Family remembers lost loved one through art

A sculpture “Discovery of Purpose” by Steve Pierce.
A sculpture “Discovery of Purpose” by Steve Pierce. Handout

A DISPLAY OF LOVE: Fifteen-year-old Holly Pierce was struck by a car and killed in Vinnin Square, Salem, in August 2004.

Her mother, father, and older brother were devastated by the tragedy.

Now, on the 10th anniversary of her death, they have turned pain into creativity.

Kacy, Steve, and Noah Pierce are all artists. Together they have created “A Hundred Hearts (for Holly),” which is this month’s featured exhibit at the Stetson Gallery in Marblehead.

“ ‘A Hundred Hearts (for Holly)’ is a family exhibit — three artist members of one family using varied visual media to conjure up, remember, reflect on, and express love for the family member who is missing, and who is missed,” said Kacy Pierce.


“The paths taken in exploring this terrain of the heart are unique both internally/emotionally and externally/visually. From relief sculpture to comics, assemblage to painting, any material is fair game when searching for a way to express the inexpressible,” she said. “Individually and together, we’ve encountered heartbreak, wonder, confusion, silliness, color, and love. What else can we do but use all of that to rebuild our broken hearts? We make these works in celebration of family, despite sorrow and loss. From these pieces of art, a fullness of heart is pieced together . . . a hundred hearts, for Holly.”

The Holly Windrush Pierce Scholarship for the Arts has also been established in her memory.

Kacy Pierce earned her bachelor’s degree in studio art at Smith College, and has a master’s degree in creative arts in learning at Lesley University. She teaches yoga and offers art workshops in papier-mache, handmade books, collage, and expressive arts.

Steve Pierce taught art in the Marblehead public schools for 32 years and in the Arts at Tower summer program for 10 years. He works with wood and metal to create nature-inspired sculpture, both as relief and in the round, sound and music-making sculpture, and public art.


Noah Pierce has been making art since he was a young child. He studied in Marblehead at the Acorn Gallery and at Marblehead High School, and has studied at Mass. College of Art, Worcester Art Museum, North Shore Community College, Montserrat, and other art schools throughout the region. He is a screen printer.

The Stetson Gallery is in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead. An opening reception for the exhibit, which runs throughout September, is noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Call 781-631-1215 or visit uumarblehead.org.

AUTHOR’S CORNER: US Senator Elizabeth Warren discusses her book “A Fighting Chance” at noon Sept. 19 at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is the first speaker in a new series at the college featuring notable authors. In the book, Warren, the senior senator from Massachusetts, shares her journey from her childhood in a small Oklahoma town to serving in Washington, D.C. The event takes place in the River Hawk Shop, which is part of the college’s new $95 million University Crossing student-engagement center.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: The ninth annual Art by the Sea event to benefit the scholarship funds of the Ipswich Bay Yacht Club and the Association of Great Neck is noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 21 at the yacht club in Ipswich. Works by 50 local artists, jewelry makers, and artisans are for sale. There also will be a raffle of an original framed painting donated by Newburyport artist Gail Boucher. There will be a cash bar and refreshments. Admission is free. . . . The Topsfield Town Library is exhibiting the works of Kathleen Barbarisi of Ipswich and Carol Bistrong through Oct. 1. Barbarisi’s pastels reflect her interest in nature. Bistrong’s oil paintings include reflections on Cape Ann and France. . . . Work by Susan Erony is at the Trident Gallery in Gloucester through Oct. 5. Erony, of Gloucester, embraces novel media and projects that require hundreds of hours of work, which she undertakes as a meditative practice. She is also a scholar of 20th- and 21st-century art. A reception is 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, and a discussion with the artist is 5 to 6 p.m. Sept. 21.


Wendy Killeen can be reached at wdkilleen@gmail.com.