Globe West People

Artist’s show explores the living, dead, dying

“What the Dead Can See’’ is among Claire Burke’s paintings in the Arlington artist’s solo show, “We Are Made of Dreams and Bones,’’ at LynnArts in Lynn. “What the Dead Can See’’ is among Claire Burke’s paintings in the Arlington artist’s solo show, “We Are Made of Dreams and Bones,’’ at LynnArts in Lynn.
By Cindy Cantrell
September 20, 2009

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In 2005, Arlington resident Claire Burke lost her best friend to cancer. As an art therapist, she focused on what came naturally: expressing her grief through painting.

The artwork she has created explores the relationship between the animate and inanimate, the living, the dying, and the dead.

All the phases of a woman’s life, for example, are depicted in “What the Dead Can See.’’ In “Becoming,’’ a child steps from one developmental stage into the next. Other paintings about the frailty of human life were inspired by the war in Iraq.

“I hope people will look at this work and feel a deeper self-awareness,’’ Burke said. “The thing that makes life so beautiful is that it’s not forever.’’

Her solo exhibition, “We Are Made of Dreams and Bones,’’ is on display in the Willow Community Gallery of LynnArts, at 25 Exchange St. in Lynn, through Oct. 9. Visit for details.

In other area shows, the “Artists Four’’ exhibition of pencil sketches, watercolors, oils, and pastels by a group of Arlington natives is on display at Arlington Town Hall through Nov. 19.

The participants are Arlington residents Frank Baratta and Larry Terry; Ryssette Berrios, who now lives in Revere; and Victoria Cassassa, who now lives in Everett.

Arlington Town Hall, at 730 Massachusetts Ave., is open Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. At least one of the artists is on site every Thursday from 5-7 p.m.

Artist Nancy Solvig of Lincoln is exhibiting her New England landscapes and other oil paintings in the Roosevelt Room of the Maynard Public Library through Sept. 30. The library, at 77 Nason St., is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 9 p.m.

LIFE, MUSIC OF BILLIE HOLIDAY: Under the leadership of Framingham resident Rebecca Perricone, a liberal arts associate professor at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, students there have written and produced an original musical about the life and work of Billie Holiday.

It will be performed this week as part of Berklee’s ninth annual BeanTown Jazz Festival.

The production is a collaboration between the school’s Advanced Theater Production Workshop, which is also taught by liberal arts associate professor Amy Merrill of Cambridge, and the Billie Holiday Ensemble, taught by percussion professor Terri Lyne Carrington of Stoneham.

“This collaboration helps create well-rounded musicians who are also aware of social issues and historical fact,’’ said Perricone, a vocalist and actor who also serves as artistic director of the Framingham Community Theater. “Plus, it’s a great opportunity for the community to enjoy original musical theater showcasing our talented students.’’

“Love and Hunger: The Life and Music of Billie Holiday’’ will be performed on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St. in Boston. General admission tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster for $10.

POEMS OF SUFFERING: In the previous two sessions of “Reading Poetry Together’’ at Cary Memorial Library in Lexington, Don and Helen Cohen introduced poems of celebration and love.

On Thursday at 7:30 p.m., the Lexington residents will discuss poems that share the common theme of suffering. The 90-minute class will focus on selections by W.H. Auden and Emily Dickinson.

Don is a writer and editor, while Helen was the minister of First Parish Church in Lexington for 23 years. Both previously taught college English.

“Unfortunately, none of us gets through life without suffering,’’ said Don Cohen. “These poets have an interesting, thoughtful, and sometimes heartening way of thinking about it.’’

To register, call 781-862-6288, ext. 250.

BENEFIT CONCERT: Senior Alicia Palmisano of Natick was one of eight students from the Rivers School in Weston who traveled to Romania in March as part of a community service project through Romanian Children’s Relief.

A concert is being held today in Holliston to raise money so some of the students can return to Romania next spring for their senior project.

During their initial 10-day trip, the students and two teachers visited a hospital for abandoned babies, a placement center for mentally and physically handicapped children, and an after-school program for Romany children.

The benefit concert featuring the Rivers School Conservatory Honors Marimba Ensemble begins at 11:30 a.m. at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 1162 Highland St. in Holliston.

WALKING FOR A CURE: Before her diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis last year, walking 3 miles would have been an easy task for Mary Agis.

On Saturday, the Grafton resident will have to challenge herself to complete the Walk to Defeat ALS, being held in Westborough as a fund-raiser for the ALS Association’s Massachusetts chapter.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. for the walk, which leaves at 10 a.m. from Westborough High School.

For more information, call 888-CURE-ALS or go to

BLUE JEAN BALL: Channel 5 news anchor Susan Warnick will host live and silent auctions as part of the third annual Heart & Soul Blue Jean Ball, 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Elm Bank Reservation, 900 Washington St. in Wellesley.

A benefit for youth and family programs at Riverside Community Care in Dedham, the gala will feature Louisiana blues and zydeco artist Major Handy. Tickets cost $200.

For more details, call Dawn Hayes at 781-320-5325 or e-mail

People items may be submitted to Cindy Cantrell at

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