Carved and painted gourds among items at art show/sale in Latham

Two of Mary Jane Heffernan's carved and painted gourds are seen on display. Photos provided

Two of Mary Jane Heffernan's carved and painted gourds are seen on display. Photos provided

Categories: Art, The Daily Gazette

LATHAM — Mary Jane Heffernan never expected to have an art show, yet that’s exactly what’s in the works for her this week.

She and fellow artist Colleen Schmitz will hold a show/sale from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday at Scarboroughs Restaurant and Tavern, where they’ll be selling paintings, signs, and, Heffernan’s new specialty, carved and painted gourds.

She started creating intricately designed gourds earlier this year during the pandemic.

“I knew nothing about [gourd-carving]. I thought ‘Well, I just paint them.’ I now carve them and design them. It’s become a passion for me,” Heffernan said.

Of the twenty-plus gourds she’ll display at the show, some are dyed and feature fall leaves and others are made to look like sea creatures.

The Latham resident’s painting career began a few years ago with pumpkins, which she decorated for friends and family. Her knack for painting has grown since then and she’s gone on to train with artist Wilson Bickford and become a certified oil painting teacher. Heffernan will be selling some of her paintings and portraits at the show.

However, lately, her main focus has been on carved gourds.

“It really [was] one of those things that I never thought I could do. [I’ve] never had a power saw in my hand in my life and I have this little tiny jigsaw. . . I feel more empowered,” Heffernan said. “I feel every woman should know how to do it because it’s not a man’s world. It’s not all that difficult [or] mystic.”

At the show, Heffernan will also offer up more than 30 face masks that she made. Those who would like one can make a donation, which Heffernan plans to give to a food bank. Scarsboroughs Restaurant is located at 497 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham.

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