The Hippo


Jul 21, 2019








Liz Sibley Fletcher with her frog sculpture. Courtesy photo.

Artists on Review
Where: 30 Temple Street Plaza, one block east of Main Street in Nashua
When: Sunday, May 4, from noon to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free

Kicking off Sculpture Month
Nashua’s new show and sale

By Kelly Sennott

 If you know art and you know Nashua, chances are you know Meri Goyette, too.

If you don’t, you should — a mover and shaker in the city’s arts scene, she played a large role in the development of the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium and was involved with the Hunt Building and its use for artistic events for many years. In fact, she’s been involved with most things art in Nashua; we’ve written about her a few times, too ( 
As Goyette mentioned offhand within 10 minutes of the interview at her home, she’s 88 years old and not even close to slowing down. (“I only feel it when I walk,” she said, shortly before she scrambled around the kitchen to prep lunch.)
She was calling May “Sculpture Month” in Nashua before it was officially so (the Board of Aldermen voted and accepted the designation April 22), and, most recently, City Arts Nashua and the Nashua Arts Commission named an inaugural arts awards event after her, which occurred on April 6 at the Sky Meadow Country Club. Her next project? A sculpture show and sale in downtown Nashua on Sunday, May 4.
Goyette had been up for a while the day of the interview; it was only lunchtime, but she’d woken at 4 a.m. to get things done for the Artists on Review Exhibition and Sale, which will be from noon to 5 p.m. that day at 30 Temple Street Plaza. Meant to kick off Sculpture Month, the show and sale will contain lots of work by area artists suitable for the home, office and garden. 
The 15 sculptors who show on May 4 didn’t need to pay commission to enter, which was important to Goyette — she wanted this to be an event for both accomplished and emerging artists who are working hard to get their names out there.
Some of them, like Jeffrey Cooper, John Weidman and Liz Sibley Fletcher, are more well-known in the area, but Goyette was just as eager to talk about the up-and-coming artists like 26-year-old Peter Dibble of Hudson.
“He’s making a 4-foot fish out of recycled material. … I was really blown away by this guy. He’s only 26,” Goyette said. She flipped through her event binder to show a photo of Dibble’s work in progress.
Ten years ago, she hosted a similar event at the Prudential Center in Boston.
“It’s very hard for artists to find their way into a gallery,” Goyette said. “When I went into Boston, I was looking for unusual places for artists to show their work. The event was very successful.”
She wanted to bring the event to her hometown, but at that time, Nashua wasn’t quite as ready for an event like that as it is now.
“It’s all about timing, honey. It’s all about when things are right,” she said. “I had this idea in my mind a long time ago, but it just wasn’t right. … I see what’s happening in Nashua now. … The symphony is here, and so is the Sculpture Symposium, and it’s just blossoming.”
The perfect spot for this sculpture show and sale, Goyette decided, was on Temple Street in the parking lot of R.J. Finlay & Co.
“Ask and you shall receive,” Goyette said. “I went and knocked on the door of R.J. Finlay, and I asked, ‘Can I use your parking lot for an art show?’ … Sometimes you might feel bad asking for things, but if you say, ‘I’m doing it for the artists, who need the exposure,’ it helps.”
Needless to say, the owners said yes.
“When I make my mind up to do something, I do it,” she said. 
Mason artist Liz Sibley Fletcher was happy to take part. A sculptor and member of the League of NH Craftsmen, Fletcher will be showing a trio of animal sculptures, a frog, turtle and dog, this weekend.
“It’s nice that more people seem to be interested in sculpture,” Fletcher said. “It’s such a fascinating field. You can do so many different kinds of things with so many materials.”
She’s also looking forward to seeing what other participating artists are producing; there’s a good synergy in Nashua, she said.
Of course, pointing that out is part of Goyette’s aim, too.
“Hey,” Goyette said, “it’s happening here.” 
As seen in the May 1, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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