Art in the fresh air
Local artists take their work outdoorsn
By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a deal: buy a raffle ticket and win artwork worth a thousand dollars or so.
It could happen. The art raffle is one of the popular parts of the Manchester Artists Association Art in the Park, now in its ninth year. The two-day art show is now run in conjunction with the third Bel Esprit Arts and Cultural Event, which was started as an umbrella to the MAA art show and Mill City Festival.
About 50 artists are expected to show and sell photography, pastels, acrylics, oils, watercolors and mixed-media artwork at the MAA show in Veterans Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 9. The MAA was founded in 1966 as a non-juried group for local artists. Art in the Park is not juried, but there are prizes for each category and a “best of show” award.
The best deal is probably the raffle. Spend a $1 or $5, and if your name is pulled, you win the artwork you selected with your ticket, said co-coordinator Tiffini Frisella.
New this year is a craft tent in Veterans Park with a few NH Made members. You can find wooden bowls from Goffstown, locally made aromatherapy products and stained glass. Nancy Brome will demonstrate spinning yarn from dog hair.
The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester is sending their Currier on the Move mobile unit to Veterans Park to offer art activities for kids.
Bel Esprit is being coordinated by Jane Beaulieu, who is currently running for mayor of Manchester and is a state representative.
Other events running in conjunction with Bel Esprit include children’s activities at Victory Park and the West Merrimack Street Fair, Saturday. A trolley will be shuttling visitors to the Manchester City Library, the Franco-American Centre, Amoskeag Fishways Bug Ball and the MAA Gallery. The Spirit of America 2007 show is at the Verizon Wireless Arena, free, presented by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.
MAA Gallery board member Elaine Farmer is working on an art show nearby. The Londonderry Arts Council is sponsoring their third annual “Art on the Common” show Saturday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“I knew it would be successful. I really wanted to see something more local in our town,” Farmer said.
Originally, 30 artists came to show and sell work, but 47 signed up this year. She travels to Maine to sell work and noticed that New Hampshire folks were leaving the state in search of New Hampshire art. “I just felt it was logical to bring it all home,” she said.
Art on the Common participants include Judy Palfrey from Franklin, Barbara Scott from Londonderry and Bill Earnshaw from Bedford. A few artists are from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The mix of amateurs and professionals will show oil, watercolor, pastel, drawing, photography and mixed media.
You can find Nutfield Sessions (nutfieldsessions.net) at Art on the Common from 1 to 3 p.m. The musicians perform solo or in duets in an open mike format. Local cafes and restaurants will sell food on site.
Original work can be priced from $50 up, Farmer said. Artists can also sell prints and notecards.
The show isn’t juried, but there are prizes, including a purchase prize for $250 from the Londonderry Town Council. The Councilors will choose from pieces artists have marked as available for that prize. The Councilors are donating the prize to Londonderry Friends of Music for their silent auction, Farmer said.
Farmer’s husband Brian was on the Londonderry Art Council when the couple became interested in starting an outdoor art show. The September weekend offers good weather, and the town attracts many people during apple-picking time, Elaine Farmer said. She’s learned there are many civic group events on Mammoth Road that weekend as well as a popular church craft fair.
Like several artists she knows, Farmer prefers one-day art shows. She knew Art on the Common wouldn’t compete directly with MAA because of that, she said.