Art — MAA Adds New Dimension To Gallery

MAA Adds New Dimension To Gallery


By Michelle Saturley


Collaboration with Open Studio students ‘a perfect marriage’


The beginning of 2005 marks a new collaboration between the Manchester Artists Association and the Currier Art Center’s Open Studio program. Young artists from the Open Studio will join forces with MAA artists at the MAA Gallery for a new exhibit. The show features the new original works of 19 MAA artists, along with glazed clay sculptures created by the Open Studio students.

“Our member artists work primarily in two-dimensional art forms,” said Nancy Johnson, MAA gallery director. “When I heard that the students from Open Studio were looking for exhibition space, and that they were working in three-dimensional sculpture, I knew it would be a perfect marriage for us. It would complement what our artists were doing.”

The teen artists of Open Studio will be showing the results of a challenging semester of clay working, led by artist in residence Chris Archer. He will also exhibit pieces in the show.

“Part of the gallery’s mission is to be more accessible to the community,” Johnson said. “The city is our landlord, and we work closely with the Manchester Arts Commission, so this seemed like an appropriate way to further that mission.”

The students of the Open Studio project have exhibited at the Currier Art Center in the past, as well as at the Art Builds Community Gallery on Cedar Streer, which is now closed. The Open Studio project is aimed at serious art students and offers an intensive, semester-long tutelage with a guest artist in a particular medium. The only part that’s missing in the program is the ability to mount an exhibit — and that’s where the MAA Gallery came in.

“We’re very excited to have the students here with our established artists,” Johnson said. “Learning about mounting and managing a show is almost as important as learning about the art medium itself. We’re glad that we could accommodate these talented young people.”

In addition to the Open Studio exhibit, the MAA Gallery will be hosting an all-new show of 19 of its member artists. Slated to share the spotlight are Gia Kramer, Michael Lizak, Jennifer LeBlanc. Rosemary Conroy, Cal Smith, Sue Ritze, Dum Girad, and Johnson, who is a painter as well as a gallery director.

The Open Studio exhibit at the MAA Gallery will open on Wednesday, Jan. 5 and run through Feb. 6. The Open Studio students will host an opening reception on Friday, Jan. 7, from 5 to7 p.m. The gallery is located at 1528 Elm Street on the first floor of the Carol Rines Center, across the street from Pappy’s Pizza. For more information about the gallery, call 785-6437. For more on the Currier Art Center’s Open Studio program, call the Currier Museum of Art at 669-6144.

—Michelle Saturley

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