Upper Valley's Art Scene Rising
Wouldn't it be nice if...
Remember that little gallery you visited last summer, or the last time you went on vacation to a place really special? Remember?
Remember the incredibly vibrant art? The objects of art many people also call craft? Remember the jewelry, or the kinetic mobiles hanging from the ceiling, or whatever it was that captured your fancy and made you remember the way cool and artsy, tingling feel of the place that took you to another realm? Or maybe it was the artist working on her sculpture in the corner, or painting at an easel in his spattered canvas apron while humming a calm tune? Perhaps it was the smell of fresh wood from a turned and oiled burl bowl fusing with a the smell from a pot of coffee just ready to be poured, it's aroma wafting tough the air? Or maybe, just maybe, it was the sound of Vivaldi playing softly in the background as you took in the colors and textures, sights and smells surrounding you? Perhaps it was all of the above, merging to capture all your sense at once? Maybe you even had a taste of chocolate on your tongue, plucked up from a slab of gleaming and mottled slate covered with dark pieces of sustainably harvested magic bits from somewhere near the Amazon?
Wouldn't it be so nice if we had such a memorable spot right here in the Upper Valley of NH and VT?
Inside Long River Gallery & Gifts looking out at WRJ's main drag. Art by Woody Jackson, the Ben & Jerry's cow artist, is in full colorful array on the gallery wall.
Rejoice Upper Valley'ites. The time is at hand! A whole new life experience has just popped up in White River Junction, VT. It's at 49 South Main Street in The Coolidge Block of storefronts, across the street from the train station. It's where you'll find the only other local artist outlet other than in Lyme, NH for the Upper Valley's fine artists to show their work. Yes, there are other places to find craft, but so few places to find locally-made fine art AND fine craft together from a multitude of local artists that places like this can be counted on just about one hand, and not a full one at that, here in the center of our region.
We're so fortunate to live here because artists the world over have been settling right here among us for decades and producing some of the finest, world-class art right under our noses. Of course, they do show their work, but it's typically outside our region, or at single person shows or craft fairs that come only very occasionally or just seasonally. Think Monhegan Island, Maine, or Los Angeles, or Santa Fe, Tokyo, Nice, London, Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York, Provincetown, Paris, Sausalito, Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco, and other major and minor metro areas that are known for their artist communities. Yet, these artists who show elsewhere live here, right here in the Upper Valley area because they choose to live here. Ours is a special region, filled with natural beauty and the kind of community that inspires their work. They live here to be with, well, us! Let's celebrate them and have a look at what they produce so close to home.
The beauty of the NH and VT region is unparalleled!
You can drive to NYC, or fly to St. Paul-de-Vence in southern France to find some extraordinary world-class art and fine craft, but you can also drive a few minutes from home to Lyme, NH or now White River Junction, VT and find the same art and craft that sells elsewhere in the world, but sells here for a fraction of the price. Long River Gallery & Gifts, now celebrating its 25th year in Lyme, has suddenly made our lives all the more rich with a new gallery and craft shop on White River Junction's main drag.
Now you can visit the Tip Top Cafe, or Piecemeal Pies (new, and really yummy!), or The Tuckerbox, Big Fatty's BBQ, or get a delicious growler of fine artisanal beer at River Roost Brewery, all within a short walk of some of the finest art in the world. You can also stop by Scavenger Gallery for more jewelry and artisanal wines if that's what you're after. Or wander around the corner to Gates Street across from Northern Stage where Fat Hat clothing is waiting to show you their beautiful clothing of the season. Revolution, that revolutionary clothier so many people travel to find from near and far, is also just around the other side of the block.
Get your heady head of beer on at River Roost Brewery at 230 S. Main Street in White River Junction, VT.
And how about Oodles in the Tip Top Media and Arts Building where artists abound, for more amazing jewelry, clothing, folk art, antique art, and other really great finds you'll never see anyplace else? The choices are seemingly endless in White River Junction these days. And Long River Gallery & Gifts with it's more than 150 artists and artisans, themselves locals just like us, are helping to make The Junction all the more exciting a place to visit, eat, and stay (The Hotel Coolidge as "the cure for boring travel stories" that's just across the street from the WRJ train station, for example) for a longer while.
Look for Oodles in the Top Top building on WRJ's North Main Street for oodles and oodles of great jewelry, clothing, fine antiques, and other fine finds.
At Long River in Lyme and in WRJ, an artist will greet you when you walk through the door. The smells, the textures, the feels, and even the interesting conversations will be the same as that special gallery you visited on vacation long ago. She or he may have an unusual accent from another part of the world, but that's because they've moved here to practice their art or craft exactly where they need to be. Upper Valley, we're announcing at long last that, at least on a per capita basis, this may well be the finest artist colony in the world! Let's stand up and take notice, and support our local artists and artisans who make our lives richer through their work here each day. It's a special place you'll want to enjoy and appreciate over and over again. And the coffee's good, too!
Be it pottery or sculpture, woodcraft or hand-blown glassware, oil on canvas, encaustic, watercolor, woodblock prints, copper plate etchings, or pastels of living colors; be it fiber art or leatherwork, fine jewelry or fine furniture, purses and other hand-knits including warm mittens and fingerless gloves, scarves, socks, and hats, even childrens' toys and beautiful felted objects for children and adults to adore, books by local authors, or organic skin care, balms, salves, shaving soaps, skin bracers and spritzers, Long River Gallery & Gifts in Lyme, NH and now in White River Junction, VT has what you might typically look for in far-flung corners of the world. Everything they sell is unique, hand-crafted, and locally made. All artists are juried, yet they seem to have an inclusive jury that understands art is for everyone, of all ages. Hand-crafted earrings and sterling silver finger and toe rings can be found for $8 and $10—a veritable bargain, even when compared to products made in faraway places by production lines that churn endlessly. Artist cards, real original artist cards, start at $3, lower if you buy a pack of 5 or 8 cards. And prices go up from there. There's also fine chocolate to be had from Vermont's finest chocolatier, Nutty Steph's, and caramels from Bradford, VT with Red Kite Candy!
One of Anna Hranovska Vincellette's creations of clay, a "Box, Box Turtle" sculpture, hand-built with space for precious storage under the shell and a face embedded in its outer shell. Can you see it?
You won't be disappointed. In fact, you'll be beyond surprised and into the realm of amazed when you see the art and craft in this gallery and craft shop. Long River's WRJ gallery grand opening celebration will take place in concert with WRJ's First Friday event on December 2 from 3 - 9 PM. Live acoustic guitar music, thanks to Dave Clark and Yellow House Media, will be playing in the gallery from 6 - 8 PM. And even before that, on November 30 from 6:30 - 7:30 PM, this new WRJ hot spot will host The Valley Chords for a public singing event. The Chords are a women's barbershop chorus headed up by Liz Carey Pippin of Lyme, NH that will have its final rehearsal on the 30th before hitting the road in VT for the upcoming season of song.
Dave Clark of Yellow House Media. His musical message to us? "Enjoy the ride." Thanks, Mr. Music Man!
When you visit, please know the artists and artisans of Long River Gallery & Gifts will love to see you and chat with you as you admire some of the most beautiful art in the world -- their very own work made so close to home!
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 dailyuv.com. And do Click here to see his previous post about Artist in Residence Anna Hranovska Vinellette and her sculpture, jewelry, and pottery now showing in Long River's WRJ and Lyme galleries.
Dave Celone is not this beautifully painted black & white bovine, "Cow in Sloggers Rain Boots" with cow illustrations by VT artist Sarah Rosedahl. (Watercolor on paper.) Nor is he any one of the four Sloggers waterproof boots with Sarah's illustrations being sold at Long River Gallery & Gifts in Lyme, NH and WRJ, VT along with Sloggers Comfort Shoes worn by nurses and gardeners and real people the world over for their all-day comfort, clean-up ease, and great conversation pieces of foot art!
Instead, Dave'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 theeducation 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 firstname.lastname@example.org