Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery displays community passions with artistic expressions

The Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery is currently displaying the artistic endeavors of Keene State College and the surrounding community.  

The exhibit “Passionate Pursuits” asked the KSC community to provide a visual representation of something they are passionate about.

The exhibit started about 10 to 15 years ago, according to Director of Thorne Art Gallery Maureen Ahern.

Ahern said the focus of the show is to provide KSC and the Keene community, “a place to share their interests.”

On display are a variety of visual and artistic representations of interests and passions people have in the Keene area.

Different forms of artistic expression, for example, pottery and literal representations of hobbies, are displayed. This presentation in particular, “doesn’t limit to visual arts,” Ahern said.

“It’s a wonderful experience, every exhibit is different. You get new ideas and new students coming in all the time,” Ahern said.

Ahern also announced she is stepping down as director of Thorne Art Gallery, a position she has held since 1981. She said that her experience as director has been a lot of fun.

Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication Mark Timney decided to display what he thought was a nontraditional passion of his in the exhibit.

On display is his firearm and bow-and-arrow.  “Usually in a museum or an exhibit of some sort, it’s things that people made, but this one is ‘What is it you like to do?’” Timney said.

He continued, “For me, competitive shooting both with firearms and archery is something I’ve done my entire life and most people don’t know much about that. I thought, and the museum curator agreed, that this might be a very different sort of thing to put on display,” Timney said.

For Timney, competitive shooting is more than a hobby—it is a passion.

“It takes you outside yourself, it teaches you to be disciplined.  To enter what sports-people often call ‘the zone,’ you know to be able to do without thinking.  To find this peace of mind, of thought, of will and I think all successful artists experience this, as do all people,” Timney said.

Timney also helped do graphic design, computer and web layout for another exhibit currently at the Thorne-Sagendorph called “Intersection: Art, Culture and Identity.”

He explained that “Passionate Pursuits” is his second foray into the art world.

“Journalism, while it has many artistic aspects—the art of writing, video images, sound and so forth—it’s not typically seen as an artistic expression.  So it’s been fun for me to break outside the traditional boundary of journalism or mass communications,” Timney said.

Kyle Bailey / Photo Editor

Kyle Bailey / Photo Editor

Gallery Moniter at the Thorne and a Studio Art and Psychology Major Jessica Boushie said her favorite piece in the exhibit was “Here is Looking at You, Fourth Dimension.”

She explained that she liked the concept behind the piece.

“I’m an artist so I know how hard it is at times to come up with kind of creative ideas and just the fact that they can make something so pretty out of something that’s just household objects and kind of just using the resources around you, which is really important as an artist,” Boushie said.

Boushie said she also liked the piece, “Passionate about Planarians.”

“I like this piece because it wasn’t just about the photography of it or the art, it was actually about the scientific aspect. It reminded me that science and art in the past kind of went hand-in-hand and they still kind of do and nobody really acknowledges that anymore,” Boushie said.

She continued, “Taking something that is just ordinary objects that people wouldn’t look at in that way and creating something out of it,” Boushie said.

She said that she plans on submitting a piece later this year for a showcase, but being a sophomore, she cannot submit pieces for other shows because only seniors have that ability.

Ahern said that having the gallery on campus has a positive impact on the campus and the community of Keene.

“I think it really enriches the campus.  Artists are able to express through art, the mind and the body,” Ahern said.

Timney explained the importance of having a passionate pursuit in life.

“I think it’s critical that everyone have at least one thing like this in their life that compels them to explore, to be curious, to create, to understand and sometimes we can do that through work or relationships, but other times it takes something completely external like this.  Whether you’re doing it with a paint brush or a bow-and-arrow, I don’t think it matters, as long as you find whatever it is,” Timney said.

The exhibit “Passionate Pursuits” is on display until September 18.


Hannah Sundell can be contacted at

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