The Hippo


May 31, 2020








Adele Sanborn outside the Twiggs gallery in Boscawen. Courtesy photo.

Attend the Twiggs Gallery Grand Opening

Where: 254 King St., Boscawen
Contact: 796-2899,
When: Saturday, June 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, June 14, from noon to 4 p.m.
Opening day: Sanborn’s calligraphy and mixed media art will hang in the new gallery, and the store will be stocked with gifts and antique uniquities. On Saturday, visitors can learn how to create rubber stamp art with artist SherRee West, and on Sunday, they’ll learn how to zentangle with Krystin Watts.
Hours: Regular business hours will begin June 18; it will be open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

Blending art and nature
Adele Sanborn opens Twiggs Gallery in Boscawen

By Kelly Sennott

After meeting Adele Sanborn and seeing the Twiggs Gallery, it may come as no surprise she designed the majority of its layout herself.

Twiggs — meant to convey Sanborn’s love of paper and nature — breathes color and personality on its little hill in Boscawen. Its layout is structured around the old town office building, which she purchased last year and moved down the road to the Twiggs premises on King Street.
“I got it for a dollar,” she said during a visit at the gallery, two weeks before the June 13 opening. “Good deal, huh?”
The post-and-beam outdoor porch and wooden floors come from the land she and her husband Roger Sanborn own, and the sliding periwinkle barn doors encasing the downstairs studio belonged to the 1820s house that had been there before. (The entire building was in disrepair, too far gone to salvage, except for the doors. They had to tear the whole building down and re-build.) The couple lives right next door, and visitors will be able to see their work horses from the gallery’s front steps.
When complete, the space will hold a rotating gallery, retail store, antique gallery and studio space for workshops and demonstrations. Sanborn is a calligrapher, paper and lettering artist, but she plans to bring in teachers who are experts in techniques like rubber stamping, zentangle and book arts as well.
Despite its old-time charm, the building feels bright and clean. All rooms are well-lit by the many windows encircling the walls, and each sports a different color. The kitchen, which will eventually house a coffee bar, is green, the gallery space yellow, the bathroom red and the stairs an alternating orange, blue and green. Her husband’s “shabby chic antique” room is blue and boasts a bark-covered check-out desk. All doors leading outside are periwinkle.
“What I’m trying to create is this whole atmosphere that this isn’t a fancy hoi polloi gallery that people are going to have to be dressed up for and take their shoes off before going inside,” said Sanborn, who was dressed just as bright as the building, with orange-cropped pants, a turquoise button-up, rainbow-splattered sneaks and camo glasses. “I like the idea of having a coffee bar and having stuff on sale, because some people are weird about going to a gallery. They’re scared there’s admission or they’re scared everything’s going to be expensive and they can’t buy anything.”
There were still a few more touches to be made — a couple lights here, an exit sign there — but all were small compared the amount of work the Sanborns had already put in.
If you’re a member of the New Hampshire arts community, you may already know Sanborn. She worked at the graphic design firm, Cornerstone Design, and ran a retail store, Caardvark, from 1990 until 2005. When her boys were out of college and she and her husband sold their dairy farm — the kids were uninterested in going into the business — she realized she could pursue her real love, paper arts, full-time. She became a member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and opened her first studio, The Paint Box, in Webster shortly after.
But The Paint Box was a little too remote for her tastes. She wanted people to stop by. She wanted to host events. Plus, that studio had no running water in the winter.
“So this, I’m excited about. It’s a busier area, and I think it’s going to attract more people as it’s only 15 minutes from Concord,” she said. “And there are no other art centers in Boscawen.”
The town, she said, rallied around the idea; her husband (who used to be a selectman) knew the local guys to pour the cement, have the floor board paneled and the building inspected.
“It’s nice we were able to use all local people, so everybody has a vested interest in it,” she said.
Sanborn hired fiber artist Laura Morrison to run the gallery and do everything she can’t — social media, marketing, website maintenance. She’s interested in hosting any kind of art in the gallery, just so long as it’s original. Once things get moving, a few high school students will join the staff, too.
“I think it’s great for kids who are interested in going on in art to see that you can make a living with it, and to learn how you can do it,” she said.
She’d love Twiggs Gallery to become what Studio 550 is to Manchester.
“What I would really love to be able to do is create a kind of community art center, a place where people can feel comfortable going to and looking at art, and taking classes and workshops or coming to free demonstrations,” she said. 
As seen in the June 11, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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