As one of our final 200th Anniversary events of 2016/17, First Church of Christ, Unitarian in Lancaster sponsored an art contest. The theme of the contest was "A Sense of Place." The "place" is the Bulfinch Meetinghouse, the Lancaster Town Green, Town Hall and surroundings. More than 60 entries were received , covering both the adult (open) and youth (under 14 years) divisions, including oils, watercolors, a hooked rug, quilts, fabric arts, and pastels. Entries were mounted in the sanctuary of First Church and judged by a panel of art experts.


"Church art contest eyes ‘Sense of Place’"
Read the article from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette

"Art Contest at First Church of Christ, Unitarian in Lancaster"
Read the article from the Sentinel & Enterprise

200th Anniversary Art Contest Award Winners


1st prize Gerald Ruberti - (The Bulfinch Church)

1st Place The Bulfinch Church small


A Clinton native, Mr. Ruberti is a self-taught artist whose favorite medium is oil on canvas. He didn't begin sketching and painting until he was 57 years old. His favorite subjects include local "icons," for which he has received several awards. Ruberti is a Navy veteran and retired teamster.



2nd Prize Helen Obermeyer Simmons - (The Lilac Were in Bloom)

2nd Place The Lilac Were in Bloom small


Helen Obermeyer Simmons holds an MFA in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and a BFA in Art and a BA in Psychology from Stephens College. She is a former professor in the Communications Media department of Fitchburg State University. Her artwork includes hand painted prints using the alternative photographic processes of Cyanotype and Vandyke Brown. Simmons' pieces are inspired by family stories and local history and evoke a sense of place. Her studio is located in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.



3rd Prize Yvonne Hemingway (L'Orangerie)

3rd Place LOrangerie small


Watercolor has become her favorite medium since discovering its spontaneous nature, versatility and unique challenges 30 years ago. She says, "I'm attracted to a variety of subjects, but find I am most drawn to the beauty of flowers in their natural habitat. Detail and strong values are important to me, as well as trying to capture the essence of the atmosphere and the effects of light and shadow on the subject. I enjoy exhibiting my paintings at many art venues throughout New England, and am very pleased and honored when one is purchased or receives an award."



Honorable Mention, Craft division Sara Barss - (Sense of Place, Sense of Peace)

Honorable Mention Sense of Place Sense of Peace small


For a fiber artist, the creative process is complex. Rug hooking is painting with wool. Starting with a blank canvas and an idea, the design is drawn, then, hitting the dye pot, the colors are created. The cloth is cut, and strips are hooked, loop by loop. The piece then begins to waken, becoming vibrant and alive.



Honorable Mention Sau-Mei Leung- (Path)

Honorable Mention Path small


Sau-Mei Leung became interested in art studying Chinese calligraphy. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at UCONN, where she experimented with Chinese brush and watercolor painting. Born in Hong Kong, her brush work expresses her unique East-West vision and sensibility. Mei, currently studying art at RISD, lives in Clinton, MA.



Honorable Mention, Judy Schutzman - (Meeting House - 1816)

Honorable Mention Meeting House 1816 small


Judith Schutzman is a painter, printmaker, and Chinese brush artist. A student of Jeanne Rosier Smith and Qingxiong Ma, Ms. Schutzman finds inspiration in the natural and historical landscape of New England. She lives in Harvard with her three generation family, two dogs, and her beloved antique piano.