September 6, 2007

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Looking at the world
NH Arts Council new visual fellows reflect on possibilities and position
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

Megan Bogonovich of Concord and Alexandra de Steiguer of Farmington are the visual artists who were recently awarded $5,000 fellowship awards from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. There were five 2007 fellows in total, and two finalists who received $2,500.

People say Bogonvich’s stoneware and ceramic sculptures are “disturbing,” but to her they seem whimsical, she said: “It always seems like very wholesome stuff.” Her pieces, such as a corral out of which a girl’s legs are wiggling as if she dived in to explore, are “more like little scenarios,” Bogonovich, 30, said. She looks at the world’s “wonder and mystery” and presents possibilities with her sculptures.

“I’ve always liked mixing abstract imagery with realistic imagery,” she said. “I think they go together better than people assume. There’s a lot of unexplained stuff going on in our lives,” she said. “The idea of risk, moving outside of a safety zone,” is a major theme, she said.

“Probably for a lot of people $5,000 isn’t a lot of money,” Bogonovich said. But right now she doesn’t own any equipment. She teaches three classes at Kimball Jenkins Estate in Concord as an adjunct professor for the NH Technical Institute. She helps in the studio in exchange for work space. With the fellowship, she will be able to buy a few pieces of equipment she never could have afforded otherwise. She also hopes to put together her first solo show in New Hampshire this spring and use some of the fellowship money toward completing her marketing Web site.

“It’s just cool to talk to other people who like art,” Bogonovich said about working with the Arts Council.

Before Bogonovich, originally from Vermont, went for an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Montana, she majored in painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. She took a ceramics class her last semester and was hooked, she said.

“Sometimes I feel my work is a little schizophrenic,” she said. “Because I work in clay — it’s hard to resist working on functional things.” Besides sculptures, she makes pottery such as a series of platters she’s showing at a League of NH Craftsmen show. She can use her painting background while decorating functional pieces. “I’m always really torn between 2-D and 3-D,” she said.

Bogonvich said she enjoys teaching ceramics because it has built-in restraints, such as structure requirements. “It takes a long time to become competent with clay,” she said. She may make two or three versions of a piece before she is happy. “Right now it’s a whole lot of discovery,” she said.

De Steiguer has been a winter caretaker for the Isles of Shoals for the past ten years.

“It’s cold and stormy and absolutely wild and beautiful.... I think it affects my philosophy, which affects my work,” de Steiguer said about the isolation and the elements. In her images, she tries to express the feeling of smallness within the natural world.

“Winter kind of strips away the lushness that sometimes can distract you,” de Steiguer said. She develops and prints her gelatin silver images by hand.  

This is de Steiguer’s second fellowship. Her 2002 award helped her gain recognition, she said. One of the fellowship judges was a curator of the De Cordova Museum, and subsequently purchased three of de Steiguer’s images for the museum. De Steiguer will probably use this award to upgrade her equipment. She also wants to use some of it to publish a book of her work. “I can’t even afford to buy my own work, if I went to a gallery,” she said. Art books are an affordable way to appreciate art.

In the summer, de Steiguer lives on mountain land on which she and her partner built a home between jobs crewing on tall ships. She often uses a kayak to get between the islands when weather allows in the winter.

“I can’t begin to express the growth I have experienced during this extended time alone amid rocks, sea and sky,” said the New York native.



8/30/2007 Art in the fresh air

8/23/2007 Berlin pride
8/16/2007 Finding money
8/9/2007 Park of arts
8/2/2007 New Hampshire treasure honored again
7/26/2007 Taking care of wood
7/19/2007 Local Color
7/12/2007 Local Color
7/5/2007 Local Color
6/28/2007 Local Color
6/21/2007 The great outdoors
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
Waxwork
Women's Art Group Marks 10th Year
Wyeth Works Return To The Currier