Kiddie Pool 22/05/05

Family fun for the weekend

Fantastical adventures

See a performance of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical at 3S Artspace (319 Vaughan St., Portsmouth) on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m., and on Saturday, May 7, at 2 and 7 p.m. Adapted from the best-selling book The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan, the show is directed and choreographed by UNH senior Ro Gavin. It follows the story of Percy Jackson, the half-blood son of a Greek god, who discovers he has powers he can’t control. Admission starts at $25. Visit

All natural

It’s New Hampshire Day at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center (23 Science Center Road, Holderness) on Saturday, May 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., when Granite Staters may visit the live animal exhibit trail for an admission of $5. Advance tickets are required and are online at

Fun at the farm

Visit with the animals of Charmingfare Farm (774 High St., Candia) every Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning May 7 and through September, and on select Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through June, July and August. Charmingfare Farm is home to all kinds of animals, from alpacas and cattle to donkeys, horses, ponies, pigs, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and more. Admission is $22 per person (free for kids under 23 months old) and tickets must be purchased online.

Play ball!

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats return home for a six-game series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Tuesday, May 10, through Sunday, May 15. Game times are at 11:05 a.m. on Tuesday, 6:35 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1:35 p.m. on Sunday. Stick around after the May 14 game for a special fireworks display courtesy of Atlas Fireworks. Kids will also get to run the bases following the conclusion of the May 15 game. Tickets start at $8 per person. Visit

Save the date: for Mutts Gone Nuts

Join the Dana Center for the Humanities at Saint Anselm College (100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester) for Mutts Gone Nuts, a show on Friday, May 13, from 7 to 9 p.m., featuring comedy duo Scott and Joan Houghton. They bring a unique blend of humor and circus acts to stages worldwide, their show participants all from animal rescues. Admission is $40. Visit to purchase tickets.

Treasure Hunt 22/05/05

Dear Donna,

I inherited this typewriter and am wondering if you could give me any information on it, and a value.


Dear Doug,

I immediately liked your typewriter for the color.

The Royal Typewriter Co. has made many styles and colors since opening in the early 1900s. So many makes and models have survived and are still usable today. Ahh, the days when items were made to last!

Your green one is from the 1940s to 1950s. It looks to be in good shape with a cleaning needed. If you can get it typing again, I think the value would be in the $60 range.

If it’s only good for decorative use or for parts for steampunk jewelry makers, etc., the value would be lower.

Love your lawn

It may be time to rethink your outside space

It’s about the right time to do a little work on your lawn if it needs it. According to Paul Sachs, owner of North Country Organics and the author of several books on lawn care, if you want to fill in bare spots, wait until the lawn greens up after winter.

To fix bare spots I use a short-tined garden rake to scuff up the soil. Then I scatter some seed with my hand, just sprinkling it over the spot. Next I sprinkle a thin layer of compost or fine garden soil over the seed. Finally, pat it down with your foot, lightly, or with a metal tamper.

It’s important that the seed not dry out while it is getting ready to grow, so often people shade the seed with a fine layer of hay or straw. Of course hay has seeds, so straw is better, albeit more expensive. You can leave the straw and just let the seed grow through it.

Why do places in your lawn need help? Most lawn grasses do not like to grow in compacted soil. So if you park cars on the lawn, or walk over it every day on your way to the mailbox, it will get compacted. Enter (drum roll) CRABGRASS. Crabgrass will grow in compacted soil, but it is an annual, so it dies each winter — or by late summer if it gets too dry. The solution is simple: Build a stone path to the mailbox and park cars only in designated parking areas.

Let’s rethink the concept of a lawn. Why do we need a large patch of short grass at an even height all around our house? Sure, people with kids and dogs need some place to play ball or Frisbee. And if you like to have friends over and sit around a barbecue grill, a little lawn is nice. But do you really like mowing an acre of lawn once a week, or paying someone else to do it? Maybe it’s time to reduce the size of your lawn and plant some more native trees and shrubs.

Entomologist Doug Tallamy is the author of a terrific book called Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard. He suggests that we can help birds and pollinators by growing native trees and shrubs — and by adding more to replace some lawn, especially in new subdivisions and in-town lots.

Birds depend on the caterpillars of moths and butterflies to feed their young. He determined that 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars are needed to feed a clutch of chickadees from hatching to fledging. That’s an amazing number of caterpillars, especially since most of us never even notice them.

Those butterflies and moths will mostly only lay their eggs on trees and shrubs they know: our natives. Even if your barberry or burning bush has been growing in your yard for 50 years, they probably will ignore it and look for an oak, a cherry or a willow — trees they evolved with over tens of thousands of years.

Dr. Tallamy makes a great suggestion about how to think about lawns: Think of lawn as you might throw rugs, not wall-to-wall carpeting. Bump out with trees planted along the edges of your property line, reducing the lawn with native trees. Create nice curves, then add some understory shrubs along the edge of the newly “forested” area.

In addition to the oaks, native cherry and willow trees, other “keystone” trees include birches, poplars (he calls them cottonwoods) and elm. He said just five percent of the genera of plants support 75 percent of the caterpillars. Great perennials include goldenrod (the absolute best), asters, and members of the sunflower family. There are many tame goldenrod species that will not take over your garden, so expand your plant palette to include “Fireworks” goldenrod and other nice varieties.

But back to lawns. My philosophy of lawns is this: If it is green and you can mow it, it’s a lawn. It need not be free of dandelions and Creeping Charlie. Yes, dig out thistles, or anything that hurts your bare feet. But violets? Sure, why not? Anything that blooms will provide nectar or pollen for bees and other pollinators.

Clover actually helps your lawn, despite being called a weed by the companies that promote using the “Weed-n-Feed” chemicals that kill it. Clover fixes nitrogen, taking it from the air and putting it into the soil, reducing a need for lawn fertilizer.

If you want a rich, lush lawn, don’t cut it too short. The longer the grass, the more food produced to grow grass roots.

When you add grass seed to fill in spots, I recommend a mix of seeds, not a pure Kentucky bluegrass, which is the neediest of all grasses. It needs fertilizer, and watering. A “conservation mix” will do better for you. And if you are planting in a shady area, get a mix made for shady places. Those sun/shade mixes are not as good for shady areas as those designed for them.

Soil pH is a measure of soil acidity. If you are serious about your lawn, buy a kit at the local feed-and-grain store or garden center to test the pH. If you have chlorinated water, buy some distilled water to use with the kit. If the soil pH is lower than 6.2, add some lime (ground limestone) to your soil to bring up the number. Lawns don’t do so well in highly acidic soil.

When I see a weed-free lawn, I know it’s been treated with chemicals, and so I won’t walk on it. You, your kids and dogs shouldn’t either.

Featured photo: Volunteers built this greenhouse that was paid for by a grant. Photo by Henry Homeyer.

The Art Roundup 22/05/05

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

Open studios: Art Up Front Street Studios & Gallery (120 Front St., Exeter), an artists’ collective consisting of eight working artist studios, will host its Spring Open Studios event on Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., each day. Browse a variety of small and large art pieces, prints and originals, handcrafted jewelry, assemblages, cards, metal sculpture, industrial quilts and more. There will also be live music, free drawings and light refreshments. Call 418-6286 or visit

Art raffle: Tickets are on sale now for the Currier Museum of Art’s 2022 signature raffle. The winner will receive an art piece from Roberto Lugo, a Philadelphia-based potter, painter, social activist, spoken word poet and educator. Lugo’s pottery, which was featured in a special exhibit at the Manchester museum last summer, reimagines traditional forms and techniques with inspiration from urban graffiti and hip-hop culture. Tickets cost $100 each. The drawing will be done on Saturday, May 14. Call 669-6144 or visit

Veteran reflections: The Wright Museum of World War II (77 Center St., Wolfeboro) will host a lecture and book signing with author Andrew Biggio on Tuesday, May 10, from 7 to 8 p.m. In his book The Rifle, Biggio chronicles his journey as a 28-year-old U.S. Marine who, after returning home from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, set out to document the stories of surviving World War II veterans. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. Admission costs $5 for museum members and $10 for non-members. Call 569-1212 or visit

Spy music: Symphony New Hampshire presents a concert, “The Music of James Bond,” at the Keefe Center for the Arts (117 Elm St., Nashua) on Saturday, May 7, from 7:30 to 8:50 p.m., featuring music from five decades of James Bond films by iconic songwriters like Shirley Bassey, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon and Adele. The performance will begin with “Themes from 007, a Medley for Orchestra,” which includes the themes “Goldfinger,” “You Only Live Twice,” “For Your Eyes Only” and “From Russia with Love,” followed by themes from other spy film favorites, including Mission Impossible, The Pink Panther and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Tickets cost $20 to $60 for adults and $18 to $55 for seniors age 65 and up. Children are admitted for free with a paying adult. Visit or call 595-9156 for more information.

Last Gas
The Community Players of Concord present Last Gas at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St., Concord) on Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 8, at 2 p.m. A Red Sox-loving dad and convenience store manager must make a choice when he gets a chance to rekindle a romance with an old flame. Tickets cost $18 for adults, $16 for youth ages 17 and under and $16 for seniors age 65 and up. Visit or call 224-4905.

• “The worst play ever written:” There’s still time to catch a performance of The Producers at The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). The musical comedy, based on the 1967 Mel Brooks movie of the same name, runs through May 15, with showtimes on Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at noon. Tickets range from $39 to $46. Call 668-5588 or visit

Multimedia exhibit: Two Villages Art Society (Bates Building, 846 Main St., Contoocook) has an exhibition, “Echoes & Reflections: From Abstract Painting to Modern Quilting and Beyond,” on view now through May 14. It features the works of four painters, four quilters, four poets and two musicians. Visitors can listen to the poems and music, with comments from the artists, by scanning QR codes with a smartphone. “This blend of artistic mediums is something we haven’t tried before,” exhibit curator Rick Lugg said in a press release. “We hope this will enhance the exhibit and highlight the connections and resonances among these works.” Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 413-210-4372.


Fairs and markets

CRAFTSMEN’S FAIR The annual nine-day outdoor craft fair hosted by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen features hundreds of craftspeople with vendor booths, plus special craft exhibitions, demonstrations, hands-on workshops and more. Sat., Aug. 6 through Sun., Aug. 14. Mount Sunapee Resort, 1398 Route 103, Newbury. Call 224-3375 or visit for more information.

CONCORD ARTS MARKET The juried outdoor artisan and fine art market runs one Saturday a month, June through October, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Market dates are June 11, July 30, Aug. 20, Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. Rollins Park, 33 Bow St., Concord. The first market will be held on Saturday, June 11. Visit for more information.

Special events

SPRING OPEN STUDIOS Art Up Front Street Studios & Gallery, 120 Front St., Exeter. The artists’ collective features seven working artist studios. Sat., May 7, and Sun., May 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 418-6286 or visit for more information.

Workshops and classes

• “BLACKSMITHING BASICS” Beginner level workshop. Sanborn Mills Farm(7097 Sanborn Road, Loudon). Fri., May 20, through Sun., May 22, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The cost is $375. Call 435-7314 or visit for more information.

• “INTRO TO 3D PRINTING” Port City Makerspace (68 Morning St., Portsmouth). Wed., June 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $25 for members of the makerspace and $45 for nonmembers. Call 373-1002 or visit for more information.

ART CLASSES Art classes for teens and adults, including Pottery, Stained Glass, Intermediate Watercolor and Clay Hand Building. Studio 550 Art Center (550 Elm St., Manchester). Five-week sessions. Classes met for two hours a week. Call 232-5597 or visit for the full schedule and cost details.

DRAWING & PAINTING CLASSES Art House Studios, 66 Hanover St., Suite 202, Manchester. Classes include Drawing Fundamentals, Painting in Acrylic, Drawing: Observation to Abstraction, Exploring Mixed Media, and Figure Drawing. Class sizes are limited to six students. Visit or email arthousejb@gmail.comfor more information.

GENERAL ART CLASSES Weekly art classes offered for both kids and adults of all skill levels and cover a variety of two-dimensional media, including drawing and painting with pastel, acrylic, watercolor and oils. Classes are held with small groups of three to eight to five students. Diane Crespo Fine Art Gallery (32 Hanover St., Manchester). Kids classes, open to ages 10 and up, are held on Thursdays and Fridays, from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. Adult classes are held on Thursdays, from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Tuition is pay-as-you-go at $20 per student per class, due upon arrival. Call 493-1677 or visit for availability.



THE PRODUCERS A mainstage production of the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester). Now through May 15, with showtimes on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at noon. Tickets cost $39 to $46. Call 668-5588 or visit

AN INSPECTOR CALLS Presented by New Hampshire Theatre Project. West End Studio Theatre (959 Islington St., Portsmouth). May 6 through May 22, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $30 ($33.26 with fees) for general admission, $26 ($29 with fees) for seniors, students and veterans and must be purchased in advance. Masks are required in the theater. Visit or call 431-6644.

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Presented by the Manchester Community Theatre Players. Manchester Community Theatre Players Theatre, located at the North End Montessori School (698 Beech St., Manchester). Showtimes on Fri., May 13 and May 20, and Sat., May 14 and May 21, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 and must be purchased in advance. Masks and proof of vaccination are required to enter the theater. Visit or call 327-6777.

CHILDREN OF THE GRIM Presented by Bitter Pill. Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth). May 13 through June 5, with showtimes on Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $28 for adults and $25 for seniors age 65 and up and students. Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test are required. Visit or call 436-8123.

THE BALD SOPRANO Produced by the Community Players of Concord. The Hatbox Theatre (located inside the Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord). Fri., June 17 through Sun., June 26. Showtimes are 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 or call 715-2315 for more information.

TRUE TALES LIVE Portsmouth-based storytelling showcase. Monthly, last Tuesday (no shows in July and August), from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Shows will be held in person (Portsmouth Public Media TV Studio, 280 Marcy St., Portsmouth) starting in April, and returning to the Zoom format for the winter, starting in November. Each month’s showcase is centered around a different theme. The series is free and open to all who want to watch or participate as a storyteller. Pre-registration for attendees is required for Zoom shows but not required for in-person shows. Visit and email if you’re interested in being a storyteller.

Comic books for all

Free Comic Book Day returns

After two years of schedule changes, Free Comic Book Day returns to its first Saturday in May spot on the calendar this year with several local shops participating in the May 7 event.

The event, which began in 2002, has handed out millions of copies of special issues of comics created for Free Comic Book Day to people looking to find new stories or rediscover old favorites. Each shop has individual policies regarding how many releases one may take, and which books are available. (This year, there are more than 45 different issues scheduled to be available for Free Comic Book Day, according to, where you can see covers and previews for 2022 comics.)

The day is intended to commemorate each shop and celebrate small businesses and their love for the art of comic books.

Double Midnight Comics, with stores in both Concord and Manchester, is hosting a couple of well-recognized guests to help celebrate this day and intrigue enthusiasts statewide. Its Manchester store will celebrate 20 years in business this July; the Concord store opened eight years ago, relocating from Main Street to Loudon Road this past October.

“[For] our Manchester store, we bill it as a big … extravaganza,” store owner Chris Proulx said. “We had people, pre-Covid, who would line up on Wednesday. There’s people [who] will camp out for a few days ahead of time. … It almost turns into a block party in our parking lot.”

Proulx has high hopes that this FCBD will enter back into the realm of normalcy, as the pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020 and rescheduling to the summer last year. Unfortunately, this led to a much smaller turnout compared to previous years. Proulx said that the Concord location will be for customers looking to simply stop by and look around at their own pace. It is more of an ideal location for younger kids in need of more of a relaxed browsing scene. Proulx looks forward to the release of The Electric Black, which was produced by New Englanders Joseph Schmalke and Rich Woodall, both of whom will appear at the Manchester store that day.

Comics for…
Five comics for kids
• Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra
• The Best Archie Comic Ever! (limited-edition issue)
• Disney Masters: Donald Duck & Co. (special-edition issue)
• Pokemon Journeys and Pokemon Adventures XY
• Sonic the Hedgehog
Three comics for Marvel lovers
• The Amazing Spider-Man/Venom (issue No. 1)
• Avengers/X-Men (issue No. 1)
• Marvel’s Voices (issue No. 1)
Three comics with action
• Tex in The Land of the Seminoles
• The Year of the Valiant
• Bloodborne (issue No. 1)

Jetpack Comics & Games in Rochester is another local shop anticipating a substantial turnout for FCBD this year. Store manager Rich Brunelle described the event as a citywide attraction, saying that they look to help promote other small businesses by hiding comics at various locations.

inside of comic book store
Double Midnight Comics in Manchester and Concord. Photos by Jack Walsh.

“We have a ton of businesses around town that are involved in it as well,” Brunelle said. “We basically treat it like a scavenger hunt, where you can go to each one of the businesses, and at each one they give you more free comics.”

Brunelle said those who take part in the scavenger hunt and pick up a comic from each business are eligible for special prizes once the search is complete. In addition to this day-long scavenger hunt, there is a cosplay contest, a mini convention hall at Governor’s Inn, food trucks and more. A couple of guests include legends Steve Lavigne and Jim Lawson, best-known for their work in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics. Brunelle added that this particular location once held the largest FCBD in the country.

After battling some hardships FCBD is back, and fans statewide should plan on attending fun events with no limitations on any of the festivities planned throughout the day.

Free Comic Book Day

When: Saturday, May 7
Where: Various participating stores statewide
More info: Visit

Participating local stores
See for a look at the 2022 line up of comics.

Chris’s Comics (919 Lafayette Road, Seabrook, 474-2283, Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Free Comic Book Day.

Double Midnight Comics (245 Maple St., Manchester, 669-9636; 341 Loudon Road, Concord, 715-2683; Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Manchester and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Concord on Free Comic Book Day. The Manchester store will host its annual “Free Comic Book Day Extravaganza,” featuring a tent sale, a costume contest, comic creator signings, door prizes and more.

Escape Hatch Books (27 Main St., Jaffrey, find them on Facebook @escapehatchbooks)

Jetpack Comics & Games (37 N. Main St., Rochester, 330-9636, Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Free Comic Book Day. The shop is the nexus of a citywide festival featuring a comic scavenger hunt, a cosplay contest, a mini convention hall at Governor’s Inn, door prizes, food trucks and more.

Merrymac Games and Comics (550 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 420-8161, Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Free Comic Book Day, featuring appearances from a variety of local, independent comic creators.

Stairway to Heaven Comics (105 Gosling Road, Newington, 319-6134, Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Free Comic Book Day, featuring sales on bagged and boarded comics, creator signings and more.

Featured photo: Double Midnight Comics in Manchester and Concord. Photos by Jack Walsh.

Reimagining art

How the Currier used the pandemic pause to revamp its galleries and make art more accessible

With a new focus on global art and a stronger emphasis on immersive experiences and community outreach, the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester has spent the past couple years revamping its galleries, enhancing its programming and planning for the future.

“Our new goal is to make sure that people know we have more than just art on the wall,” Currier Director Alan Chong said. “We have two Frank Lloyd Wright houses which are worth visiting, we have art classes … [along with] the permanent collections and exhibitions.”

The museum was able to continue running in some capacity even in the beginning of the pandemic, Chong said, and has continued to add back old programs and start new ones since then.

“We’ve had very strong support from the community,” Chong said. “The government has kept us going [with funding]. … We really depend on a whole network of support.”

PPE funds meant the Currier staff could keep working, and other grants helped support online programming and expanded museum offerings.

“Our audience has responded well,” Chong said. “Our numbers are pretty much recovered. We’ve been close to full capacity for a couple of months.”

Here’s a look at the Currier’s new mission, latest exhibitions and current efforts to make art more accessible to the entire community.

Going global

Though the Currier Museum of Art had to shut down during the pandemic, museum staff solved the immediate problem of accessing the community with online programming. The museum’s curators, in the meantime, saw their scope of work change a bit — instead of traveling the globe to acquire work, they looked inward at what they already had.

“In some ways when we were closed it gave us a lot of time to focus on the collection and reimagine [what it could look like],” Senior Curator of Collections Kurt Sundstrom said. “We all sat around on a Zoom call and talked about how we could use this opportunity.”

The Currier’s mission, he said, is to become more global, to visually show the connections between America and Asia, Europe and other parts of the world. For the Currier, that meant shifting around some of its collections. The second floor of the museum was reinstalled and looks completely different, Sundstrom said, with works from around the world paired together.

“We broke down those walls,” he said. “You can come to the museum now and see American art in the European gallery. … You look at things differently depending on where they’re hanging.”

For example, a Dutch painting that features a rug now hangs with Persian rugs from the museum’s collection, allowing for a new perspective.

“It was interesting to reinterpret how the collection could [work together],” Sundstrom said.

The Currier is also acquiring new pieces and planning exhibitions that will help it tell more of a story of global art, Sundstrom said, like an Islamic rug show, and the current exhibition that features the work of Iranian artist Arghavan Khosravi.

“When I first came here 25 years ago, there wasn’t any work here from African American artists, and there was very little from women,” Sundstrom said. “I think audiences, when they come in now, they’ll see themselves represented. You’ll have Asian art and Mexican art and works by women and everything that you would expect in a multicultural community.”

mixed media artwork by Argahavan Khosravi.
The Uncertainty, by Arghavan Khosravi (2020, acrylic on found textile and cotton canvas over wood panel, leather cord) Courtesy of the artist, © Arghavan Khosravi, 2022, photo by Julia Featheringill.

You can visit a museum many times and still never see the extent of its collection. Sundstrom said that museums typically have 2 to 7 percent of their collections on view at any given time. Paintings and sculptures can stay out longer, but photographs and watercolors will deteriorate over time when exposed to light. Because of this, a visit to the museum one year could be an entirely different experience than a visit the next. And with the pandemic giving the Currier time to make more significant changes, the overall vibe is different too.

“I think it’s much more fun,” Sundstrom said. “It’s not so static anymore. It’s not what you would expect — it’s not stuffy.”

Community connections

Programming at the Currier made strides during the pandemic too, with strong efforts to make art more accessible to the community — something it had been doing in recent years anyway.

“We do a lot more online,” Chong said. “We were already moving in that direction. … We had designed a new website in late 2019, so we were ready to launch a more user-friendly experience.”

Chong said that government grants were key in helping the Currier stay connected to the community and provide an online museum experience when it had shut down, and even after, when its hours and programs were limited.

The Currier already had its entire collection online — most museums had been looking at the digital world very intently, Chong said — but a National Endowment for the Humanities grant allowed the museum to put its two Frank Lloyd Wright homes online, including photo galleries, drawings and plans, 3D tours and historic documents.

Donyale Luna in a film still from an Andy Warhol screen test.
Screen Test: Donyale Luna [ST 195], by Andy Warhol (1965, 16mm film, black-and-white, silent, 4.5 minutes at 16 frames per second) © The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved.

Grants also allowed the museum to pass out kits to do art projects and enhance some of its supportive arts programs.

“Our curators and educators really worked hard on how we can respond to [the pandemic] and the racial tension,” Chong said. “[For example], a lot of people were feeling that hybrid learning wasn’t a very good way of going to school, so we formed a teen anxiety group.”

Sundstrom runs that group, using art to initiate conversations, like looking at a painting made after World War II, another difficult time in history.

“We talked about how to get through those anxious moments,” Sundstrom said.

Those groups started back in person last semester, which Sundstrom said has been an even better experience.

Chong said the museum was also able to hire an art therapist.

“I think we’ve been able to develop core strengths to support the community,” he said, noting that the Currier was the first museum in the country to offer an art therapy group for families of people suffering from opioid use disorder.

The Currier also launched a new veterans program during the pandemic, expanding what had been a small program with war photography to supportive art groups in new classrooms.

Diverse exhibitions

The Currier’s newest exhibition, Arghavan Khosravi, opened April 15 and will be on view through Sept. 5. The show features more than 20 works from Iranian artist Arghavan Khosravi, whose techniques range from using printed textiles from Iran as a canvas to creating three-dimensional components on painted surfaces, with a focus on depth and texture.

“We’re really committed to showing global contemporary artists, artwork that is innovative and interesting and sparks conversations,” said Samantha Cataldo, senior curator of contemporary art. “Her work is surrealism. … There’s almost always a woman at the center of the work and then the images themselves kind of capture memories or dreams. … She paints in a way that when you’re looking at it you can’t really tell if something is real.”

The images explore themes like exile, suppression and empowerment, which Cataldo said is drawn from the duality that Khosravi has experienced in her life, having lived in both Iran and the United States.

“The culture where she grew up, you were allowed to be a little more free with your family, but in public [you were] more restricted,” Cataldo said. “A lot of the themes [in the exhibition] are a form of restriction, [like] people being boxed in or existing on two different planes of reality. … The works don’t have a specific narrative, but there’s a symbolism and there’s clues and ideas. … [They] are really approachable and acceptable.”

A duality also exists between the works’ first impressions and their more closely scrutinized images.

“At first glance, things are colorful [and] and really inviting because they feel warm and happy,” Cataldo said. “But [what’s happening] in the scene is not so bright and cheery.”

She said the exhibition so far has been well-received, both in its themes and in its visual appeal.

“[The paintings] are exquisitely made,” she said. “They’re also quite poetic in terms of how they look and how they’re composed.”

Also on view now (through July 3) is Warhol Screen Tests, which features 20 of Andy Warhol’s black-and-white short films that he made in the mid-’60s of his friends — some famous, like Bob Dylan and Salvador Dali, and others who came to his studio in New York City.

“He filmed essentially a moving portrait,” Cataldo said. “A single subject would sit in a chair and he would run the camera on them until the film ran out, [about] 4 minutes. … You have people who are extremely aware of the camera, some who try to be totally still, some [who act] playful.”

The films are unscripted and played in a loop in slow motion, and they’re projected large-scale, which Cataldo said can be a bit unsettling.

“It feels too close to a Zoom meeting,” she said,” watching people feel like they have to present themselves in a certain way.”

Warhol’s prediction that “everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” seems to have come to fruition to some degree, with regular people becoming TikTok or YouTube famous. And his repetitive screen prints that feature the same face over and over are reminiscent of today’s selfies.

“Everything he was doing was so far ahead of his time, so the idea of a selfie wasn’t a thing,” Cataldo said. “But the exhaustion of looking at a screen and looking at yourself — people can [now understand] that scrutiny.”

Looking ahead

While the Currier is mostly back to its pre-pandemic level of offerings, Chong said they’re proceeding with caution.

The first floor of the Chandler house. Photo courtesy of Currier Director Alan Chong.

“We feel a responsibility to the public, so we’re cautious,” he said. “History has taught us that it’s not over. We need to be flexible; we’re not going to pretend it doesn’t exist. There’s been a recent surge, so we follow all that.”

One of the upcoming projects that Chong is looking forward to is the renovation of a “new” old building.

“We took over the Chandler House during the pandemic,” he said. “It was a historic house … and it has the most beautiful interior in Manchester.”

Chong said the Currier had been looking to buy the building from the Catholic Diocese for years but hadn’t been able to make a deal because it was too expensive.

“I suspect that the pandemic pushed along that whole process,” he said.

Now the Currier will be working on finding funding to turn the building into a community center that will include offices for museum staff as well as classrooms for public programming, with the hopes of having it open by the fall of 2023.

In the more immediate future, the museum is planning to bring back its annual block party on a to-be-determined Saturday in July after a two-year absence. Chong called the day of free fun the museum’s signature event.


The Currier offers all kinds of classes and programs, both in person and online. Here are some of the offerings, according to Visit the website for more details and the latest classes and events.

Ongoing programs

Making Art Accessible

This program is for teens and adults with developmental disabilities. The multimedia studio art class allows students to make works of art inspired by the Currier’s collections, and to visit the Currier’s galleries. The Currier regularly holds Making Art Accessible classes, and it is open to the public. Email for more information.

Creative Connections for Teens

This program supports students suffering with anxieties related to the pandemic and related stressors. Each session provides students opportunities to connect through art-viewing, art-making and social time, and they’re led by Currier educators and curators with the support of a school counselor.

The Art of Awareness

Strangers from different backgrounds gather for a 30-minute awareness exercise and discussion to build connections with each other and art. Each week features one piece of art, chosen based on a theme. General admission is free on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m., and this program starts at 6:30 p.m. Upcoming classes are May 5, with the discussion centered on Arghavan Khosravi’s “The Black Pool,” and May 19, featuring John Marin’s “Movement in Red.” Register online.

Art of Hope

An in-person support group for loved ones whose family members suffer from substance use disorder. It takes place on Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m., with the next groups meeting May 9, May 16, May 23, June 20 and July 18.

Art for Vets

This art-focused program offers free opportunities for veterans, active service members and their families to enjoy the Currier. Veteran Creative Cohorts allows veterans to connect through art-viewing, activities and guided conversations, with an emphasis on personal development, respite and mindfulness. Studio Art Tutorials has professional teaching artists launching online or in person art tutorials for veterans and active service members, including drawing, watercolor painting and bookmaking. The classes are for all skill levels and focus on the therapeutic nature of art. Art for Vets Family Days are offered on the third Saturday of the month, with free access to the galleries, art activities and a complimentary lunch. Veterans, active service members and their families get free admission every day, and the Currier also offers all of its art classes and vacation camps free of charge.

Immigrant and refugee programs

The Currier provides after-school art instruction for children of immigrant and refugee families during the school year and extends their learning into vacation weeks by offering free enrollment in art camps. During camps, children are given 30 hours of instruction each week and are provided free breakfast and lunch each day.

Looking Together

Explore one work of art in detail for 15 minutes with a Currier docent. Sessions are informal, interactive and focused on a different object each day. It’s offered every Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and noon.

Art After Work Tours

Every Thursday, enjoy free admission, live music and drink specials in the Winter Garden Café (open until 8 p.m.). The 30-minute adult tour is free of charge. Participants meet in the lobby.

Art Conversations from Home

Join the Currier Museum of Art’s education team for a live facilitated conversation over Zoom about the Currier’s collection and exhibitions. Sessions are informal, interactive and focused on a different work each week. Open to all, these free 30-minute adult programs run every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Register online.

Frank Lloyd Wright house tours

The Currier is the only art museum in the world with two Frank Lloyd Wright homes, and the only Wright buildings open to the public in New England. The Usonian Automatic and the Zimmerman House were both built in the 1950s. The two-bedroom Zimmerman House showcases Wright’s Usonian architectural concepts, with a compact design that contrasts narrow passages with dramatic, open spaces. It includes its original furniture and garden, both designed by Wright. The Kalil House, which was acquired by the Currier in 2019, is one of only seven Usonian Automatics constructed, dubbed “automatics” by Wright because they were easily and quickly built. Public tours of the Wright houses last two hours and are offered Thursdays through Sundays at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., as well as an evening tour on Thursdays at 6 p.m. (spring and summer only). To schedule a private tour, email or call 603-518-4956.


The Currier regularly offers art classes for all ages and abilities. Here are some of the museum’s upcoming offerings.

Drawing from Presence with Norma Hendrix (Adult)

Online five-week class, Tuesdays, May 10 through June 7, 1 to 3 p.m.

Painting with Pastels: Finding Beauty in the Urban World with Janet Schwartz (Adult)

Online five-week class, Fridays, May 13, through June 10, 2 to 4 p.m.

Learn to Draw: Structure and Volume with Shading with Martin Geiger (Adult)

Online five-week class, Thursdays, May 26 through June 23, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Earn and Learn Teen Program

Teen volunteers will be involved in classroom assistance, art-making activities, mentoring younger students, facilitating museum visits and other organizational tasks, and they will receive tuition remission for classes at the Currier. Admission to the program is based on a review process. Each applicant must be willing to commit to two weeks minimum of summer camp. Camps run Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Apply by May 14; for more information, email Lauren Steele at

Vacation camps

The Currier offers camps throughout the summer: Art Camp for ages 6 to 10 and Art Ventures for ages 11 to 14. The camps include classes in drawing, painting, collage, printmaking and sculpture. Every Wednesday, an inspirational tour of the museum is conducted to discover the works of art in the galleries. Weekly full-day programs run Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All art-making materials are provided. Camps have a maximum capacity of eight to 10 students, and students, instructors and camp assistants are required to wear masks. The schedule is as follows; see for prices, updates and other information.

June 27 to July 1

Art Camp: Down the Rabbit Hole (ages 6 to 10)

Art Ventures: Fun with Fibers (ages 11 to 14)

July 11 to July 15

Art Camp: Music Makers (ages 6 to 10)

Art Ventures: Drawing Outside the Box (ages 11 to 14)

July 25 to July 29

Art Camp: The Moody Currier School of Magic (ages 6 to 10)

Art Ventures: Drawing and Painting exploration (ages 11 to 14)

Aug. 8 to Aug. 12

Art Camp: Space is the Place (ages 6 to 10)

Art Ventures: Mixed Media Painting & Printmaking (ages 11 to 14)

Aug. 15 to Aug. 19

Creatures Large and Small (ages 6 to 10)

Art Ventures: The Moving Picture (ages 11 to 14)


Gregory Pierce, curator of the Warhol Museum, will be at the Currier for an ARTalk to complement the “Warhol Screen Tests” exhibition. He will discuss the impetus for Screen Tests and how they’re relevant almost 60 years later and take a deeper dive into Warhol’s creative process. The talk will be held Sunday, May 8, from 2 to 2:45 p.m. in the auditorium. The cost is $20 and includes museum admission.

Featured photo: Arghavan Khosravi. Photo by Andrew T. White

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