Amanda Kidd-Kestler & Cheryl Miller, solo shows by two N.H. Art Association artists
Sculptural ceramics and textile collage. Two N.H. Art Association artists present solo shows at the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery's Gerry Frazier Gallery, 136 State St., Portsmouth
NHAA multi-disciplinary artist Amanda Kidd-Kestler explores the themes of home and community in “Entanglement,” and NHAA textile artist Cheryl Miller explores the textures and hues of nature with fabric in Earth Elements.
The artistic practice of NHAA multi-disciplinary artist, Kidd-Kestler, encompasses ceramic and wire sculpture, printmaking, and mixed media paintings, offering a deep exploration of various themes. For this collection, she explores the theme of “entanglement.”
What does it mean to be entangled in a community? Does every living thing find refuge in a home? Is a seed pod home to the seed, and a wasp's nest home to the insect colony? She explores these questions and more through sculpture and printmaking that incorporate gold leaf, ceramics, recycled plastic bags, metal wire, and acrylic. Insight for the collection struck Kidd-Kestler when she relocated to New Hampshire during the Covid pandemic and tried to create a community during the isolated time. She quickly turned her attention to the larger concept of home, not only for her but for other creatures as well.
“It started in response to this idea of creating a beautiful home, not just not necessarily for me, but for all different sorts of organisms," she said. "I used abstraction to envision a wasp's nest, and a bird's nest, and a sense of place." Whether it is a fish egg floating in a clump of seaweed, or a milkweed pod tangled in a fence, Kidd-Kestler, who also serves as the executive director of the New Hampshire Art Association, tries to unravel what it means to be home in a space and a community, including all the entanglements we form.
Her previous work has appeared at the Worcester Art Museum and the Fitchburg Art Museum.
Also in the Frazier Gallery is “Earth elements-exploring the textures and hues of nature,” by NHAA textile artist Cheryl Miller.
Miller, a textile artist based in Concord, creates textile collages using batiks, vintage fabrics, scraps of water color painting, and pieces of cotton fabric that she dyes with plants from her garden and stitches together. Miller likes to incorporate an eclectic mix of old and new, traditional and contemporary elements.
“I usually start with an idea, and then I just start pulling fabrics and cutting shapes and laying it out till I'm happy with it,” she says. “I like mixing hand-dyed fabrics and batiks with more traditional print and vintage fabrics.”
Miller holds a BA in art history from Hope College, where she studied studio art and started her art career as a Plein air oil painter. She finds inspiration in medieval tapestries and the paintings of Claude Monet.
Miller is a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and the New Hampshire Art Association.
The New Hampshire Art Association will display the shows in the Frazier Gallery of the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery from May 3 to May 28. They are hosting a reception Friday, May 5, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. as part of the Art 'Round Town First Friday art walk. The public is welcome.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Visit www.nhartassociation.org or call 603-431-4230 for more information.