Art Schooled



A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. I know one word that's worth a thousand pictures: October. This month is so steeped in artistry and color it can paint the wind with golden leaves and carve a toothy smile on the face of a pumpkin.

Speaking of art, I spent Labor Day weekend helping my daughter move into an art studio she's renting at the Kimball Jenkins School of Art and Estate in Concord. We lugged tables, canvases, easels and supplies up curving stairs and artfully arranged things. She has the sweet space all to herself and her fall will be spent completing a portfolio project for her college degree. She also brought along her cello that she has been ignoring since high school. Maybe it's a bit of wishful thinking on her part, but it would sound good echoing on those old Victorian walls.

Anyone who has set foot inside the Kimball Jenkins Estate for an exhibit or a wedding knows what a treasure it is. Located on a tree-lined extension of North Main St. near the Franklin Pierce house, it seems as sheltered from the passage of time as it is from traffic. Her studio is in a hidden portion of the home with cracked plaster walls and doors leading into dark attic spaces - all very evocative and sure to be enhanced by the chilly advent of fall. Just the kind of atmosphere needed to inspire a young artist.

Yes, I'm wracked with envy.

But I'm having my own artistic encounter of a sort this month. The New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester has asked me to be a master of ceremonies for their second annual "Art and Soul" auction to help raise scholarship funds.

It's a genuine honor to be asked, since I consider NHIA to be a blessing to the Queen City. People can argue all they want about the importance of the creative economy and the value of funding for the arts, but for me it's simple: Manchester is just a much cooler place to live and work with a bunch of fresh-faced kids walking purposefully around with portfolios under their arms and setting up plein air sessions in Arms Park. Not to mention the many resources the institute provides to anyone interested in art and culture.

So if you've peeped enough leaves and you're looking for some equally glorious local color to enjoy, make a date for the Art and Soul benefit auction on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the NHIA's French Building (148 Concord St.). The auction preview begins at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at nhia.edu.

You might also want to drop by the Kimball Jenkins Estate this month and check out one of their excellent student exhibits. And if you hear a distant cello playing, chalk one up for wishful thinking.

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