Nelda S. Haley was born Nelda Margaret Smith (Aug. 7, 1929) in Waterbury, Connecticut. The child of a stone mason and a music loving mother, she grew up on her grandfather's produce farm during the Depression and WWII years. An essay outlining her life was published in the Northfield News of August 6, 2009.
Near the Mozart Opera painting two wonderful sketches indicative of other work, woodcuts, linoleum prints, and charcoal and pastel drawings, give a certain bounce by contrast to the larger works. The book-ends to the current exhibit are two smaller paintings, Windy Street, c.1949, and Three Boats on Beach, 1952 that predate and foreshadow the mature work; and a later piece, Morro Bay Harbor, c.2004, begun in blocks of pastel colors, unfinished.
Thanks to the fine curating of this show, the pieces speak for themselves, for the life and times of a particular painter, and for an interesting era in art.
Images, top to bottom: Still Life With Cellist, Paper Burner, Three Boats on Beach.