When the Greeley Park Art Show opens on Saturday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m., visitors will see the work of 50 artists, some from Vermont and Massachusetts but primarily from the Nashua area, which dips down to Lowell, Mass. Visitors will also see a wide variety of work from sculptures to oil paintings to digital photography. This variety represents demographic changes.
“One of the reasons we have so many different kinds of art is because so many different types of people are moving into the Nashua area,” said Jacqueline Barry, president of the Nashua Area Artist Association, which puts on the event. “But we’re lucky to have many talented artists in the area.”
Barry said she didn’t know the exact reason for the influx of talent in Nashua, but she said there is something about older cities, like Lowell, Manchester and Nashua, that attracts artists. With this attraction come artists who use all sorts of media to express themselves. Typically the Greeley Park Art Show does not accept crafts and leans more toward fine arts. But this brings up the question of what exactly is fine art.
Barry said many would consider it to mean paintings, but she and the Greeley Park committee are open to expanding the definition. She said she once didn’t consider photography fine art until seeing a friend’s work and being impressed by the digital enhancements. She likened art to music and said while someone might not like every song in a certain genre, if you listen to enough you’ll find one or two you enjoy. She said being open to such diversity — the Greeley Park Art Show will feature a classical guitarist and a puppeteer — provides something for everyone.
The Greeley Park Art Show has been providing art for people since the 1950s. Barry said people come to expect the show the third week of August every year and have it marked down on their calendars.
Another aspect of the Art Show that has become embedded in the community is the Emerging Artist Competition, which is held on Sunday and showcases the work of young artists between the ages of 6 and 18. Over the years some of these artists have gone on to continue their craft and now show their work in the adult show.
“Kids get to see other art that is done and get inspired,” Barry said. “We’ve had a couple of generations of families get involved. Once you get bit by the art bug, I guess it never goes away.”
Barry also cited the fact that the Art Show is held in Greeley Park, which has become synonymous with family fun and relaxation in the city, as a reason for the success of the show.
“It is the biggest park in Nashua and a great meeting place for people,” Barry said.
The Nashua Arts Association, which had been involved with a gallery for several years before it closed down recently, has gotten back to its original intent of promoting culture in the city and providing programs.
One program held recently was called the Ripple Effect. High school students were given a subject and then asked to write a poem on it. The best three poems were then given to the Nashua Symphony, which created a piece of music based on its interpretation of the poems, and to local artists who painted pictures from the inspiration they derived from the poems.
“There is a lot of blending in art,” Barry said.
And much of that will be on display at the Greeley Park Art Show.