Art Notes: AVA Gallery Opens Its Doors and Its Holiday Show
There’s something oddly paradoxical about the holiday season, at least where visual art is concerned.
It’s one of the busiest times of the year, as people prepare for the holidays. And at the same time, there are group exhibitions of work by local artists at nearly every big gallery and smaller shows at public libraries and other small venues. How to see the shows while also celebrating the holidays and getting the shopping done?
The answer that arts venues proffer is a compelling one: Come to a holiday exhibition and do your Christmas shopping here.
Holiday shows have opened around the Upper Valley in recent weeks, but the biggest of them all opens on Saturday at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon.
First, though, AVA will hold an open house, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Artists will open their studios, give demonstrations in AVA’s many classrooms and lead hands-on art activities. All for free. In years past, those open studios meant art for sale, often at lower prices than one sees on a gallery label.
AVA’s Holiday Exhibition opens with a reception, free and open to the public, from 5 to 7 on Saturday evening. The show fills all of the spacious downstairs galleries.
Also at AVA: Partly to mark the season, and partly as a response to recent acts of violence, most notably the Oct. 27 shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., the nonprofit art center is hosting “Messages of Peace,” a wall of reflection in its entry lobby. Visitors are encouraged to leave a drawing, some writing or other expressions of peace on a small card. The cards will be strung on twine for display and reflection.
Sounds like just the kind of break a busy person needs during the holidays.
The Randolph Arts Task Force is hosting a gallery and studio tour from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The recommended starting point is Atlantic Art, Glass and Design, artist Phil Godenschwager’s studio at 2 Weston St. There, you can pick up a passport showing the other venues. The bulk of the work on display is at White River Craft Center, which hosts “Branching Out,” an exhibition of watercolor paintings by Amy Hook-Therrien, who will be on hand to talk about her work. Also on view are paintings by Susannah Colby, photographs by Curran Broderick, hooked rugs by Fern Strong, and fabrics made by The Weavers Guild.
ArtisTree Gallery in South Pomfret opens “Small Works,” an exhibition of art that’s bigger than a stocking stuffer but would still fit down the chimney, with a reception on Friday evening at 5:30. The show is up through Dec. 22.
Also opening Friday evening is “Vessels,” an exhibition of still-life paintings by Carrie Caouette-De Lallo, at North Common Arts in Chelsea. The reception, from 6 to 8 on Friday, will feature wines from Montview Vineyards in Corinth, and live music by Heidi Chapman and Chris Byrne.
Chew & Co. Design, Hanover. Paintings in egg tempera and precious metals by Windsor artist Gary Milek are on view through . A reception is planned for 2 to 4 p.m., on Dec. 8.
The Gallery at the Space on Main, Bradford. “Root & Branch: Encaustic Paintings,” by Piermont artist Stephanie Gordon, is on view through Friday.
Two Rivers Printmaking Studio, White River Junction. “Blue x 2,” prints by Linda Bryan, is on view through Friday.
Matt Brown Fine Art, Lyme. “Forces of Land and Sea,” prints and drawings by Warner, N.H., artist Mary Mead, is up through Saturday.
BigTown Gallery, Rochester, Vt. “Landscape Mysteries,” paintings by Hanover resident and Dartmouth College studio art professor Ben Frank Moss, and “Infinity of Worlds,” recent work by Erika Lawlor Schmidt. Through Dec. 8.
Center for the Arts, New London. Current exhibitions include: The seventh annual Juried Regional show at the New London Inn; artwork by Kearsarge Middle School students, at Whipple Hall; abstract paintings by Roger Wells and photographs by Jay Fitzpatrick, at Blue Moon Bakery; and paintings by Tom Pirozzoli and photographs by Ken Schuster, at Bar Harbor Bank and Trust.
Chandler Gallery, Randolph. The 17th annual Holiday Market, an exhibition of art and gifts, is on view through Dec. 23.
Converse Free Library, Lyme. “Chasing the Muse,” watercolor paintings by Lyme artist Stephanie Reininger, runs through December.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon. Fall exhibitions consist mainly of paintings, by artists Nan Darham, a Montana resident studying at Dartmouth; Maureen Harrington, of Killington, Vt.; Youngsheen Ahn Jhe, of Lexington, Mass.; Norman Rhodes, of Lebanon; Alison Vernon, of New London; and Richard Weis, of Castleton, Vt. Also on view is work by the Lone Mountain Artists, from the Monadnock region of New Hampshire, and the Upper Valley Ship Modelers Guild.
The Great Hall, Springfield, Vt. “Healing: The Transformative Imagery of Art” features work by 12 artists, including Margaret Jacobs, of Enfield; Carolyn Enz Hack, of East Thetford; and Robert O’Brien, Robert Carsten and Neomi Lauritsen, all of Springfield. Through March 30.
Kilton Public Library, West Lebanon. Recent work by Todd Renninger, through January.
Library Arts Center, Newport, N.H. The annual Gallery of Gifts, a holiday show of fine art and craft, is on view through Dec. 23.
Main Street Museum, White River Junction. “Jack Rowell, Cultural Documentarian: Portraits of Vermont People and Other Wildlife,” is on view.
Osher@Dartmouth, Hanover. “Barns & Backyard Discoveries,” an exhibition of drawings by Priscilla Eliades and photographs by Evelyn Swett and Shiela Swett, is on view through Dec. 20.
Philip Read Memorial Library, Plainfield. “Surf’s Up,” an exhibition of painting and sculpture by Cornish artist Jim Schubert, is on view through Jan. 7.
Royalton Memorial Library, South Royalton. Paintings by California artist Ciara Cumiskey.
Scavenger Gallery, White River Junction. “Im/migration” features recent paintings by Windsor artist Liz Ross that examine the migration and extinction of birds and the immigration and exile of people.
Steven Thomas, Inc. Fine Arts & Antiques, White River Junction. Work by Upper Valley “vintage” artists, such as Alice Standish Buell (1892-1964), Arthur B. Wilder (1857-1949) and Ilse Bischoff (1901-1990) is on view.
Taylor Gallery, Kimball Union Academy, Meriden. “Between Two Worlds: The Sculpture of Lawrence J. Nowlan,” honors the late Cornish sculptor through Dec. 19.
Tunbridge Public Library. Photographs by South Royalton photographer Marianne Benoir are on view through Jan. 7.
White River Gallery, South Royalton. “Graphite Insomnia,” graphite drawings by Gerald Auten, who teaches art at Dartmouth College, is on view through Dec. 16.
Zollikofer Gallery, White River Junction. “I’ve Got It Covered,” photographs of manhole covers by Sharon artist Carol Langstaff, is on view through Dec. 26.
Alex Hanson can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3207.