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Keene’s 54th annual Art in the Park returns Labor Day weekend
by Nicole S. Colson
It’s time once again to gather under the tents along the Ashuelot River, where artists from far and wide converge to show off their latest projects. The 54th annual Art in the Park happens over Labor Day weekend, opening Saturday, Sept. 1 (the same day as the Keene Music Festival downtown) and continuing Sunday, Sept. 2, at Ashuelot River Park on West Street in Keene.
As has been the case for the past handful of years, spaces filled quickly this year, meaning there will be more than 85 artists displaying and selling work spanning a variety of media. On the list are watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, sculpture, mixed media and photography. The event, hosted by the Monadnock Area Artists Association, will feature a dozen brand-new artists.
Among them is William C. Turner, a realist oil painter. He refers to his latest series as “anthropomorphic vehicle portraits, bringing new life to old, forgotten relics of the past.”
Turner’s vivid works make rust, dents, broken glass and peeling paint on snowplows, dump trucks and tractor cabs look beautiful.
Painter Linda Mahoney will be showing the color woodblock prints she began creating four years ago. She employs a Japanese watercolor woodblock printmaking technique to translate her ideas, born from her hobbies — her favorites include hiking, kayaking, skiing and bird watching — into art.
Another new face at Art in the Park this year will be Cheryl Z. Miller, whose fabric collages are inspired by her love of quilting and her interest in land preservation and supporting local organic farms.
One of the many artists returning to the event this year will be Kathrine Piper of Keene. She normally works in acrylic paint, using an interesting technique mapping out her images using a grid. This year, she has been experimenting with different media. In some of her new eye-catching and colorful pieces, she uses unusual materials, including magazine cutouts, tissue paper, thread and buttons depicting slogans and graphics from her childhood collection.
u The Monadnock Area Artists Association will present the 54th annual Art in the Park Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1 and 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ashuelot River Park, West Street, Keene. Refreshments will be available.
Artists’ work will be judged in five different categories. Musical performances will take place Saturday at the park gazebo as part of the Keene Music Festival. Visitors can enter a raffle to win prizes, with the grand prize being an original work of art of their choice. The grand prize winner will be announced Sunday at 2 p.m. Proceeds from this raffle fund the artist association’s scholarship awarded each year to an art student from Keene High School and Monadnock Regional High School.
For more information, visit monadnockareaartists.org