Arts Alert: News from the NH Visual Art World

An event, a book release, and a new gallery to check out this fall

courtesy photo
Bill Stelling and Karina Kelley bring Manchester its newest contemporary art gallery this October.

NH’s belle epoque

No one in the know doubts the power that Manchester’s Currier Museum of Art exerts upon the region’s community of art lovers, but the true test of its influence may lie in just how many people dress up for a party they will host.  

The Currier’s much-anticipated show “The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec” began on September 30 and runs until January 7, but the colorfully decadent spirit of 19th-century France is just too potent to remain on the walls, so museum lovers are invited to enjoy “Moulin Rouge at the Currier” on November 4.

“It will be a non-stop spectacle,” says Corinne Breton, special events manager for the Currier. “We’re completely converting the Currier into the Moulin Rouge with fire dancers, aerialists and roaming performers.” The event is one in a series of what the Currier is terming their “lively” exhibitions, where guests are invited to get into the act. It’s tough to get stoic Granite Staters to relax into costumes and poses, but they are pulling out the stops to ensure it happens. “Imagine a masquerade ball meets the circus and add some of the flair of the French can-can and you’ll have an idea,” she says. So feathers, corsets, fancy duds and top hats will be de rigueur. “We’re hoping the guests might even get inspired and give the can-can a try,” she says. “Though maybe not while in the galleries.”

Start planning your outfits now and visit to order tickets.

An artsy addition to your bookshelf

The curious tale of mysterious hermit Joseph Plummer, who lived in the woods of central New Hampshire in the late 1700s, was uncovered two centuries later when a man purchased the mythical loner’s land and built a hideaway cabin for himself — only to discover the legend of Joseph lurking deep in the seclusion of the forest. Brooklyn photographer Amani Willett’s images (right) track the hermit’s overgrown trail through the land his family now owns. Willett’s father acquired the deed 40 years ago. This October, the palimpsest of the previous occupant will be revealed in Willet’s stark, strange photos.

“The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer,” $50.

Manchester gets a new gallery

New Hanover Street gallery Kelley Stelling Contemporary (named for owner/partners Bill Stelling and Karina Kelley) is opening its new gallery space at 221 Hanover Street in Manchester with a champagne reception on Thursday, October 19, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition is titled “Pairings” and will feature the works of emerging artists in 2D and 3D formats. Drawing upon the deep pool of talent both in New England and the wider art world, KS Contemporary wants to serve as a locus for dialogue about art’s place in the community, and the need to nurture, educate and expose its possibilities to a broad mix of artists, collectors and art lovers.

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