Metal crows, Blue Grass music, and 80 plus artists all went in to create a successful Keene art event known as “Art In the Park.” On Saturday, September 3, Keene’s Ashuelot Park was a venue for artists whose art ranged from photographs to paintings to metal sculptures.
Hosted by the Monadnock Area Artists Association, “Art in the Park” is an art event with a goal to put local artists around New Hampshire in the public art eye. President of the MA.A.A. Gill Truslow said, “It’s to give out artists the opportunity to share their work, to exhibit it possibly sell, and to allow the community to come in. They don’t have to pay. They can come and enjoy the artwork and the music that the Keene Music Festival Provides.” She also said, “This is the 53 year, it wasn’t always here. It had been at the Gazebo, which is much smaller.” She went on to say, “It has always been in the association (M.A.A.A). Our association used to be called ‘Keene Art Association’.”
Many artists were able to display their work; some were more traditional while some went to other areas of the art world. One who decided to stay local was artist Caryn King, who painted various farm animals.
King said, “I am a painter of animals and I am here to show and sell.” She said her animals were, “from southern Vermont and southern New Hampshire, so I do go over to Stonewall (Farm) and different places like that to look for my subjects.”
Her art included profiles of pigs, sheep, rows of ducks, and various other farm animals.
Another distinctive artist was Alicia Drakiotes, whose art included oil paintings of Old Americana around New England. Drakiotes said, “I painted these all around the area, the region, basically. Some of them from Cape Ann in Massachusetts but the rest of them are all around the Monadnock region.”
The reason she paints landscapes around New England, she says, is, “I like to document history and I figure if I can get some of those things, the old bridges, the old barns, the old vehicles down on canvas then when they’ve disappeared they will still be there.”
Some artists not only displayed their painted works but their sculptures as well, Eric Peterson was one of those artists.
He said, “I brought both my two-dimensional work and some of my three-dimensional work. Most of my stuff is based on fantastic and surreal ideas and kind of connects with surreal artists from the past.” Peterson went on to say, “As a child I grew up with a lot of science fiction and comic book influence. As time went on I discovered artists that were rather fantastic in their depictions of the world but were still a little bit more mature such as Salvador Dali, H.R. Giger and I kind of used that as a springboard to bring my own work to sort of a mature level.”
Some artists displayed their art painted on various objects. One artist, Hannah E. Carpenter, painted not only on canvas but also her husband’s guitar.
“The guitar was a plain, boring, guitar that my husband had a couple of years ago. He wanted me to paint it so I painted it. He’s a local guitar player, now he has several guitars. It has been collecting dust up in our music studio so we decided to see if someone else might like it, play it, and enjoy it!” she said.
Metal sculptures were presented, as well as made, near the Ashuelot River. Metal birds, dragonflies, and flowers by welding artist Bob Taylor decorated the shoreline.
“A lot has to do with birds and animals,” Taylor said, commenting on his art. “I’m probably closer to a cartoon artist!”
At two in the afternoon awards were announced by M.A.A.A. President Gill Truslow. The first category was the water Media Category.
First place winner was Donna Lund, followed by second place winner Steve Hjelm, and finally third place winner Frankie Tolman. Honorable mentions in this category included Phil Bean, Jeanette Fournier, Bob Askey, and Stephanie Tickner.
The second category in the event was sculpture and mixed media.
First place went to Eric Peterson, followed by second place winner Robert Taylor, and ended with third place winner Hannah E. Carpenter. There was only one honorable mention in this category, Patsy DiBernardo.
The third awards section was the oil and acrylics category.
First place winner was Steve Previte, second place was Monique Sakellarios, and third place was Dick Fischer. There were no honorable mentions.
A special award was given for the fourth award of the event.
The Marie Hickee Award is an award in honor of a former member of the M.A.A.A.. It was awarded to Eric Peterson. Honorable mentions in this category included Jeanne Pierce, Abigail Toegel, Don Reed, and Kristina Wentzell.
Photography and digital arts was next on the awards list.
First place winner for this category was Gordon Ripley, followed by second place winner Chris Bower, and third place winner Mike Hanson. Honorable mentions for this category included Bob Janules, Jeff Newcomer, Michael Mooney, and Sue O’Connor.
The category with the largest name in the ceremony was the pastel, colored pencil, charcoal, and print making.
First place for this category was Erika Radich, followed by second place winner Michael Robie, followed by third place winner Nicole Caulfield. Honorable mentions for this category included Veronica DeWester, Elizabeth Craumer, Robin Frisella, and Liz Winchester-Larson.
The last category was the Monadnock Regional High School Award which went to Sarah Robinson.
The honorable mention for this category was Keith Pedro.
Ryan Loredo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org