Town of Wendell, Massachusetts

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Home Wendell Free Library Baldwin Art exhibit - May/June

Baldwin Art exhibit - May/June

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Richard Drake Baldwin

Richard Drake Baldwin (1938-2017)


A selection of Richard Baldwin’ s paintings and small sculptures is  currently on display in the Herrick Room Gallery.
The exhibit runs May 1 through June 30.

Reflections - Richard Baldwin

This exhibit attempts to pay homage to Dick’s skill in drawing and painting and his meticulous attention to the craft, his love for nature and special places in his life, and to his quirky, unique imagination and humor that challenge the viewer to look again. We are led down forest paths, deep in shadow and light, and along rocky, Maine coasts. We are drawn into the glory of the center of an iris, the close-up veins and color bringing admiration for Mother Nature’s designs. A flash of red, a bell buoy, rings its message on a blue sea. A scratched mirror reveals somewhat disturbing, yet familiar images. In another painting, a child skips across the water in a surreal landscape. A stuffed dressed rabbit lies tipped over, its Easter jellybean candy strewn to the side.

On exhibit in the glass case are a series of painted small cubes with sculptural foam shapes that sit on a shelf. This piece was never finished, but the checkerboards urge us to join in Dick’s game. What would have played out next? More painted cubes detail the fascination of leftover meals, close-up and personal and beautiful in their color and form. Fascination with line as an element leads our eyes to skip across painted twigs on a joyful journey.

A reception will be held on Saturday, June 9, 3:00 to 5:00PM at the Library.


Dick’s eclectic nature is evident in his artistic career that spanned over 5 decades and drew him to explore and experiment with a variety of materials and mediums. In addition to his fine art, he worked in wood, building his own lap strake canoe and hammered dulcimer. He fashioned jewelry from wire and his own handmade beads. He embroidered old jean jackets, and made flutes from PC piping. He painted twigs collected on the walks that he so treasured.Sisters Iris

Dick Baldwin attended Dartmouth College, receiving a prize for his poetry. He continued his education at Indiana University in the Fine Arts Department, concentrating on drawing and sculpture. On leaving school, he worked as the art teacher in a private school in Connecticut. When he moved to this area in 1968, he taught art at Greenfield Community College, before starting a second career, beginning in early childhood education and moving on to work in social services with families. In these earlier years, he concentrated on his 3-D interests, creating welded painted and polished steel sculpture, which later incorporated sewn painted canvas elements. At that time, the 20th century American artist, David Smith, was a major influence.

The current exhibit primarily showcases his later work, painting in oils and acrylics. Dick read widely and was very knowledgeable of current and historical expressions in art. Many artists influenced and inspired his work. Evidence of his continued interest in the three dimensional as well as his fascination with all things small, however, overflows in the glass display case located in the main library.

His work has been exhibited in the Pioneer Valley including R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton; and he received the Arts Diversified Award, Juried Small Works Exhibition, Springfield MA. His painting, “Playing in Wrecks,” is the cover of a published collection of poems (by Candy Curran) of the same name.

Six Easy PiecesDick explored many themes throughout his career. Mirror images, reflections, boundaries, self verses culture, clusters of objects, maps, close-up views, small things, intimacy, relationships, ordinary objects that read as landscapes, the juxtaposition of what is expected with what is not. His art reflected his mind, and his approach to life. While he wrote copious notes about materials and process, he was primarily concerned with the multiplicity of meaning. The metaphorical was always present; what lies under the surface.Referring to his landscapes, paraphrasing his own words, “seeing” is paramount to the “scene.” The viewer is essential. He invites the viewer into his playground.

We invite you to come on this journey and view the exhibit.� It is all there.�
You just need to stop, and look, and smile, and imagine.

Written by: Phyllis Lawrence



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PHONE: (978) 544-3559
Rosie Heidkamp, Director
Joy Brenneman, Asst. Librarian
PO Box 236
7 Wendell Depot Road
Wendell MA 01379



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