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  • NHAA Body of Work II on display July 1-Aug. 1

    ‘Body of Work: Series II’
    NHAA features works of nine artists
    PORTSMOUTH – The New Hampshire Art Association will be holding a “Body of Work: Series II” exhibition during the month of July at the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery on State Street, as it celebrates its 80th year. NHAA is the oldest art association in the state and one of the oldest in the country.
    NHAA holds several “Body of Work” shows throughout the year to give its members an opportunity to show a grouping of their work to highlight a specific theme, genre, or medium.Artists are chosen by a lottery for each of these series.
    This second BOW exhibit at the gallery this year features nine artists exhibiting in a wide variety of mediums.
    Artists included in this show are oil painter Diane Bragdon, photographer Norman Desfosses, pastel painter Wolfgang Ertl, infrared photographer Mark Giuliucci, mixed media and watercolor artist Maryclare Heffernan, oil painter Lennie Mullaney, pastel painter Chris Reid, mixed media artist Debra Tillar, and oil painter Debra Woodward.
    About some of the artists:
    Norman Desfosses
    Desfosses of Durham is titling his exhibit “Dancing for Change.”
    “It was nearly 60 years ago when I was charmed by the Currier Gallery of Art (now the Currier Museum of Art),” Desfosses said. “That night, spotlights revealed a sculpture of columns, mosaics, and tall wooden doors reflecting in a pool below. It was a moment of clarity. 
    “Since that day, noticing moments of clarity has been part of my practice in photography—on the streets, in the woods, and in my daily routine.”
    Shortly after that moment, friends introduced Desfosses to the darkroom and “it was as they say “magic.” 
    “But one cannot assume clarity...as in when I abandoned my mother’s Brownie with a purchase from a pawn shop and then I lost the Currier Gallery negative,” he said.
    Desfosses moved to Boston and worked in a studio for a few years. He also spent most of his free time working the streets with his friend and “inspiration” Mike.
    “With a shared vision, we searched for settings of freedom in natural light and focused on images that show respect and grace,” he said. “These early studio years helped me realize that I did not know how to control an image – or wish to. The street approach is what I use for all my work and it goes without saying that I learned from the mastery and kindness of many people along the way.”
    Desfosses spent the next 32 years as a librarian and photography teacher for the Plymouth, New Hampshire school district and raised a family with his wife Mary.
    Chris Reid
    Reid is known for her landscapes and still life paintings. Her work is noted for “its intense color and masterful use of light”. Art New England describes Reid’s work as being “rich in color”, and her landscapes have been praised for the “powerful abstract elements”.  
    Reid received a B.S. in Art Education at SUNY College in Buffalo, and trained at the University of Siena (Siena Italy), the American School of Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) and NY State Colleges at Brockport and Buffalo, NY.
    She has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the Connecticut Pastel Society 2018 Renaissance in Pastel Honor Award, the Ampersand/Pastel Journal Award, the 8th annual National Juried Exhibition, the “Best in Show”, from the National Northeast Pastel Exhibition, the “Pastel Journal Award” from Maine’s 7th annual International Juried Exhibit, the “Dick Blick Award” from the 4th annual Northeast Pastel Exhibition, and the “Artist Clean Air Award” from the Pastel Society of America.  
    In addition to being a juried artist of the NHAA, Reid is a juried associate of the Pastel Society of America, a member of the Pastel Society of New Hampshire, a member of the Connecticut Pastel Society, a member of Monadnock Art/FDAC.  
    Reid was an instructor at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, NH from 2002-2007, a faculty member at the Sharon Arts Center, and teaches private classes.
    Chris can often be seen working en- plein air capturing the rich fields, meadows, and farmlands of New England and most recently completed a series entitled: “Food, Travel, and Vineyards,” which was featured in Cook’s Cook Magazine.
    Current galleries exhibiting her work include The Stan Fry Gallery in Peterborough and the Shaker Style in Chesham. 
    Debra Tillar
    Mixed media artist Tillar entitled her BOW exhibit, “Spirals: Earth, Sky, Space.”
    “The spirals in this exhibit are designed to represent three levels of spiritual energy: Earth, Sky, and the great mystery of the all-encompassing Universe,” Tillar said. “The idea to use spirals in lieu of the traditional hoop came to me in a dream. As soon as I woke up the next morning, I made my first spiral design and the idea evolved from there.”
    Tillar’s earth art is inspired by her love of nature and by the many cultures and environments she experienced during a lifetime of world travel – seven continents and over 45 countries. 
    “I create art using vines, roots, branches, and other natural objects that I collect from the woods and beach near my home in New Hampshire,” she said. “I also decorate my pieces with found or repurposed objects, or interesting items I’ve brought home from my travels.” 
    Tillar said her work embraces the Japanese aesthetic of “wabi-sabi”: finding beauty in imperfection. 
    “When I walk outdoors, I see art in a broken branch covered in moss, in a weathered bone, in a twisted vine or a gnarled root, in a piece of driftwood or sea-worn shell,” she said. “The natural shapes of the materials I use influence my process of construction and design. I let the treasures of the Earth speak to me.”
    Please note the gallery is following the CDC and state’s recommendations for safety while visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 603-431-4320 if you have any questions.
    Go & Do
    “Body of Work: Series II”
    Where: Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, Main Gallery
                136 State Street, Portsmouth NH
    When: July 1 through Aug. 1. 
    Gallery hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays, 12 to 5 p.m.; closed Mondays.