The Hippo


Apr 24, 2019








Byron Champlain laying down the first piece. He’s the program officer at Lincoln Financial Group, which is sponsoring the art project. Courtesy photo.

First capital sketch crawl

You may also see community artists wearing green “Drawing Attention” T-shirts next weekend that, on the back, say “palate, pallet, palette: eat, sleep, paint.”
Local artist Bobbie Herron is organizing an urban sketching event Saturday, June 28, from 10 a.m. until after 2 p.m. She took the idea from Urban Sketchers, an organization that began in Washington state aimed at raising the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing and connecting people around the world who draw where they live and travel.
This event, Drawing Attention in Concord, is not an official Urban Sketchers event, Herron said, but rather a means to gauge the city’s interest.
“It’s sort of like a flash mob or a pub crawl,” Herron said. “I personally live in town and take my sketchbook everywhere; I’ll pull up a rock or a wall or something, and I’ll just sit down with my sketchbook and watercolor palette. … But the event isn’t so much about sketching as it is about stopping and looking and seeing the things you see a million times, but seeing them again as though for the first time. Perhaps it’s the city’s architecture, but also the little nooks and crannies that make your city your city.”
The event starts with a kick-off gathering by the arch in front of the Statehouse at 10 a.m. Then, participating artists will head out anywhere in the city to sketch. They should bring their own supplies, camp stool (while being sure to respect traffic, pedestrians, business establishments, etc.), and sketchbook. At noon, the artists will meet again at Eagle Square to share their sketchbook art and eat lunch before venturing off again and meeting back at the arch at 2 p.m. The day-long event is aimed at beginner and experienced sketchers. It’s meant to be relaxed; there’s no required registration, but you can learn more at the event page on Facebook.
Participate in the mosaic-building
• Midsummer Night Magic, Friday, June 20, 4-7 p.m.
• Granite State Music Festival, Saturday, June 21, 2-5 p.m., and Sunday, June 22, 2-5 p.m., at Kiwanis Riverfront Park
• Free Family Fun at Market Days, Thursday, July 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Friday, July 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Saturday, July 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Statehouse lawn
• Concord Arts Market, Saturday, Aug. 2, 9 a.m.-noon; Saturday, Aug. 16, 9 a.m.-noon; and Saturday, Sept. 6, 9 a.m.-noon, at Bicentennial Square
• Porkfest, Sunday, Aug. 17, noon-2 p.m., at Merrill Park
• Concord Multicultural Festival, Saturday, Sept. 13, 1-6 p.m., at the Statehouse lawn
Learn more

Downtown Art
Community comes together to art-up Concord

By Kelly Sennott

 When The Hippo wrote extensively about public art in New Hampshire last summer, it seemed the one major city lagging behind — at least in modern or community-based public art — was Concord. 

It didn’t have the International Sculpture Symposium of Nashua or the outdoor murals of Portsmouth, but at the time the story ran, there were plans to implement these ideas in the city’s master plan for the downtown redesign. 
Now it’s finally happening.
It starts with Mosaic 250, a community art project headlined by Jessica Fogg, Hopkinton artist Lizz Van Saun and Concord 250, a newly formed nonprofit created as part of the city’s 250th anniversary.
“For the past couple of years, we’ve been talking a lot about getting public art in downtown Concord,” said Fogg, owner of JFogg Social Inspirations and a member of Concord 250 and Creative Concord. “The 250th anniversary seemed like a great opportunity to accomplish that goal.”
The plan is for community members who attend upcoming city events — like Midsummer Night Magic on July 20 and the Granite State Music Festival June 21 and 22 — to contribute to the bright, colorful mosaic by placing bits of reclaimed glass in place. The mosaic will be divided into four panels, each 3 feet by 4 feet and built to withstand all weather conditions. 
Van Saun will man the art-making booth. She’s already laid out a template for the proposed piece, which will contain Concord’s symbols — iconic buildings, Concord Coach, perhaps references to the Discovery Center — as well as New Hampshire’s, from its vegetation and wildlife to its historic landmarks.
You don’t have to be artistic to take part; community members will fill in the design like a paint-by-number. Some have already done so, during Concord 250’s Dancin’ in the Streets Party and the Concord Arts Market on June 6 and June 7. 
Having headlined mosaic projects in Concord, Keene and Vermont, Van Saun thinks it’s a great way for locals to come together.
“It gives people the opportunity to create something they otherwise might not have had the chance to do, and be successful at it,” Van Saun said. “There will be an educational piece, too, when installed; I think people will have a lot of fun recognizing the symbols.”
There’s no set location for the final piece, but there’s hope that, at the end of the summer, the mosaic will be completed and ready for installation by next summer, a present from the community to the city at the tail end of its 250th year.
Tim Sink, president of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce and member of Creative Concord, says it’s just the beginning. There are plans for wider sidewalks, more public spaces, and, if all goes as planned, more public art.
“It’s one piece of a much bigger picture taking place here,” Sink said in a phone interview. “Over the course of a year and a half, we’ll see a complete renaissance of downtown Concord. … The end product is going to be a very attractive destination downtown, and part of that is going to [include] more public art.”
Of course, placing public art, Sink said, is much harder than you’d think, particularly because art is so subjective. This also makes choosing the type of art very tricky, but he feels the mosaic will appeal to a wide range of viewers.  This kind of public art allows the city’s residents to be part of the downtown renaissance.
“I hope it’s a catalyst for more public art, and that it will encourage people to be more open to it,” Van Saun said. “There’s a real potential for creating a lively and inviting downtown.” 
As seen in the June 19, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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