Hippo Manchester
December 22, 2005

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Arts: Heating up the canvas

Gallery’s new show brings passion to cold months

By Bill Copeland  news@hippopress.com

Things are heating up at the Manchester Artist Association gallery.

The MAA’s vice president, Diane De Bonville, said the new “Winter Heat” exhibit will show signs of warmth despite the dropping temperature of the season.

“We’re in winter, but there’s still a lot of warmth in our exhibit and with the people in our organization and there’s a lot of  warmth in here and people do great work in here and we want to show it to Manchester,” De Bonville said.

Fourteen artists from the Manchester area contributed paintings to the exhibit. The MAA has 25 member artists and the members take turns participating in each exhibit. Every three months the MAA will change exhibits.

How is winter hot?

“The people have warmth. They’re very passionate about what they’re doing and that’s the heat in the winter,” she said.
 Gia Kramer, a member of MAA’s committee, said “Winter Heat” was chosen as a theme because of the passion found in each artist even though it is a cold season.

“Artists are very passionate about what they do,” Kramer said. “They have this drive to go forward and create, and MAA Gallery is there to encourage and support them. All members of the MAA Gallery committee are volunteers and each exhibiting artist is volunteering for sitting at the gallery. It is ‘artist help artist’ in the purest form.”The theme wasn‘t mandatory. Artists could still think outside the box if they chose.”

“The paintings that are here are not all related to the theme,” De Bonville said. “We choose a theme to reflect what’s going on right now in this season. A lot of the paintings are winter-related right now. But not all of them. There’s other things. I do people. The heat for me is people. So artists were free to bring what they want.”

Winter landscapes have been featured in art for centuries. But it is hard to judge how original this “Winter Heat” exhibit will be.

“A committee chooses the theme, so I don’t know if anything like this has been done before” De Bonville said.

De Bonville uses watercolors to bring people to the canvas. Her own contribution to “Winter Heat” features three people playing cards.

“It’s a friendship thing,” she said. “It’s people I know who are always gathering to play cards. I wanted to bring out that friendship that’s going on between them. I also have another painting with two men playing chess and they’re so serious. I have another painting of a little girl making a snow angel.”

De Bonville expects to draw attention from nature lovers. “There are many landscapes,” she said.

The other 13 artists are Sharon Allen, Doreen Boissonneault, Ann Bourque, Sherry Burnett, Orban Chester, Elaine Farmer, Marilyn Heaps, Nancy Johnson, Janice Johnston, Gia Kramer, Sheila Psaledas, Barbara Scott and Cal Smith.

“Winter Heat” runs until February 19, 2006. The Manchester Artist Association Gallery is located at 1528 Elm St. and is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call the gallery at 785-6437.