Hometown Holidays are Here!

The Exeter Historical Museum and Courthouse Gallery will be hosting “Hometown Holidays” at the gallery. We have invited local Exeter and surrounding area artists to bring in their work for the December show. 

This year we have decided to forego the dinner and auction and will be holding our Hometown Holidays Open House on Sunday December 15, 2:00-4:00pm. Hometown Emporium will provide a dessert bar and we will be serving coffee, hot cocoa and sparkling wines. This reception is open to the public and is a free event.

We welcome the community into the museum and gallery and to meet the talented people of Exeter.

There are names you will recognize if you are regulars at the gallery, Chuck Purdhomme, Marty Weekly, Jana Botkin and some you may not, Susan Ardesch, Nicole Secrest, Pauline Church.

We are honored that these artists are willing to offer their art for sale for this show.

Some of the familiar artists are:

Jana Botkin is an artist working from her home studio in Three Rivers, along with teaching drawing lessons weekly at Exeter’s Courthouse Gallery. She works in pencil, oil, and also paints murals, including two in Exeter’s mural district. In addition, she has designed and published local coloring books, The Cabins of Wilsonia, and most recently Mineral King Wildflowers. You can see her work and read her ongoing story posted daily on her blog, www.janabotkin.net.

Chuck Purdhomme was raised in East Africa where he was artistically inspired by his father who was an incredible nature photographer with an uncanny eye for composition. The family then moved to Exeter around 1962 where Chuck became member of the wrestling and football teams at EUHS and graduated in 1965. After attending COS he joined the army in ’67 going to Vietnam as a helicopter door gunner and pilot. Chuck flew helicopters for the Army and Coast Guard for 21 years. After retiring from the Coast Guard, Chuck flew helicopters for emergency medical lifts, fire suppression, retiring in 2002 and began his journey as an artist.

Chuck is primarily self-taught other then attending plein air oil painting workshops with a variety of renowned oil painters. His preference for plein air gives him a reason to travel and capture the essence and spirit of the locations he visits. Chuck prefers to paint in a loose, quick impressionistic style using a thick application of oil paint to create a tactile quality with bright expressive color with visible brushstrokes.

Chuck is represented by The Gallery in Mt. Shasta and James Harold Gallery in Tahoe City. Chuck currently lives in Redding but returns to Exeter often to visit his sister Christine who still lives here.

Marty Weekly was born and raised in Exeter. At Sacramento State Marty received his degree in art and started teaching art in the public school system. In 1970 Marty retired to become a full time artist. Marty moved to the Central Coast and owned a gallery in Carmel for a few years. His style of painting shows the cowboy life and western landscapes. Marty has always been a great supporter of the Exeter Courthouse Gallery and had offered his art for our auctions in hopes of raising money for the gallery. We are always honored to have Marty’s work in the gallery.

Let’s introduce you to some of the locals you may not know:

Susan Ardesch has a BA and MA in art and is retired from Visalia Unified.  Susan owns a home in Exeter, raised her family here and both of her daughters and their families live in Exeter. She is currently in the process of building a studio in Three Rivers. Susan works in larger format oil enamel on wood and lately has been exploring acrylic with mixed media.

Nicole Secrest was the People’s Choice Winner at our “Seascapes and Ocean Views” show.

Nicole remembers the first art contest she won at the age of 10. Dabbling in art in school, Nicole took a step back from painting after having children to focus on their lives.  Nicole has learned that art is one of the ways to silence my mind and to connect with God. As a Christian, mother and wife she feels art  gives her a chance to meditate and to see the spirit or life in something else.  She feels blessed that the right people in people in her life have encouraged here to start creating again!  She truly believes that the creative spirit is in all of us.

Vickie DeWitt is inspired by the beauty around her, Vickie started to look for ways to capture it so she could share what she saw and felt with others.  Vickie credits having wonderful instructors and learning from their different talents to come up with her own style.

Pauline Church was born and raised in Central California and loves traveling this beautiful state taking photos. Whether it’s a sunrise, sunset, iconic landmark, someone’s smile or just a field of wildflowers, she believes there’s beauty all around us. She loves capturing special moments and sharing them with others through her photography and art work.

Tamara Elliot lives in Farmersville and has participated in Taste the Arts and other shows in Visalia. Her is Tamara’s story. “As a watercolor artist, I find the wet on wet technique is a beautiful version of controlled chaos. I started out by tapping into my inner nerd and creating fan art, and haven’t stopped creating! Now you will find my art has a more grounded natural vision, whether it be nature, flowers, crystals, or travel inspired. The evolution of my art has changed and as I grow and evolve, so does my art. I find it is rewarding to let my life guide my art, it has become my passion and an extension of who I am.

Though we are not having our usual fundraising dinner and auction we are still in need of donations. The museum and gallery are an important part of the community and we need the community’s support to stay open. We invite you to visit this event and support the gallery by bidding on the silent auction items and buying the art these talented local artists are showing.

If you are a business owner in Exeter, please consider donating a silent auction item to the gallery. Contact Chris Brewer or call the gallery and leave a message that you have something to donate. We need your support to keep the museum and gallery open!


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