Keene’s 59th annual Art in the Park was held over this Labor Day weekend from September 2 to the 3. The event was held in Ashuelot Park in Keene, New Hampshire, from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. on both days. Local artists from around the New England area came to the park this weekend to show and sell their pieces of art.
Exhibits had a wide variety of art from glass blowing, wood carving, pastel, oil, acrylic, pen and ink, watercolor, sculpture, mixed media and photography.
Art in the Park is hosted by the Monadnock Area Artists Association. The event was created to help New England artists show off their latest projects and to help promote their work. It also gives the community the opportunity to come together, talk to artists and look at different pieces of art.
The committee members said there were over 88 artists that were displaying and selling their artwork. Live music was being played in the middle of the park as the vendors stretched all the way through.
All age groups were there enjoying the work around them. Some of the venues were even offering lessons. The public said that all the vendors there were very friendly and always willing to talk and share ideas. A lot of the artists said they have been coming there for years, and for others, it was there first time.
One of the artists, Chris Bower from Nashua, New Hampshire, has been coming to the park for six years now. He focuses most of his work on wildlife and landscapes.
Bower said he has been taking beautiful pictures since the 1970s. Later in 2009, he retired and created his own photography company called Be There Photography, where he travels to Africa and Iceland to capture breathtaking pictures.
Bruce Thompson, a wood sculptor from Keene, New Hampshire, focused on designing wood patterns. He has been cutting wood for the past 13 years. Most of his work is made from red oak wood.
Bruce said he traces a design he gets from a company in Indiana, called woodenteddybear.com, cuts into wood with a tiny drill bit with nothing but his attention and dedication. He said some of his work can take up to three days to complete; others can take up to two weeks.
Painter Debra Grubbs said she uses her love for the beach and transforms it into art. She is from the Salem, New Hampshire, area and is focused on landscape water oil paintings. She started by taking the theme of the beach and exploring it.
Grubbs paints mostly sunsets and sunrises with a beach background. Debra has her paintings take places on beaches in New England and Key West.
And the main attraction that nobody thought they would see was the Caterpillar Lab. Sam Jaffe has been raising caterpillars since he was three years old. He has always been interested in the world outside his window.
Sam got into exposing the public to caterpillars when people started to ask him good questions; he found a way to start educating people, started getting into good conversations and it just took off from there.
Now, Jaffe is the owner of the Caterpillar Lab located on Emerald Street in Keene. It is open to the public and free. The company breeds and raises around 200 species of moths and caterpillars a year. It was their first year at Art in the Park and it was a big success for their table was the most crowded section of the park.
Jaffe wanted to show people something they weren’t expecting. He called this cross pollination, where he could bring nature and science together with art. The Caterpillar Lab is always looking for local support from the community to help expand their recognition.
The event went very smoothly thanks to the hard work of their dedicated committee members and the main tent volunteers. Even with the rain on Sunday there was bigger turnout than expected. Overall the event was a success. With a huge variety of different art work, there was something for every body.
Matthew Kahlman can be contacted at email@example.com