Friday, March 11, 2011

Stops Along the Way- Paintings by Bob Larson

Bob Larson, formerly a Concord lawyer, has been painting for years and has long been a patron of the arts, curating exhibits at his former law firm Sulloway and Hollis in Concord as well as sitting on the board of the University of NH Art Museum.  My first introduction to him came through a mutual friend and stone artist, Chance Anderson of whom the two collaborated on several sculptural pieces depicting the plight of Earth's global warming crisis.  I'm hoping to make it to the opening tonight (March 11th) at McGowan Fine Art on Hills Ave. in Concord from 5-7pm.  Hope you can make it too.

Here's the announcement from the McGowan Fine Art blog:

McGowan Fine Art announces “Stops Along the Way” featuring the paintings of Bob Larsen. The show will run from March 1 through April 1, with an artist’s reception on March 11 from 5 to 7 PM. This show is a benefit for Canterbury Shaker Village and is free and open to the public.

Bob Larsen is a noted local artist and former lawyer. His work has been featured most recently at the Sharon Arts Center, but also at the Sulloway Gallery in Concord, NH and the Forbes Galleries in New York City. As a lawyer Bob was in charge of the art acquisition and exhibition program at Sulloway & Hollis Law Firm where he was able to give outlet to his creative side by curating. In the past 15 years his passion to paint crystallized into something more than a hobby. A four month sabbatical and the inevitable retirement gave him the large chunks of time needed to develop his artistic skills.

Larsen has been recognized in the past for capturing the iconic structures of the state: the Capitol Dome, the buildings of Canterbury Shaker Village. For this show he revisits many of these icons but puts a twist on them. He bridges past and present by incorporating the contemporary and historic landscape. In ‘Benning Wentworth House” he has included the shadowy silhouettes of the Naval Shipyard cranes towering over the dignified yellow mansion. In “Lempster Wind Farm” the Washington Town Hall steeple vies with the stately wind towers. Some of the other icons he depicts are Strawberry Banke, Canterbury Shaker Village, the Bridges House and Gould Hill Orchard in Concord and the Cog Railway.

Mr. Larsen’s paintings are readily recognizable by their strong shadows and frequent use of reflections in windows. Attention to detail is his hallmark. In “Ministry” his close up of an historic window in the Ministry Building of Canterbury Shaker Village depicts the distorted images of other buildings, distant landscape and the shadowy image of a bowl and ewer sitting on the sill- effectively rendering three different worlds. “These paintings take me quite a bit of time to work out” says Larsen. “They might take a month a piece and I am a ruthless cropper. The painting generally starts off quite a bit larger than the finished piece. As I finish up I start to distill it down to the final composition.”

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Measuring Up: New Hampshire Arts Education Data Project

This should be interesting, unfortunately I will be teaching at these times so I can't make it.  I'm looking forward to seeing the results though.  With all of the cuts school districts are making around the state, I'm sure the 'state of arts education' is going to continue to decline.  
P.S.  When I hear of the results, I will post them here.

Educators, Administrators, Artists, Arts Advocates, Parents, Students & Community Leaders:  
You are cordially invited to attend a rollout event for the release of Measuring Up: New Hampshire Arts Education Data Project Report. The report includes findings from the 2008-09 school-by-school arts survey plus recommendations and actions for strengthening arts education in our state. Two events, both free and open to the public, are planned:  
Wednesday, March 9, 3:00 p.m.                   Thursday, March 10, 2:30 p.m.
Currier Museum of Art                                  North Country Education Services 
150 Ash Street                                              300 Gorham Hill Road
Manchester, NH                                            Gorham, NH
RSVPs are appreciated. Please click here to view the e-vite and to reserve a seat at either the March 9 or 10th event:  For additional information about the project, visit the Measuring Upwebsite:  Videostreaming is available for the Gorham rollout; email us at if you would like instructions for viewing.
Bob Morrison, lead researcher for the project and founder of Quadrant Arts Education Research, will present at both events. Mr. Morrison is recognized for supporting arts education through his work at VH1 Save the Music and his leadership among states with their arts data collection projects.
Tomie dePaola, award-winning NH author and illustrator, will speak at the Manchester event.
New Hampshire Fiddler Patrick Ross and his apprentice Dalton Binette will play at the Gorham rollout.  
Thank you! We hope to see you next week.
Marcia McCaffrey, New Hampshire Department of Education
Catherine O'Brian, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
Frumie Selchen, Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire
Please forward this invitation to other teachers, education leaders, parents, artists and arts advocates who are interested in this work.