Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 14, 2012

By Susan Shinn
For the Salisbury Post
Five years ago, Gerry Webster and Joanne French decided to get together to paint. Their duo eventually evolved into the Monday Rembrandts, which meets for two hours each Monday afternoon at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The dozen members of the Rembrandts are displaying their work in the St. John’s Art Gallery beginning Monday, July 16. The church is located at 200 W. Innes St. Gallery hours will be during business hours and by appointment. An opening reception is set for 3-5 pm Sunday, July 29. The artwork will be on display through August.
Webster said the group’s moniker just “popped into my head and everybody liked it.”
The artists work in all media – mainly watercolor and acrylic. Each artist brings his or her own supplies and there’s no charge to attend the group, although they make a donation to the church a couple of times a year, Webster says. “We’re an ecumenical group. You don’t have to be a church member to be a part of this group.”
Webster serves as facilitator, sending out emails when necessary, but there’s no instructor. “It’s a group to critique our work and exchange ideas,” she says.
Webster has been painting since 1966. Some of the other artists are veterans as well, having shown at many galleries around town and beyond.
Webster says that several members are caregivers, and enjoy doing something for themselves. “We’ve gotten to be a family.”
Current group members include Webster and French, along with Christine Davis, the Rev. Glenn Reichley, Colleen Walton, Doris Trexler, Janet Isenhour, Libba and David Willingham, Eugene Addison, Katherine Miller and Caroline Marshall.
Walton heard about the group from Trexler, who was invited by Isenhour. In turn, Walton invited Davis, one of the group’s newer members. Some of the members also belong to The Art Gang, which meets once a month at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, although that group is more about critiquing.
Willingham, who works in pastels says he came because “I was lost on how to do a portrait.”
Each artist includes an artist’s statement with his or her work. Libba Willingham writes, “Working with color fascinates me and when painting I feel free and happy.”
Trexler usually paints landscapes and still life, although at the moment she’s experimenting with a miniature painting of a day lily.
“Small things are good to work on,” says Trexler, who mainly works in acrylics.
Reichley started painting about 25 years ago, and has worked in watercolor for the past 10 years. He and French were friends from the Y, and she invited him to the Rembrandts.
“I appreciate the friendship with others,” he says. “They help give me guidance.”
“Everybody in the group has improved without getting their feelings hurt,” Willingham says.
Susan Shinn is communications assistant at St. John’s Lutheran Church.