Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: You can help paint the town blue on Sunday
September 28. 2018 11:00PM
Manchester is experiencing its ‘blue’ period. If you’ve missed some of the blue trees sprouting up around the Currier Museum of Art, they won’t remain off your radar much longer. The number of color popping trunks will soon grow to 100.
This “environmental” art installation by international sculptor and conceptual artist Konstantin Dimopoulos, called The Blue Trees, was commissioned by the Currier. The project brings some whimsy and beauty to several highly visible public areas in the city, with a goal of making more people notice and understand the importance of the trees around them.
“I want people to notice the trees,” Dimopoulos explained, “to see them as more than just wallpaper in their lives.”
Manchester will be the 24th installation of this international project.
Tomorrow, Sept. 30, members of the community are invited to help paint the trees with water-based and biologically-safe blue pigment that will wash away and break down after several months. The public painting will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Currier campus.
This free Community Fun Day will also include art making activities, live music, food trucks, face painting and a poetry program inspired by The Blue Trees from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.
“This is an opportunity for the public to engage in a large-scale community art project that will temporarily change the landscape of the city,” said Currier director Alan Chong. “One of our goals as a museum is to engage with the public and encourage them to consider art in different ways.”
The Currier Museum worked with the city’s parks and recreation crew and local tree professionals to identify which trees to color and to make sure they were protecting the environment in the process. The selected trees live around the Currier Museum, Pulaski Park, and Victory Park.
Another celebration of The Blue Trees will take place this Thursday, Oct. 4, with a blues and barbecue-themed Currier After Hours event. The 6 to 9 p.m. event will include an artist talk, live bluegrass music from Rockspring, barbecue, art tours and a performance by Dimensions in Dance.
More Currier in the community
Susan Strickler is on a treasure hunt. The retired Currier Museum of Art director is searching for art by one of her predecessors, Maud Briggs Knowlton. Knowlton was the Currier’s first director, from 1929 to 1946.
“Mrs. Knowlton was quite the force in the arts in Manchester for about 45 to 50 years,” Strickler told The Scene.
Knowlton was also a key teacher at the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences and a painter who summered for more than 50 years on Monhegan Island, Maine, a remote “mecca” for major artists.
Strickler is working with the Monhegan Museum of Art and History and the Currier to present an exhibition of Knowlton’s work and is hoping some of the pieces might come from the personal collections of people here in the Manchester area.
“I am convinced there is a lot in the community,” Strickler wrote.
Strickler said Knowlton worked mostly in watercolors and some oils that would likely be signed “Maude Briggs Knowlton.” She also made smaller pieces, including portrait miniatures and some jewelry, that may be marked with Knowlton’s initials “MBK” or simply her last name.
The Knowlton exhibit will live at the Monhegan museum beginning next summer and will be moved to the Currier in the fall or winter.
Anyone who discovers a Knowlton treasure in their own collection and is interested in lending it to the exhibit should contact Carol Fabricant in the Currier’s Curatorial Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 669-6144, Ext. 155.
I’ve written quite a bit about the growing gallery scene in the Hanover Street area, but have neglected to mention Studioverne, a fine art-fused glass gallery at 81 Hanover St. The space is Verne Orlosk’s working studio where viewers are welcome to visit and experience her process, see her pieces and shop.
Studioverne’s latest exhibit, Fall Leaves; Fall Footsteps, The Art of Fused Glass Leaves, runs this Thursday, Oct. 4. through Nov. 1.
Orlosk, who holds a BFA in graphic design from Boston University and taught at the Currier Museum Art Center for 17 years, also offers two-hour fused glass workshops.
Visit www.studioverne.com for more information.
Is there something colorful in Manchester you think should be featured in The Scene? Tell Katie about it at email@example.com.