The Hippo


Jul 5, 2020








Andrew Thompson photography featured in “Black and White Encore.” Courtesy photo.

Art & Bloom 

Coinciding with “Black and White Encore” is the “Art & Bloom” show, which will feature floral arrangements created by the Concord Garden Club, inspired by the exhibition. Twenty-four arrangements will be paired with pieces from the exhibition and from the League’s permanent collection. “A lot of time was spent by the garden club choosing the pieces to pair with,” League gallery manager Catherine Green said. “We’re really looking forward to seeing how they interpret our members’ work.” “Art & Bloom” will be on view Friday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
“Black and White Encore” 
Where: League of NH Craftsmen Exhibition Gallery, 49 S. Main St., Concord 
When: On view now through March 28. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
More info:, 224-3375

Beyond color
Exhibition features black and white art

By Angie Sykeny

 Andrew Thompson treads stealthily through the woods, scanning the area for tracks and signs of life. In full camouflage, he lies in wait, sometimes for hours, until out from among the trees an animal approaches, totally unaware that it is about to become his next target. With bated breath, he aims and shoots, each click of the camera more exhilarating than the last. Photographing wildlife isn’t easy, but for Thompson, it’s the most rewarding kind of art there is. 

“You try to capture those private moments, something revealing,” he said. “It’s about getting an image that’s universal, that resonates with people and shows them that animals are living things like us; they just experience life differently.” 
Thompson is one of more than 50 juried members of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen whose work is featured in the League’s latest fine craft exhibition, “Black and White Encore,” on view at the League’s Exhibition Gallery in Concord. For the exhibition, members were challenged to create pieces using a palette of black, white and shades of gray, with optional small pops of color. 
“Many of the members bringing in work use a varied palette with a number of colors and don’t typically work in just black and white,” gallery manager Catherine Green said. “It’s fun to see how they each interpret the use of black and white in their own work and with their own distinctive voices as they approach this challenge.” 
The exhibition is an “encore” of the League’s first black and white craft exhibition held 11 years ago, which Green said “had an incredible response and was hugely successful.” 
Members were invited to submit up to three pieces created within their juried craft. Their work includes wood folk art, fiber wall hangings, placemats, jewelry, African ceremonial pieces, scenic photography, wearable art, glass and clay vases and sculptures, baskets, metalwork, mixed media art and more. 
“[The exhibition] made them rethink how they look at their work,” Green said. “They may not have realized that they could express themselves in such a limited palette, but in some cases the black and white palette actually gives more focus to the subject matter than color does.” 
Thompson found that to be true with his own work when he changed his color photography to black and white. He will have three wildlife photographs in the exhibition — an owl, a raccoon, and a bald eagle — which he chose because of the naturally monochromatic qualities of the animals, as opposed to photographs of animals with distinctive colors, such as a blue jay or a red cardinal. 
“Black and white communicates something that gets lost in color,” he said. “The color foliage and blue sky in the background can be distractions, especially with the animals that are not colorful, so when you eliminate the color from those other things, it draws your attention up front to the animal in a way I never thought of before.” 
Thompson edited the color photographs in Photoshop by converting them to grayscale and adjusting the tones to add depth and enhance certain details. In the bald eagle photograph, he felt that the eagle’s yellow eyes were a defining element of the image, so he left them untouched, giving the photograph a pop of color. 
“Part of this artistic process was giving a quality to the photo where it’s interesting to look at, but doesn’t look unreal or too heavy-handed with the manipulation,” he said. “You still want it to look like something that exists in real life.”

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