Emile Birch Exhibit at Karl Drerup Art Gallery at PSU

Local galleries offer comfortable culture

It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes the best treasure is hidden in plain sight. Consider, for example, the galleries and museums that dot the Granite State landscape like dabs of color in a Monet painting. While the year is still young, why not resolve to get more culture in your life by taking in some local art displays?

 You can begin by visiting the Karl Drerup Art Gallery at Plymouth State University, where through most of February you can see an exhibit of Canaan-based sculptor Emile Birch’s “Memorials,” a symbolic series that explores the veneration and spirituality of trees, and the transformation of trees that are cut down. Birch frequently serves as an artist-in-residence at New Hampshire schools and is the creator of public sculptures commissioned by businesses and communities throughout the state.

“It’s going to be such a stunning exhibit,” says Cynthia Robinson, Karl Drerup Art Gallery director. “It’s going to have a strong visual impact as you walk in,” Robinson says, “a real visual feast” with bursts of color and sculptures that move and sway.

Never been to an art show? Small, local galleries hold special appeal to art newbies because of their comfortable, non-threatening nature. So don’t be shy. “Some people feel that they don’t ‘know’ art, but they do,” Birch says. “Everybody does. We all have a reaction to all kinds of art.”

You can meet Birch at a reception at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery on February 3, and see the exhibit until it closes on March 5. For directions and gallery hours, visit the Karl Drerup Art Gallery website.