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  • BOW IV—the work of five artists—on display at Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery throughout August

    PORTSMOUTH – The New Hampshire Art Association will be holding a “Body of Work: Series IV” exhibition during the month of August 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 fourth BOW exhibit at the gallery this year features five local artists exhibiting in a variety of painting styles. Come and celebrate summertime in downtown Portsmouth and enjoy this visual feast for the eyes and spirit.
    Artists included in this show are painters Stan Chew, Nancy Dirubbo ,Ellen Pelletier, Jef Steingrebe and Carla Zwahlen.
    Here is a short peek at each artist in this exhibit:
    Stan Chew
    Chew’s early influences start with N.C. Wyeth. The sense of drama in the compositions, the color and movement of the water and the shape of the clouds in Wyeth's works made an impact.  
    By the early 1990's, Stan was painting and exhibiting in his home town of Hampton, New Hampshire selling to local collectors. He has always placed an emphasis on mastering technique in tandem with evolving his style.  His early fascination with Vermeer, Maxfield Parish and Bill Ogden's works led to learning how to apply multiple layers of paint mixed with varnish, an old-world masters' technique known as glazing.
    Nancy Dirubbo
    Preferring oils, Dirubbo strives to use light and color to capture the serene in a still life and the dynamic energy in landscapes. She said the natural beauty of the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and the coast of Maine have a “profound effect” on her.
    “I am drawn to still live,” Dirubbo said. “In a world that is anything but still, a still life painting allows us to pause, reflect, and deepen our understanding of the world around us and perhaps even within us.”
    Ellen Pelletier
    Pelletier has titled her Body of Work “Mainescapes.”
    “Primarily a pastelist, my joy in painting is to capture a mood, a feeling, a sense of space,” she said. “Whether in landscape, seascape or cityscape, I am pleased when viewers enjoy these qualities in my paintings.”
    Pelletier has taken courses at Heartwood College of Art and River Tree Arts as well as workshops with several members of the Pastel Society of America.  
    Jef Steingrebe
    Steingrege’s original plan for the exhibition was to work off of the paintings Wayne Thiebaud was creating in the early 1960s – his brightly keyed paintings of dessert, candies, and other leisure items.
    The first handful of two- and three- dimensional pieces definitely came from this approach.   
    “But a second chapter came along as we waited last winter for our turn to get the vaccine shots,” he said.  “I started to think about what I personally was experiencing in the early 60s when Thiebaud was creating his masterpieces. In 1960 I was still fascinated by Davey Crockett, Superman, toy robots and the like.”
    His works show his whimsical exploration as he quotes singer-songwriter John Prine who wrote, “just another child that’s grown old.”
    Carla Zwahlen
    The theme of Zwahlen’s Body of Work show is “Quiet Expressions.”
    She became a juried member of the NHAA in 2020 and lives in Mont Vernon where she works in her studio using oils and pastels.
    “I paint from the landscapes of my life lived in the Swiss Alps and the White Mountains,” she said. “My love of the sea and its surroundings inspired the paintings for this Body of Work exhibition.”
    NHAA is following the city of Portsmouth's guidelines that masks are not required for those who have been vaccinated, however if visitors are more comfortable setting up a time to view this exhibit by appointment outside of gallery hours, they can call 603-431-4230 to set up a time.
    Go & Do
    “Body of Work: Series IV” Exhibition and Sale
    Where: Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery,136 State Street, Portsmouth NH, and online at www.nhartassociation.org
    When: Aug. 4 – Aug. 29. Opening reception at the Levy Gallery, Friday, Aug. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m.
    Gallery hours: Tuesdays, 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.