For the 62nd time since 1947, the walls of the Currier Museum of Art will be hung with the works of members of the New Hampshire Art Association (NHAA). For the artists, it is a chance to have their work viewed beside that of world masters. For the public, it a chance to see what is being done in their own back yard.
“This platform re-affirms the rich artistic practices happening in our community,” said Nina Bozicnik, assistant curator at the Currier. “The Currier’s commitment to artists working in the region has made this collaboration continue as it has.”
With 400 members in the NHAA, the majority of whom are from the Granite State, there is a lot of art for the Currier to choose from. According to Bozicnik, each member is allowed to submit two works created in the last two years in any medium. Those works are dropped off and then two jurors select the most interesting, aesthetically successful or moving pieces. Typically there are around 50 chosen. This year’s jurors are Jen Mergel, Beal Family senior curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Dina Deitsch, associate curator of Contemporary Art at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Mass.
“The outside perspective is critical and offers future ideas as well,” Bozicnik said.
The juried portion of the collection will be in the Southwest gallery. This year there will also be a companion exhibit, which will hang in an adjacent bubble space in the Putnam Gallery.
“Since the first Currier exhibit in 1947, many current or former members of the New Hampshire Art Association have gone on to national or international renown,” Bozicnik said. “We have collected some of these works and will be displaying them.”
The theme for this exhibition will be selected images that convey a notion of place, site or environment. For example, one featured work is “Dunbarton, Apple Trees” by Hope Zanes. Bozicnik said that Zanes was drawn to these apple trees on the side of the road and eventually captured their image. Bozicnik said the picture became surreal and fantastical with Zanes’ use of the bichromate process. The exhibit hopes to capture the different ways artists can mine their surroundings.
Other artists in this exhibit include James Aponovich, Carl A. Hyatt and Gary Samson.
Having the exhibit at the Currier allows viewers an opportunity to compare the works of these New Hampshire artists with other historic pieces, according to Bozicnik.
“We’re delighted to be showing at the Currier,” said Jinny Eshoo, executive assistant at the NHAA. “We’re expecting a wonderful turnout.”
The exhibition begins as the NHAA undergoes a change in leadership. Executive Director Billie Tooley has resigned to take a new job, according to Eshoo. The board of directors is reviewing résumés and hopes to have a new director soon. Jane Fithian is bridging the space between directors.
The exhibit opens Jan. 29 and runs through March 6. There will also be a free cell phone audio tour, where visitors can listen to the artists talk about their work in their own words.