Natural canvases

Local artist paints spiderwebs, leaves, grains of rice

It started with leaves. After 40 years of building stone walls and fireplaces, Tom Abruzese of Londonderry turned to more delicate endeavors, picking up a paintbrush for the first time in his life and experimenting on traditional canvas. He was good at it, but he got bored quickly. So he started painting on leaves instead.

“I just had a knack where I could paint anything on a leaf, [and] it took off,” he said.

There is, presumably, a leaf with a painting of the White House somewhere in D.C., or possibly in the possession of former President Barack Obama.

“[I figured] no one’s ever going to buy the White House on a leaf, so I mailed it to the president,” he said. “About seven weeks later, I got a letter from the president, thanking me for the unique gift.”

The leaf painting of the Old Man on the Mountain that he sent to Gov. John Lynch when he was in office might still be in the Statehouse, Abruzese said, and he sent one to Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s office in Manchester too.

Abruzese makes prints of the leaves as soon as he’s done painting them, because eventually the colors of the leaf fade. He sells the prints at local craft fairs, and he said he gets a lot of commissioned work as well.

“The leaves are the big sensation,” he said.

Despite their popularity, after a while Abruzese wanted a new challenge.

“You can only paint so many leaves before you get bored or crazy, and I was borderline crazy,” he said.

Seeing a woman on TV painting feathers who said it was nearly impossible, Abruzese had found his next canvas. He uses turkey feathers and typically paints birds and other wildlife on them.

“Most of my [subjects are] from nature, because I use materials from nature,” he said.

Abruzese then turned to small rocks, painting them for use as jewelry.

“Everything I do, people seem to like,” he said. “I’m always looking for something else to create from.”

The latest something else? Spiderwebs, naturally. Abruzese lives in an old house with a carriage house attached, so they’re plentiful, and he thought it might be a bigger challenge than feathers or leaves. He was right ― but he’s figured out how to make it work.

It starts with a bottle cap that he pushes through the web, which clings to the sides of the cap so the web is suspended and not touching the front or back of the cap. Once it’s secure, it’s ready for acrylic paints.

“Because the web is sticky … I wet the brush just a little bit so the paint actually slides across the web; otherwise the paint would tear the webbing,” he said. “Once you get the first coat on, then it becomes a little easier.”

Abruzese puts his spiderweb paintings inside clear plastic containers so the whole thing is sealed.

“It’s so easy to forget that it’s a spiderweb,” he said. “One misplacement of your finger and the spiderweb is gone.”

Plus, he said, the sticky nature of the webs mean they collect dust if they’re not covered.

Abruzese said he paints whatever comes to mind, usually things in nature. But he couldn’t resist one obvious choice.

“Spider-Man ― how corny is that? You gotta put Spider-Man on a spiderweb!” he laughed.

As part of his repertoire, Abruzese also paints caterpillar webs, which are bigger and thicker, plus moose or deer antlers, birch bark, mushrooms, butternuts and grains of rice.

“My wife asks, ‘Why do you paint things people can’t see?’” he said. “To me it’s the challenge. [And] you can see it with a magnifying glass.”

The smallest he’s gotten is a sesame seed. The trick with these tiniest canvases is to use the very tip of the paintbrush and keep the brush in motion so only a finite amount touches the surface. Having a steady hand is key too.

“I don’t drink anything that has caffeine [when I paint],” Abruzese said. “The blood going through your finger makes it like a jackhammer.”

He hasn’t attended any craft fairs recently ― mainly because there haven’t been many to attend ― but Abruzese will be at the Londonderry High School Craft & Vendor Fair on Saturday, Nov. 20. He said none of his items have price tags because he wants his prices to be flexible for kids who are looking to buy gifts.

“The kids don’t have much money, [and] I do it for the pleasure and challenge,” he said. “I’m not there to make money.”

Still, he sold just about everything on his two tables at this fair two years ago.

“Someone looking for a Christmas gift, they can pick up something that is unique,” he said.

For those who can’t make it to the fair, Abruzese accepts requests for personalized art.

“I’ll have people bring in deer antler or moose antler [and ask me to] do something specific on it,” he said. “Once it’s done it’s one of a kind.”

Find Tom Abruzese’s art

Abruzese will be at the Londonderry High School Craft & Vendor Fair on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can also email him at tomsleaves@yahoo.com to see more of his collection or to commission a piece.

Featured photo: An array of Tom Abruzese’s work. Courtesy photos.

The Art Roundup 21/10/21

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

•​ ArtWeek continues: City Arts Nashua’s virtual ArtWeek is going on now through Sunday, Oct. 24, highlighting local artists and their works through professionally filmed segments, aired each day on Access Nashua Community Television (Comcast Channel 96) and the City Arts Nashua website (accessnashua.org/stream.php) and posts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Coinciding with KidsWeek Nashua, ArtWeek also features a kids scavenger hunt with 50 mini art kits, filled with supplies for painting, sewing and sculpture projects, hidden around Nashua’s public sculptures. See the full story at hippopress.com; you’ll find it in the Oct. 14 issue. Or visit cityartsnashua.org for social media links.

The art of carpet: A new special exhibition, “As Precious as Gold, Carpets from the Islamic World,” opens at the Currier Museum of Art(150 Ash St., Manchester) on Saturday, Oct. 23. It features 32 carpets with various geographical origins, dating from the 15th century to the 19th century, including a Spanish rug, three Egyptian rugs, Lotto and Holbein patterned carpets, a 16th-century Ushak Medallion and a late 17th-century Small Medallion carpet. The exhibit, on loan from the Saint Louis Art Museum, will be at the Currier until Feb. 27, 2022. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17, and is free for members and children under age 13. Museum hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

•​ ’90s on stage: It’s the final week for The Seacoast Repertory Theatre’s (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) production of Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical. Based on the 1999 teen movie, the musical follows Sebastian and Kathryn, a pair of manipulative step-siblings who place a bet on whether or not Sebastian can seduce the school headmaster’s daughter Annette, who had published an essay advocating for abstinence until marriage. Showtimes are Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 23, at 2 and 8 p.m. Ticket costs range from $32 to $46. The show will also be available to watch livestreamed on Friday and Saturday, with tickets priced at $25 for one viewer, $40 for two viewers and $60 for three or more viewers. Visit seacoastrep.org or call 433-4472.

“Truth” by Valerie Hall, featured in “Truth Be Told” exhibition. Courtesy photo.

•​ Women explore race: Two Villages Art Society presents a new exhibit, “Truth Be Told: An Artful Gathering of Women,” at the Bates Building (846 Main St., Contoocook) from Oct. 23 through Nov. 13. The exhibit is a collaboration of 14 women artists — seven who identify as Black and seven who identify as white from across the country who have been meeting bi-weekly over Zoom to discuss race. “This is a unique group of outstanding artists who share a fervent desire to understand and eradicate racial injustice in our country and are motivated to pursue this goal through their art,” Alyssa McKeon, president of Two Villages Art Society, said in a press release. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, from 1 to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. An opening reception with two of the artists will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23, from noon to 5 p.m. Visit twovillagesart.org.

•​ A musical message: The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra will perform its fall concert at The Music Hall Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth) on Sunday, Oct. 24, at 3 p.m. The concert will feature Tchaikovsky’s Tempest, Julius Eastman’s “Gay Guerilla” and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Together these pieces create “a complex musical metaphor of weathering and coming out of a storm; … a powerful message of the invincible human spirit; and a moving transition from darkness to light,” according to the orchestra website. Tickets cost $25 to $35 for adults, $25 to $30 for seniors age 60 and up and $20 for students. Visit themusichall.org or call 436-2400.

Lively art

The New Hampshire Art Association has two shows showcasing work by NHAA artists at Creative Framing Solutions (89 Hanover St., Manchester) through October. “The Joy of Life” features oil paintings on canvas by Sally Newman. The paintings depict cityscapes, still life and landscapes with bold and saturated colors that highlight the vitality of life. “I am excited to show people my paintings as they will get a different perspective of day-to-day living as I imagine it,” Newman said in a press release. “A Little of This, A Little of That” features photography by Jean Chase Farnum. Taken mostly in New England, the photographs capture scenes of daily life in different kinds of light. “I have come to appreciate all aspects of natural light that is available on a 24 hours basis from the sun, moon and stars,” Farnum said in the release. “Witnessing fundamental nature and nature’s simplicity within the world around me forms the basis for the presentation of my work.” Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 320-5988 or visit nhartassociation.org.


ART

Exhibits

• “KICK-START!” Also known as “the shoe show,” this themed art exhibition from the Women’s Caucus for Art’s New Hampshire Chapter opens at Twiggs Gallery, 254 King St., Boscawen. The exhibit runs through Oct. 31. The shoe theme is expressed in a wide variety of works that include paintings, sculptures, artist books, drawings and mixed media pieces. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit twiggsgallery.wordpress.com.

JOAN L. DUNFEY EXHIBITION Features artwork in a variety of media by regional NHAA members and non-members that follows the theme “Portals.” On display at the New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth. Now through Nov. 28. Visit nhartassociation.org or call 431-4230.

• “AROUND NEW HAMPSHIRE” On exhibit at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 49 S. Main St., Concord, on view now through Dec. 16. Featuring the work of New Hampshire Art Association member Elaine Farmer, the exhibit features her oil paintings embodying New Hampshire’s iconic views and ideals, ranging from mountain lakes and birch tree woods to historic landmarks. Visit concordnhchamber.com or nhartassociation.org.

• “AS PRECIOUS AS GOLD: CARPETS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD” Exhibit features 32 carpets dating from the 15th century to the 19th century. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). Opens Oct. 23. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

• “TRUTH BE TOLD: AN ARTFUL GATHERING OF WOMEN” Two Villages Art Society presents a collaborative exhibit of works by 14 women artists — seven who identify as Black and seven who identify as white from across the country who have been meeting bi-weekly over Zoom to discuss race. On view Oct. 23 through Nov. 13. Bates Building (846 Main St., Contoocook). Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, from 1 to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. An opening reception with two of the artists will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23, from noon to 5 p.m. Visit twovillagesart.org.

• “1,000 CRANES FOR NASHUA” Featuring more than 1,000 origami paper cranes created by hundreds of Nashua-area kids, adults and families since April. On display now at The Atrium at St. Joseph Hospital, 172 Kinsley St., Nashua. Visit nashuasculpturesymposium.org.

• “NEW HAMPSHIRE NOW” A collaborative photography project presented by the New Hampshire Historical Society and the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists, on display in eight exhibitions at museums and historical societies across the state. Nearly 50 photographers participated in the project, taking more than 5,000 photos of New Hampshire people, places, culture and events from 2018 to 2020 to create a 21st-century portrait of life in the Granite State. Exhibition locations are Belknap Mill in Laconia; Colby-Sawyer College in New London; Portsmouth Historical Society; Historical Society of Cheshire County in Keene; the Manchester Historic Association; Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University; and the Tillotson Center in Colebrook; with the flagship exhibition at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord. Visit newhampshirenow.org and nhhistory.org.

GALLERY ART A new collection of art by more than 20 area artists on display now in-person and online. Creative Ventures Gallery (411 Nashua St., Milford). Call 672-2500 or visit creativeventuresfineart.com.

• “TOMIE DEPAOLA AT THE CURRIER” Exhibition celebrates the illustrator’s life and legacy through a collection of his original drawings. On view now. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

ART ON MAIN The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce present a year-round outdoor public art exhibit in Concord’s downtown featuring works by professional sculptors. All sculptures will be for sale. Visit concordnhchamber.com, call 224-2508 or email tsink@concordnhchamber.com.

THEATER

Shows

•​ CRUEL INTENTIONS THE ’90s MUSICAL The Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents. Now through Oct. 23, with showtimes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $32 to $50. Visit seacoastrep.org.

SPONGEBOB THE MUSICAL The Manchester Community Theatre Players present. In-person performance at MCTP Theatre at The North End Montessori School (698 Beech St., Manchester), and live streamed performance. Now through Oct. 23, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 per person for the in-person show and $20 per streaming device for the live streamed show. In-person attendees must purchase tickets in advance and show proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Visit mctp.info or call 327-6777.

AMERICAN SON The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Now through Oct. 24, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for students, seniors and members and $16 for senior members. Visit hatboxnh.com.

MAMMA MIA The Palace Theatre presents. 80 Hanover St., Manchester. Now through Nov. 14, with showtimes on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at noon and 5 p.m. Tickets cost $39 to $46 for adults and $25 for children. Visit palacetheatre.org or call 668-5588.

HEATHERS THE MUSICAL Presented by Cue Zero Theatre Company. Oct. 22 through Oct. 24. Derry Opera House, 29 W. Broadway, Derry. Visit cztheatre.com.

WONDERS Phylloxera Productions presents. The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Oct. 29 through Nov. 7, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for students, seniors and members and $16 for senior members. Visit hatboxnh.com.

Classical

•​ “SUITES AND SCHUBERT” Symphony New Hampshire presents music by Bach, Schubert and Florence Price, the first African American female composer to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra in 1933. Notable pieces will include Price’s Suite of Dances, Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, “Air on a G String,” and Schubert’s Symphony No. 5. St. Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church (39 Chandler St., Nashua). Fri., Nov. 5. Visit symphonynh.org.

Love, death and ’80s music

Heathers the Musical brings dark high school drama to the stage

Gritty, shocking, vulgar, an emotional roller coaster — those are some of the words that come up when Director Dan Pelletier and cast members talk about Heathers the Musical, on stage Friday, Oct. 22, through Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Derry Opera House.

Photography by Paula T. Trout.

When Pelletier explains Heathers to younger generations, he describes it as “Mean Girls if Lindsay Lohan murdered Rachel McAdams.”

Heathers is based on the 1988 movie, about a girl in high school named Veronica who is trying to survive her senior year and sells out to the popular clique, all of whom are named Heather. Veronica also starts to pursue the mysterious new kid, JD, which upsets the lead Heather, Heather Chandler. When Veronica and JD accidentally kill Heather Chandler, they cover it up by making it look like a suicide.

“It’s a dark comedy,” Pelletier said. “It doesn’t cut corners. It’s very gritty. … There are moments in the show where … you laugh and then you’re upset with yourself for laughing. [But] you have to laugh at these awful things. It’s a coping mechanism.”

He said it would be the equivalent of an R-rated movie.

“There are explosives and drugs and very creative swearing,” Pelletier said. “We didn’t let anyone under 18 audition [because of] the sexual nature of some scenes, drugs, violence.”

Despite the over-the-top drama, Pelletier calls the show a “very human piece.”

“It’s about [transitioning] from adolescence to reality and learning that the world isn’t black and white and how complicated things can get,” he said. “You think every day of your life is the most important day of your life and you’re really unsure of who you are.”

Brooke Wolz, 21, of Bedford, plays Veronica.

“She has a good head [and] a big heart,” Wolz said. “When she gets thrown into this crazy world of … the popular girls, she just doesn’t know what to do.”

Wolz calls Veronica a “very naive lovesick teenager.”

“When JD comes around, she’s just very taken back by the fact that this guy is showing her attention,” she said. “She falls very quickly for him.”

JD is played by Joel Michael King, 23, of Tamworth.

“He’s definitely a very complex character with a lot of deep-rooted issues,” King said.

Both Wolz and King said these are their dream roles. Wolz said she throws a lot of herself into Veronica, and the experience has been emotionally draining but worth it.

“It’s such an emotional roller coaster that it’s difficult every time we do the run,” Wolz said. “She’s on stage the entire show and it just goes from this cute innocent naive [teen] to a murderer in a toxic relationship.”

The fact that the stage version of Heathers is a musical simplifies some things, Pelletier said — and gives it a very ’80s rock ’n’ roll vibe.

“Our pit is legitimately a rock band that plays musical theater,” he said.

The show has been a long time coming for Cue Zero Theatre Co. It was originally supposed to be the 2020 season-ender. The show had been cast and they were about to start working when the pandemic postponed it for a year. Only six of the 16 cast members were able to stay on — including Wolz and King — so they held auditions again in July.

“It’s been an adventure,” Pelletier said. “This is our first real production since February 2020.”

He said it’s been a bit of a challenge working around safety precautions, but the cast and crew are excited to be back.

“This is our big return to the main stage, to real theater,” he said. “The arts need support to come back, and we’re trying to come back with a vengeance.”

If that means bringing the unexpected to the stage, mission accomplished.

“It’s shocking, honestly,” King said. “You go to kind of have your views reexamined.”

Heathers the Musical

Where: Derry Opera House, 29 W. Broadway, Derry
When: Friday, Oct. 22, and Saturday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 24, at 2 p.m.
Cost: Tickets must be purchased online. Every audience member must present either proof of a Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid test from the past 72 hours to enter the building. Masks are required. There’s also a virtual livestream option. All tickets, for in-person or livestream, are $15 plus a $1.25 fee. Visit cztheatre.com to buy tickets.

Featured photo: Photography by Paula T. Trout. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 21/10/14

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

Handmade by women: Girls at Work (200 Bedford St., Manchester), a nonprofit that empowers girls through woodworking and building, will host its inaugural Women’s Artisan Fair on Friday, Oct. 15, from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fair will feature handcrafted fashion pieces, home goods and a variety of artwork by local women, as well as music, food and opportunities to learn about the organization. Admission is a $10 suggested donation. Masks are required. Visit girlswork.org or call 345-0392.

Last chance for the Arts Market: The last Concord Arts Market of the season is on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rollins Park (off Broadway Street, with parking at 33 Bow St.). The outdoor artisan and fine art market features 50 vendors, live music and a food truck. Visit concordartsmarket.net/summer-arts-market.

Virtual story and song: The Stockbridge Theatre in Derry presents a virtual show, “Letter and Spirit: The Rants, Chants, and Coos of a Literary Musician,” on Friday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. as part of its Homegrown Series, which highlights artists from New England. Regie Gibson and Valyn Turner will perform storytelling, spoken word poetry and music. The show is described on the theater’s website as “an intelligent, thoughtful, bluesy, jazzy, funky and touching exploration into what it means to live, laugh, and love as a human being.” Call 437-5210 or visit stockbridgetheatre.com.

The Manchester Community Theatre Players present SpongeBob The Musical. Courtesy photo.

SpongeBob on stage: The Manchester Community Theatre Players will present The SpongeBob Musical from Oct. 15 through Oct. 23, in-person at the MCTP Theatre at The North End Montessori School (698 Beech St., Manchester) and as a livestreamed show. It features music by popular artists like the Barenaked Ladies, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, They Might Be Giants, John Legend and members of Aerosmith. “SpongeBob is a high-energy, fun musical that is perfect for 2021,” Tom Anastasi, MCTP vice president, said in a press release. “If you’ve seen the Nickelodeon cartoon, you’ll love seeing the characters come to life, but if you’ve never seen the cartoon series, you’ll still find the show to be fun and entertaining.” Showtimes are on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 per person for the in-person show and $20 per streaming device for the livestreamed show. In-person attendees must purchase tickets in advance and show proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Visit mctp.info or call 327-6777.

Stories from the Valley: The Manchester Historic Association will host a walking tour of Valley Cemetery guided by historians Dick Duckoff and Matt Labbeon on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. According to the Historic Association website, Valley Cemetery is one of the city’s oldest cemeteries and is home to the graves of many prominent citizens from Manchester’s history, such as Aretas Blood, Moody Currier and Ezekiel Straw. The tour will depart from the Chapel at the entrance of Pine Street. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Tickets cost $15 for general admission and $10 for Manchester Historic Association members. Visit manchesterhistoric.org/events or call 622-7531.


ART

Exhibits

• “KICK-START!” Also known as “the shoe show,” this themed art exhibition from the Women’s Caucus for Art’s New Hampshire Chapter opens at Twiggs Gallery, 254 King St., Boscawen. The exhibit runs through Oct. 31. The shoe theme is expressed in a wide variety of works that include paintings, sculptures, artist books, drawings and mixed media pieces. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit twiggsgallery.wordpress.com.

JOAN L. DUNFEY EXHIBITION Features artwork in a variety of media by regional NHAA members and non-members that follows the theme “Portals.” On display at the New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth. Now through Nov. 28. Visit nhartassociation.org or call 431-4230.

• “AROUND NEW HAMPSHIRE” On exhibit at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 49 S. Main St., Concord, on view now through Dec. 16. Featuring the work of New Hampshire Art Association member Elaine Farmer, the exhibit features her oil paintings embodying New Hampshire’s iconic views and ideals, ranging from mountain lakes and birch tree woods to historic landmarks. Visit concordnhchamber.com or nhartassociation.org.

• “AS PRECIOUS AS GOLD: CARPETS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD” Exhibit features 32 carpets dating from the 15th century to the 19th century. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). Opens Oct. 23. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

• “1,000 CRANES FOR NASHUA” Featuring more than 1,000 origami paper cranes created by hundreds of Nashua-area kids, adults and families since April. On display now at The Atrium at St. Joseph Hospital, 172 Kinsley St., Nashua. Visit nashuasculpturesymposium.org.

• “TOMIE DEPAOLA AT THE CURRIER” Exhibition celebrates the illustrator’s life and legacy through a collection of his original drawings. On view now. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

THEATER

Shows

•​ 9/12 New World Theatre presents. Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). Now through Oct. 17, with showtimes on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $22 for seniors age 65 and up and students. Visit playersring.org.

BAREFOOT IN THE PARK The Community Players of Concord present. Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St., Concord). Fri., Oct. 15, and Sat., Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m., and Sun., Oct. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $18 for youth age 17 and under and seniors age 65 and up before Oct. 13, and an additional $2 after Oct. 13. Visit communityplayersofconcord.org.

•​ CRUEL INTENTIONS THE ’90s MUSICAL The Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents. Now through Oct. 23, with showtimes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $32 to $50. Visit seacoastrep.org.

AMERICAN SON The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Oct. 15 through Oct. 24, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for students, seniors and members and $16 for senior members. Visit hatboxnh.com.

MATILDA THE MUSICAL JR. The Peacock Players present. Court Street Theatre (14 Court St., Nashua) from Oct. 15 through Oct. 24, with showtimes on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Visit peacockplayers.org.

HEATHERS THE MUSICAL Presented by Cue Zero Theatre Company. Oct. 22 through Oct. 24. Derry Opera House, 29 W. Broadway, Derry. Visit cztheatre.com.

Classical

• “FROM DARKNESS TO HOPE” The New Hampshire Philharmonic concert will feature Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem). Sat., Oct. 16, and Sun., Oct. 17. Visit nhphil.org.

•​ FALL CONCERT The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra performsTchaikovsky’s Tempest, Julius Eastman’s “Gay Guerilla” and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The Music Hall Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, themusichall.org, 436-2400). Sun., Oct. 24, 3 p.m. Tickets cost $25 to $35 for adults, $25 to $30 for seniors age 60 and up and $20 for students.

Art all week

Virtual interaction for Nashua’s annual event

For the second year, ArtWeek Nashua is going to be a mainly virtual event, but organizers are doing everything they can to foster the connection between artists and the public, with professionally filmed TV segments, live Facebook feeds and an in-person mural painting to kick it all off.

“Last year, in 2020, there were so many performers, musicians and actors and actresses, all types of performers who got off their game. A lot of people ended up learning a lot about how to use [virtual media] … and create content that would be engaging for people even if it’s not in person,” event coordinator Asia Scudder of City Arts Nashua said.

ArtWeek begins Saturday, Oct. 16, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 24, coinciding once again with KidsWeek Nashua.

KidsWeek Nashua

The scavenger hunt returns, with 50 mini art kits filled with painting, sewing or sculpture projects will be hidden at various public sculpture locations throughout the city. With a little help from Access Nashua Community Television and Nashua-based photographer Sid Ceaser, Woz Watts and Sid the puppet are going undercover as superheroes, hiding the art kits, five of which will have an exclusive “creativity stone” that will give its finder unlimited creative power. “The art kits are the size of like an Altoid box, but they’re really cute,” Scudder said. Hints will be revealed through City Arts Nashua social media, and maps of sculpture site locations will be available at The Picker Artists Studios, at 3 Pine St, Nashua.

Eric Escobar will help get things started, painting a graffiti-style mural on cellophane at 30 Temple St. beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and the public is encouraged to come down and watch him at work. It’s the only in-person event of the week; the rest will be on TV and online.

The video segments were filmed by Access Nashua Community Television, and Scudder said the ones she’d seen so far looked great. She watched one with Damien Rigden, a multimedia artist who writes children’s books and poetry.

“The interview process was just so interesting, to see him really come alive [as he talked about] the process of his creativity,” Scudder said.

She also saw a video of a mother-daughter duo who are from India and just moved to Nashua. Mom Sumeet does food photography and has photos of food from Nepal and India, as well as from Nashua restaurants, and her 8-year-old daughter, Gracelynn, wrote about the importance of food and culture to accompany the photos. Scudder said that during a normal ArtWeek, those photos would be on display in restaurants, but the video allows viewers to get to know the story behind the art, and the artists.

“My hope is that we really encourage people to support artists who have been isolated, alone, not sure about their careers, just show support for these creative individuals,” Scudder said.

Scudder also hopes that the public will interact with artists using social media, even if it’s simply liking a Facebook post.

“The most exciting thing for me is the interaction and hoping that we can inspire people to give a thumbs up to an artist or a shout out,” Scudder said. “It’s difficult having to do this virtually again … but it’s good in terms of keeping momentum going [for the artists].”

Engage in ArtWeek

Each day on Access Nashua Community Television (Comcast Channel 96), City Arts Nashua’s website (accessnashua.org/stream.php) and social media there will be profiles of artists and their works, and posts about each artist will be displayed on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, along with Twitter and LinkedIn.

In-person events

Artist Eric Escobar will hold a live artmaking performance to help kick off ArtWeek and create our ArtWeek installation piece at 30 Temple St. on Saturday, Oct. 16, starting at 10 a.m.

Take a self-guided public sculpture tour of the works of the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium. Maps are available at Picker Artists Studios at 3 Pine St. or using the free Distrx app, which will also be available at cityartsnashua.org.

View artwork on display in the windows of downtown Nashua business locations, with QR codes accompanying the pieces for viewers to see and learn more about the artists:

• Bar Harbor Bank will display the works of artists Janice Donnelly, Madeleine LaRose, Carol Lake, Nona Angelini and Joseph Bryant at 188 Main St., on the East Pearl Street side of the building

• DesignWares will show work by Brenda McDougald at their 206 Main St. location

• The Nashua Area Chamber of Commerce will be showing art from Gate City Charter School for the Arts students in their windows at their 60 Main St. location

ArtWeek artists and performers

• Eric Escobar, live artmaking performance

• Tim Foley, paintings and drawings

• Positive Street Art

• Damien Rigden, interdisciplinary artist

• Robert Lembree, fine art photographer

• Nancy Goodwin/UpbeatNH Youth Orchestra

• Carol Lake, live special events painter

• Ruth Boland, League of NH Craftsmen basketmaker

• Sumeet and Gracelynn Mehta/myllyynnis, food photography

• Teresa Moler, watercolor artist and puppeteer

• Madeleine LaRose, local landscapes in pastels and acrylics

• Bonnie Guercio, mixed-media collages

• Lisa Culpa, landscape photographer

• Karina Mitchell/Membit, interactive artist

• Nona Angelini, painting, mixed media figure drawing

• Nashua Community Music School

• Leslie Pasternack/Lemon Punch Theatre Lab

• Ricardo Cortez, dark abstract to soft whimsical photography

• Douglas Huntley, abstract mixed media artist

• Janice Donnelly, bright, colorful and happy landscapes

• Olivia Powell, imaginative writing

• Loretta Hubley, etching and painting

• Quint-Essential Winds, musicians performing works by American composers

• Brenda McDougald, landscape photography

• Bitter Pill, rhythm and bluegrass band from New Hampshire

• Joseph Bryant, pyrography

• Nonda’s Gallery

• Picker Artists showcase

Featured photo: Eric Escobar. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 21/10/07

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

Together again: Don’t miss the final weekend of Greater Tuna at The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). The long-running off-Broadway play by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard first opened in 1981 and is one of the most produced plays in American theater history, according to a press release. Two actors — Andrew Pinard and Eric Stanley — portray 20 different characters as they create a tour de farce of Tuna, a caricature of small-town life. Pinard, who is also the owner of the Hatbox Theatre, and Stanley are reprising the roles they played together in a production of Greater Tuna that ran at the Annichiarico Music Theatre in Concord in 1991, the release said. Showtimes are on Friday, Oct. 8, and Saturday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for students, seniors and members and $16 for senior members. Visit hatboxnh.com or call 715-2315.

For the kids: The Palace Youth Theatre student actors (kids in grades 2 through 12) will present Clue Jr. High School Edition on Tuesday, Oct. 12, and Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $12 to $15. Visit palacetheatre.org or call 668-5588.

•​ Call for art: Creative Ventures Gallery (411 Nashua St., Milford) is accepting submissions of artwork for its annual holiday exhibit, “Small Works Big Impact.” The exhibit, which will be on display during November and December, features small works of art priced affordably for gift buying. Local professional and non-professional artists are welcome. Artwork may include two- or three-dimensional pieces in any style and medium, with an exterior frame size limited to 13 inches in any direction. The registration deadline is Saturday, Oct. 23. Artists are also invited to present their work at an opening reception at the gallery on Friday, Nov. 12. Visit creativeventuresfineart.com or call 672-2500.

•​ Shoe show: The Women’s Caucus for Art’s New Hampshire Chapter has an exhibit, “Kick-Start,” on view at Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen) now through Oct. 31. Also known as “the shoe show,” the exhibit features shoe-themed art by two dozen artists in a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, artist books, small installations, photography, drawings and mixed-media pieces. “All the work is really different,” gallery director Laura Morrison told the Hippo earlier this month. “No one piece is like the other. We have things that are very serious, things that are just plain silly, things that are really powerful.” Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit twiggsgallery.wordpress.com or call 975-0015.


ART

Exhibits

JOAN L. DUNFEY EXHIBITION Features artwork in a variety of media by regional NHAA members and non-members that follows the theme “Portals.” On display at the New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth. Now through Nov. 28. Visit nhartassociation.org or call 431-4230.

• “AROUND NEW HAMPSHIRE” On exhibit at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 49 S. Main St., Concord, on view now through Dec. 16. Featuring the work of New Hampshire Art Association member Elaine Farmer, the exhibit features her oil paintings embodying New Hampshire’s iconic views and ideals, ranging from mountain lakes and birch tree woods to historic landmarks. Visit concordnhchamber.com or nhartassociation.org.

• “AS PRECIOUS AS GOLD: CARPETS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD” Exhibit features 32 carpets dating from the 15th century to the 19th century. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). Opens Oct. 23. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

• “SALON 2021” Exhibition features offbeat and experimental works in a variety of media by regional artists with diverse studio practices and artistic approaches. The Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St., Concord, 225-3932, kimballjenkins.com). Nov. 6 through Jan. 6.

• “THE DYSFUNCTION OF SOCIAL PRACTICE” Kelley Stelling Contemporary presents an exhibition featuring paintings, sculpture and performance works by five New Hampshire artists. Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St., Concord). Opens Nov. 20. Visit kelleystellingcontemporary.com.

Fairs and markets

CONCORD ARTS MARKET Outdoor artisan and fine art market. Every third Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., through October. Rollins Park (33 Bow St., Concord). Visit concordartsmarket.net.

WOMEN’S ARTISAN FAIR Girls at Work, a Manchester-based nonprofit that empowers girls through woodworking and building, features handcrafted fashion pieces, home goods, paintings and other visual arts by women artisans. Fri., Oct 15, and Sat. Oct. 16. Visit girlswork.org or call 345-0392.

THEATER

Shows

•​ GLORIOUS The Winnipesaukee Playhouse presents. 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith. Now through Oct. 9, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $37. Visit winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org.

•​ CRUEL INTENTIONS THE ’90s MUSICAL The Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents. Now through Oct. 23, with showtimes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $32 to $50. Visit seacoastrep.org.

•​ 9/12 New World Theatre presents. Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). Oct. 8 through Oct. 17, with showtimes on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $22 for seniors age 65 and up and students. Visit playersring.org.

BAREFOOT IN THE PARK The Community Players of Concord present. Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St., Concord). Fri., Oct. 15, and Sat., Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m., and Sun., Oct. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $18 for youth age 17 and under and seniors age 65 and up before Oct. 13, and an additional $2 after Oct. 13. Visit communityplayersofconcord.org.

MATILDA THE MUSICAL JR. The Peacock Players present. Court Street Theatre (14 Court St., Nashua) from Oct. 15 through Oct. 24, with showtimes on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Visit peacockplayers.org.

MAMMA MIA The Palace Theatre presents. 80 Hanover St., Manchester. Oct. 15 through Nov. 14, with showtimes on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at noon and 5 p.m. Tickets cost $39 to $46 for adults and $25 for children. Visit palacetheatre.org or call 668-5588.

AMERICAN SON The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Oct. 15 through Oct. 24, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for students, seniors and members and $16 for senior members. Visit hatboxnh.com.

HEATHERS THE MUSICAL Presented by Cue Zero Theatre Company. Oct. 22 through Oct. 24. Derry Opera House, 29 W. Broadway, Derry. Visit cztheatre.com.

TRUE TALES LIVE Monthly showcase of storytellers. Held virtually via Zoom. Last Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., Now through December. Visit truetaleslivenh.org.

Classical

• “FROM DARKNESS TO HOPE” The New Hampshire Philharmonic concert will feature Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem). Sat., Oct. 16, and Sun., Oct. 17. Visit nhphil.org.

•​ FALL CONCERT The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra performsTchaikovsky’s Tempest, Julius Eastman’s “Gay Guerilla” and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The Music Hall Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, themusichall.org, 436-2400). Sun., Oct. 24, 3 p.m. Tickets cost $25 to $35 for adults, $25 to $30 for seniors age 60 and up and $20 for students.

•​ “SUITES AND SCHUBERT” Symphony New Hampshire presents music by Bach, Schubert and Florence Price, the first African American female composer to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra in 1933. St. Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church (39 Chandler St., Nashua). Fri., Nov. 5. Visit symphonynh.org.

The real New Hampshire

New photo exhibition, book capture 21st-century life in NH

The “New Hampshire Now” statewide photographic exhibition and accompanying book could just as accurately be called “The Real New Hampshire,” with its honest and heartfelt representation of the good, the bad and the beautiful that makes up the Granite State.

The exhibition and book are the culmination of a two-year project that saw nearly 50 photographers capturing the people, places and events that make the state what it is.

“I felt that we needed to make a photographic document that reflects New Hampshire in the 21st century,” said Gary Samson, who proposed the project to the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists. “I was really thrilled that the NHSPA wanted to take [it on].”

The photographers all volunteered their time and covered the state’s seven regions, taking pictures of whatever they personally thought represents the real New Hampshire, in this moment.

“I was not aiming to produce a pretty picture book of New Hampshire,” Samson said. “The story here, really, is the photographers digging in.”

That, of course, meant including the pandemic. Samson said meeting in person became impossible, but it gave them the chance to extend and change the direction of the project, and to safely document the pandemic.

“There were some photographers who really dug into that,” Samson said. “Like life, the project became somewhat unpredictable.”

The project also took an interesting turn when, several months into it, the New Hampshire Historical Society offered to collaborate on it. Originally the photos were going to serve as a sort of historical document that would be archived for future generations. But the Society raised funds to publish a book and arranged for eight cultural centers around the state to host exhibitions.

Each exhibition contains images from the collection that are most relevant to that region. But Samson said there are major themes that are included in most of them, like the pandemic, the presidential election, homelessness and Black Lives Matter.

“I think the shows are pretty fair in what they represent,” he said.

Still, what you see at the show at the Millyard Museum in Manchester is not the same show as the one you’ll get up north, to the west or on the Seacoast.

“I love the bucolic countryside photos that may have come to us from Lancaster or Colebrook or even the Seacoast, but that’s not the reality of Manchester,” Manchester Historic Association Executive Director John Clayton said. “Our particular slice of the state is far more populous, beset with the problems that come with urban areas.”

Samson said there’s a whole section of the book about homelessness in Manchester, which he saw firsthand when he spent part of a day photographing the city.

“I was stunned when I saw so many tents around the courthouse and the park,” he said. “This is also an important story to tell about New Hampshire; there are a lot of people who are in desperate straits.”

Clayton said he hopes that people who come to the Millyard exhibition will look at it and be able to think about the state in greater depth.

“I think this will be an eye-opener,” he said.

Fletcher Manley, one of the project’s most prolific photographers, captured a very different piece of New Hampshire.

“I live up here in the North Country and I wanted to represent the North Country,” he said. “This is not a terribly gentrified part of the state. It’s still “fringey” … and that’s part of the appeal to a good many.”

Manley said he focused on the area’s “tremendous natural resources,” like the White Mountain range. But he also took shots of people that symbolize what it means to live in northern New Hampshire. One was of a young woman working in her garden with a young child on her back; when he saw her, he thought of an earth goddess working the soil. In the image, the little girl’s smile is as big as her mother’s.

“You can’t plan for these shots,” he said.

There’s also an image of a man who has lived up north his whole life and used to work in the paper mills. He built his own home, tills his own soil and played a big part in the grassroots effort to stop Northern Pass.

“He’s typical of the resourcefulness of the people up here,” Manley said.

Manley used his own resourcefulness to take photos that he thinks outsiders wouldn’t have been able to get.

“You really need to be of an area so you know the nooks and crannies … and whose backyards you can cross through,” Manley said.

The “New Hampshire Now” flagship exhibition is at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, with images that represent the state as a whole, so it includes Manley’s North Country along with the six other regions.

The Millyard Museum will host a discussion panel on the exhibit on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 11 a.m. with photographers Samson, Claudia Rippee and Mark Bolton, with Clayton moderating.

“There are many different New Hampshires, and I think people who come [here] will see there’s much more of an urban flavor to the Manchester and Merrimack Valley exhibit.”

“New Hampshire Now”

For more information about the exhibition and where to purchase the New Hampshire Now book, visit newhampshirenow.org.

Region-specific exhibitions
Belknap Mill Society, Laconia
Davidow Center for Art + Design, New London
Historical Society of Cheshire County, Keene
Millyard Museum, Manchester
Museum of the White Mountains, Plymouth
New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord
Portsmouth Historical Society, Portsmouth
Tillotson Center, Colebrook

Events
A Discussion with New Hampshire Now Photographers
Project Director Gary Samson and photographers Claudia Rippee and Mark Bolton for a panel discussion about their work on the project.
Where: Manchester Historic Association’s Millyard Museum
When: Saturday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public. For advanced registration, call 622-7531 or email history@manchesterhistoric.org.

New Hampshire Historical Society: New Hampshire Through the Lens of a Camera
Join a panel of photographers who participated in “New Hampshire Now” and learn more about their experiences capturing the Granite State and Granite Staters.
Where: Virtual
When: Wednesday, Oct. 13, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free. Register through Eventbrite.com.

New Hampshire Historical Society: “More than Just a Pretty Picture”
Gary Samson and art historian Inez McDermott explore how “New Hampshire Now” fits in with other documentary photography projects in American history and discuss recurring themes that emerged during the project.
Where: New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord
When: Saturday, Oct. 16, 2 to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free with the price of admission ($7)

Featured photo: New Hampshire Now. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 21/09/30

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

•​ Fall fair: The Craftworkers’ Guild presents its Harvest Fair and Shop from Sept. 30 through Oct. 11, with in-person shopping at the Oliver Kendall House (5 Meetinghouse Road, Bedford), as well as online shopping with curbside pickup and shipping available. There will be a variety of handmade goods by juried artisans for sale, including textiles, sculpture, jewelry and more. Shop hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit facebook.com/craftworkersguild.

•​ Downtown theater tour: Intown Concord hosts its Upstairs Downtown Tour on Saturday, Oct 2, from 1 to 4 p.m., in downtown Concord. The tour highlights Concord’s arts and culture through downtown theater and music venues and live entertainment. “It has been a really hard year for our downtown theatres and performers,” Jessica Martin, Intown Concord’s Executive Director, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to be able to support them in person again, safely, as this will be a masked event.” A short film at Red River Theatres kicks off the tour at 1 p.m., followed by performances by Grateful Dead tribute band Crawl Space at the Capitol Center for the Arts; Walker Smith at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage; the Concord Community Players, with a preview of their upcoming production of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park at Phenix Hall; and the Club Soda Band at Eagle Square. Tickets cost $40, which includes a guided tour, appetizers and the entertainment. Advance registration is required. Visit intownconcord.org or call 226-2150.

•​ A picture of New Hampshire: “New Hampshire Now,” a collaborative photography project presented by the New Hampshire Historical Society and the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists, will be on display in eight exhibitions opening on Friday, Oct. 1, at museums and historical societies across the state. Nearly 50 photographers participated in the project, taking more than 5,000 photos of New Hampshire people, places, culture and events from 2018 to 2020 to create a 21st-century portrait of life in the Granite State. Exhibition locations include Belknap Mill Society in Laconia; Colby-Sawyer College in New London; Portsmouth Historical Society; Historical Society of Cheshire County in Keene; the Manchester Historic Association; Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University; and the Tillotson Center in Colebrook; with the flagship exhibition at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord. Visit newhampshirenow.org and nhhistory.org.

Neil Simon classic: Get your tickets now for the Community Players of Concord’s production of Barefoot in the Park, which will run at Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St., Concord) on Friday, Oct. 15, and Saturday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $16 for youth ages 17 and under and seniors age 65 and up if purchased by Oct. 13, and $20/$18 after Oct. 13. Visit communityplayersofconcord.org.


ART

Call for Art

WOMEN’S ARTISAN FAIR Girls at Work, a Manchester-based nonprofit that empowers girls through woodworking and building, is seeking artists for this fair, which is set for Oct. 15 and 16. Women artisans are invited to submit handcrafted fashion pieces, home goods, paintings and other visual arts for consideration. Visit girlswork.org or call 345-0392.

Exhibits

• “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX” Exhibit featuring experimental pieces in a variety of media created by local artists during the pandemic. On view through Sept. 30. Art 3 Gallery (44 W. Brook St., Manchester, 668-6650, art3gallery.com).

• “AROUND NEW HAMPSHIRE” On exhibit at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 49 S. Main St., Concord, on view now through Dec. 16. Featuring the work of New Hampshire Art Association member Elaine Farmer, the exhibit features her oil paintings embodying New Hampshire’s iconic views and ideals, ranging from mountain lakes and birch tree woods to historic landmarks. Visit nhartassociation.org.

JOAN L. DUNFEY EXHIBITION Features artwork in a variety of media by regional NHAA members and non-members that follows the theme “Portals.” On display at the New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth. Now through Nov. 28. Visit nhartassociation.org or call 431-4230.

• “AS PRECIOUS AS GOLD: CARPETS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD” Exhibit features 32 carpets dating from the 15th century to the 19th century. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). Opens Oct. 23. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

• “SALON 2021” Exhibition features offbeat and experimental works in a variety of media by regional artists with diverse studio practices and artistic approaches. The Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St., Concord, 225-3932, kimballjenkins.com). Nov. 6 through Jan. 6.

• “TOMIE DEPAOLA AT THE CURRIER” Exhibition celebrates the illustrator’s life and legacy through a collection of his original drawings. On view now. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

ART ON MAIN The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce present a year-round outdoor public art exhibit in Concord’s downtown featuring works by professional sculptors. All sculptures will be for sale. Visit concordnhchamber.com/creativeconcord, call 224-2508 or email tsink@concordnhchamber.com.

WOMEN’S ARTISAN FAIR Girls at Work, a Manchester-based nonprofit that empowers girls through woodworking and building, features handcrafted fashion pieces, home goods, paintings and other visual arts by women artisans. Fri., Oct 15, and Sat. Oct. 16. Visit girlswork.org or call 345-0392.

Fairs and markets

CONCORD ARTS MARKET Outdoor artisan and fine art market. Every third Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Now through October. Rollins Park (33 Bow St., Concord). Visit concordartsmarket.net.

Special events

FALL IRON MELT Participants create an iron tile of their own design by scratching it into a 6-by-6-inch sand mold and coat it with a liquid graphite, then watch as molten iron is poured into their molds on site. Participants can pick up their mold from the Andres Institute of Art, 106 Route 13, Brookline. Pickup dates are Sept. 23, Sept. 25, Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. Dop-off dates are the same as pickup dates, plus Oct. 7. Designs will be poured and ready to pick back up on Oct. 14 and Oct. 16. Register anytime now until Oct. 2 to secure a kit. The cost is $40 per mold. Visit andresinstitute.org.

Workshops and classes

GENERAL ART CLASSES In-person art classes for all levels and two-dimensional media. held with small groups of two to five students. Private classes are also available. Diane Crespo Fine Art Gallery (32 Hanover St., Manchester). Students are asked to wear masks in the gallery. Tuition costs $20 per group class and $28 per private class, with payment due at the beginning of the class. Call 493-1677 or visit dianecrespofineart.com for availability.

THEATER

Shows

•​ GLORIOUS The Winnipesaukee Playhouse presents. 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith. Sept. 22 through Oct. 9, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., plus matinees on Tuesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $37. Visit winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org.

•​ CRUEL INTENTIONS THE ’90s MUSICAL Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents. Sept. 23 through Oct. 23, with showtimes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $32 to $50. Visit seacoastrep.org.

GREATER TUNA The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Oct. 1 through Oct. 10, with showtimes Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets $22 for adults, $19 for students and seniors. Visit hatboxnh.com.

•​ 9/12 New World Theatre presents. Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). Oct. 8 through Oct. 17, with showtimes Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets $25 for adults and $22 for ages 65 and up and students. Visit playersring.org.

Walk on

“Kick-Start!” art exhibition shows resilience through shoes

Stilettos, slippers, blue suede shoes — footwear can tell a story, and the “Kick-Start!” art exhibition currently on display at Twiggs Gallery is showing it through paintings, sculptures, installations and other expressive media.

“All the work is really different,” Twiggs Gallery Director Laura Morrison said. “No one piece is like the other. We have things that are very serious, things that are just plain silly, things that are really powerful.”

The exhibition, presented by the Women’s Caucus for Art’s NH Chapter, symbolizes resiliency, particularly in light of the pandemic.

“The call for art [was] … how are we kick-starting our lives after Covid?” Morrison said. “There are a few about that, but [also some that are] about more personal things, like personal power.”

“Filling Our Shoes with Talent and Leadership,” by Margaret Femia. Courtesy photo.

Morrison said that the idea came from Adele Sanborn, owner of Twiggs Gallery and a member of the board for the Women’s Caucus for Art’s NH Chapter.

“A few years ago we had a bra show, and that was a big hit, so she came up with the idea [that] maybe we can use some other piece of clothing,” Morrison said.

Shoes turned out to be a good choice; the artists took the theme in all kinds of directions.

“It just really runs the gamut in terms of media and content,” Morrison said.

One of the most unique pieces is a popup book called “Rude Shoes” by Donna Catanzaro, which tells stories of the shoes she’s hated — like the squeaky shoes she once wore to a quiet museum, and the very uncomfortable hiking boots that hurt her feet and ruined her hike. Creating the piece was, in itself, a nod to the “kick-start” theme.

“She had a lot of free time during the pandemic, so she taught herself how to make a popup book [through] online classes,” Morrison said.

Artist Paulette Brace created a small installation featuring all of her children’s baby shoes, which she had collected and stored in the attic for years.

“It’s actually quite a powerful piece,” Morrison said.

There’s a feminist piece created by Margaret Femia, a salmon stiletto with flags that feature the names of female leaders. Linda Greenwood also went with stilettos, but hers are red with rhinestones and glitter, and they’re ready to fight a tiger.

“It’s called ‘Kick Butt and Go for the Gold,’ and it symbolizes getting rid of Covid and moving forward in a positive and energetic manner,” Morrison said.

Morrison, who is also president of the national Women’s Caucus for Art, created a very personal piece for the exhibition. During Covid, she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Sanborn organized a get-well card writing campaign while she was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, and Morrison was sometimes getting three, four or five cards a week. She ended up with well over 100 cards and small pieces of art, which she used, along with cut-up suede stilettos and petals from roses that her husband had given her, to create her piece.

“It was really fun and also very emotional to go through [the cards] again,” she said.

Twiggs Gallery hosts shows for the Women’s Caucus for Art’s NH Chapter every couple of years, and Morrison said it’s a strong chapter with more than 100 artists. Anyone can join the caucus; it’s open to all artists and art lovers. Morrison said that Twiggs always enjoys working with the caucus, because their exhibitions are solid in terms of the number of artists who participate and the types of media. Plus, they fit with the gallery’s natural propensity to promote women’s creative ventures.

“We show a lot of women’s art here at Twiggs,” Morrison said. “We get a lot of support from women. … It’s a real community of women artists. [But] we welcome men [too]!”

“Kick-Start”

Where: Twiggs Gallery, 254 King St., Boscawen
When: On display through Oct. 31
Hours: Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
More information: 975-0015

Featured photo: “Lifespan Development” by Marcia Santore. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 21/09/23

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

Urban pottery: There’s still time to see some urban art at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester) in its exhibition “Roberto Lugo: Te traigo mi le lo lai – I bring you my joy,” on display through Sept. 26. Lugo is a Philadelphia-based potter, painter, social activist, spoken word poet and educator. His pottery reimagines traditional forms and techniques with inspiration from urban graffiti and hip-hop culture. In this exhibition Lugo pays homage to his Puerto Rican heritage and explores his cultural identity and its connection to family, place and legacy. Museum admission costs $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up. Museum hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

One person, one performance: The Community Players of Concord will continue their run of Nassim Soleimanpour’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit at the Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord) through Sept. 26, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. According to a press release, the one-person play is unique in that the actors who perform it can only perform it once and must have never seen it or read the script before their performance. There are no rehearsals or directors, and the actor will not get to see the script until it is given to them at the beginning of the play. Each show will be performed by a different actor. Tickets cost $22 to $25 for adults, $19 to $22 for members, seniors and students, and $16 to $19 for senior members. Visit hatboxnh.com.

Family shows: The Kids Coop Theatre will perform Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka at the Derry Opera House (29 W. Broadway in Derry) from Friday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 25, at 1 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 26, at 1 p.m. Tickets cost $15. See kids-coop-theatre.org for more on the show and kidscooptheatre.ludus.com to purchase tickets.

Cirque-Tacular will perform at The Dana Center (Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive in Manchester; anselm.edu) on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 4 and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $45. The Dana Center’s website describes the show as a “high-flying carnival” featuring aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, illusionists, trapeze artists and fire performers.

Book sales: Pick up some used books at one of these book sales happening this weekend. The friends of Brookline Public Library are hosting a two-day book sale at the library (4 Main St., Brookline) on Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. There will be hardbound and paperback books of all fiction and nonfiction genres, as well as CDs, DVDs and audio books. Visit brooklinenh.us/brookline-public-library.

Bring the kids to A Freethinker’s Corner(652 A Central Ave., Dover) on Saturday, Sept. 25, from noon to 4 p.m. for a multi-book children’s author signing and sale, where you can meet New England children’s, middle grade and young adult authors of all genres. Call 343-2437 or visit freethinkerscorner.com.


ART

Call for Art

WOMEN’S ARTISAN FAIR Girls at Work, a Manchester-based nonprofit that empowers girls through woodworking and building, is seeking artists for this fair, which is set for Oct. 15 and 16. Women artisans are invited to submit handcrafted fashion pieces, home goods, paintings and other visual arts for consideration. Visit girlswork.org or call 345-0392.

Exhibits

• “THE SHOP” Photographs of European Auto of Rye by Carol Van Loon. New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth. On view through Sept. 26. Visit nhartassociation.org or call 431-4230.

JOAN L. DUNFEY EXHIBITION Features artwork in a variety of media by regional NHAA members and non-members that follows the theme “Portals.” On display at the New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth, Sept. 29 through Nov. 28. Visit nhartassociation.org or call 431-4230.

• “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX” Exhibit featuring experimental pieces in a variety of media created by local artists during the pandemic. On view through Sept. 30. Art 3 Gallery (44 W. Brook St., Manchester, 668-6650, art3gallery.com).

• “AS PRECIOUS AS GOLD: CARPETS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD” Exhibit features 32 carpets dating from the 15th century to the 19th century. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). Opens Oct. 23. Museum admission tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, and must be booked online. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

• “KICK-START!” Also known as “the shoe show,” this themed art exhibition from the Women’s Caucus for Art’s New Hampshire Chapter opens at Twiggs Gallery, 254 King St., Boscawen. The exhibit runs through Oct. 31. The shoe theme is expressed in a variety of works like paintings, sculptures, artist books, drawings and mixed media pieces. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit twiggsgallery.wordpress.com.

• “AROUND NEW HAMPSHIRE” On exhibit at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 49 S. Main St., Concord, from Sept. 21 through Dec. 16. Featuring the work of New Hampshire Art Association member Elaine Farmer, the exhibit features her oil paintings embodying New Hampshire’s iconic views and ideals, ranging from mountain lakes and birch tree woods to historic landmarks. Visit concordnhchamber.com or nhartassociation.org.

• “1,000 CRANES FOR NASHUA” Featuring more than 1,000 origami paper cranes created by hundreds of Nashua-area kids, adults and families since April. On display now at The Atrium at St. Joseph Hospital, 172 Kinsley St., Nashua. Visit nashuasculpturesymposium.org.

GALLERY ART A new collection of art by more than 20 area artists on display now in-person and online. Creative Ventures Gallery (411 Nashua St., Milford). Call 672-2500 or visit creativeventuresfineart.com.

• “SALON 2021” Exhibition features offbeat and experimental works in a variety of media by regional artists with diverse studio practices and artistic approaches. The Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St., Concord, 225-3932, kimballjenkins.com). Nov. 6 through Jan. 6.

• “THE DYSFUNCTION OF SOCIAL PRACTICE” Kelley Stelling Contemporary presents an exhibition featuring paintings, sculpture and performance works by five New Hampshire artists. Kimball Jenkins Estate (266 N. Main St., Concord). Opens Nov. 20. Visit kelleystellingcontemporary.com.

Fairs and markets

CANTERBURY ARTISAN FESTIVAL The event celebrated artisanal, handcrafted works, also featuring live music and demonstrations. Sat., Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road, Canterbury. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for Village members and free for kids, teens and young adults under 25. Visit shakers.org.

40TH ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL AND NATURE ART SHOW Event hosted by the Beaver Brook Association (117 Ridge Road, Hollis, 465-7787, beaverbrook.org) will feature art by regional artists, children’s art, live music, live animal demonstrations, guided hikes and natural products for sale. Sat., Sept. 25, and Sun., Sept. 26, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Special events

FALL IRON MELT Participants create an iron tile of their own design by scratching it into a 6-by-6-inch sand mold and coat it with a liquid graphite, then watch as molten iron is poured into their molds on site. Participants can pick up their mold from the Andres Institute of Art, 106 Route 13, Brookline. Pickup dates are Sept. 23, Sept. 25, Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. Dop-off dates are the same as pickup dates, plus Oct. 7. Designs will be poured and ready to pick back up on Oct. 14 and Oct. 16. Register anytime now until Oct. 2 to secure a kit. The cost is $40 per mold. Visit andresinstitute.org.

THEATER

Shows

WHITE RABBIT RED RABBITProduced by the Community Players of Concord. Hatbox Theatre, 270 Loudon Road, Concord. Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 2 p.m., Sept. 10 through Sept. 26. Visit communityplayersofconcord.org.

TRUE TALES LIVE Monthly showcase of storytellers. Held virtually via Zoom. Last Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., September through December. Visit truetaleslivenh.org.

•​ GLORIOUS The Winnipesaukee Playhouse presents. 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith. Sept. 22 through Oct. 9, with showtimes Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., plus matinees on Tuesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $37. Visit winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org.

•​ CRUEL INTENTIONS THE ’90s MUSICAL Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth) presents. Sept. 23 through Oct. 23, with showtimes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $32 to $50. Visit seacoastrep.org.

GREATER TUNA The Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Oct. 1 through Oct. 10, with showtimes Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets $22 for adults, $19 for students and seniors. Visit hatboxnh.com.

•​ 9/12 New World Theatre presents. Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). Oct. 8 through Oct. 17, with showtimes Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets $25 for adults and $22 for ages 65 and up and students. Visit playersring.org.

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