Residents and visitors to downtown Needham this summer may have noticed set outside businesses. The uniquely painted Adirondack chairs are part of a new promotion by the Needham Merchants Association. Called "A Chair To Remember," the project is designed to partner local artists, businesses and organizations in an effort to draw more people downtown and encourage them to shop local.
Each chair has its own theme and was painted by a local artist. The chairs will be auctioned off at an event in September, with proceeds to benefit town beautification projects and local students.
Needham Patch will be profiling some of the artists behind these creations throughout the summer. This week, we chat with Rosemarie Morelli Crocker, whose "Memories of Red Wing Bay" piece can be seen at Martin Opticians.
For a full list of chairs, artists and locations, .
Title: "Memories of Red Wing Bay"
Artist: Rosemarie Morelli Crocker
Sponsored by: Crockergraphics Inc.
Find it at: Martin Opticians, 119 Chapel St.
The inspiration: This chair depicts the artist's idyllic childhood memories of Red Wing Bay, located off Fisher Street in Charles River Village. The once standing red boathouse situated on the bank of the Charles River provided a nice view of the pink granite-stoned bridge that crossed over the falls at Cochrane Dam.
Artist, Rosemarie Morelli Crocker grew up on South Street in the picturesque Charles River Village and spent much of her childhood on the river banks at Red Wing Bay, where a canoe could be rented for 50 cents per hour to explore the Charles and see its abundant wildlife.
"Growing up next door to Red Wing Bay is what first inspired me to become an artist at a very early age," Morelli Crocker said. "Local artists would often come down here to set up their easels for plein air painting. There was also a group of artists occupying the vacant, neighbor's house to use as their coop gallery and art school."
About the artist: During her 30-year career as a graphic designer and commercial illustrator, Morelli Crocker studied classical realism and impressionism oil painting as a seven-year student of the Boston School of Painters under Nadia Mahfuz, the former pupil of RH Ives Gammell and Paul Ingbretson, and has since developed a passion for plein air painting of New England landscapes.
She was awarded several major art installation commissions for her paintings, murals and multi-media designs at Children’s Hospital Boston and Waltham campuses and numerous commercial and residential mural paintings to private collectors.
After raising her two daughters in Needham, Rosemarie currently dedicates full-time to oil painting New England landscapes and teaching fine art painting and drawing classes to children and adults out of her studio. For more information, visit her website at www.rosemariemorelli.com.