The Hippo


Feb 23, 2019








“All Those Tomorrows” by Catherine Green.

Sculpture garden

Two weeks before the Mill Brook Sculpture Garden’s opening reception, most of the curated sculptures had arrived. They embellished the gallery’s decadent yard, which sits alongside a goose pond and horse stable. This year’s crop contains whimsical creatures, from Morris Norvin’s “Relic” — which looks like a gigantic steampunk lizard — to Rebecca Carabonna’s “Contemplation,” which looks like an evil, mythical troll smoking a pipe.
“I thought the kids would really get a kick out of that one,” Tarbell said, gesturing to “Contemplation” during a walk through the grounds. She pointed out some of this year’s other pieces: hanging in the tree were a couple of wooden monkeys by Dale Rodgers, and propped against a stump was a long, thin pencil-shaped sculpture by Paul Angiolillo.
Tarbell said in total there will be around 25 sculptures in the garden, but many had yet to arrive at the time of the visit.
See the shows
Where: Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden, 236 Hopkinton Road, Concord, 226-2046,, hours Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment
Invitational Printmaking Exhibit: On view June 2 through Aug. 9; featuring work by Susan Amons, Catherine Green, Catherine Kernan, Annette Mitchell, Alice Spencer and Zdzkoria Sikora.
18th Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit: On view June 26 through Oct. 18; reception Sunday, June 28, 2 to 4 p.m.

From prints to sculptures
New work inside and outside the Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden

By Kelly Sennott

When Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden owner Pam Tarbell put out a call for her most recent show, “Invitational Printmaking Exhibit,” it didn’t occur to her at first that the general public — the ones without fine arts backgrounds — would need a little education on the printmaking process to really get how amazing these pieces are.

She said it hit when a local art collector told her “prints didn’t do much for him.”
“This one remark made me think, it’s a constant fight — everything’s reproduced right now, so everyone just thinks they are mass produced. But these are hand-pulled fine art prints,” she said at the gallery last week. “They’re all originals. … I think people need to be educated about it because it’s so time-consuming and labor-intensive and technical.”
New Hampshire artist Annette Mitchell thinks people are often turned off by the word “print.”
“If you say something’s a print, people immediately have this whole idea that a print is something that’s reproduced and run off, like items in a printed newspaper. They assume there’s more than one,” Mitchell said.
Which is sometimes true, but each of the prints in the show is still done by hand, and to create one takes just as much time as any other painting. Catherine Green of Stratham, for instance, will use up to 45 colors in a piece — a lot when you consider that to stencil in one color requires three hours. She can make 30 to 60 silk screen prints at once, but it takes weeks. 
The print show lines the upstairs gallery. Tarbell was especially enamored with Massachusetts artist Catherine Kernan’s monoprints, which are long and abstract and contain transparent yellow, orange, blue, black and white layers.
“I’ve just been oozing over her work for years,” Tarbell said. 
Green’s pieces are more representational; “Nimbus” seems to look out a bay window at a green mountainside, and “Riding on the Wings of Dreams” is of a branchy birch tree in the winter night. 
Green’s background is in painting, but she loves the methodical process of this art. There’s almost something meditative about “pulling the squeegee across the screen.”
“There’s also a clarity to the imagery,” Green said. “It’s like putting a puzzle together. I like the steps. Personally, I’m not a very spontaneous person. I’m fairly methodical, and I really enjoy watching the prints develop.”
Susan Jaworski-Stranc’s linoleum prints contain outdoor shots of Maine lobster boats and willowy trees, while Alice Spencer’s are a bit more abstract; “Lakestone Series: Flux 2,” for instance, requires extra minutes to comprehend the orange, green, blue and yellow shapes and pictures layered together.
“Which is why I like her art, because it draws me in,” Tarbell said. “For me, I want something I can put on the wall, in which I can see all these different things happening.”
New Hampshire Institute of Art professor Zdzislaw Sikora’s monoprints contain bright flowers set against black backdrops, and Mitchell’s abstract sumi ink and foam prints were inspired by Franconia Notch, Mount Washington and the Flume Gorge.
“I think the thing that drives my work is just the love of living in a place that has this kind of environment. I grew up in southern Alabama. It had no mountains, and the water was opaque; you couldn’t see through it unless it was a fast-running creek,” Mitchell said.
She happily helped in Tarbell’s quest to educate the public about printmaking, having attended the gallery’s June 10 Wednesday Wisdom Workshop, where she provided a presentation and demonstration about sumi ink and foam printmaking.
“I have a great love and respect for all [Tarbell] does in the art community. She was named one of six New Hampshire businesswomen of the year [by NH Business Review]. She can be really persistent, but her invitation was all I needed to want to be included in this show,” Mitchell said. 
As seen in the June 18, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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