First Parish Church

The Mary Jo Rines Gallery at First Parish Church
Presents a New Exhibit:
Classic Still-Life Oil Paintings by Leah Kristin Dahlgren

In The Mary Jo Rines Gallery at First Parish from October 1 – November 4, 2011

Pears in Reflection
Pears in Reflection

Pewter with Pomegranates
Pewter with Pomegranates

Eggplants Rosablanca
Eggplant Rosa Bianca

“My impetus is to create exquisitely rendered, dynamic paintings that wake us up to the miracles of everyday life,” says Leah Kristin Dahlgren, a classical realist. “When light from one apple in a bowl bounces into the next apple’s shadow and becomes luminous color inside the shadow, that’s what I call the miracle of light.”

Leah Kristin has been an artist since the age of three when her mother taught her to draw full figures. “Eleven was a good year” she says, “my family gave me a set of oil paints for Christmas, and I was recognized as gifted by the Detroit Public Schools.” She was sent to The Detroit Institute of Art in her teens. Dahlgen drew, painted and worked in pastels throughout her college career, and her adult life in Hawaii. But it was after she moved to New Hampshire, turned forty, and took a course in classical painting, that she found her passion and “my life’s work took off.”

Dalhgren has been a member of the Three Squared Artist Group in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and has shown her work at Newton Open Studios. As well as painting and teaching Classical Art in her New Hampshire studio, Leah Kristin works on commission. She creates still lives, portraiture, museum copies, and liturgical paintings.


Artist Statement

With neither word nor concept to express or identify my reality at the time, I awoke to being an artist at the age of three. I’d been shown how to draw the figure and innocently found my life’s work in that experience. The rest has been my journey and the unfolding of it.

My artistic expression, mainly in drawing and pastel, advanced slowly but steadily while remaining dreamy and imaginative. Moving to New Hampshire from Colorado in 1988, I felt it imperative to find a painting teacher. Working with Numael Pulido for a year, I learned classical painting in oils, copying works of the Old Masters. In 1991 I began to trust my own judgment and face the challenges of painting in my own way. Devoting myself rigorously over the next six years, I was often called “obsessed with painting” by friends who understood my passion. In 1997 I became a student of watercolorist Leszek Forczek of Santa Rosa, California. I was fascinated by the luminosity of his work and discovered there were aspects of watercolor technique that I could carry over into my work with oils.

My journey has been a process of transforming a passion for color, light and what I can only call composition into expression. When referring to the word color, I’m speaking of a whole reality of interactions and interrelationships, including subtleties and brilliance. In speaking of light, I refer to brightness from a realm of white or golden illumination that transitions, curves or fades, usually over form, into transparent shadows that become darkness. The word composition speaks of the fine tuning between form and space, harmony and discord, tension and serenity – of charged placement.


Lilli's Silver Bowl Alabaster on Cherry Apples in a Bowl
Lilli's Silver Bowl
Alabaster on Cherry
Apples in a Bowl

For all inquiries regarding the purchase of an oil painting,
to commission an original work, or to study with the artist,
please contact Ms. Dahlgren at
(603) 878-0755


Gallery Exibit History

About the Mary Jo Rines Gallery At First Parish

The Gallery At First Parish opened September 17, 2000.

On September 13, 2011, the Standing Committee voted to name the Gallery in honor of its founder,
Mary Jo Rines, who died on September 4, 2011. A special exhibit of Mary Jo’s work was on display
in the Gallery from September 20 – September 30, 2011.

Its purpose, as described by the founders:

The mission of The Gallery At First Parish is to add another dimension
to the spiritual fabric of our lives by exhibiting the work of visual artists
who seek to contribute to a deeper understanding of the human condition.

The Gallery is intended to be a service to the parish, the artist and the wider community.

It is open to the public without charge 9 AM – 4 PM weekdays, and 9 AM – 12:30 PM Sundays.
Interested parties may also call the Church Office (781-893-7798) for other possible viewing times.

Exhibits are listed in the First Parish Event Calendar.

Gallery Exhibits
(The current or most recent exhibit is the last one listed.)

200001  Washburn  Tingley Bing Wheeler  Mongolian Youth  Grad  
200102 Rines Hsiung Brooks Frankel Dayton    
200203 Baker Randle Kusmin Thurber Ross Warren
200304 Cohen Poirier French Canty Yang    
200405 Cody  Sprayregen  Harper Pettee Ahern    
200506 Zoller Berger  Decaneas  Daley Greenfield Boyle  
200607 Ferrara Dverin Howell Tingley Haas Brown  Cirioni 
200708 Baker Lorenzen Wooding Hsiung Rines Dauge  
200809 St. Clair Mackles Doolin Dioguardi Urban Teens  Flanagan   
200910 Westra Grandin Passman  Fulenwider  Lord    
201011 Platais Hirsch Tischler Scaltreto Rosenbaum Talcott  AllGEN 
201112 Dahlgren Cooper Weeks   Smith   Kahn  Berkley   
201213 Rogers Salter Comerford Historical Goldberg Markoff   
201314 Grob Boyle Bauman Goren Saad Novetsky  
201415 Dayton Lucas i-concepts Sanders Carberry Cohen  
201516 Grob Stoddard  
2016 - 17 Randle         Artists for Humanity

Davis &
von Rumohr

Handy Rines        

Gallery Committee

Connie Fulenwider
Karen Gallagher
Larry Grob
Ginnie Hibbard
Al Rossow
Sylvia Whitman, Chair
Tom Wintle

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Modified: Jan 23, 2013