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  • ‘Body of Work: Series II’ — NHAA features works of four artists

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    PORTSMOUTH – The New Hampshire Art Association will be holding a “Body of Work: Series II” exhibition during the month of May at the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery on State Street.
    NHAA holds several “Body of Work” shows throughout the year to give its members an opportunity to showcase a grouping of their works. By exhibiting multiple works, the featured artists are able to present their overall artistic vision, sometimes difficult to do with one or two pieces.
    This second BOW exhibit at the gallery this year features four local artists exhibiting in a variety of mediums. Come and celebrate springtime in downtown Portsmouth and enjoy this visual feast for the eyes and spirit.
    Artists included in this show are painters John Kessler, Naomi Kornhauser, John Shevenell and Sean Walker.
    Kessler works with oil paints usually depicting some aspect of life in rural New England. His exhibit is titled, “Close to Home – Paintings of Portsmouth.”
    Kessler’s 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 on occasion.
    “The world around us is interesting and beautiful when we take the time to look,” Kessler said. “As an artist I hope to point out some of those special instances that occur in our everyday lives. . .by creating my paintings, I hope to provide a second chance to see what might have been missed the first time around.”
    Kessler of Windham is active in the Greater Salem Art Association and the Kittery and Newburyport Art Associations. He is an artist member of the Jaffrey Civic Center and is a juried member of the New Hampshire Art Association in Portsmouth. His artwork can be found at the MacDonald Fine Art Gallery in Gilford.
    Kornhauser’s exhibit is titled, “On My Table.”
    “The painters I love the most walk the edge between observation and abstraction, the seen world and the fact of paint on canvas,” Kornhauser said.
    “Similarly, I assemble objects that intrigue me because of their abstract qualities (e.g., the ellipse of a plate, the directional line of a clothespin) and personal associations (e.g., my fondness for nesting bowls or a postcard of a beloved painting),” she said.
    “I assemble these objects, search out relationships between them, alter and adjust, move and rearrange. I don’t have a preconception of the finished product, but work until some kind of harmony or balance is achieved while maintaining the life of the paint on canvas.”
    Kornhauser was born in Maryland and lived in Massachusetts, Georgia, and South Carolina before settling in New Hampshire 25 years ago. She received a BFA in Painting from Carnegie Mellon University and studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. In the Seacoast area, she has studied with DeWitt Hardy, Sean Beavers, and Adeline Goldminc-Tronzo.
    “On These Shores” is the title of Shevenell’s exhibition.
    “My exhibit is intended to reflect my own rediscovery of the local seashore, rivers and estuaries of southern New Hampshire and Maine,” he said. “During my life I have become familiar with many other shores, Puget Sound, The English Channel, and the Mediterranean to mention a few. My aim has been to capture the special quality of light and the seasons that have drawn me back to my beloved homeland.”
    Shevenell has been painting for about 15 years following a life-long career as an architect. He retired in 2009 and decided to carry on his creative life through watercolor painting. 
    He was born and raised in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire, and subsequently left to attend architecture school in Boston. He eventually departed New England for a 20-year practice of architecture near Seattle. Upon retiring, he moved to the Thames Valley west of London, England to be near family. In 2020, he returned to the Seacoast of New Hampshire. 
    Walker’s exhibit is titled "Driver's Seat" and showcases his urban landscape paintings. 
    "I'm often witnessing the first light of dawn as I'm on my drive to the office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and often snap cellphone photos of the areas I find oddly attractive to inspire my work." Walker said.
    In this urban series, Walker seeks to highlight the occasional periods of intense color and lighting he finds unique to New England. He often constructs the subjects in his work as planes of color and tone applied with knives rather than brushes. 
    Walker earned his BFA in painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 1996, and settled in southern New Hampshire shortly thereafter. When not observing or photographing objects in the night sky, he often paints bold non-representational abstracts. 
    The urban landscape is a return to his roots as a former Bostonian painter mining the arteries and interstate highways of the Northeast for inspiration. 
    Go & Do
    “Body of Work: Series II” Exhibition and Sale
    Where: Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, Main Gallery
                136 State Street, Portsmouth NH, and online at www.nhartassociation.org
    When: May 4 through May 29. There will be an opening reception on Friday, May 6, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Levy Gallery.
    Gallery hours: Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment; Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m.