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  • A New Day—NH Art Association highlights new members

    PORTSMOUTH–The New Hampshire Art Association juried in 35 new members during 2020 and they will be featured in an exhibit titled, “A New Day,” during January.

    The exhibit will take place from Jan. 6 to 31, 2021, at the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery’s front windows on State Street and online at nhartassociation.org. The gallery will be closed for the month to refresh the space, but those interested in viewing the artwork in person can do so by appointment.

    'We are thrilled to welcome so many talented artists into NHAA and are happy to provide them opportunities to show and sell their work,” said NHAA Board President Renee Giffroy. 

    “The fresh perspectives they bring helps everyone in our community continue to grow. We've already scheduled our next new member jurying opportunity for March 2021 and look forward to having more local artists join us next year.”

    NHAA’s longevity and strong reputation is a result of its talented artists and their high-quality work. The association provides many opportunities for artists to exhibit and sell their artwork. To maintain those standards, it requires artists to be juried into the association.
    Currently NHAA has two jurying opportunities during the year. The next opportunity will be March 22, 2021. Information is posted on the NHAA’s website at www.nhartassociation.org.
     
     
    Here is a glimpse into the artistic talents of three of the NHAA’s new members.
     

    Carla Zwahlen

    “I paint from the landscapes of my life,” Zwahlen said. 

    “My relationship with art and music reaches back to my childhood. Often choosing between pursuing my love of the piano or the paintbrush was like playing a game of ping pong, so I ended the game and followed both.” 

    Zwahlen studied with two Grand Dames of piano pedagogy on the road to becoming a concert pianist. However, after she spent practicing for several hours daily, she realized that life on the classical concert stage was not for her. She then turned her focus to study fine art and graduated from the Boston Art Institute. 

    “On a sabbatical from teaching art and music, I chose Waterville Valley to ski for the winter season,” Zwahlen said. “It proved the best choice because I met my Swiss husband, Werner, who opened the door not only to add Switzerland to the majestic landscapes of my life but set us on a love affair for life.”

    For the next 33 years, the landscape of Zwahlen’s life was home in the White Mountains ski country. 

    “Werner, always my art encourager, was my sketchbook and pencils Sherpa wherever we hiked,” she said. “But the richness of these landscapes from my life ended when cancer took Werner and half of my heart.”

    Healing is another facet of art, Zwahlen said. 

    “I understand this. My pencils, pastels, and canvas were the instruments I used to focus on painting the beauty surrounding me and away from grief's landscape.”

    Zwahlen’s paintings hang in private and corporate collections throughout the United States, in France and Switzerland. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s permanent collection includes several of her paintings displayed together in her husband's memory. 

    Currently, Zwahlen lives in Mont Vernon, NH, where she works in her studio and teaches piano to her six grandchildren. 

    “I am also a published writer currently working on the book project, ‘Cancer Tested, Courage, and Faith’,” she added.

    “I am honored to be an NHAA member and look forward to contributing to its success.”
     
     

    John Kessler

    “I have only been painting seriously for about three years, but I have dabbled with art my whole life,” Kessler said. “I have been living in Windham, New Hampshire for about 40 years, but as a child I bounced around the US and Europe as the son of an Air Force officer.”
     
    Kessler works primarily in oils usually depicting some aspect of life in rural New England.  His paintings are representational in nature, but with a bit of impressionistic style.  The subject matter is most likely a landscape, but John also paints the occasional still life or some fun item that piques his interest. 
     
    He creates much of his artwork in the studio, but also does plein air painting in the area.
     
    After retiring from a successful engineering career, Kessler focused his attention on oil painting, an interest he has had throughout his life.  At a young age, he was exposed to art via his father who painted in his spare time with an interest in Impressionism. 
     
    Kessler is essentially self-taught.  He has taken classes at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester and adds to his experience by taking workshops and painting with other artists. 
     
    “There is beauty in all sorts of places in this world,” Kessler said. “As an artist I hope to point out some of those special instances that occur in our everyday lives.  Maybe we don’t notice that beauty due to our busy lives, going to work, taking care of the kids, running errands, or maybe we were just looking the other way.  By creating my paintings, I hope to provide a second chance to see what might have been missed the first time around.”  
     

    Howard Muscott


    Muscott has photographed nature, landscapes and wildlife for more than 40 years. Grounded in his years of hiking, backpacking, and mountain climbing, Muscott’s love for nature photography is fueled by the exquisite beauty of the natural world and the wildlife residing within their various habitats.  
     
    “The ideal photograph tells a story that speaks directly to the heart and moves people to self-reflection,” he said. “It combines one’s vision for the image with the best natural, ideally golden light. It requires preparation, persistence, patience and access to a unique opportunity.”
     
    Self-taught, Muscott has had more than 30 individual and 75 group shows highlighting among other things nature, autumn colors, Southwestern peoples and light, the mountains of Alaska, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, and wildlife in the United States and Costa Rica.  
     
    Muscott’s work has been published on the cover of national journals in education, in newspapers and books, and used on educational and other websites. He has won numerous awards for both wildlife and portraits including most recently, Best in Show at Beaver Brook Association four years in a row. 
     
    Muscott is a lifelong special educator and retired professor who directs the New Hampshire Center for Effective Behavioral Interventions and Supports at SERESC in Bedford, New Hampshire.  
     
     
    Go & Do
    “A New Day - NH Art Association highlights new members
    Where: N.H. Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery in the front windows, 136 State Street, Portsmouth. This exhibit will also be available online at www.nhartassociation.org. The gallery will be closed for the month of January to refresh the space, but those interested in viewing the artwork in person can do so by appointment.