Sculptor, potter, fiber artist, jewelry maker, blacksmith and naturalist Anna Hranovska Vincelette at work as she handbuilds a new object of art from clay.

A New Artist Rises in White River Junction, VT

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Dave Celone

An Artist in Need, and The Right Thing to Do...

She was living in a place that just wasn't healthy. She couldn't breathe. Her asthma was overwhelming her.  Her beautiful Eastern European lilt was choked off by a lack of oxygen. Her creativity was failing. She needed a new home.

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Meet Anna Hranovska Vincelette, Artist in Residence at the new Long River Gallery & Gifts pop-up shop and workspace at 49 South Main Street on White River Junction's man drag, right next door to The Junction Frame Shop. Anna is also Artist in Residence and teaches at Earthstar Pottery in Hartland, and she teaches at Tip Top Pottery in White River Junction.  Long River has been in business in Lyme, NH, representing over 150 local-area artists and artisans for 25 years this year. So, why add a new location in White River?  It's all about Anna.

Just a month ago, an email was sent by a friend of Anna's and local WRJ business person mentioning Anna's plight. She needed to relocate desperately. Several people received the email, two of whom talked and, within a matter of a few days, David Briggs of White River Junction had agreed to make available a room at the White River Hostel. Coupled with that came the notion that Anna, given her talent, should also have a space to work. A retail storefront space had just become available with the closing of White River Yarns on So. Main Street, and, so, a plan was born.  

One of Anna's large scale sculptures of clay, paper clay, polymer clay, metal, fiber and glass now on display along with several other of her large creations at Long River Gallery & Gifts pop-up shop in White River Junction, VT.

It all happened quickly. Anna moved to the hostel space David provided and began to breathe again. Within days, she was able to transport and unpack much of her work that had been in boxes, unseen and under-appreciated for months. The metaphor of moving her work from enclosed dark boxes into the light of day was as apt for her health as it was for her art. Her breathing improved and her stress levels decreased, Anna's desire to show her work returned with a fervor. She wants to begin teaching again, to show students how to hand-build with clay using ages-old techniques she learned in the Ukraine and in Moscow's busy public artist market places. David Briggs talked with Dave Celone of Long River Gallery & Gifts in Lyme, NH who agreed to help set up the former yarn shop space into a pop-up gallery so Anna could display and sell her work. Starting with a hopeful email plea, to four local businesspeople wanting to do the right thing for a local artist in need, an improbable new gallery space in The Junction was born.

The new Long River Gallery & Gifts window at 49 South Main Street in White River Junction, VT reflects the Center for Cartoon Studies building directly across the street. Art seems to be popping up all over in The Junction.


Anna is an artist's artist. She offers and shares her ideas and skills freely with others. She knows every artist will develop her or his own style, so she's not at all concerned people might copy her work. She's the kind of artist who talks as she works, imparting the wisdom of years, and instructs while she builds, demonstrating as she teaches. To watch and listen to Anna is an experience of a lifetime. Not only will you meet an empath, but you'll also come away with some new insights into the natural world. Anna is expert in the field of mushrooms, plants, trees, and edible wild foods growing in the forest. She can develop tinctures and teas, salves and scintillating objects of art, as well as build finely sculpted pieces, large and small, of clay, fiber, glass, and other materials including found objects and, believe it or not, salmon skin to create the look and feel of leathered drum skin!

A small heart pendant by Anna. The detail front and back is complex and beautiful.

With Dave Briggs' quick creative acumen, and his wife Peggy's compassionate understanding that an artist in need is, indeed, a person to be helped, Anna now has a new home by day in the new Long River Gallery that's already filled with her work and the works of local artists and artisans numbering some 40 strong and growing. In her off hours, she has a comfortable, clean, warm, and precious living space that affords her the time to sleep and recover from her busy schedule of working at Tip Top Pottery in WRJ while scrambling to find rides to Earthstar Pottery in Hartland to build and fire her clay objects in the kiln there. Anna doesn't drive, so she relies on the generosity of others who might be going her way to and from Hartland and White River Junction. When she's not working at her art, she's working to help others learn to create and paint clay objects at Tip Top Pottery, or she can now be found gallery sitting at Long River in WRJ. The hours Anna keeps are not easy or short. At one job or another, she works from 8 AM to 10 PM every day.  

As Anna best describes it: "When I'm not working I'm sleeping and dreaming of my next piece." Her mind is at work all the time, 24/7. She's a creative force consciously, unconsciously, and subconsciously the world simply needs to feel. Stop by Long River to meet Anna soon. We're grateful she's with us on this planet. Her dual forces of creativity and empathy are meant to be experienced and touched.  

When is a fish sculpture not a fish sculpture?

When it's a fish sculpture embedded with a human face, and opens into a box for storage of your precious objects.  Can you see the face in the image above?

Anna hopes to begin teaching workshops in her Long River space as soon as she unboxes her clay, paints and other art materials, and has a sturdy table set up to use for working with others. She asks interested or prospective students to seek her out at Long River Gallery & Gifts to discuss the times she'll be available to teach.  

Wall mask by Anna.

Chameleon by Anna with removable head within a head within a head for multiple secret storage compartments, body for storage, and a surprise face on its back!

One of Anna's turtle sculptures. With storage under the shell and her signature face on the back. Look for the face carefully. You'll see it appear!


Don't ever miss another post! Click here to sign up for an email alert each time Dave Celone publishes a news piece on the And do Click here to see his previous post on White River Junction titled "White River Rising" that mentions many of WRJ's varied stores and market spaces.     

Dave Celone is not these beautiful handcrafted polymer clay drawer and cabinet door pull knobs by Sally Craft who shows her work at Long River Gallery & Gifts in White River Junction, VT. Instead, he's a real person who likes to write about local artists, local happenings, and goings-on around the world that impact those who live in NH and VT.

Dave Celone is a freelance writer, poet, visual artist, art gallery curator, and consultant for the education industry. He co-manages Long River Gallery & Gifts in Lyme, NH with his wife Lisa where over 150 artists and artisans show their work. They have a new "pop-up" gallery now open at 49 South Main Street in White River Junction, VT, right next to The Junction Frame Shop. Dave is also principal of Advancement Consulting Services offering higher education institutions and private secondary schools global best practices and unique ways to increase alumni giving and involvement through programs that develop relationships and value holistically. His "virtuous circle" model on developing fundraising programs, and his belief in "treating students like alumnae/i and alumnae/i like students" have gained favor among development industry professionals and higher education leadership on multiple continents. Dave is former director of development at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and former co-executive director of the Dartmouth College Fund. He may be reached at #featuredonthegram

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