News and Events
Lamont Art Gallery presents "Version 7: Works by Phillips Exeter Academy Art Department Faculty Carla Blakely, Larry Gene Howard, Steve Lewis, Rebecca Longley, Tara Misenheimer, Karen Burgess Smith and Gallery Manager Sara Zela"
Friday, October 28, 2011 - Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Exeter, NH—Phillips Exeter Academy's Lamont Art Gallery presents "Version 7: Works by Phillips Exeter Academy Art Department Faculty Carla Blakely, Larry Gene Howard, Steve Lewis, Rebecca Longley, Tara Misenheimer, Karen Burgess Smith and Gallery Manager Sara Zela." The Lamont Gallery is in the Frederick R. Mayer Art Center on Tan Lane. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Zela acknowledges the value of displaying works by faculty, especially for the students and the general public. She says the exhibit "has an amazing variety and creative vision. Many visitors and students can see firsthand what inspires, interests and influences these artists. Many [students] can gain inspiration from this exhibition, bringing those connections back into the studio classes and into creation of their own work," Zela says.
Blakely is a ceramist and art educator who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Plymouth State University in 2007 and 2009, respectively. She began teaching at Phillips Exeter in 2010. While teaching art in several New Hampshire public school districts, Blakely completed Artist Residency programs in ceramics in Hungary and Denmark. Her works have been shown at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery at Plymouth State; the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College; the International Ceramic Research Center in Skælskør, Denmark; The Museum of International Ceramic Art in Middelfart, Denmark; and the Usak University Art Gallery in Usak, Turkey. "My body of work is focused on the origin of humans and animals and the connections we share. My work plays with the symbolism of the womb of nature, and its role in nurturing human life. By combining forms from nature, I intend to raise questions about the ongoing cycles of birth, nurturing, life and death, and our interdependence with the natural world."
Howard is a photographer and artist who served for 26 years in the Navy as an aerial photographic intelligence specialist. After he retired in 1992, Howard earned a bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire. Since graduating, he has taught photography at both public and private schools in New England. He began teaching at Exeter in 1998 and now focuses primarily on visual composition. "I believe capturing composition in photography is very important. My goal is to give students a greater sense of looking for composition in their photography and in life," he says.
Lewis is a photographer and instructor who earned his bachelor's degree from Oregon State University in 1978 and his master's degree from Rhode Island School of Design in 1982. He has taught at Exeter since 1983 and now serves as department chair. His photographs have appeared in Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, Wired and Boston magazines, and The New York Times. Lewis' works have also been shown in the Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum in Massachusetts, the Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan, the Portland Art Museum in Oregon and the New Hampshire State Arts Bank. "What turns me on in life, more than anything else, is design and creativity. This is where I find meaning and significance. Creativity is a new way of seeing. It is putting [the] same elements together in a unique and expressive manner. I want to discover fresh angles, new points of view and exciting compositions," Lewis says.
Longley works in both traditional art media and nontraditional materials, specializing in gunpowder, metalwork, wood (sculpting), leather, painting and drawing. In 2010, she earned her bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz. This year, she joined the Art Department as an intern, and teaches drawing and painting. Longley blends her passion for art with her zeal for the outdoors. "When I first began to work with black powder as a medium, the value I placed on the final product was incidental. Instead, my primary focus was on the process and the use of materials. The importance of the piece is embodied not only in the work itself, but also in its powerful creation: ignition of powder," she says.
Misenheimer earned a bachelor's degree in printmaking and painting from the University of New Hampshire in 1992, and a M.A.T. in Art Education in 1995 from Tufts University. She has worked as an art instructor in public and private schools since 1993; and has been an appointed faculty member of the PEA Art Department since 2006. She has exhibited her works at the Chelsea Art Museum, Blank Space, the Pool Art Fair, the Studio Gallery, as well as Jen Bekman Projects in New York. Misenheimer's works have also appeared in Artscope, Art Matters, The Wire and Art New England magazines. "I love hair, fashion and retro advertisements. My inspiration stems from a deep interest in hairstyling and commercialized beauty from dated printed matter," she says.
Smith earned a bachelor's degree in 1974 from the University of New Hampshire and a master's degree from Dartmouth College in 1983. A photographer and former video producer, she has taught in New Hampshire public schools, at Saint Anselm College and at St. Paul's School. Smith has curated more than 100 exhibits, and has received numerous awards from the American Association of Museums and the New England Museum Association. A former president of the New Hampshire Visual Arts Coalition, she was appointed to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts in 2003, the year she joined the Exeter faculty. "I became interested in photography as a high school junior. Seeing an Edward Weston Pepper image for the first time was close to a religious experience for me, and I wanted to create photos of my own that could have that same kind of visual power. The photos in this exhibition reflect my consistent goals and vision for my work over the decades . . . to create images that are visually compelling, well composed, rarely cropped, with strong contrast and clarity, and not manipulated in a darkroom or computer. My photos are still informed by that early introduction to Weston's Pepper."
Zela earned an associate's degree in 1997 from the University of New Hampshire and a bachelor's degree in 1999 from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Zela is a candidate to receive her master's degree in Museum Studies from Tufts University this December. Zela's curating career began in 2004, and she has curated and installed more than 50 exhibits throughout New Hampshire. In 2006, she began working with the Lamont Gallery. In her curatorial and museum education work she loves being the "go-between" of the work of an artist and the visitors at the Lamont Gallery. Zela says, "It's a goal of mine to make art accessible from all angles. If I can share a story about the artist or help explain a process that can enhance their experience with art and make it less intimidating, I am more than happy to do that." She also finds happiness in her own artwork. "My collages are about a process of exploration, combining mixed media into vignettes of color, texture and abstract patterns. I am excited by the idea of cutting and tearing, mark-making, or simply layering each piece with other media, simplifying shapes and colors. The simple act of manipulating many smaller elements to create a larger piece is an expression of growth and added complexity. I truly enjoy exploring how each piece evolves to become more than the sum of its parts," she says.
Gallery hours during the school year are: Monday 1-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Sundays and school holidays. The Gallery will be closed November 20-27, in observance of a school holiday. For more information, contact the Lamont Gallery at 603-777-3461. For directions to Phillips Exeter Academy, call 603-777-4330. A complete list of upcoming events is available on the Phillips Exeter Academy public events line at 603-777-4309; or visit the Academy's community calendar or website.