The James Library & Center for the Arts Presents Fall Entertainment and Events Series

The James Library & Center for the Arts, image by McGrath PR
The James Library & Center for the Arts, image by McGrath PR


The James Library & Center for the Arts, Norwell’s historic community arts center and lending library, presents a fall season of diverse music, lecture, and literary programming, serving the South Shore community, at 24 West Street, Norwell.  The James is also home to a beautiful art gallery featuring the works of local and regional artists for monthly gallery openings and exhibits. Visitors are welcome to attend the openings or view the works on display during business hours.

~  Fall Entertainment and Events Schedule  ~

North River Bliss, a painting by Dianne Panarelli Miller, will be on exhibit at The James Library this fall, courtesy image

“Your Backyard through My Eyes” ~ an exhibit of new works by Artist Dianne Panarelli Miller

On view from September 7 through October 7, 2023

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 7, 6 to 8 pm

Admission:  Free and open to the public during business hours

No one understands and appreciates a landscape quite like someone who was born and raised there. Dianne Panarelli Miller is an award-winning, homegrown artist, celebrating over 40 years of painting across the South Shore and beyond. Her work is included in regional, national, and international collections.  This is Dianne’s first solo show since 2019, showcasing new and intimate paintings of locations spanning Boston to Cape Cod, captured on canvas in Dianne’s signature style.

World renowned Artist Dianne Panarelli Miller is an award-winning, Boston-based “plein air painter” of color and light. She is a signature member of the New England Plein Air Painters, a “Copley Master” at the Copley Society in Boston and a juried member of the Salmagundi Club in New York City.

“The History of the Baker Chocolate Company” ~ with Author Anthony Sammarco

Thursday, October 5, 7 pm; tickets: $20, $10 students

Sponsored by The Well Penny Candy and Gifts

Local historian Anthony Sammarco details the delicious saga of Massachusetts’s Baker Chocolate Company, from Hannon’s mysterious disappearance and the famed La Belle Chocolatière advertising campaign to cacao bean smuggling sparked by Revolutionary War blockades.

Both bitter and sweet, this tale is sure to tickle your taste buds. In 1765, Dr. James Baker of Dorchester stumbled upon Irishman John Hannon crying on the banks of the mighty Neponset River. Hannon, though penniless, possessed the rare skills required to create chocolate, a delicacy exclusive to Europe, and Baker, with pockets bursting, wished to make a name for himself.  Using a mill powered by the same river upon which they met, the duo built America’s oldest and most beloved manufacturer of this rich treat.

Taylor – Pepper Spray,” a digital photograph by Artist Kayleigh MacDonald, is featured in the art exhibit “What We Carry,” courtesy image

“What We Carry” ~ An exhibit by Artist Kayleigh MacDonald

On view from October 13 through November 10, 2023

Opening Reception: Friday, October 13, 6 to 8 pm

Admission:  Free and open to the public during business hours

“What We Carry” is an ongoing photographic investigation of sustained vigilance as a source of trauma. Portraits of women and gender non-conforming individuals with what is physically carried for protection serve as a point of entry for conversations surrounding self-preservation, collective trauma, and recent gender-based legislation.

In our current political climate, personal weaponry is a charged and polarizing topic. “What We Carry” contains difficult images, including portraits of individuals with guns. This project engages with the nuances and subtleties of weapon ownership, including the paradox of purchasing the very weapons used to target your own community.

Quincy-based Artist Kayleigh MacDonald mediums originate in the fields of fine art and documentary photography, performance, and land-based alternative photographic processes. She creates pictures informed by identity and established on a matriarchal memory; “I think everything I make comes back to Her. Working across a range of photographic processes, I use my image-making to confront concepts of feminine history, the body, and nature’s influence through self-portraits, images of family, process-based landscapes, and documentary work.”

“Haunted South Shore” ~ with Greater Boston Paranormal Associates

Friday, October 20, 7:30 pm, admission is $10

Sponsored by Image Resolutions

Learn all about hauntings and the haunted along the South Shore corridor with Greater Boston Paranormal Associates. You’ll hear all about their spookiest investigation experiences and learn just how paranormal investigations work. Participate in a mini-investigation, right at The James Library!  Greater Boston Paranormal Associates’ team of individuals share interest in the paranormal – both believers and skeptics.  Their methods are both technological and spiritual, in the belief that their approach to the field with open minds and hearts leads to the possibility of answering centuries-old investigative questions.

The Borromeo String Quartet, image by Juergen Frank.

Borromeo String Quartet

Sunday, October 22, 3 pm; tickets: $40 adults, $30 seniors, $20 students

Sponsored by The Chilman Fund, The Edward and Estelle Mosher Fund, and Michael & Kathleen Vitale

Each visionary performance of the award-winning Borromeo String Quartet strengthens and deepens its reputation as one of the most important ensembles of its time.

Admired and embraced for both fresh interpretations of the classical music canon and championing works by 20th and 21st century composers, the ensemble has been hailed for its “edge-of-the- seat performances,” by the Boston Globe, naming the ensemble “simply the best.”  Performing artists include Nicholas Kitchen, violin, Kristopher Tong, violin, Melissa Reardon, viola, and Yeesun Kim, cello.

“Untold Stories of Boston Public Garden” ~ with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s Rose Doherty

Tuesday, October 24, 1 pm

Admission is free, donations gratefully accepted

Every Bostonian has walked through the Public Garden and enjoyed the beauty of the first botanical garden in the country. Learn the untold stories of its history and look at both natural and man-made features. The various statues and monuments: Make Way for Ducklings, George Washington, and the Ether Monument will be included in this tour along with a look at the planting design and some of the outstanding plantings. The 19th-century plan for the lagoon and the iconic Swan Boats will be included along with ongoing care and plans for the Public Garden, an oasis of beauty in the middle of our city. Presenter Rose Doherty has been delivering Osher Lifelong Learning Institute presentations since 2015.

“Fall Juried Show” ~ Showcasing the best in local and regional art

On view from November 17 to December 16, 2023

Opening Reception: Friday, November 17, 6 to 8 pm

Admission:  Free and open to the public during business hours

Generously Sponsored by The Frame Center of Hanover and The Cordelia Family Foundation

The James Library’s “Fall Juried Show” will be juried by Misty Flores, assistant curator, Rienzi, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  Prospectus coming September 15.  Deadline for submissions is Sunday, October 29, 2023.  Only online entries will be accepted.  Entries are open to all mediums, cash and prizes will be awarded to winners. For more information and a prospectus, visit  Accepted entries will be announced on November 5, 2023.

For more information about programs and events, please call 781-659-7100, visit or follow The James Library & Center for the Arts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the James Library & Center for the Arts

Since 1874, The James Library has served the South Shore community as a warm gathering place. Housed in a landmark Victorian in historical Norwell Center, The James is dedicated to serving the community by providing high-quality programs, resources and materials through a concert hall, art gallery and the operation of a free lending library. As an independent, non-profit arts center we foster a mission for the creation, appreciation, and enjoyment of the arts for residents of all ages on the South Shore, while preserving the historic character of our home. The James Library is located at 24 West Street, Norwell and is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5 pm and on Saturday from 11 to 1 pm. For more information, please call 781-659-7100, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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