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July 28, 2010

Life Saver

My senior year in high school began as a disaster.
My family's 5th move in 16 years. From Syracuse, 
NY to New Milford, NJ. New school, new classmates, 
old drill. Add family hassles.
Mrs. Bea Kettlewood, from my yearbook
My one saving grace. the Art Department at New Milford
HS headed by the indefatigable, Bea Card Kettlewood. 
Assisted by Eva Bowker and Mel Davison. 
I don't remember how it happened, but I got to spend 3 
periods in a row every day in the large,well equipped 
Art Department. Assignments? Anything I wanted to do .
Weaving, mosaics, clay. Teaching, learning and lots of laughter. 

 Eva Bowker, top and Mel Davison, below
Mrs. Kettlewood kept a chart. Upon acceptance to 
Art College, she pasted a gold star next to a senior 
student's name. The rows of stars grew. But my 
space stayed empty. Syracuse turned me down. (I had 
PSAT scores, but not SATs. SU Admissons returned 
Mom's call. She gave them whatfore on their nickel)

         Yours truly, looming in Mrs. K's NMHS Art Dept.
Finally late Spring, acceptance came from the Philadelphia 
Museum College of Art, Mrs. K welcomed me with an enormous 
handmade gold star. Massive cheering and hugs. 
A truly legendary much beloved teacher and friend to all
her former students.

Bea Card Kettlewood
#12 Paint Remnants,          #17 Low Tide, Long Ropes, ME
         Port Clyde, ME  

                                  #11 November Storm, Pemaquid Point, ME

   #30 Architectural Classics, Philadelpia, PA  
    (all painting photos by Tony Gallo)
Retired from teaching, Bea continues to paint and show her work.
Landscapes, Seascapes and Cityscapes. Charming, colorful, 
evocative pictures of  places she knows and loves in Maine, 
New Jersey and one here of a doorway in Philadelphia. 

Follow the link to see more of her delightful work.


  1. Lovely to see your beginnings and to know how carefully you cherish your connections. I learn so much from you through these discussions. It shows me your steady and sure path. What a good technique you have—when you feel troubled and frustrated you just throw it out there for discussion. No festering. Very healthy.

  2. Hi Carol, did you know that Bea has an exhibit at Penn State. A bit of info here; more when my time permits:

  3. Lovely work, as always. So good to have the internet
    to be able to "visit" when in person visiting isn't possible.