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Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery | Aug. 2 – 26

August 2, 2017

Body of Work Series III | Michael Benham, Diane Bragdon, Greg Bullard, Mary Crump, Judith McKenna, Claudia Rippee, Dave Thomspsen, William Townsend, Danielle Antico, Kelsey Price | Main Galleries

PORTSMOUTH – The New Hampshire Art Association will be holding a “2017 Body of Work Series III” exhibition beginning Aug. 2 at the Robert Levy Lincoln Gallery on State Street.

The NHAA holds several of these “Body of Work” shows throughout the year to give regional artists an opportunity to show a group of their pieces as opposed to having one piece getting lost hanging amongst many other artists’ works. The artists are chosen by a lottery for each of the Body of Work shows.

Sharing the walls of the main gallery during August are artists Diane M. Bragdon, Dave Thompsen, P. Michael Benham, William Townsend, Mary R. Crump, Claudia Rippee and Judith McKenna.

Photographer Dave Thompson will have a body of work titled “On the Water.”  This exhibit shows scenes of boats of all shapes and sizes from historic wooden vessels such as the Joseph Conrad to modern composite racing catamarans. The photographs celebrate the diversity of watercraft forms and functions.

A member of the NHAA and Seacoast Art Association, Thompsen has exhibited many images of New England including famous landmarks, boats of all kinds and fascinating architecture. He processes his digital images using high dynamic range techniques and artistic filters that give his images a unique, painterly appearance.

Another exhibiting artist, Bragdon of Dover, works in watercolor. As a child, her grandfather taught her how to draw by sketching on napkins, which she would attempt to copy. Inspired by his work, she began drawing and painting at a very young age.

“From childhood I have had some type of medium in my hands – turning something into something else, even with crayons,” Bragdon said. “I was always hard at work designing a new creation.”

Most of Bragdon’s artwork consists of landscapes and seascapes that have inspired her.

“All of my paintings seek to record my experiences of the natural beauty before me,” she said. “Watercolor behaves just like nature – fresh and spontaneous.”

Her paintings are recordings of the moments where she spent time in each of these landscapes; times when she could smell the flowers and feel the gentle breezes; or even the first time she picked up a live lobster

“The best compliment of my work is when someone tells me that my painting made them smile and remember a special moment of their own,” Bragdon said.

Think Something, Say Something & Reimagining Louise Nevelson | Joe Flaherty & Barbara Albert | South Gallery

PORTSMOUTH – An exhibit by New Hampshire Art Association Board President, Barbara Albert, running through August in the South Gallery of the Robert Lincoln Gallery, is a contemporary salute to Louise Nevelson.

Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) was an iconoclastic artist known for her monochromatic abstract expressionist sculptures.

“The geometric Styrofoam packing materials I have assembled in ‘Louise Nevelson Reimagined’ are stark in contrast and scale with the black-painted gigantic wooden boxes and crate sculptures she created,” Albert said. “My work evolves as answers to my question ‘What if….?’”

Albert said creating is intuitive play – a journey revealing common vocabularies of color, shape, symbol, and style.

“My art demonstrates a fascination for surface texture, minimalist form, dynamic composition and vaguely familiar places,” she said. “In recent paintings, described as ‘Urban Industrial Style’, I have abstractly recreated elements of Portsmouth harbor, Atlantis, and a metropolis of unknown origin.”

Born in Russia, Louise Nevelson immigrated to the United States, settling in Rockland, Maine, in 1905 with her family. Later, she enrolled in the Art Students League in New York City, where she studied with classmates Jackson Pollock and other abstract expressionists.

In the 1940’s, Nevelson experimented with wood and junk found in the streets of New York, assembling sculptural pieces in groups and painting them black. She rose to international acclaim in the early 1950s when museums began buying her work.

Louise Nevelson’s work illustrated how freedom of expression was a political act and she created it well into her 80’s.

Albert graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science in art education and a minor in sculpture. She established pottery/sculpture studios in Newton and Watertown, Massachusetts and began exhibiting her work.

After 16 years of teaching art in public and private schools, gifted programs, adult education and junior colleges in Massachusetts, Albert moved to western Pennsylvania in 1981 and worked for two museums as Museum Educator and Director for 26 years.

In 2008, she began painting, exhibiting and selling her work in local galleries in Titusville and Erie Pennsylvania. While serving on a Senior Center board of directors, Albert encouraged her painting students (50 and older) to explore and experiment with non-realistic expression in landscapes and portraiture.

In 2012, Albert retired to New England and the ocean.

“My abstract paintings reflect my surroundings, suggest feelings, often include whimsy, and express my love of light and color in an impressionistic way,” she said. “Using a palette knife adds depth and allows me to create the surface textures that I loved making in clay.

I often find unintended images and common themes depicted when doing a body of work.”

PORTSMOUTH – Visitors to the South Gallery in the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery during August are in for a little interactive exercise in the “six great ideas of human thought,” an installation piece by Joe Flaherty of Portsmouth

The American philosopher, Mortimer J. Adler, wrote a little book in 1981 entitled “Six Great Ideas.” In his book, Adler enumerates the six great ideas of human thinking as: truth, goodness, beauty, liberty, equality and justice. 

“For centuries, these ideas have been expanded as a result of continued thinking and discussion in the public space,” Flaherty said.  “It seems that these ideas have now been crowded out by thoughts and discussion centered around celebrity, exclusiveness and power.”

The center of the installation is a mirror to suggest that the viewer is amidst an ancient and long lasting discussion about these six great ideas of human thought.  All paintings are graffitied not only with the six great ideas and the words “SPEECH” and “THOUGHT,” but also with quotes from famous thinkers as well. 

The top picture is angled down; the bottom picture is angled up. The side pictures are on hinges and move like doors to access their backs. On the backs of these paintings viewers can write their own ideas about these six great ideas. The side panels are made so they automatically return flat against the wall when let go.

“I think it’s crucial to dignified human existence to restore the six great ideas to their proper place in the public spaces of our time,” Flaherty said.  “You are at the center of a centuries old community of thinkers and speakers – ‘think something, say something.’”

All panels are available for sale after the installation is disassembled.  Panels are $450.00 each.

Cafe Life | Debra Woodward & Peggy Murray | East Gallery

PORTSMOUTH – “Café Life” is a collaboration of two friends who will be showing their photographs and paintings in the East Gallery of the New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery.

NHAA members Debra Woodward of North Hampton and Peggy Murray of Lee were sitting in a café discussing their art and what they would each do next.

“What was inspiring us?” asked Woodward.

As they sipped on their cappuccinos, they did what they always do and kept an eye on the people around them, and on the light and shadow and colors.

As Murray took some photos on the sly with her smart phone, she mentioned that she loved painting people in cafes.

Ironically, Woodward said she had been taking photos of people inside and outside cafes for a few years. An idea was born.

Murray’s use of color is a wonderful contrast to Woodward’s photos in black and white. But what they share is the empathy they have with their subjects.

“Everyone has a story, and where better to illustrate it than in our neighborhood cafes,” Woodward said. 

For more information, please contact Suzanne Laurent, PR/Marketing Coordinator, New Hampshire Art Association at srlaurent@gmail.com or 603.475.0875


August 2, 2017
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NH Art Association


Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery
136 State Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801 United States
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