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  • Body of Work: Series III — NHAA features works of six artists

    PORTSMOUTH – The New Hampshire Art Association will be holding a “Body of Work: Series III” exhibition during the month of September 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 third BOW exhibit at the gallery this year features six artists exhibiting in a wide variety of mediums.
    Artists included in this show are Christine Andrews, acrylic mixed media; Mary Crump, oil paintings; Renee Giffroy, photography; Emily Moore, oil, watercolor and pastel paintings; Paul J. Noel, oil paintings; and Brittany Soucy, oil paintings.
    Here is a look at a couple of the artists:
    Brittany Soucy
    Soucy has titled her show, “Metaphors of Hope.”
    “During hard times, looking toward things that bring us hope can change everything,” Soucy said. “Despair can lessen its grip and anger can dissipate and allow joy into our soul.”
    By turning toward hope, “our focus becomes one of growth and progression naturally,” Soucy added. 
    “I always derive hope from nature – the awe of sunrise and sunset, how plants grow from seeds, how rain nourishes the earth,” she said. “I am grateful for the land and sea and the lessons I learn from observing it.”
    Living on the New Hampshire Seacoast, Soucy said she is grateful that all she has to do is walk across the yard to go to work in her 200-year-old barn studio.  
    “It’s like the dream of my childhood and the wish of my heart have come true,” she said.
    “I believe that setting aside time for making and appreciating art is an act of self-care,” Soucy added. “I now understand that the process of art-making is an important balm that propels us toward healing. When I was younger, I worried that being creative and artistic was a useless talent to have, but now I consider it both a pleasure and a sacred responsibility.”
    Paul J. Noel
    Noel has titled his show, “Progression.”
    “It is the next level of my work as I progress with my style and image 
    interpretation,” he said. “I’m learning to paint texturally by overlapping several layers and values of paint, to create detail spontaneously, rather than paint every leaf or blade of grass.”
    Noel of Wells, Maine, said it has been his life’s dream to one day become an accepted and commercially successful fine artist. 
    While working most of his adult life as an interior designer, Noel studied locally with several well-known artists. In 2007, during a trip to France, he spent four months studying in an intimate atelier setting at the Academie de Port Royal in Paris.
    “There, I learned and applied the techniques and concepts of oil painting in the finest of environments,’ Noel said. 
    The culmination of this journey was receiving a Prix Special (Special Award) for the fine body of work he and another student produced.
    “I hope that the viewing of my work brings even half the pleasure it gives me to produce it,” Noel said.
    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 or would like to make a private appointment to visit the gallery due to any concerns.
    GO & DO
    “Body of Work: Series III”
    Where: New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, 136 State Street, Portsmouth NH
    When: Sept. 2 – Sept. 27. There will be an online reception on Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. Please visit www.nhartassociation.org for more information on this.
    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 from 12 to 5 p.m.: closed Mondays. (Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, please call the gallery regarding hours before traveling a distance at 603-431-4230.)