An opening reception will be held Saturday, Nov. 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. A piece of May Jae’s jewelry will be given away in a free drawing held at 6 p.m.

Alliance Art Gallery’s November Guest Artist Terry Britton admits, “I am not conventional.” She never abided by how-to-do-portrait art books. “I may paint the eye first. Then the brow. No face yet.” She admits, “I love doing eyes.”

Her bold commissioned acrylic portraits, with a hint of modernists such as Picasso, carry such a sense of personality that one feels welcomed into their world. She works from family photos, sometimes including family pets, in her studio in Quincy. She asks each client to talk about what makes them tick? Laugh? Excite them? Make them unique?

For her, personality contains the critical element to be captured in the portrait. It guides her brush, just as much as the color of the eyes and the set of the chin. After all, each portrait tells a story. She wants a true story, revealed in the way the portrait will eventually unfold.

Her parents celebrated her “artsy” endeavors, including the 8th grade portrait of a Cherokee chief which she still has … somewhere. Her grown twin daughters carry on the tradition, showering her with unconventional made-by-hand cards for every conceivable occasion.

She and her husband Roberto Stellino, part owner of the Tiramisu restaurant, sits across from each other in the studio—she at the easel; he at his desk working on his business computer.  “My husband,” Terry admits, “has been my favorite person to draw since we met 30 years ago.”

Through vibrant color, a touch of abstraction, and a belief that personality underlies all portraiture, Terry Britton has created a unique body of art highly prized by those who have encountered it.

Mary Jae

The Alliance Art Gallery’s featured member artist Mary Jae explored many creative art forms over the years but nothing really excited her until she stumbled upon jewelry making.  She saw a particular necklace she liked, wondered if she could make it, and after many errors and clumsy-looking attempts, finally got a wearable necklace and she was off and running.  Friends, often so enamored by the necklaces she wore, begged to buy them right off her neck. Soon she found herself creating pieces for sale, and as she neared retirement as a special ed teacher, she was invited to join the Alliance Art Gallery in 2007.

Mary Jae allows herself to be tugged into any direction that attracts her. Beginning with stones and beads, she has moved through a nuts-and-bolts phase (literally) creating necklaces made of hardware and zippers, to using the tiniest seed beads to create incredibly complex designs such as peyote-stitch bracelets.

Today she finds herself drawn to making beaded crochet-like scarves. Needing no clasp, they drape around the neck creating a soft, attractive, and very unique type of jewelry.

“Jewelry sets the tone for the outfit and the mood of the wearer,” Mary Jae believes.  “It can dress up or dress down any style you choose.  It depends on the drama you want from your piece.” 

An opening reception will be held Saturday, Nov. 11 from 5 to 8 p.m.  A piece of May Jae’s jewelry will be given away in a free drawing held at 6 p.m.  This reception coincides with Hannibal’s Second Saturday Gallery Night.