BAR HARBOR —Adele Seronde of Bar Harbor has given the world of art close to 90 years of her time, talent and passion. From early childhood she knew she would continue the then six-generation family legacy of becoming an artist, craftsman and/or arts activist. Her proper Bostonian Herter family tree is filled with painters, sculptors and fine craftsmen. (Her father, Christian Herter, is considered something of a black sheep in this creative clan when instead of following the family tradition he went into politics, becoming governor of Massachusetts and then secretary of state under Eisenhower.)
In her nine decades, Seronde has produced an impressive collection of her big, bold, impressionist land and seascapes and still life paintings, which are represented in private collections and public buildings across the country, not to mention several books of poetry and spiritual enlightenment and, oh yes, she is currently working on a book about improving the country’s educational system.
Throughout her prolific painting career she has also been an indefatigable activist promoting the arts here in Maine, her native Massachusetts and in her winter home in Sedona, Ariz.
So one might say she has given the arts her all, but actually that’s not all folks. Seronde has also found time to produce, raise and eventually mentor five children and many grandchildren, many of whom have become artists themselves, and several of whom live and work on Mount Desert Island.
On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 29 and 30, from 1-5 p.m., Seronde is opening her light-filled studio at 386 Bayview Drive to exhibit her own paintings as well as the artistic endeavors of four other family members representing three generations.
Among the presenters will be her daughter Jeanne Perkins, who will be exhibiting her vibrant silk and paper collages, watercolors and her new three-dimensional fabric art pieces; Adele’s son, filmmaker Eric Herter, who will be showing still photos taken in Vietnam while filming a documentary there; her grandson, jewelry designer Jean Seronde, who learned his craft from his Navajo mother; and another grandson, also a painter who goes by the name Cazo.
This is becoming something of an annual event and Adele, who turned 90 this year, is already making plans for next year’s Open Studio with more of her talented descendants displaying both their work and the strong creative gene that runs through her family.