Mission & History.
The North River Arts Society was established in 1968. We are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization fostering participation and appreciation of the arts at the community level.
We offer classes and workshops, a Festival of the Arts, Members Show, Focus on Figures Show, Outside the Box- Silent Auction, Brew Ha-Ha, a Holiday Arts Sale,
and Marshfield PreK-12 Student Art Show, a free writers workshop and a free drop-in knitting group.
We also provide additional opportunities for artists to exhibit at the Dolphin Gallery, Jeanne Horan Gallery and at our many themed Exhibitions on site at North River Arts Society.
Scholarships and financial aid are available for both adults and children.
Since its founding in 1968, the North River Arts Society has been a pillar of the South Shore community. But, today, our structural foundation is beginning to crumble beneath us. The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Hall, which has been our home since the 1970s, has suffered the ravages of time and the elements—and the repairs necessary to restore this historic hall to its former glory are well beyond the financial constraints of an arts-focused nonprofit volunteer organization. We desperately need your help to preserve the past and future of the North River Arts Society and the G.A.R. Hall!
Over the past 40-plus years, the G.A.R. Hall has been a hub of creativity, hosting NRAS activities of every sort for all ages, including a ballet academy for young girls; classes in every medium for all levels, from budding preschool artists through intermediate and experienced painters; creative writing for teens; drama and theater for kids and teens; yoga and meditation for adults; author talks and writers’ events; and more. Today, the North River Arts Society welcomes weekly classes in pastels, oils, acrylics, watercolors, drawing, and bird carving, as well as a weekly knitting group, art for ’tweens, children’s art and theater camps, and artists’ critiques. A variety of one-day and weekend workshops are also available.
History of G.A.R. Hall
Even before the NRAS moved into the G.A.R. Hall, the building served as a community resource and gathering place for neighbors:
1826 - 1853
Episcopal Church (originally located in Marshfield center; relocated to current site).
Local entrepreneur Wales Rogers converted the building into a paint and wheelwright shop, ultimately expanding it into a function hall, which he rented out for celebrations.
The building was officially designated as the David Church Post #189 of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), a veterans’ organization. David Church was the first of 26 Marshfield men to give his life serving in the Civil War. In total, 135 soldiers from Marshfield fought in the war.
1910 - 1919
The Hall served as a movie theater, playing silent movies accompanied by a piano player, to local audiences.
The G.A.R. Hall was given to the Town of Marshfield.
The Marshfield Hills Players, a local theatrical troupe affiliated with the Leland Powers School of Theater, performed summer stock at the Hall.
1930 - '40
The Hall hosted community meetings and gatherings, church dinners, musicals and plays.
The Curtain-Timers, a community theater organization, staged performances at the Hall.
Leased to the North River Arts Society.
Source: Marshfield—A Town of Villages 1640-1990, by Marshfield Historians Cynthia Hagar Krusell and Betty Magoun Bates, published by Historical Research Associates (1990)
Board of Directors 2021
Liz Haywood-Sullivan, President
Liz is a representational artist specializing in pastel landscapes. Dedicated to working in the pastel medium since 1996, she teaches nationally and internationally, and is a sought after judge and demonstrator for pastel societies and arts organizations around the world. Liz served on the NRAS Board of Directors from 2000 to 2011. She is a President Emerita of the International Association of Pastel Societies (2013-2017) and is the author of the popular book Painting Brilliant Skies and Water in Pastel. Her pastel paintings have won numerous awards, have been featured in many books and magazine articles, and they have appeared in national, international and museum exhibitions worldwide. Liz lives in Marshfield Hills with her husband, J Michael Sullivan, and two standard poodles.
Jen McInerney, Vice President
Jen has been involved with the North River Arts Society since she was a child, first as a student and then as a volunteer. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for 11 years, and is a past President of NRAS. She has co-chaired the annual Festival of the Arts for five years, and will be part of the team running the Memorial Day festivities once again. She will also chair the Juried Artisans Show at the Festival. This year, Jen celebrates 25 years in journalism. Her work currently appears in South Shore Home, Life & Style magazine, among other publications.
Mary Anne McAuliffe, Treasurer
Mary Anne has been a student member for over 20 years. Raised in New Hampshire she is a long time Hingham resident. Her background includes a BA from Regis College and an MBA from Boston College. She has worked as a CPA in public accounting and financial services in Boston and New York. Her clients have included not-for-profits, colleges and universities and financial firms. She has worked as a financial consultant for a women’s shelter, a Greek American college and local CPA firms. Her volunteer activities have included serving as treasurer of a music parents’ organization, member of the financial committee for her parish, income tax preparer at senior center and cancer society driver. She looks forward to contributing to this wonderful arts organization.
Phyllis Wenzel, Clerk
Phyllis started a small home-based word processing business when her two daughters were young. Prior to that she held positions in marketing at Haemonetics Corporation and The Flatley Company, both in Braintree. As technology advanced, Phyllis and her husband, Bill started Image Resolutions, a full-service printing company which has been in operation since 1991 servicing local businesses and artists. Phyllis oversees the financial and day-to-day operations of the business. She has served as a member of the Board and past-Treasurer for the Norwell Chamber of Commerce, and is a past Board Member for the Massachusetts Educational Foundation, which offered scholarships for women in transition. Phyllis enjoys painting and takes classes and workshops at NRAS and at the South Shore Art Center. She holds a B.S. Degree in Business from The State University of New York
Jack Haran has been on the North River Arts Society (NRAS) Board since 1992, is a past President of NRAS and the New England Watercolor Society. Jack’s background includes a BS degree in Fine Arts, 45 years in the Information Services field as a programmer, consultant and manager. He has painted in watercolor for a number of years and he has taught watercolor classes. He has organized and coordinated watercolor workshops with many national and international artists.
Amy Stern moved to Marshfield a little less than four years ago from Maryland, right outside of Washington, DC. Amy, along with her husband, Steve, were attracted to the area because of the natural beauty of the South Shore and to a great degree, the strong and vibrant community of the North River Arts Society. Amy and Steve have twin boys in college, love art of all kinds and are thrilled to be a part of this community. Amy has spent her professional career working in public health and quality of care both domestically and globally predominantly in Africa
Steve C Wildes is a Marshfield resident since 1955. His grandfather and father developed and built Riverside Circle off of Spring Street in Marshfield. He is a graduate of Wentworth Institute. He has been a business owner/contractor for 46 years in Marshfield and the surrounding South Shore communities. His Specializes in finish carpentry and draws his own plans. Stephen takes an artistic interest in restoration and preservation of Antique Homes. He has won awards with the Hingham Historical Society. Stephen takes great interest in giving back to the community.
Anne Bohsack was born in France from Russian parents and raised in Brazil, Anne Bohsack came to the US at age 9. She attended high school in both Brookline and in France and received her BA in Comparative Literature (Russian and French) at New York University. Her past work history includes being a representative for the USIA Department of State in the former Soviet Union, Major Donor Development Officer at the Eye Research Institute in Boston and Teacher of French at the Roxbury Latin School. In 1992, Anne founded and headed the US division of a European medical device company that makes implants for eye surgery. She is now retired and lives on Bartlett’s Island.
Moved to Marshfield Hills in 1994
Multilinguist: Russian, French, Italian
Daughter and two grandchildren living in Beverly Farms
Julia Driscoll, Office Administrator
Julia grew up in Norwell and graduated from Lesley University College of Art and Design in 2015 with a B.F.A. in Design. She has primarily worked as a Graphic Designer for the past 5 years in various industries, from advertising to commercial real estate. In 2019, Julia created and launched “Wicked Women Makers Market,” a local artisan fair and marketplace, with her friend, Grace Moore. Julia now resides in Kingston, MA with her fiancé and spends most of her free time sewing and collecting vintage clothing.