My own backyard, Rochester, NH
I was meeting some friends for lunch and a play in Portsmouth, and was ready earlier than necessary. Since I just “did” Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago, I thought the time would be well-spent up-the-road. Indeed.
The town of Rochester is one reason why I started this blog. It has a few innovative individual who keep the art presence alive and growing, and area support. The town is about 40,000…not large enough to support a museum like Portsmouth (and certainly not the tourism), but there are a number of large-city transplants who appreciate cows and lighthouses as subject-matter, but that are also striving to increase the” sensibility” of the area. And, like Portsmouth, I know part of this scene because I live here-and for me it interesting to look at it like I don’t. By the same token, Mary Jo at Artstream recognized me…and there was a comfort-zone for her because she knows that I am an area artist. I think the same held true in Portsmouth.
This will be the first post -I will break it up like I did Portsmouth’s Art Around Town a few weeks ago to give due respect to all that I saw today, and hopefully to include a brand new gallery that wasn’t open. So, I may drive by “The Portrait Project” a few times a week… Art Esprit has put together some really ecclectic and fun projects for several summers that have included a lot of the local populous. I have always admired that because art needs to be inclusive. The “Shoes of Rochester” two years ago was so much fun because area businesses displayed them outdoors-and they had sponsored them, as well. They were 3-5 feet tall, all brightly painted., and were hard to miss! “The Portrait Project” is this year’s.
It was still too early to hit Artstream, so I looped into Ben Franklin’s Arts and Crafts. This is the kind of venue that happens all over New England-this happens to be a franchised art and crafts store that does custom framing. I have met Ross, the man who runs their gallery and framing shop, since I have also worked in shops that sell art supplies and did custom framing several times over the years. I hoped to chat with him but he was busy with customers.