June 21, 2007


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The great outdoors
View contemporary sculpture outside in this Concord summer tradition
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

It was Pam Tarbell’s experience as an art educator that led her to open the Mill Brook Gallery and Sculpture Garden in rural Concord nine years ago.

“A lot of people have never been exposed to outdoor sculpture,” she said. Sometimes people don’t think they like contemporary work until they see the pieces. Sometimes it’s the kids who embrace it first, Tarbell said.

Tarbell doesn’t mince words about the poor state of art education. Parents don’t know it’s free to visit galleries, and that galleries are there to support artists, she said.

Rest assured, kids are welcome at Mill Brook, where about 100 artists could show up for the opening celebration for three summer exhibits, including an annual outdoor sculpture show, Sunday, June 24.

Tarbell has cultivated a regular group whom she invites each year.

“I never know what someone’s going to bring,” she said. The 18 new works are spaced well apart in her garden, which is adjacent to a pond with horses grazing beyond (one is hers). Outside, kids are welcome to touch the art and run around.

Tarbell recognizes that some pieces are very “salable” and some are more for the experience. Prices range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Some of the artists are well known, some just starting out, Tarbell said.

Tarbell said she’s slowly building recognition among patrons who can afford a $30,000 price tag. Several of her artists exhibit throughout the East Coast and are becoming nationally known, including Rob Lorenson, Wendy Klemperer and Joe Wheaton, while some are internationally known, like John Weidman, a Brookline sculptor and executive director of the Andres Institute of Art. Most Mill Brook artists are from the Northeast.

Derryfield School art teacher Andy Moerlein’s entry seems to be the big hit for 2007, possibly because of its size, Tarbell said. It’s several feet high and consists of a wall of saplings bound together with a split log. Moerlein harvests maple saplings from Tarbell’s property to use in his installations.

Another eye-catcher is Lorenson’s “Sentinel.” The steel piece is powder-coated bright red. “Catastrapillar” is a wild bronze piece by Zachary Gabbard of Jamaica Plain in Boston. “Minimalist” by Gerald Friedman, of New Ipswich, is a playful, metal character. You can sit on the two hands in “Peace Offering,” by Michael Alfano of Hopkinton, Mass. Madeleine Lord installed a floating, found-object city in the pond.

On Thursday, June 14, Tarbell was still waiting to receive work from Ataru Kozuru of Topsfield, Mass., and Japan, who usually enters a granite sculpture. She was also looking for the right place to install Megan Cronin’s “Forager,” which looks like intricate metal mushrooms.

Tarbell juried a Monotype Guild of New England exhibit, which is running through Sept. 8 indoors at Mill Brook. Also indoors are figurative sculptures from the Beaumont Sculpture Center in Newton, Mass. The studio was founded by Jean Dibner, a former senior vice president of Avid Technology, who switched careers. The other sculptors in her studio also switched to art from executive positions, Tarbell said.

Before Tarbell opened a gallery at her home, the Rhode Island School of Design alum was teaching art lessons in several media. When she asked students what they learned about art history in schools, she found they didn’t even have the basics, she said. So she included art history in most of her classes. Tarbell also realized parents weren’t taking kids to see art, and decided to make it easy for them since she had the space. It took her a year to convince Concord’s zoning board to let her use her property for “retail.”

Now, the challenge has been getting the word out for people to take advantage of the gallery. A women’s networking group had a potluck there last week, and another group held a fundraiser there for a microlending trust for a village in Ghana. Colleges bring students, she said, but public schools too often lack the funding for field trips.

Look with your hands
Mill Brook Gallery and Sculpture Garden celebrates the opening of two indoor shows plus their 2007 Outdoor Invitational Sculpture Exhibit Sunday, June 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. at 236 Hopkinton Road in Concord, 226-2046, themillbrookgallery.com. Also open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Inside: June 22-Sept. 8.
Beaumont Sculpture Center, figurative work, Jean Proulx Dibner, Carolyn Gold, Mitchell Lunin, Fred Manasse, Debbie Silverstein, Arlene Wang and Pamela Ward.
Monotype Guild of New England juried exhibit of more than 30 artists; mgne.org.
Outside: June 22-Oct. 20
Outdoor invitational sculpture exhibit of 18 new pieces in the Mill Brook garden.

6/14/2007 Play per day

6/7/2007 Goodbye, gallery
5/31/2007 Impressions
5/24/2007 Local color
5/17/2007 Stieglitz in Manchester
5/10/2007 They're artists and they vote
5/3/2007 Lowell is the canvas for a summer of art
4/26/2007 Local color
4/19/2007 Local color
4/12/2007 Local color
4/5/2007 A Saint paul student returns to show recent work
3/29/2007 Local color
3/22/2007 Compassionate cause
3/15/2007 Local color
3/8/2007 Making money
3/1/2007 Local Color
2/22/2007 Local Color
2/15/2007 Local Color
2/8/2007 Local Color
2/1/2007 DreamFarm Cafe's big show
1/25/2007 Built world
1/18/2007 Expressions of character
1/11/2007 Best practices
1/4/2007 Nominate your favorite for Governor's Arts Awards
12/28/2006 Art in 2006 in southern New Hampshire
12/21/2006 Time to learn
12/14/2006 Frisella's new studio; sell art for animals; girls only time
12/07/2006 Stained glass, found objects and ornaments
11/30/2006 No shortage of art sales
11/23/2006 A Granite State greeting
11/16/2006 Santa Claus hangs with artists
11/9/2006 Visual art meets poetry
11/2/2006 Local Color
10/26/2006 Local Color
10/19/2006 Local Color
10/12/2006 Almost 80 artists in Hollis ...
10/05/2006 Fine art in a field
09/28/2006 Local Color
09/21/2006 Local Color
09/14/2006 Local color
09/07/2006 Bel Espirit, a happening of chance
08/31/2006 An artistic endeavor
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