Take a visual expedition into the threads of history and conservation. With works bound together by technique, style, and incredible watercolor brushwork, Billings Farm Artist-in-Residence Margaret Dwyer will present Common Threads: Land, History, Art, a solo exhibition from September 10 – October 21.
Billings Farm’s historic barn will be transformed by a display of Dwyer’s colorful creations. The exhibition will feature recent works including art produced during her residency at Billings Farm & Museum from June – October of 2022, as well as art from her Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park residency from 2019-2021. The exhibition reception will be held on Thursday, September 22 from 5:30PM – 7:00PM. The exhibition is included in the price of admission to Billings Farm & Museum.
In this body of work Dwyer weaves together images from the shared history and legacy of Billings Farm & Museum and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Dwyer comments that “my watercolor paintings celebrate the breathtaking views, gardens, buildings, ponds, ferns, animals, trees, and people of this ‘place in the land’.” Using vibrant color and distinctive brush strokes, she depicts the beauty of the natural world and the stories of both places. Her images honor the conservation efforts and forward thinking of stewards George Perkins Marsh, Frederick and Julia Billings and their descendants.
The subject matter is inspired by these historic visionaries along with the staff and volunteers who continue to perpetuate their conservation mission, who learn from this beautiful land, and in turn educate and engage guests. Dwyer explained that “these interlacing historical figures have formed a rich, textured fabric that has been woven together with threads of innovation, conservation, and ongoing beauty. With this fabric, I have tried to piece together a quilted visual narrative.”
The artwork is for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Billings Farm & Museum. Dwyer’s prints are also available for purchase in the Visitor Center Museum Gift Shop.
During her residency, Dwyer has frequently been on site to paint, demonstrate watercolor and needle felting techniques, lead workshops, and engage with guests. She has brought expertise, patience, and a playful sense of wonder to each community interaction. Guests, staff, and campers alike cannot suppress a smile as they learn and create, and especially as they make giant bubbles on the Billings Farm lawn and pasture. In October, guests can see demonstrations and register for an Autumn Leaves Watercolor workshop with the artist, taking place on Thursday, October 20 from 5:30-7:30.
The exhibition will be closed on select dates for private functions including September 23-24 and September 29-30.