Many of you will recall our May 1 edition article “Special Artist Brought Color to Our Lives” (available online at https://thesuffieldobserver.com/2023/03/special-artist-brought-color-to-our-lives/) which paid tribute to Peggy MacKinnon as a long-term contributor to this paper, and a wonderful artist whose pictures, often portraying scenes of Suffield, could be found in many homes throughout town. But thanks to the generosity of her family her story does not end there.
On a personal note, I knew Peggy and her husband Dan, who, like me, lived on Mapleton Avenue (the setting of many of her pictures) in a house next to one of the six sons she raised, with his wife and three of Peggy’s grandsons, all of whom were friends with my children and have grown into fine young men. Also well known to me was a granddaughter, who played softball for my wife when she coached at Suffield High, and who was wonderful then and has grown into an inspiring young woman. And while I knew that Peggy was a wonderful woman and a fine artist, who frequently would donate her time and work to help local organizations, I was not aware of how prolific she was, including the many works she had done in the very difficult to master water coloring technique.
In the late spring we learned that the extended MacKinnon family, spearheaded by Neil MacKinnon, had decided to donate a treasure trove of beautiful original art for display and sale at Kent Memorial Library, with virtually all the proceeds of the sale going to this local paper that Peggy loved. The donation included thirty-five (35) framed originals, and another 256 unframed pictures. Relying upon the expertise and constant assistance of the Suffield Arts Council’s Fran Milliken, the Observer’s Managing Editor Ann Kannen worked diligently to set up a beautiful display of Peggy’s work that was visited throughout August at Kent Memorial Library’s art gallery. The highlight of the show was a short ceremony at the gallery, on August 10, attended by MacKinnon family members, town and state dignitaries, and many friends who were present to recognize and honor both the beautiful art and the beautiful individual who had created it. Sales continued throughout the month, and thanks to Kacy Colston, at a booth during Suffield on the Green. Throughout the month staff at the library helped art lovers looking to purchase, and we thank them for their assistance throughout the event.
We are so pleased, and view it as a tribute to Peggy, that all but four of the framed paintings, and over half of the unframed pictures, have already been sold. Those that are remaining, which will make wonderful holiday presents, will be available for viewing and purchase at the Annual Christmas Bazaar, at Sacred Heart Church, on Saturday November 4.
The Observer, in appreciation, has donated a beautiful piece to be displayed at KML for all to enjoy. Further, in honor of Peggy, and the generosity of her family, this paper intends to work with our school system to provide an Art Award to a 2024 Suffield student. We again thank the MacKinnon family, and all who assisted in this project of love and, of course, the wonderful Peggy MacKinnon.