Redwood Garden Party Highlights Collection and Artist John Mecray

"Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it."   --Rumi

Carolyn duPont, Molly Sabin, Lisa White, Alyssa Gaudreau & Gretchen Markert

Inside the cool, quiet Van Alen Gallery at Redwood Library, a brilliantly lighted collection of paintings and drawings of majestic and historic ships by renowned marine artist John Mecray awaited the next day’s visitors. Outside, on the lawn, the artist himself, a Jamestown resident, posed for a photo with guests at Redwood’s end-of-summer delightful Garden Party. The annual event drew over a hundred supporters of the Redwood who enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and live jazz on the lawn of the oldest lending library in the United States, celebrating  the works of Mr. Mecray and bidding farewell to the last days of summer.


At cocktail hour, guests mingled on the lawn and sat at tables topped with floral linens while a saxophonist with the Lois Vaughan Jazz Trio performed at the top of the stairs. Among the be-hatted and blue blazered crowd was Redwood’s new Executive Director, Benedict Leca, who was on hand with his wife Leora and two children. Carolyn duPont, Molly Sabin, Lisa White, Alyssa Gaudreau and Gretchen Markert welcomed guests upon entering.


The evening’s invitation featured an image by Louise Clarkson Whitelock entitled “Fly-away Fairies and Baby-blossoms,” and the fanciful illustration perfectly captured the essence of the garden party setting. Old friends and new took pleasure in catching up, and saying hello.


As part of the evening’s program, Earl McMillen announced that the library would offer a limited number of shares for sale. Those interested would become a part of Redwood's history along with its many treasures, which also include a replica of Gilbert Stuart’s famed portrait of George Washington, attributed to Stuart’s daughter, Jane, who lived on Mill Street in Newport.


The sporty crowd

All proceeds from the evening’s festivities go toward the maintenance and beautification of Redwood Library grounds. And as the sun lowered on the horizon, a guest looking down the slope of Church Street could glimpse the masts of the ships that no doubt contributed to Mr. Mecray’s inspiration to capture the Newport Harbor.



Seen were Federico Santi, Paul Szapary, Nancy Parker Wilson, Holly Bannister, Sid and Jean Gorham,  Caroline Considine, Director of Institutional Advancement at Redwood, Frank and Betsy Ray, Diana Sylvaria, Dr. Holly Bannister, Christine McDonald and Tom Fair.



                                                               --Ali Gainor



Mary & Bill Stevens


Michael & Diane Rabinowitz


Christine MacDonald, Steven Fielding & Nicole Drescher


Carol & Miles Bidwell, John Mecray


Anne Collins & Dennis Taber


Linda Gordon, Donald Christ & Jennifer Booth


Tom Fair, Redwood Library Director Benedict Leca with children, & artist John Mecray


Gary Dion offering bubbly & libations


Donna & Paul Gricus


Sally Ryan


Sally & David Ryan


Doris Nigro & Rob Nigro


Mark Nunes & Mary Nunes


Sid Gorham & Charles Wharton



The Garden Gazebo


Federico Santi & Paul Szapary


Angela Fischer & Margaret Jefferys



Patricia & David Wendell with George Clark


Virginia Smith & friend


David Reed, Whitney Overocker & Kevin Hegarty


Betsy & Frank Ray


Nancy Parker Wilson, Eulah Sheffield & Mrs. Richard Sheffield


Diana Sylvaria & Dr. Holly Bannister


Redwood Library Director of Institutional Advancement Caroline Considine & Smudge McVickar


Sophie Fair & Nicole Drescher



 To purchase an image, contact Linda(a)  All images copyrighted.











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