September 24, 2009


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Two-day tour
Art Walk Nashua happens just once this year, again

By Heidi Masek

Art Walk Nashua now happens once a year, for two days, and provides a tour of galleries, studios and other venues downtown and in Nashua’s millyard. This year it’s happening Saturday, Oct. 3, from noon to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 4, from noon to 4 p.m.

Jay Minkarah (Nashua’s previous economic development director, now Manchester’s) chaired the effort this year, and said it’s bigger than ever. About 30 venues are participating; he thinks about 19 did last year.

The Hunt Memorial Building is back for 2009 featuring work from three artists and classical and folk concerts. New venues include Darrell’s Music Hall and Splash on Main Street. “We’re really excited to see the interest in increased participation,” Minkarah said.

The Nashua Library returns as a venue, and there’s a strong presence in the millyard, Minkarah said. is going to be at the Gazebo in Railroad Square, with a debut event for their new Web site for arts in New Hampshire.

Minkarah said this year’s growth shows a growing interest and awareness of Art Walk, and the “vibrancy of the arts” in Nashua.

The studios of WSMN 1590 AM on Main Street in Nashua will be open to the public for Art Walk. “We’re voice artists,” said Robin Ann Peters. She’s on the City Arts Nashua board, which organizes Art Walk. She also hosts Art in Action on WSMN, and is a photographer and author.

“It’s going to be an amazing weekend,” Peters said.

Also find out about Project Exposure during Art Walk. Peters learned about the New Hampshire-based magazine ( from Nancy Ferrier of Chimera Gallery, and had two of the founders on her radio show. The second issue is ready to go, Peters said.

Bath showroom Splash is a venue for the first time, said owner Robert Boisvert. They are showing artwork with Just Lights lighting showroom of embroidery by Son Pho and sculptures by John Lacz (

Jill Gage, co-owner at Fortin Gage at 86 West Pearl St. said this is their first year “finally doing” Art Walk. They wanted to, but hadn’t been available for past Art Walks. They’ll showcase jewelry and are also promoting, A Christmas Carol, which Charles Dickens’ great, great grandson, Gerald Charles Dickens is performing as a one man play in Nashua at the Crowne Plaza, where Fortin Gage also has a gift store. That’s Dec. 3 at 1 and 7 p.m. in conjunction with Byers’ Choice, maker of collectible caroler dolls Fortin Gage carries.

Visit several working studios in the Picker Building (99 Factory St. Extension, including Out on a Limb Pottery Studio (882-8180); Renaissance Glassworks (, Art Clay Studios (; A.W. Emboss; River Art Studio (; Chimera Gallery (; Ceasar Fine Art (; Kaleidoscope Glass, Northern Sands Studio and Bonnie Guercio.

Photographer Dan Splaine opened Test of Time Photography in August on the ground floor of Picker, which will be open during Art Walk. He’s joined the CAN board, and is a commercial and studio photographer, but much of the work he’ll show at Art Walk are fine art photos from traveling (he’s been to 35 countries) and of wildlife. He also teaches digital photography (

Studio 99, which housed music lessons and performances in Picker, recently moved to 115 Main St. The entrance is on Mechanic Street. Ben Geyer, a Nashua native and Studio 99 faculty member, has been spending time in New York and Nashua these days. “Amazing vocalist,” Matthew Bryan Feld, from New York, is coming to Nashua again Oct. 3, Studio 99 director Elise MacDonald said. “They’ve been gigging in New York quite a bit,”MacDonald said. The Ben Geyer Sextet is also based in New York and Geyer is in the process of releasing an album, she said.

The Geyer/Feld Duo perform jazz voice and piano duets and some a capella. They perform two free mini-concerts at 2 and 5 p.m. during Art Walk, and they’ll give a full concert at 8 p.m.; tickets for that cost $10 at the door, $7 for students. Studio 99 will also be open on Sunday.

The Framery at 60 Main St., Aidan James Salon at 4 Water St., Canal Art & Framing at 1 Water St., One World Trading Co., at 111 Main St., Persona Boutique at 122 Main St., Fresh of Nashua at 57 East Pearl St., Maison de L’Art at 57 East Pearl St., Ikebana Flower at 95 West Pearl St. and Gallery One, the Nashua Area Artists Association gallery space at 5 Pine St. Extension, are other venues.

Because of the size, Minkarah recommends that people spread their Art Walk touring over both days, he said.

Artwork is being shown in several media, and “one of the nice things about Art Walk is the opportunity to buy original works of art directly from the artist,” Minkarah said.

Live music, dance, book signings and poetry readings also happen. “The more cross-pollination we can see happening in the community and at events like this, the better from our perspective,” Minkarah said.

Last year was the first two-day, once annually Art Walk Nashua. Previously, one-day Art Walks were held four times per year.

“I think there was a sense from a lot of people that that was too much,” Minkarah said. It was expensive, and a lot to prepare for. People also seemed to feel that not much changed between Art Walks. And as one-day events, bad weather could take a big toll. However, Minkarah clarified that although the name implies walking, the venues are indoors.

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