Art — Open Doors Trolley Tour, The Winter Version

Open Doors Trolley Tour, The Winter Version


By Michelle Saturley


Put on your hat and mittens, and get out and enjoy the last Open Doors art event of the year.

On Thursday, Nov. 18, the trolleys will make their final spin of 2004,  around the downtown area, bringing passengers to more than a dozen different art galleries to view new exhibits, partake of food and drink, and get into the holiday spirit. Many of the participating galleries are already decked out for the holidays, hoping to entice local shoppers to consider art as a gift choice. There’s even a visit from Santa scheduled at City Hall.

As always, trolley rides and admission to the galleries is free. The trolleys will begin circulating at 5 p.m. at City Hall, where the Manchester Arts Commission will showcase the work of their new artist in residence, Jessica Van Daam. Entertainment at City Hall will be provided by Jazz singer Kaleigh Cronin and keyboardist Steve Bass, as well as a special performance by players from the Majestic Theatre and Concord Community Players. Santa Claus is also expected to make an appearance to greet the little ones in attendance. He’ll be rubbing elbows with Mayor Baines, Miss New Hampshire Alyssa Spellman and other special guests.

Over at the McIninch Family Gallery, home of the Manchester Artists Association, be sure to catch the juried show featuring more than 20 area artists, including the recently unveiled official portrait of Mayor Baines by an emerging painter, Mai Ly. That portrait isn’t for sale, but many of the others will be.

Both locations of the New Hampshire Institute of Art will be open to the public, featuring the national Ceramics Biennial Exhibit. See traditional and non-traditional ceramics by 24 artists from all over the U.S. and Canada. If you haven’t had the chance to see this eclectic, unusual ceramics show, make this your first stop of the night. It’s a fairly large show, with works that you’ll want to examine for a while.

Probably the most popular stop on the tour is Langer Place. With four floors of galleries and studios, ranging in style from traditional paintings to photography to funky, handmade crafts, Langer Place is vast and varied enough that you could spend the entire evening there. Here’s a tip: try to spend about 10 minutes in each gallery, so you get a chance to sample them all and still make the next trolley stop. Most participating galleries at Langer Place will also provide complementary refreshments. Highlights include a reception at Déjà Vu Arts for November’s Artist of the Month, oil painter Rebecca Riggle, and a new show at East Colony Fine Arts, “Tradition Gone Wild.”

The next stop on the tour is the Millyard Museum, at 200 Bedford St.. The Museum will feature a new exhibit, “Hola Manchester,” focusing on the influence of Latino culture in the city. This will be one you won’t want to miss—especially if you enjoy Latin American food and music. Also located at this same trolley stop is the new, improved SEE Science Center. Normally, there’s a $5 admission fee to access this fun, hands-on museum for children, but for this event, it’s free. Be sure to check out the LEGO Millyard Project (pictured at left).

Another popular stop is the Currier Museum of Art. In addition to the Museum’s gorgeous permanent collection, there are two other brilliant shows at the moment: “Andrew Wyeth: Early Watercolors,” a beautifully-mounted exhibit of the artist’s long-lost early watercolors, and “Jan de Bray and the Classical Tradition,” which features 400-year-old paintings by a Dutch artist used family members as models for recreating historical and mythological tableaus.

Another new exhibit is Art 3’s “Seasons and Settings.” Using a variety of mediums, the featured artists share their favorite settings at various seasons throughout the year. Locals such as Stan Moeller, Claudia Michel and Rosemary Conroy are among the featured artists.

The Open Doors Trolley Tour on Thursday, Nov. 18 will kick off at City Hall at 5 p.m. Tours will continue around the downtown area until 8 p.m.  For more information on the trolley stops or any of the participating galleries, send an e-mail to or call 669-7469.

—Michelle Saturley

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