Behind the Yellow Door: Long River Gallery
Lyme NH is a mere 10.8 miles from Hanover, a straight shot on Route 10  if you ignore the two ridiculous roundabouts. Estimated driving time: 19 minutes, and parking available. Home to Stella's Restaurant and the Lyme Inn, where you can now luxuriate on the closed-in porch for weekend breakfasts. Fortify yourself with maple-syrup soaked pancakes on a Sunday morning, as I recently did, and then look for the famous yellow door of
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Long River Gallery and Gifts at the other end of town green. He who brings early morning tales of the journey. Sculpture in clay and fabric by artist Anna Hranovska

He who brings early morning tales of the journey. Sculpture in clay and fabric by artist Anna Hranovska

Dave and Lisa Celone have owned Long River for two years, although it has graced the town of Lyme for 25.  It is run as an artist's collective.  At last count,  there are over 150 local artists showing their juried work; more than a third of the pieces are fine art--paintings and sculpture--exhibited in the gallery adjacent to the entrance room. There is also pottery, jewelry, furniture, wooden bowls and boards, toys , baby onesies, scarves and hats, cards, books, and chocolates. Bernie (Sanders) bars await--fine chocolate with a liberal sprinkling of sea salt. Get 'em while you can--no photo ID required. Jewelry by Lynn Adams

Jewelry by Lynn Adams

Dave Celone finds "the Long River community of artists and craftspeople to be an extraordinary strong and vibrant family." And local means local--the vast majority of work is from the Upper Valley and Lake Sunapee regions of Vermont and New Hampshire. Many of the artists take a turn at minding the store. Exhibitions change frequently, and artist demonstrations are common. A rolling group of artist members curate submitted work, judging quality, diversity, and details such as whether a pottery mug sits flat on a surface. Part of Dave's job is to then find the space to fit each item. Bathing Beauties, oil, by artist Liliana Paradiso

Bathing Beauties, oil, by artist Liliana Paradiso

The gallery is a visual feast, but not only. It is home to poetry readings, including recent ones with Sidney Lea (VT) (see my post here) and Alice Fogel (NH), former and current poets laureate.  Celone also hosts the Lampshade Poets, a White River Junction, VT-based writing and reading group. Rocker by Vermont Folk Rocker; S'mores I, 2, and 3 (on right edge of photo) by artist Kate Emlen

Rocker by Vermont Folk Rocker; S'mores I, 2, and 3 (on right edge of photo) by artist Kate Emlen

Not all is traditional bucolic New England. The Celones are putting together a new show, tentatively titled, Exploring Body Art:  The Art of SKIN, for later in the summer. It will include several works by gallery members and a body artist from the Upper Valley, as well as models displaying their tattoos. Sculpted Hills by artist Micki Colbeck

Sculpted Hills by artist Micki Colbeck

The hours are friendly. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Monday by appointment. A visit may not exactly replace the Hood Museum, but it will ease the pain of its closing for renovation. Unlike the Hood, all of the art is for sale; something may follow you home. LR SOLDDolls, cover photo above, by artist Samantha Chalmus

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