Art instructor from Plainville takes part in exhibit



Life-long artist and teacher, Abbe Wade, who goes by P.R. Bailey, will be showcasing eighty pieces in her exhibit, “Love is in the Air,” on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Wade was born in post-depression era New Hampshire, where her older brother used to draw to entertain her. She said that at 5 years old, she knew she “wanted to be a great artist like him.”

“I was always creative, always drawing and making things, and that’s all I wanted to be,” said Wade. But, she was unable to go to school for art, as “there wasn’t money for that in those days.”

Wade and her husband moved to Connecticut in 1950, near the Hartford library, where Wade spent much of her time taking out books and practicing art exercises “until there weren’t any more books.”

It wasn’t until 1956, when a neighbor asked Wade to teach her daughter art classes that Wade became an art teacher. She worked as an art teacher in various locations across the state, including a Blick Art Materials, until she retired from Blick in 1995 and eventually opened the Farmington River Art School, 73 East Main St., Plainville, where she’s been for the past 12 years.

For 20 years, Wade said, she put together exhibits for her students, but showed her own work on a much smaller scale.

“Now, I’m in this gallery in East Hartford, and my goal was to paint 100 paintings to go in it. Well, they’re going to have to settle for 80,” said Wade.

The 80 paintings will take attendees “through the door, down the path, take time to rest,” and “listen to nature talking.” Wade describes the exhibit as a “journey through paintings,” and hopes that people who attend the show “become more aware of everything that’s around them.”

“Love is in the Air,” will open on Sunday, Sept. 9. The show will be open from 1 to 4 p.m., at Hartford Fine Art and Framing, 80 Pitkin St., East Hartford. The show is free to the public, and paintings will be available for purchase.

An example of Abbe Wade’s work.