February 7, 2008


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Local color
What does your butt say?
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

• Controversy in Keene: The Hippo became familiar with Berlin expat Rachelle Beaudoin when she organized an art exhibit and concert focusing on changes in the former paper mill town this summer. The Rhode Island Institute of Design alum is now an adjunct faculty member at Keene State College, where her installation in a faculty exhibit caused a slight stir. “Cheer!Shorts” was inspired by the prevalence of “butt print” garments. “I was thinking about my participation in it ... why I would want someone to look at my butt and my body without looking at my face. Because it’s really just inviting that kind of gaze,” Beaudoin said. She made shorts with explicit messages, rather than the implicit ones normally sold, and wore them around Providence as performance art. She was surprised how little reaction she got. She expected there might be a sense of “control” or even “empowerment,” she said. But she found herself feeling self-conscious because she couldn’t tell if people were looking at her. She referenced the work as part of an exploration of the confusing third wave of feminism. There’s “pressure to be hot, but not too hot,” she said.

Keene State confirmed some people voiced offense while Beaudoin’s shorts and photos were being set up. Beaudoin agreed to cover the display with a curtain so gallery visitors can choose whether or not to view the work. The college was expected to hold a panel discussion about the piece Tuesday, Feb. 5, as a teaching moment. They also held a forum when a student public art installation caused offense last year.

College president Helen Giles-Gee gave a statement: “The First Amendment guarantees freedom of expression. The review of public art further protects the viewer with laws on time, place and manner. I believe that the College has honored both principles by providing a place for art deemed as possibly controversial where individuals can choose either to view or not view the piece.”

Anyway, if you’ve ever wondered why on Earth people want to wear words across their rears, I recommend taking a peek at “Cheer!Shorts” for your own amusement. Beaudoin posted images at risd.digication.com/rachelle/Cheer_Shorts.

• Closer to home and with fewer dirty words: The Wine Studio hosts an opening reception for an exhibit of Bob Ryan’s drawings, Thursday, Feb. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 53 Hooksett Road. A second Wine Studio location is opening at at 27 Buttrick Road in Londonderry, where the owners host paintings from a family of Peruvian artists, “Andean Styles-Historic, Traditional, Spiritual.” Check it out during the opening Friday, Feb. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. Call 622-WINE.

Nature photographer Ron Bowman’s work is at E.W. Poore, 531 Front St. in Manchester, through Feb. 29. Meet him at a reception and gallery talk Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. Call 622-3802. If you want to take pictures of nature yourself, join a guided winter photo hike Saturday, Feb. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Massabesic Audubon Center on Audubon Way in Auburn. Call 668-2045 to reserve space. The fee is $10.50 for nonmembers.

—Heidi Masek

Correction: The watercolor “Perfect Poppy” on page 21 of the Hippo’s Jan. 24-30 issue is by Suzanne Binnie, not Suze Scholls.

Cheer!Shorts” at Keene State College’s faculty show

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7/19/2007 Local Color
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Alison Williams
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Anne Dufresne
Armand Szainer: never forget
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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
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Nita Leger Casey
Patti Matthis
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Small Town Art Hits The Big City
Spirit Of The Holidays Exhibit
Step into the Art Pad at Langer Place
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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
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