Bringing The Art: The Hood's Alison Palizzolo

Purple Prism from Single Breakthrough series, 2016 by Alison Palizzolo

Talking color

Answer: Getting the color right. Question: What's one of the most rewarding parts of your job?

Who brings the art? When you stand before a painting at the Hood Downtown, do you wonder who--apart from the artist--has been responsible for your viewing pleasure? It takes the proverbial village. Alison Palizzolo is the Hood Museum of Art's Public Relations Coordinator. I wanted to know more about her role in bringing art to the Upper Valley, especially during this time when the Hood Museum is closed for extensive renovation.

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Palizzolo' mission is to get the word out. She meets with artists, communicates with the press, handles social media and advertising. It's her voice you hear in the radio spots for the Hood. Her fingerprints are on all of the museum's publications. While the program brochures are not designed in house, it is Palizzolo who makes sure--absolutely sure--that the colors in the brochure and magazine photos match those of the artwork itself. Hence the above answer, "getting the color right."

Alison Palizzolo, Public Relations Coordinator, Hood Museum of Art

At the moment Palizzolo is busy with the just-opened exhibition at the Hood Downtown, featuring the second show and artist (Let the Garden Eram Flourish by artist Behar Behbahani) in this Hanover gallery space. A day in her work life looks something like this: in the past 24 hours, she has taken a tour of the exhibition with the artist and the show's curator, an event to which all Hood employees are invited. She has photographed Dartmouth students taking a class in the gallery with the artist. Following our meeting at Umpleby's, she was off to interview some potential work-study students and interns. (They are not just from art history; students from all departments at Dartmouth are welcomed. Palizzolo herself began as an intern at the Hood in her sophomore year of college. ) "Then I am making signs for a table at Collis," where she will sit to catch and talk with students about the Eram exhibition and invite them to the student reception this Thursday. There was another answer to my question about what she finds rewarding. She said it's a good day "if one of my advertising strategies is responsible for bringing someone to an event."

The public reception for the current exhibition, Let the Garden Eram Flourish, is Friday, January 13 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at 53 Main Street, Hanover NH.

The Hood Museum has often been described as a "hidden gem." Palizzolo would prefer it no longer be "hidden." She hopes that the new Hood design will bring the museum more into the open. And the Hood Downtown, right on Hanover's Main Street, brings added visibility. Palizzolo is working to get you in the door.

All of that is Palizzolo's day job. She is also an artist, painting in the off-hours in her studio (summer) or at her dining room table (winter). She is the child of artists, and graduated from Keene State College with degrees in art history and studio art. Her work reflects her passion for color theory; it fascinates her that "no one sees the same color in the same way." Color theory is ancient, and interestingly, has often been the province of non-artists, including Aristotle and Goethe. (Yes, that Goethe--author of Faust.) In the 1600s, the modern color wheel that you remember from grade school was invented by scientist Sir Isaac Newton , who is more often associated with theories of calculus and gravity.

Artist at work

Palizzolo has just finished a series of 13 large (18" by 24") paintings called Single Breakthrough and 13 accompanying micro (3" by 3") paintings. The paint is thick, textured with ceramic stucco; the colors are lush, the work shot through with detail. She would like you to slow down, take a breath, and just look.

Keep an eye out for Palizzolo's upcoming exhibitions of her art. She is scheduled to show at the Howe Library in Hanover NH in 2019. Details, including those about her show Color Speaks opening later this month, are available on her Facebook page, Art by Alison Palizzolo, and on her blog.


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Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge


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