(c3) non-profit status.

Exhibitions are still held in Spring and Winter shows at the Public Library on Lexington Street, but others have been added: two shows are available at Premier Image Gallery  in Ashland and a show in the Felix Juliani Gallery at Mass Bay Community College in Wellesley. Special shows have been held at the Ross Gallery in Brookline, the Boston Symphony Hall and Boston City Hall. Many members continue to show, both as one person shows and in group shows, in many different venues. Two new awards have been added for show winners: the Norman Feather Award for best use of color and the Delia McDonald Award for excellence in oils. Both of these awards have been established to honor these two excellent artists after their passing.

An event of major impact was planned and carried through in 1995 and 1996: an Art Cultural Exchange with the artists of Kolorit, Lomonosov, Russia. Every Guild member participated to the extent that they could. There was a year of preliminary work and two years of execution.

Through the sister city organization, FLAME, Framingham Lomonosov Association for Mutual Exchange, contact was made with the Guild's counterparts in Lomonosov, Russia and a dialog begun. After a great deal of preparation and fund raising, in 1995, three Russian artists, were brought to the US for two weeks. They brought thirty of their paintings which were exhibited for months in many locations alongside thirty paintings by individual Guild members. Many events were scheduled for the Russian artists while here. A special treat for them was to dine each evening at a different Guild member's home with their families.

The following year, for two weeks, twelve artists and friends went to Russia with their paintings and these were shown alongside the Russian artists' paintings in the Japanese Pavilion of Prince Menchikov's palace in Lomonosov. Other scheduled events there included touring the palaces in Lomonosov, those of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, visiting the Hermitage and the Russian Museum, a day of painting and picnicking in the forest, and more. The event was a great success and artists from both groups are still in contact with each other.

Other events which have become part of the annual calendar are the weekly summer shows at the Concerts on the Green at the Framingham Centre Common, a sale of paintings at the Congregational church hall at the Centre Common, and a Winter Holidays Party and Raffle which is highly enjoyed by all. Also, in 2000, the Guild was invited to show at the Town's Tercentennial Fair celebration held on the grounds of the old Cushing Hospital.

The original traditions are being carried forward and new ones added.
                           Edward R. Rogaishio



1954 - 1955    Rose Tideman
1955 - 1956    Tom Manguso
1956 - 1957    Marjorie Callahan
1957 - 1958    Alden Sherman
1958 - 1959    Larry Webster
1959 - 1960    Dean Minor
1960 - 1961    Robert Jorgensen
1961 - 1962    Delia McDonald
1962 - 1963    Jim Price
1963 - 1964    Harold Kurth
1964 - 1965    Harold Kurth  -  Warren Buzzell
1965 - 1966    Warren Buzzell  -  Corinne Alibrandi
1966 - 1967    Barbara Hudson
1967 - 1968    Dr. Abdul Rahman
1968 - 1969    Rosalie Greenberg
1969 - 1970    Robert Jorgensen, 2nd Term
1970 - 1971   Russ Cross 
1971 - 1973   Michaelina Aylward, 2 Terms
1973 - 1974    Elsie Ludwick
1974 - 1975    Angeline Colontonio                          
1975 - 1976    Jim Finigan
1976 - 1978    Dorothy Noke, 2 Terms
1978 - 1979    Brenda Manning
1979 - 1981    Nancy Bailey, 2 Terms
1981 - 1982    Jim Hand
1982 - 1984    Shirley Dateo, 2 Terms
1984 - 1985    Russ Cross, 2nd Terms
1985 - 1986    Russ Cross  -  Edward Rogaishio
1986 - 1995    Edward Rogaishio, 9 Terms
1995 - 1998    Robert Lawson, 3 Terms
1998 - 1999    Henry Chapman
1999 - 2000    John Pauplis
2000 - 2008    Peter Gouveia, 8 Terms
2008 - present    Bill Chignola

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