The exhibit titled Local Color is a collection of portrait drawings by Johnsburg artist Frances Gaffney. Looking for a way to get more practice in the art of portraiture Frances put out a call for sitters and people lined up. She chose to portray friends and acquaintances that live in and around Johnsburg. Asked about how she was able to get children to pose Frances stated:

I asked the children to sit for as many minutes as they were old. For instance, if a child was nine years old she was asked to sit for nine minutes. A four year old was asked to sit for four minutes, and so on. On the whole, however, the one-minute-per-age formula was way too long.

Frances continued:

One of the things I tried to communicate to the sitter was that the portrait might not necessarily look like you, but that it will be a convincing symbol of who you are. A provocative portrait will make the viewer want to know more about both the sitter and the artist.

This project began as a way to get in some practice but ultimately I become better acquainted with my community. I hope that the exhibit will bring together people who might otherwise not cross paths. I am grateful to the friends and acquaintances who have offered their time to sit for me.

About the Artist

Frances lives and works in the heart of the Adirondacks. After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, Frances worked in New York as a textile designer. She worked both as a free-lance artist and as a full-time print designer in a commercial studio.

Frances first came to the Adirondacks in the 1980s to visit a brother who attended Paul Smith’s College. She eventually began vacationing near Brant Lake with her children, taking advantage of every moment to paint outdoors. Her artwork captures scenes across the Adirondacks; on top of Gore Mountain, along the shores of Raquette Lake and beneath towering trees near St. Regis. Her paintings and drawings have been featured in several solo exhibitions and more than thirty group exhibitions across New York and her home state of New Jersey.

A reception for the artist will be held at Tannery Pond Center, 228 Main Street, North Creek on Friday, December 1 from 5 to 7 pm. Local Color be on display for the month of December. For more information about Tannery Pond Center please call 518-251-2505 or visit To see more of Gaffney’s work please visit POIEMA, 274 Main Street in North Creek or online at