December 27, 2007

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Changes in the arts in 2007
It’s big, it’s orange, it’s steel
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

The Currier Museum of Art managed to keep itself visible, although the Manchester museum was closed for expansion in 2007, especially when it unveiled the contemporary sculpture that will grace the center of the new outdoor entrance plaza. “Origins” is 35 feet tall, orange, and involves I-beams.

The Currier continued operating its art school and added a downtown storefront to house their museum shop, member services, a Zimmerman House tour meeting point and activities. That Hanover Street storefront closed Dec. 23 to allow for staff transition back to the museum. When the museum closed, it was estimated that construction would take about 18 months, which could have meant a January 2008 reopening, but plans now call for the museum to reopen in spring.

The New Hampshire Institute of Art has renamed its library after John Teti, a friend of the college’s trustee chair. Teti donated a collection of rare photography books dating back to the 1800s with an estimated value of $1.5 million. The special collection was unveiled in May at the college and is expected to be a magnet for photography scholars.

The arts scene in Nashua seems to have taken some hits. City Arts Nashua is only about two years old and was sharing office space with Yellow Taxi Productions on Main Street. City Arts’ lease is up in January, and board president Liz Ricciopi said they are planning to give up the space. After looking at their budget for 2007, the board saw that the office space wasn’t being used often. Rent money could be spent on programming for the arts promotion group instead, Ricciopi said. The office was used for some board meetings, but mainly by their part-time executive director, Sid Ceaser. “It’s just really hard to justify having that space,” Ricciopi said. The NH State Council on the Arts grant that funded Ceaser’s position expires this month. “We took a look ... over the course of the year, we thought maybe we don’t actually need a paid executive director,” Ricciopi said. So far it looks like Ceaser, of Plastic Camera Studio, will join the board of directors. City Arts will look for volunteers to do things like answering the phone and their Art Walk committee will take over organizing that quarterly downtown studio stroll. Ceaser did much of the organizing for it this year, after City Arts took Art Walk over from Great American Downtown.

There are usually more than 20 venues listed on the Art Walk maps, although participation levels can run the gamut. They want to see more “solid” participation from arts businesses that have established presences. Aside from the Art Walk, City Arts wants to conitnue offering a business series for artists, and wants to evolve programming “in a way that makes sense for the community,” Ricciopi said.

“I think in this day and age with the tools that we have [we] really don’t need to have a physical presence to show that we’re the real deal,” Ricciopi said. They intend to keep their phone number and Web site, cityartsnashua.org, and hold board meetings in members’ homes, restaurants or the library.

Meanwhile, the Nashua Area Artist Association had trouble this year keeping board positions filled and finding volunteer gallery sitters for Gallery One.

Manchester gained an arts Web site, www.manchester-arts.org, in November, launched by the Manchester Arts Commission and the Palace Theatre. In May, the Manchester Area Convention and Visitors Bureau ceased operations after the city cut the $80,000 contribution it normally made to the bureau. The bureau briefly had funding for an arts staffer and ran a cultural calendar that listed art events.

In Concord, Anderson-Soule Gallery closed when Trish Anderson-Soule decided to focus on corporate and residential art consulting again. She still rotates exhibits of work by the artists she represents at 2 Pillsbury. The New Hampshire Institute of Technology in Concord launched an associate degree in visual arts in 2006, which has grown so much they project that between majors and non-majors, about 700 NHTI students will take visual arts courses at the Kimball-Jenkins Estate on North Main Street this school year. Rent from the college has helped keep the estate afloat, although controversy erupted this fall when students protested a rumored turnover of the Kimball-Jenkins property to the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen headquarters. So far, it’s resulted in a probate hearing, lots of work for the Attorney General’s office, and allegations that a former employee embezzled were made public. The employee was indicted on two fraud counts in November.

—Heidi Masek



12/20/2007 Local Color

12/13/2007 Portsmouth markets Christmas spirit
12/6/2007 One more cause
11/29/2007 Three days of merriment
11/22/2007 Advocating for arts; Zimmerman season ends soon
11/15/2007 Images, past and present
11/8/2007 Back in time at a Concord mansion
11/1/2007 Governor honors artists with art
10/25/2007 Spatial Matters
10/18/2007 Perfecting a craft
10/11/2007 Handmade furniture
10/04/2007 Capturing nature on canvas and by camera
9/27/2007 Local color
9/20/2007 Nashua, in the abstract
9/13/2007 Local Color
9/6/2007 Looking at the world
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