August 31, 2006


   Home Page

 News & Features


 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note





 Pop Culture



   Video Games
   CD Reviews




   Grazing Guide



   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts





 Find A Hippo




   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad




 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

   Browse by Cover

An artistic endeavor
Art in the Park returns with trolley for Manchester’s Bel Esprit
By Heidi Masek

Manchester’s annual Art in the Park is now under the umbrella of Bel Esprit, which also encompasses the Mill City Festival Sept. 9 and 10. After a hiatus due to lack of sponsorship, organizers are bringing back the free trolley to move revelers between the festival and the juried Manchester Artists Association show.

About 50 area artists participate. Judges choose top works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, mixed media and pastels. Prints and cards start at about $20 while large original works might be priced up to $1,500.

“I think Manchester is starting to support the visual arts more and more, it’s becoming a more prominent part of the city,” Sharon Price, a teacher at Wilson Elementary School, said. Price won second place last year for her oil of a Martha’s Vineyard marsh and also paints Plein Air at Plum Island.

Robin Frisella aims for realism with her pastel portraits and still life. She’s shown at Art in the Park for five years, and is usually showing somewhere in New England each weekend. Frisella and Price like the fact that this show is near home. “There is such a diverse group of artists, it’s always nice to see what other artists are working on.,” Frisella said.

“The crowd last year was light because of the lack of PR and they made it a point this year to do a 360 on that,” said Monty Whitfield, an impressionistic realist whose “Primordial Forest” acrylic took first place last year. Frisella noticed a drop at all art shows, and attributed it to gas prices.

Many MAA members hope the return of the trolley will boost attendance. The trolley will also stop at Fishways, the Millyard Museum, the MAA Gallery and Arms Park. MAA artist Ann Trainer Dominque came up with “Bel Esprit” as a cultural weekend name for Manchester, said Diane De Bonville, chair of Art in the Park and MAA publicity. “It’s a French word meaning cultivated, highly intelligent person.”

Price usually sets up her easel but spends more time talking than painting. “Each one of my paintings kind of tells a story and I like being able to share that. Hopefully [visitors] can put their own experience on what they’re seeing and find their own interest in it.”

De Bonville is encouraging more art demonstrations and brings watercolors and “yupo” paper for her visitors to try. “Paint kind of floats on the surface. It takes a longer time to dry, but the result is the colors stay bright,” De Bonville said about the glossy paper. “Children especially like to try it.”

MAA doesn’t have a booth for children, but De Bonville recommends having kids choose their favorite work. “It makes it more interesting and makes them look more carefully at the paintings,” she said. Plus, they might win something. Each artist marks a piece for the raffle. People write which work they want to win on their tickets. Half of the raffle take helps fund MAA shows and activities and the other half goes to the artist. “Everybody’s happy,” De Bonville said.

MAA has 250 members, a mix of amateur and professionals. The group also holds an outdoor show in Bedford and an indoor show in April.

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at

Art in the Park
Fine art show from the Manchester Artists Association during Bel Esprit, Manchester’s cultural weekend.
Saturday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Veterans Park, Elm Street, Manchester
Bel Esprit:

08/24/2006 The almost-all architecture edition
08/17/2006 Half century of creativity
08/10/2006 Obsession with the Isles of Shoals
08/03/2006 See the precise craft of carving with a chainsaw
07/20/2006 For museums or your living room
07/13/2006 Making their mark
07/06/2006 Sense of place
06/29/2006 New ground
06/22/2006 MAA honors scholars an artists of the year
06/15/2006 Galleries open doors
06/08/2006 It's sticky up here
06/01/2006 Mural for MCAM
05/25/2006 Scenes from the air
05/18/2006 Vanguardians sit down
05/11/2006 Public masterpiece
05/04/2006 Art helps kids at MAA show
04/27/2006 In-house artists on display
04/20/2006 No Pinocchio here
04/13/2006 School's out art's in
04/06/2006 Meet Michael Toomey
03/30/2006 Art builds community ...
03/23/2006 From Celtic design to Ayn Rand
03/16/2006 Got Cow?
03/09/2006 A creative view of China
03/02/2006 Monastery Arts open new show
02/23/2006 Love and art in one location
02/16/2006 Job loss leads to artistic success
02/09/2006 Art in the key of Adam and Eve
02/02/2006 Art to make you think
01/26/2006 New York artists to show at Derryfiled School
01/19/2006 A new age of artwork
01/12/2006 Photography buffs unite
01/05/2006 Jeweler teaches her trade
Alison Williams
All together now
A forest through the trees
A light in the dark
An event for artists, by artists
Anne Dufresne
Armand Szainer: never forget
Art group picks artist of the year
Art In The Park
Art in the Park sees attendance dip
Arts In Education Conference
Art like Crayons for grown-ups
Art you can sit on (if you own it)
Better Living Through Artistry
Capturing history with a panaramic view
Ceramic Biennial
Currier Kicks Off 2005 With NHSS Show
Die fotografieren
Doug Mendoza: Body Artist
Enjoying the Open Doors Trolley Tour
East Colony Fine Art has gone jazz
Equal Arts Opportunities
Exploring purgatory and paradise
Expressions coming from within
Fighting cancer with creativity
Free food, free music and plenty of art
Harry Umen: New Work

Head of the class
Heating up the canvas
Inside the artist’s studio
It’s art, and it’s even practical!
James Aponovich

James Chase
Jan De Bray
Local Artist, Global Message
Lollipops and Hand Grenades
MAA Adds New Dimension To Gallery
MAA Gallery Mixes It Up
Making Book With Children
Manchester Art In 2004
Morgan's "Danse" Comes To Manch
Morin Avoid Typecasting
NHIA chalks it up to May 14
Open Doors Manchester Returns
Open Doors Trolley Tour, The Winter Version
Looking for a crowd? Just add art
McGowan Fine Art Turns 25
Nita Leger Casey
Patti Matthis
Saint Anselm Favorite Returns
Searching for the extraordinary
Small Town Art Hits The Big City
Spirit Of The Holidays Exhibit
Step into the Art Pad at Langer Place
Stride and ride
Tagging goes to wall, gets legit
The art and craft of Glendi
The art of signs to art and stuff
The Art Of The Qashquai

The Return Of The Art Trolley Tour
The Ubiquitous Ann Domingue
Two-continent painting exhibit opens
Using nature as a canvas
Women's Art Group Marks 10th Year
Wyeth Works Return To The Currier