The region is dotted with many old and no longer operational water-powered paper and pulp mills. Brick factory buildings are also easily found. This part of New England has a strong history in a huge variety of manufacturing and other types of production-related businesses from the original Frank Jones Brewery complex in downtown Portsmouth, to the Button Factory on the other side of Islington. The Schultz meat plant is geographically right between the two. And, is decaying, where the other two now house an athletic club and artist studios, respectively.
I asked a friend of mine who is very involved in Portsmouth New Hampshire politics (where I am sure this is a terrific embarrassment), and the owner seems to have no motivation to clean it up and make it serviceable to businesses, artists, etc. What a shame!!
And, I actually find that whole idea extremely short-sighted considering what the Button Factory charges for studio space, and the last time I checked they were full!! http://www.buttonfactorystudios.com/studio_availability.htm
I have friends who have studios in the 1 Washington Street Mill Building in Dover, New Hampshire. This is a multi-use building that serves a myriad of businesses like Terra Cotta Pasta, a few smaller galleries, framing studios, apparel retailers, and other concerns. Dover has at least three complexes that are all successful in renting to those who need space but maybe don’t need the street-level, strip mall type exposure.
The Rollinsford Mill is very much like the 1 Washington Street Mill except it is heavily rented as art studio space. They, like the Button Factory, host open-studio events where the public is invited to come and experience the art at the Mill and purchase it outside the pretty gallery setting, directly from the artists.
In my travels taking pictures and just reveling in the spring sunshine, I drove (for no reason) to Sanford, Maine. In Sanford, there is a mill complex that looks a lot like the Schultz Factory.
No apparent recon is going on with this site, yet it is on a terrific piece of property with a great view. I took a few minutes to walk along this side of the building, and the front and shot this for art.
But, I wasn’t through wandering-the weather was not allowing this cabin-fevered child to be inside all day!
I went home, and lost the New Balance and socks to Tevas. Yes, and toes are happy! But, I was not done finding new treasures.
Gonic is a non-incorporated town that is really part of Rochester, but, like East Rochester, there is a different personality. I got here quite by accident, and found another mill building. But one I didn’t know about. And, one that has been restored, but hasn’t become trendy yet. Uh-oh!
This one has huge spaces, and though I haven’t seen them yet, they could be possibly rented as a group and sub-divided. Rents are crazy-cheap! Like they should be for a studio!
The Rochester Museum of Fine Art owes much to the area libraries since we own nothing more than art. And, what a great thing to own-but only if you have a place to put it up!! We are getting more permanent space at the Gafffney Library.
I stopped at the RPL, hoping to map out my next show there, as well as to see the show on the 1st floor, and the new show at the Carnegie Gallery, on the 2nd.
First, the student show on the 1st floor is superb!!
I was really taken by this piece, but there are really nice 2-d pieces that just didn’t photo well of because of lighting. Really nice, Spaulding High School!!
Upstairs, in the Carnegie Gallery, we just hung Benjamin Cook.
More pop-ups will happen soon!! Benjamin Cook is next!
I was trying to post daily, and I got really good at posting something…
and then this last period happened…
so, here I am again, to show off today, and the opening reception at the Gafney.
I loved today. A perfect flow where everything actually made sense. Huh?
I delivered 2 pieces to the Gallery at 100 Market, and the curator was there early, knowing I needed to be in Sanbornville at 9:30. Amazingly, I got to the Gafney much earlier than I expected. So, the food display was artful, too.
My compadre, Steffanie Antonio was there right after 10. That really set the pace for the reception! Anne and Niles showed up not 10 minutes later…
As Anne Vaughan wanted a real tour, I needed to break for a whole new set of arrivals. I am waiting for the rest of the images that other people shot today, because once things got rolling, I “lost” my camera.
Amy Regan, who is one of the founders of the Rochester Museum of Fine Art came and we discussed not only some of my art-making history, but also some of the mechanics of this show, and how I work.
I guess for some, putting together a show this size might be a retro…for me, the oldest piece in the show is September of 2013. About 40 of the 49 pieces on display are from 2014.
It will be up through next Saturday-check for the library hours on their website.
This whole corridor of southeastern Maine and New Hampshire, including the Berwicks, York and Kittery in Maine, and Dover, Somersworth, Rollinsford, and Rochester in New Hampshire have literally come alive since I moved back to the area in 2005. I have become very involved in two of the art associations, and the I am Show Coordinator for one, as well as on the curatorial board of the Rochester Museum of Fine Art.
The area has not kept up with gallery creation, and the economy still doesn’t support that kind of a venture without a “safety net”, but there are many great supportive venues like the libraries in the area.
I have shown five times at the Rochester Library in the new wing, where Peggy Trout arranges monthly shows with local artists and art groups. The old wing, or the Carnegie wing, displays some of the permanent collection of the Rochester Museum of Fine Art on the main floor. The Carnegie Gallery on the 2nd floor, is where the rotating and borrowed exhibits are hung.
Beth Wittenberg is on display on the main floor. Beth is a very active member of the Berwick Art Association and also a member of Blackbird Studio and Gallery, so we have shared lots of walls together. Beth and I also share a very special connection with art-making, where it seems neither of us have to rely on a muse, inspiration or even a good cup of coffee to need to make art.
What I love about Beth’s work is there is always more than meets the eye. In these pieces from 2013 and 2014, she works very splattered and loose watercolor abstracts into pen-ink fantasy characters, that have color. As an abstract painter, I get lost in looking at the paint below the ink, and then float back to the finished work, appreciating it on multiple levels.
Upstairs, in the Carnegie Gallery are a collection of Dawn Boyer’s oils. Until I brush on my critiquing skills, I will respond as I have to Beth’s-as it relates to my work. Though she is responding to florals, I am looking beyond that again at paint and color. The brush work is solid and experienced. There isn’t hesitation. Nor, is there any immaturity in the palette-it is also self-assured.
Both of these shows will be up through the end of the month.
And, I will probably need to expand the corridor as I described it because I have been invited to show at the Gafney Library in Sanbornville, New Hampshire next month. Another 20 miles north of here.
The media gave us some attention, so I wanted to pass it on!!
This is from the recent Lady in Red event in Berwick.
I was straight out this week-end and did not put a nail into a wall or pick up a brush. So, it could have been better, but, I really like seeing other people’s work, too.
Friday night, I followed up on a lead I got from my Moderns group at the KAA. And, please visit the blog I just created for the group called The Seacoast Moderns Group! After scoring a show in August in downtown Portsmouth, I decided to come home.
Since I have been the major maniac, I decided that I would chill Saturday, and not paint. Malynda from the Gatehouse Gallery had invited me up for the Tamworth Art Council auction. And I had not made any posts about shows other than those that I am somehow associated with. On my way up, I stopped in Wolfeboro.
This gallery packs the art, but there is some memorable work. Edward Gordon’s work is amazingly technically beautiful. It lacks soul, but I admired it for the precision. Other artists that I picked up info about were Suzanne deLesseps, Valerie Schurer Christle and others. I found most of the work predictably representational. But,this gallery was definitely worth checking out, where the Artisan’s Corner, right next door…not so much for fine art.
The Art Place, 9 North Main Street, Wolfeboro, NH 03894 (603) 569-6159. www.theartplace.biz
Newport, New Hampshire. A town I had never been to and I wandered to because after assessing what I had forgotten in my camping supplies, I determined that I needed something to paint on. I got in late enough on Friday night to not really miss paper.
I have often wondered what Bike Week looks like to people in Nebraska. Or, what those people think of Gilford, New Hampshire. Bikers know, but my guess is everyone else … But, it surely isn’t an art/antique destination.
Gilford, Gilmanton, Gilmanton Iron Works and Alton actually inspired this blog. No, these are probably not art/antiques destinations, but I hope to promote those reasons to come to these places. And others.
I happened to be sitting in my campsite at Gunstock, a year-round resort where I have done some snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing, just outside Gilford, when I happened on the idea for this blog-to use an old expression. The following morning sent me running home for raingear-and 45 minutes away, that was OK.
After finishing rain-proofing the campsite, I ventured off to see if there might be enough to write about. There will be plenty.
As a writer, reviewer, critic, I am not necessarily looking for the same thing in all venues. And, having lived in New Hampshire for a long time, I have seen some remarkable work in general stores. And, that’s what I am looking for.
S0, I set out, first to Gilford. No. Nothing that looked like a museum, gallery and I don’t even remember a gift store. And, after that rainy start to the morning, the day turned rather hot and sunny.
I drove into the outskirts of Laconia, but that was not the point. Laconia is large enough that I should be able to make a post just on it. So, down to Gilmanton, Gilmanton Iron Works and back around. The circle, with stops took less than 1 1/2 hour.
Down 106. And into, Gilmanton. N., Into Gilmanton Iron Works. There was a fabric store. I should have stopped but didn’t.
Back into Alton, and then Alton Bay. I did stop at an antique store on 140 not long before reconnecting with 28. I unfortunately have lost the proprietor’s card but he was genuinely friendly. We discussed a 50’s AM radio as well as a piece of carnival glass. A nice piece of Carnival glass, but not marked.
From there I was back to camp, to once again dream how I could make this a revenue stream. There are more ideas in the works., and I will be reviewing Portsmouth Art Around Town on Friday.