“Art” is one word that holds dozens of meanings. Whether you are a musician, a dancer, an actor, or anything in between, an artist shares their story in their own unique way.
This past weekend, on Friday, Sept. 22, Keene State College’s Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, or the Thorne for short, held their first gallery showing. Teachers and former art students came from all around to see the “Bob Neuman ‘Impulse and Discipline’” event in remembrance of Keene’s local artist and former Keene State College Professor, Robert S. Neuman.
Neuman, born in 1926, had been drafted from Idaho, attended art school in California and traveled to Spain and Germany before settling down here in the Keene area and even teaching at the college before retiring.
The Thorne Art Gallery’s Director Brian Wallace explained how the gallery started for the community of Keene and keeps its original roots by staying connected with the locals around. One way of doing this was to showcase a beloved mentor and friend’s artwork after his passing.
For many, this event acted as the first impressions made to people who had never known Neuman or the Thorne Art Gallery before.
“This is my first time learning about him [Neuman],” Swanzey resident Shane Maxfield said. Most students shared the same unknowingness about Neuman, but said they were not disappointed in what they saw.
Keene State sophomore Olivia Cattabriga described his work as “super expressive and energetic,” while Emma Johansen, a sophomore, said, “I love the colors, it’s so bright.”
A lot of students expressed that when viewing Neuman’s work, each piece caught your eye for a different reason than the last.
Keene State Alumna Taryn Heon explained it as “very alive and diverse.”
Similar to Heon, Wallace said, “He [Neuman] had a really diverse way of thinking about things.”
When walking through the gallery, Neuman’s history was displayed throughout. Wallace explained that the gallery showcased each decade in its own section.
“He [Neuman] kept evolving into new styles,” Wallace said. With each new decade came a new experience, which changed his style of art.
This explains the wide range of emotions and descriptions that students said they felt were given to them while walking through the layout.
Keene State sophomore Emma Johansen described the artwork to be “all so different, but also the same because of the abstract.”
While walking through Neuman’s story, each person was able to create their own line to add to his existing page.
“You see it and interpret what you want from it,” said Jackie Aubuchon, a first-year at Keene State College.
Fans of Neuman’s abstract and geometric art can be looking forward to events similar in the near future. Wallace announced that the family and friends at the Thorne Gallery that night would be coming together again on Oct. 13 to finish shooting a video documentary about Robert S. Neuman, and again in November for a book session on Neuman’s larger impact on art history.
Outside of these events, Wallace said he urges Keene State College students to visit the Thorne whenever they find free time to stop in.
Cattabriga said, “I think that if they [KSC students] have the slightest interest in art, they should visit. I mean, I wouldn’t go to a math gallery, but if they have the slightest interest, they should.”
Josh Farr, a gallery director from a neighboring town, helped set up this exhibit and explained the pleasure it gives gallery workers to see art appreciated by people from all sorts of different backgrounds.
Wallace invites campus students by saying “If the doors are open, we’re open,” and said he hopes to see more students use the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery to their advantage as a free activity.
Angelique Inchierca can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org