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Get to know the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge area of New Hampshire.

Winter 2017

Creative Minds Creative Minds

New work from five local artists

Adding Washington, N.H. to the art-tourist map Music, theatre, local businesses, holiday events, and more!

$5.00 U.S. www.kearsargemagazine.com Display until Feb. 1, 2018

Wishing You


this holiday season!

Karen Hoglund Consistently one of the top 10 selling agents in Merrimack and Sullivan counties.

603.491.0978 | 603.526.4050 karen.hoglund@fourseasonssir.com FourSeasonsSIR.com Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.

Guess the Location!

Can you guess where the NH gnome is this winter? Try your luck and you might win a gift certificate to Allioops! Flowers and Gifts in New London, N.H.! Email your name, address and phone number — with your answer (which should include the town’s name) — to info@ kearsargemagazine.com. Please write WINTER GNOME in the subject line. Three winners will be selected. Follow us on Facebook for more opportunities to guess the gnome’s location…he travels all over! Mary-Anne Murdough has loved taking photos since she got her first camera as a freshman in high school. She went on to study graphic arts and graphic design. Her favorite thing to photograph is old historic cemeteries. The New Hampshire Gnome was inspired by Mary-Anne’s love of photography and creating art, especially working with clay. She lives in Hillsborough, N.H.

Find the Photography by Mary-Anne Murdough

Congratulations to C Peter James of Grantham, Kandy King of Newport, Donna Mulchahey of Sunapee, Heidi Doyle of Hillsboro and Alan Lord of Warner. They correctly guessed that the gnome was visiting the Dalton Covered Bridge in Warner, N.H., in the fall 2017 issue and each received a $25 gift certificate to Country Spirit Restaurant in Henniker, N.H.!

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine





Creative Minds

Five local artists share their inspirations, techniques and new works with Kearsarge Magazine. By Katie Bushueff

22 Geography and Passion

Artists are joining forces to place the small town of Washington, N.H., on the art-tourist map. By Laurie D. Morrissey

36 A Career in the Arts John Bennett came to Claremont, N.H., after college to teach art in the school district in 1968. Before long he was immersed in a fight to save the opera house from demolition. By Patrick O’Grady

Garrett Evans


ON THE COV ER Moonlight Starry Night By Dan Tavis

Dan Tavis is a 23-year-old illustrator living in New Hampshire. He has been doodling ever since his first math class in elementary school and hasn't stopped since. He has a passion to illustrate characters that emotionally Creative Minds New work from five local artists connect with the viewer Adding Washingt on, N.H. to the art-touri st map and tell stories through Music, theatre, local business a visual narrative. Learn holiday eventses, , and more! more about Dan and his work at DanTavis.com

66 A Life in Clay

Kearsarge Magazine

From mugs to sculpture, artist David Ernster likes to think his work in some way might help others find the beauty in living. Text and photography by Alicia Bergeron

Get to know the



Art • Music • Theatre • Local Businesses • Holiday Events

Alicia Bergeron

www.kearsargemagazine.com Display until Feb. 1, 2018



Winter 2017

$5.00 U.S.


Lake Sunapee/Kea rsarge area of New

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

Winter 2017


Can you guess where the NH gnome is this winter? Try your luck and you might win a gift certificate to Allioops Flowers and Gifts in New London, N.H.! Photography by Mary-Anne Murdough

28 Winter Calendar

KM’s calendar with 20-plus wonderful local activities and events to check out this Winter. Compiled by Laura Jean Whitcomb


Courtesy of the LAC


42 History: A Legacy of Community Arts

44 Business: Topstone Barber Co.

Topstone Barber Co. has mastered the customer experience with a few key ingredients: perfection of their craft, warmth of character and lightness of spirit. Text and photography by Leigh Ann Root


Courtesy Photo

An end-of-year donation to the 50-yearold Library Arts Center in Newport, N.H., will ensure another 50 years of success. By Laura Jean Whitcomb

50 Art: A Collaborative Theatre You never know what you’re going to find inside a hat box. The same can be said about the Hatbox Theatre in Concord, N.H. By Katie Bushueff From the Civil War roots of modern country music to innovative new sounds, three local bands — the DoBros, Stringa-Longs and Hardtacks — bring unique perspectives and solid musicianship to the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge area. By Bridgett Taylor


Katie Bushueff

55 Music: History through Music

70 On the Road


Leigh Ann Root

Kearsarge Magazine loves to visit local businesses, attend community events, and take photos along the way. Come with us to Warner, N.H. Text and photography by Leigh Ann Root

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


editor’s letter Hello friends, Kearsarge Magazine is trying a slightly different take on the typical winter/gift guide theme. This year, we’re focusing on local art, music and theatre. Hopefully you’ll have a bit of time off this season to enjoy the weekend craft fairs, holiday theatre productions, Santa meet-and-greet events, tree festivals and community sing-alongs. Of course, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t shop — by all means, shop and shop local! (Then shop some more, please. Our retailers work hard to ensure you have a great selection just minutes from your home.) But we’re hoping this issue will give you a few different ideas for gifts, such as a handcrafted piece of pottery (David Ernster on page 60), tickets to a show (The Hatbox Theatre on page 50) or

frameable art: an illustration, a cut paper design, a fiber landscape or an oil painting (page 8). And, lucky for us, you’ll find handmade items in every corner of the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge area — from retailers like Gourmet Garden to galleries like New London Gallery to annual craft fairs hosted by the Center for the Arts and the Wilmot Community Association. I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy discovering a locally made item — soy candles made in Warner! a book of poetry by local authors! — and purchasing one for me (research, you know) and gifting the other to friends or family. Happy holidays to you and yours,

Laura Jean Whitcomb Publisher and editor Follow us on:

THANK YOU from the Claremont Opera House NHSCA Cultural Conservation Moose Plate Program, Claremont Savings Bank, Crown Point Cabinetry, McGee Toyota, National Field Representatives, North Country Smokehouse, The Insurance Center, Town and Country Realty Associates, The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric, Mascoma Savings Bank, Buckley & Zopf, Clark-Mortenson Insurance, Hubert Family Outfitters, Lavalley Building Supply, M.J. Harrington & Co. Jewelers, Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza, Revolution Cantina, and Eagle Times Publishing


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

COMING THIS SPRING 2018 • Local wineries • Therapeutic horsemanship in Newport, N.H. • Celestial lights photo essay by Jim Block • And so much more we haven't even thought of yet! • Ad deadline: Friday, Jan. 12 Learn more at: kearsargemagazine.com

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Rediscover your hometown with Kearsarge Magazine™ You may have lived in the big city, overseas, or maybe you’ve lived here all your life. Either way, you know there’s something special about the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge/Concord area of New Hampshire. And every page of award-winning Kearsarge Magazine will remind you why you love it here.

P.O. Box 1482 Grantham, N.H. 03753 Phone: (603) 863-7048 Fax: (603) 863-1508 E-mail: info@kearsargemagazine.com Web: www.kearsargemagazine.com Editor Art Director Ad Sales Graphic Design

Laura Jean Whitcomb Jennifer Stark Leigh Ann Root Jennifer Stark, Alicia Bergeron Bookkeeping Heather Grohbrugge Editorial Assistant Katie Bushueff Copy Editor Laura Kennedy Pezone

Kearsarge Magazine™ is published quarterly in February, May, August and November. © 2017-2018 by Kearsarge Magazine, LLC. All photographs and articles © 2017-2018 by the photographer or writer unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Except for one-time personal use, no part of any online content or issue may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or otherwise copied for public or private use without written permission of the copyright owner.

Subscriptions Rediscover your hometown by subscribing to Kearsarge Magazine™. Four issues a year will be delivered right to your door for $15. Subscribe online at www.kearsargemagazine. com or send a check (with your name and mailing address) to P.O. Box 1482, Grantham, NH 03753. Digital subscriptions are also available online.

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*As reported by NEREN Volume Ranking for the time period of 1/1/2017 to 10/9/2017 for the towns mentioned above. The Lake Sunapee Region is defined as the towns of Springfield NH, Newbury NH, Warner NH, Newport NH, Sunapee NH, Wilmot NH, Sutton NH, New London NH, Croydon NH, Danbury NH, Andover NH, Goshen NH, Bradford NH, Webster NH, and Grantham NH. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

Creative Minds Five local artists share their inspirations, techniques and new works with Kearsarge Magazine.

Art Walk! Join the Warner Historical Society, MainStreet BookEnds and Kearsarge Magazine on Friday, Nov. 3 for an art walk! Start at the Upton-Chandler House to see Open Doors Weekend art and artists on display from 5 to 7 p.m. Then come on over to MainStreet BookEnds at 6 p.m. to see the works of the five artists profiled in this Kearsarge Magazine article and enjoy refreshments. Free and open to the public.

By Katie Busheuff

In a place as beautiful as the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge area, there is no lack of creative inspiration for artists. Every artist holds a unique point of view, so Kearsarge Magazine set out to find out how some of our local artists find their inspiration — an inside look at what shapes their creative outlook. The result? Five brand new pieces of artwork, created just for Kearsarge Magazine, that represent the area through their eyes. Here are the stories behind their artwork, and the work itself.


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Susan Parmenter · Oil Painting Sunapee, N.H. The world through the eyes of a painter

face in sunlight. She elaborates: “I’m also trying to paint the air around these forms to create depth in a painting.” She says in order to do this an artist has to consider, “What color then is ‘air’?” While this may sound like a lot to the untrained ear, one only has to look at Parmenter’s landscapes to understand her ability to capture depth and light on a canvas. This complex play of light and atmosphere is important in every step of her process. Almost all of her canvases are “toned” with a warm peachy color before she even begins painting. She explains: “This becomes the inner light.” Because there is light reflecting off everything in nature, toning serves as a base that will radiate through whatever composition is laid on top. Her paintings begin to take shape via many layers of paint and brush strokes — from darkest value to light, from unrefined to detailed. Her first layers are blocked in as simple, undetailed shapes

Susan Parmenter is an oil painter who captures on canvas the familiar and powerful feelings of gazing over the gorgeous landscapes of New England. She invites viewers to “step in” to her paintings and feel the energy of each scene. In her wildlife work, she creates the opportunity to peer more closely at the wild creatures that call these places home, and in her landscapes one can find peace and pause from the outside world. For Parmenter, oil painting is about capturing a feeling. “When it comes to landscape painting, I’m usually moved to paint a place that speaks to me through emotion. It’s not really ever about a familiar landmark; it’s more about the light, shadow and composition,” she says. Parmenter seeks out — and sometimes creates from imagination — compositions that she hopes will move her viewers in some particular way. While her landscapes often evoke sentiments of awe, peace and beauty, her wildlife paintings invite viewers to feel curious and insightful, and connect more deeply with the creatures that share our world. Being able to capture these effects through a painting requires mastery of technique and a keen understanding of composition. Parmenter has both. To create depth and atmosphere in a painting, light and shadow play a big role in her process. Because oil paints react and mix much differently than other types of paint, light and shadow are key elements in giving each color their meaning on the canvas. “The paint I use is my tool for portraying sunlight and shadow. Paint acts almost as a source of light reflecting colors. And light and shadow create form,” she describes. So while each brush stroke is a certain color creating a form, each color also represents a type of light reflecting off of that form — a tree’s foliage in shadow or a rock New for Kearsarge Magazine! Summer Day at Clark Lookout 8

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that make up the basic parts of the composition. This is called an “under painting” and is usually done using a single, neutral color. “This becomes my roadmap for the rest of the painting,” she says. Then she dives in with color and, layer upon layer, refines her composition and details until the painting is finished. The world through a painter’s eyes is vivid and full of color. Where we see a sky that is simply blue and hills that are, at first, just green, Parmenter can discern so much more. “When we see ‘green’ in a hill, we’re actually seeing all these combinations of shadows and grass and soil… Our brains tell us it is simply ‘green,’ but there are so many other colors we can see,” she says. Give it a try — in a nearby hill or forest, do you see blue, yellow, orange or purple? It’s all about taking an extra second to look closely at the view, and be a little more present with the reality that is in front of us. Parmenter’s paintings invite the viewer to do just

this and, in those moments, find appreciation. For Parmenter, art is much more than just a personal pursuit. “I hope people appreciate art, and continue to appreciate it. I think art is so important for human beings. When we’re young, we’re much more involved with art — making or drawing things — and we enjoy it, until somehow we get a message as we get older that either it is not important or we’re not good at it,” she says. “But I think art, whether you take it up as a profession or not, is just good for people, no matter how old you are.” Parmenter’s artwork can be found at New London Gallery in New London, Prospect Hill Antiques Gallery in Georges Mills, MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, and the Covered Bridge Gallery in Contoocook. More information on her work can be found at susanparmenter.com or her Facebook page: Susan Parmenter Fine Art.

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Kim Preston creates landscapes out of wool. 10

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Kim Preston · Fiber Arts Bradford, N.H. Landscapes from unlikely material Kim Preston uses manipulation of wool and felting techniques to create rich, flowing landscapes from an unlikely material. She captures the essence of the natural world and rural character of the area in her woolen landscapes, so much that the viewer forgets the fibrous nature of the work in favor of falling into the wispy clouds, swaying trees and rolling purple hills of her designs. Preston, a longtime local, came to New London, N.H., when she was in high school, after which she bought a house in Bradford, N.H., with the intention of selling and moving elsewhere. But 30 years later, Preston has yet to find another place she’d rather call home. She still lives in that same farmhouse in Bradford where she creates her unique woolen fiber landscapes. Like the start of many great things, using wool for art came from an unexpected place for Preston. “I started doing fiber art when my daughter insisted she wanted to raise sheep,” she says. Equipped with little knowledge about sheep and only the wisdom that life is meant for adventures, Preston said yes. Before she knew it, she was leasing two sheep from the local 4-H. In the 10 years that would follow, Preston would end up raising about a dozen sheep of her own. Sixteen years later, Preston no longer has sheep, but owes her start in felting to that experience. “It was through 4-H and [Deerfield, N.H,’s] Sheep and Wool Festival that I got exposed to felting,” she says. “I just started playing around with it, and I really liked it.” All of Preston’s fiber landscapes use 100 percent sheep’s wool and a combination of felting techniques. Starting with a simple piece of wool felt that will become the background of each picture, Preston uses a barbed needle to apply clumps of wool that will become the landscape’s basic elements: mountains, trees, rivers, sky. At first, she found that this technique produced a “lumpy” result, not representative of what she was trying to create. That’s when she began using her second technique. To achieve a soft, watercolor-esque effect, Preston subjects these raw, “lumpy” landscapes to a process that involves hot, soapy water;

bubble wrap and a rolling pin. It’s a process she calls “wet felting,” and it give the otherwise fibrous and coarse wool a visual depth. The second part of the process is a creative leap of faith. “Sometimes it wrecks everything,” Preston laughs, “but sometimes you get a really beautiful watercolor-like effect.” After years of practice, Preston says now she has it down to a science. “I always end up with something totally different than what I started with,” she says, but now it’s usually something she really loves. When not wearing her artist’s hat, Preston is a hospice nurse at Presidential Oaks in Concord, N.H., and art for her has played a big role in creative release from her work life. The way she puts it: it’s a chance to “chill out and regroup.” And it’s not only landscapes that propel her creative time. Preston also creates beautiful felt barrettes, bowls, and little bird figures. “Art is awesome,” she says. “People should have art in their home — art that they love.” Preston’s artwork can be found at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner and Gourmet Garden in New London.

More of Preston's Felt art kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


Dan Tavis · Illustration Dunbarton, N.H. Imagination brought to life Dan Tavis brings imagination to life on the page. Personifying the creatures of the Kearsarge area, his work provides a glimpse into the glorious lives and adventures had by the area’s most beloved fauna. Whether it’s a gang of furry and feathered friends hiking in brightly colored scarves, or a wily bunch of cottontail bunnies on their way to see fireworks on the Fourth of July, Tavis uses watercolors and pen to illustrate the lives of the creatures that dwell in the forests. Tavis, only 23 years old and already wildly talented, has a humble way about him. Always one to be on the quiet side, he says that drawing became a different way to express himself. Tavis continues to hone his style and skill as a student at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, N.H. While Tavis seems destined to be an illustrator, his skills didn’t blossom overnight. Tavis has been creating — and loving — art since the first grade. He reminisces about an art competition in which he participated at a young age. The kicker? He actually lost the competition. But it had a big impression on him. He says it was losing that really motivated him to want to keep trying, and keep improving, as an artist. Ever since, Tavis has been drawing and practicing on whatever he could find. “I really started getting invested in drawing in high school,” he says. He spent a lot of time doodling on assignment books, the quintessential place for high school scribblings. But unlike many of us who doodled every so often, Tavis was consistent. “I would do a couple drawings in my assignment notebook every day, until it was full,” he says. “Then friends started giving me their assignment notebooks to draw in. It all grew from there.” While empty margins in assignment books was enough to give Tavis his start, being a student offers more structure and the specialized resources and mentors he can utilize to grow as an illustrator. 12

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When not at school, Tavis has carved out a small space in his room dedicated to his artwork. He works at two tables — one for his traditional drawing and art, and the other for rendering digital prints from those drawings. In an era where illustration is almost completely digital, Tavis mostly sticks to the traditional techniques of drawing, inking and coloring all by hand to make his original works. “I think one problem with digital is that sometimes it can look too perfect, too bland,” he explains. “Often artists will keep erasing and going back, erasing and going back, and they won’t let it go.” This ability to “let go” is a big part of Tavis’ process. He starts with an idea and draws out a few small thumbnails to visualize his idea. Then he creates a more refined, full-size sketch on watercolor paper, which serves as a skeleton for inking and painting the final watercolor. This is where Tavis really feels comfortable letting go and using his creative license. Tavis says he tries not to get “stuck” on the original picture, preferring to let the drawing guide him and organically evolve into the finished product. “I’ll change the angles, I’ll change the way the composition moves, I’ll change the characters. I go with the flow,” he says. “I love mistakes in watercolor.” Instead of fighting with mistakes, Tavis incorporates them into his pieces. While some characters in Tavis’ sketches come and go, others can be found throughout. There’s a fox character who is always wearing its favorite scarf and a herd of bunnies who are regulars in his scenes. Along with his creatures, one of Tavis’ favorite things to draw is trees. “I’ve always loved forests,” he says. Growing up with forests and trees around his house, he says they’ve always felt like a big part of home. Though inspiration for his scenes can be seen all around us in the forests and mountains of New Hampshire, Tavis’ work is ultimately the genius of his own creativity. But while the world he creates on the page is imaginary, it’s a world that we can all relate to, whether now or in years past. Tavis hopes that those who enjoy his work “find reminders of childhood and good memories,” but most of all, he says, “I just hope people enjoy my work.” Tavis’ illustrations are sold at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, and can be seen on his website at dantavis.com or on his Instagram: dantavis.

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Kidder Brook at Twin Lake Villa 14

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Garrett Evans · Astrophotography South Sutton, N.H. Visions of a night sky Garrett Evans finds inspiration in the vast world above the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area. Evans is an astrophotographer, and he has spent years developing his ability to capture breathtaking images of the night sky. Using long exposures and a meticulously planned, time-intensive process, Evans brings to life images that only his particular process can reveal: photographs of a richly developed night sky, surreal in nature, full of northern lights and bursting with the galactic core of the Milky Way. “Almost everything I do is planned,” says Evans. Successful astrophotography depends on so many factors that preplanning each photo shoot is paramount. “It’s not like you can just walk outside whenever with a camera and get a good shot.” And it’s difficult to overemphasize just how much planning and time goes into a single photograph. Every photo shoot calls for careful planning, trial and error, a little bit of luck, and a mind-boggling amount of patience. For any particular shot, Evans has to consider: weather patterns, location, seasonal influences (sunset, bugs, snow), which camera and lens to use, exposure time and settings, how much time he’ll have to shoot, and the orientation of the night’s astronomy. He considers all of this before stepping outside. On the night of a shoot, Evans must keep to his preplanned regimen in order to maximize his chance at success. He’ll schlep his gear out to a location, sometimes up mountains, sometimes out to the middle of a frozen lake, then once set up, he says, “it’s a waiting game” until the light is right to shoot. Assuming he doesn’t have to work at his day job as a CAD technician the next morning, some nights Evans will stay out shooting until dawn, trying to catch the perfect moment for the perfect shot. But he’s not done yet. In the weeks that follow, Evans must sort through the hundreds of photos he’s taken, choose the best few, and make any necessary edits and adjustments. Then comes sharing, printing, and marketing the final product. Astrophotography truly is an art of dedication.

When seeing Evans’ astroprints for the first time, it’s like looking at magic. His images catch visions of a night sky that most of us can only imagine. However, unlike magic, the images he’s creating, while extraordinary, are very real: an expansion of light, matter and perspective beyond what can be seen by the everyday mechanics of the human eye. There are a few reasons Evans’ camera is able to pick up so much more than what our eyes can see. For one thing, a camera lens, unlike an eye, can hold a long exposure with a wide aperture (almost like an extra-wide pupil) to take in extra light. “A camera also picks up color a lot better than our eyes can,” says Evans, especially vivid greens, magentas, and reds that exist at night but that we can’t see well. These are the bright and bold colors lighting up Evans’ night scenes — like his photographs of the Northern Lights around this area, despite the fact that we rarely “see” this phenomenon here. Evans’ work brings a new appreciation to the art of photography. “It’s a lot of planning, and that’s what people don’t realize,” he says. Perhaps this is what is most frustrating when Evans faces the increasingly common challenge of copyright infringement. We all know how easy it is to snag an image off Google or reshare an image on Instagram. Evans does say that, for the most part, people are respectful of his work and ask permission to share, or buy rights to use, his photographs. But learning about his process is an important reminder to us all to think twice before we take for granted the work and passion that goes into photographic art. More information on Garrett Evans can be found at agevansphotography.smugmug.com or on Facebook as “Garrett Evans Photography” or Instagram at “ageevans1.”

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


Rosemary McGuirk · Cut Paper New London, N.H. Images out of paper Rosemary McGuirk uses cut paper to create simplistic, yet life-filled landscapes and scenes representative of the quaint, small-town feel and relatable moments of life in the Kearsarge/ Lake Sunapee area. She focuses on finding the simple, unfettered character of rural New England life, recreating it into scenes that, near and far, we as Americans can all appreciate. McGuirk began cut-paper artwork through a multitude of experiences that all seemed to lead to a similar place. As a child, McGuirk remembers sitting on her couch, usually while on the phone with her best friend, staring at a painting done by her mother. Years later, she still attributes this early exposure to handmade art as influential on her interest in art, and on her personal creative style. As for cut paper, McGuirk was first introduced to the concept from an unlikely source: a favorite childhood television movie called “A House Without a Christmas Tree.”

“When the movie would morph to and from commercials, the screen would turn into a cut paper collage,” she says. “It took the idea of cut paper to a whole new level for me.” It wasn’t until college (the University of Richmond) that McGuirk really began to take her paper cuttings seriously. She was asked to create sketches for paintings, but she says, “I remember just feeling frozen — and then I pulled out my construction paper.” She began using cut paper to create the plans for her paintings until one day an honest friend told her, “I find your cut paper more interesting than your painting.” And it was from that moment she began creating images out of cut paper to be enjoyed on their own. As with the materials she uses, McGuirk’s process can shift from being free form and organic to more planned out and analytical, depending on the idea in mind, the textures she chooses, and the subject matter. “Usually there’s a sketch of some sort that I use as a reference, but sometimes there isn’t,” she says. For more complex and defined shapes — like animals — she will trace her shapes from references. But for more organic shapes, like foliage and water, McGuirk will use a combination of cutting and tearing. “I cut different pieces in many different colors and shapes,” she says, until, like a puzzle, the right piece finds its home on the page. For McGuirk, finding the right colors, and the right color harmony, is important to creating a piece that will grab the viewer’s attention. McGuirk’s paper cuttings create scenes that feel simultaneously familiar and intimate, but also quintessentially classic in their portrayal of American life. “A lot of people relate to it,” she says. Where there are people in her scenes, she says viewers will say to her, “That’s me and my sisters, or that’s me and my brothers.” As New Englanders, and as residents of the Kearsarge/ Lake Sunapee area, there’s something familiar in McGuirk’s work that reminds us of ourselves. McGuirk’s artwork is at Main Street BookEnds in Warner, Tatewell Gallery in New London, and in the winter at the Danbury Market, the Gallery of Gifts at the Library Arts Center in Newport, and the Holiday at the Fells event in Newbury. Katie Bushueff is a freelance writer and photographer for Kearsarge Magazine. She loves all things New Hampshire, and spends as much time as possible exploring this great state.


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

McGuirk created this cut paper art for Kearsarge Magazine. kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


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Jon Gibson at work

Text by Laurie D. Morrissey Photography by Monica M. Scanlon

Artists are joining forces to place the small town of Washington, N.H., on the art-tourist map. Washington, N.H., enjoys several claims to fame. It has the highest town center in the state (1,532 feet); it’s the birthplace of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination; and it has one of the most photographed town commons. It also happens to have an outsize number of artists and artisans for a town of about 1,100 year-round residents. They are talented folks working away in their studios, barns and bedrooms on everything from wrought-iron doorknockers to finely etched glass. Lately, they’ve been joining forces to put the little town on the arttourist map.

A multimedia event

“It’s definitely an artist community,” says glass artisan Tara Van Meter, one of the main organizers of the fourth annual Washington Area Artisans Open Studio Tour, which took place over two weekends last fall. She discovered Washington while visiting local glassblower Trish Dalto and was surprised at the number of resident artists. She


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

counts more than 20 in the town and along its borders, although not all participate in the fall event. “Some of us are more active with our work than others and not everyone has a studio,” she says. “I’ve had a studio and shop for many years and I still end up on the kitchen table or sitting on the couch with a piece of work in my lap! Something about being close to my coffee pot and tea kettle and, during the winter, my wood stove.” The structure of the Washington Area Artisans group is informal: “We’re not an association or a co-op: we don’t have by-laws and meetings and dues,” Van Meter says. The artists support one another and pull together to organize the tour by advertising, creating a downloadable map, and coordinating with town offices and organizations. The event is spread out among historic buildings and artisans’ homes. It’s gradually becoming more of a multimedia event, including music and puppet shows. Pamela Stohrer of Hillsborough,

N.H., plays the Celtic harp at the Purling Beck Grange Hall in East Washington.

Meet the artists

Van Meter lives in a small renovated cabin on Highland Lake, where she creates carved and etched crystal and glass. Her intricate, original designs are hand cut, then etched layer by layer onto glass with a sandblasting process that takes place

in a separate workshop behind her home studio. Every piece is unique, taking hours to make. As a result, she makes only a few large pieces a year, some of them on commission. Like much of her work, her signature piece tells a story using motifs from nature. It is a large vase titled “Shima sani Cheru,” from the Navajo for “My Grandmother and Grandfather.” The surface is almost entirely covered by images of pine cones, leaves, paw prints, bears, horses and rabbits. The inspiration is her grandparents, who worked with the Navajo and encouraged her artistic dreams. Besides bowls, urns and other pieces, she carves on black onyx to make jewelry. While Van Meter’s delicate work is largely decorative, Gary LaRose of Rocky Rose Forge creates durable, yet beautiful, items out of metal. “I concentrate on useful, whimsical items — with lots of critters and botanic themes — for the home,” he says. He turned to blacksmithing after 20 years as a corporate accountant. “I saw a demo at the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair and decided I had to try that.” He signed up for a class with the New England Blacksmiths in Brentwood, N.H., and gradually built up his workshop. Recently juried into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, he sells his work in the league store in Concord as well as in a showroom in Connecticut.


Left: Tara Van Meter etches a design on glass Bottom: Blacksmith/artist Gary LaRose

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


New to Washington is Jonathan Gibson, one of America’s premier pewterers, whose workshop was a family business in Hillsborough since 1966. He recently built a workshop in Washington Center that also serves as an educational center for continuing the historic craft. Using mostly antique tools and equipment, he makes wares from pitchers to porringers, as well as items such as martini goblets, lamps, candlestick holders, napkin rings and jewelry. A member of the League of NH Craftsmen, he created two pieces that are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts. Marianne Stillwagon of Hillsborough creates what she calls “contemporary primitive Americana artwork” in the form of prints, floorcloths and fire screens. She considers herself “a two-state artist,” creating Americana art in New Hampshire and, in the winter, Low Country art in South Carolina. Wood turner Paul Charbonneau, who lives in nearby Bradford, N.H., uses a variety of woods to make everything from candlesticks to croquet mallets. “Basically, you’re carving wood on a spinning machine,” he explains. His biggest seller is natural edge bowls. He also makes a small, lidded box with a carved onyx inset created by fellow artist Van Meter.

Discover the area

The open studio tour works well for artists living in a rural area. “I’ve loved doing it,” says East Washington fabric artist Paula Morse. “Instead of going somewhere to set up all my work, I stay home and make applesauce while people step right onto my porch where I have my loom. And

Top to bottom: Lynn hendrickson, Kathy Depot and Monica Scanlon 24

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Meet the Artisans and Artists • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Paul Charbonneau, wood turner, Bradford Trish Dalto, glassblower, Washington Kathy Depot, painter, Washington J. Ann Eldridge, hand-printed etchings, Bradford Peter France, sculptor (bronze and wire), Washington Jon Gibson, pewter, Washington Janett Gilman, fiber artist, Hillsborough Camille B. Gibson, quilt art, mixed media/assemblage art, Washington Lynn Hendrickson, jewelry, floorcloths, East Washington Susan Hofstetter, quilter, East Washington Garry Kalajian, blacksmith, Bradford Jean Kluk, watercolorist, East Washington Jim Lambert, folk artist, Hillsborough Gary LaRose, blacksmith, Hillsborough Paula Morse, fiber artist, weaver, East Washington Patrice Roulx, puppeteer and mixed media artist, Washington Monica Scanlon, fine art photographer, Washington Marianne Stillwagon, contemporary and primitive Americana art, Hillsborough Tara Van Meter, etched and carved glass, jewelry, Washington Karen Winterholer, fine art photographer, Goshen





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when it’s leaf-peeping season, we have people from all over the country.” Charbonneau agrees: “It draws people up to this small area of New Hampshire that’s typically not a heavily traveled area. We’re not next to an interstate, so it’s an opportunity for people to discover the beauty of our area as well as all of the artists here.” What unites the Washingtonarea artists is not only their geography, but their passion for their work. “I’m a fiber addict,” says Morse. “I just love the feeling of making something out of nothing. You have these strings, and then you have a beautiful piece of art. My next piece is usually coming about in my head while I’m working on one.” The number and variety of artisans and artists in and around Washington continues to grow. Next year, organizers say, the New Hampshire chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs expects to send a bus tour. The dates for the 2018 Washington Area Artisans Open Studio Tour will appear on washingtonareaartisans.wordpress. com and Facebook page. But if you can’t wait to see their work, you’ll find some examples at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, League of NH Craftsmen stores, and the artists’ websites. Laurie D. Morrissey is a writer who lives in Hopkinton, N.H. Monica M. Scanlon has always loved photography. When she got my first full-time job in 1980, she bought a 35mm Pentax camera. In 2008 her hobby of photography turned into a real passion. Scanlon is a resident of Washington, N.H.


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A seasonal listing of performances, events, outdoor gatherings, festivals, fundraisers and other fun activities

Find more events and activities by liking Kearsarge Magazine on Facebook! Please note: Schedules may change; call to verify event information.

Gallery of Gifts Nov. 11 to Dec. 23

Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Stunning necklaces, colorful felted handbags, delicately carved pottery, handmade soaps and glass ornaments — get your entire holiday list taken care of at The Gallery of Gifts, an annual exhibit at the Library Arts Center. Hundreds of local and regional artisans and crafters are featured in a boutique-style setting. >> Library Arts Center, 58 North Main Street, Newport, N.H. >> libraryartscenter.org

All photos are courtesy photos unless otherwise noted.


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

Jeff Rapsis/Silent Film & Music Saturday, Nov. 18 7 to 9 p.m.

Jeff Rapsis is a writer/editor, educator, and also a composer and performer who specializes in creating live musical scores for silent film screenings. >> WCA Red Barn, 64 Village Road, Wilmot, N.H. >> wilmotwca.org

11th Annual Lake Sunapee Turkey Trot Thursday, Nov. 23

7 to 8 a.m.: Race-day registration

Holiday Craft Fair Saturday, Dec. 2 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wilmot Community Association’s Annual Holiday Craft Fair features 60 varied craft and food vendors under one roof. Be sure to line up for the renowned Wilmot Ladies Aid Cookie Walk. You’ll be able to select from hundreds of homemade cookies, brownies, tiny tarts and other small baked goods to enjoy yourself or give as gifts. Food and beverages will be sold during the day at Rachel’s Café. >> Andover Elementary/Middle School Gym, 20 School Street, N.H. >> Free and open to the public >> wilmotwca.org

8:15 a.m.: 1K Chicken Run 9 a.m.: 5K Turkey Trot 10:15 a.m.: Awards ceremony

Grab your family and friends, throw on a costume (optional, but highly encouraged), work off some calories, and make this great event a part of your Thanksgiving tradition. Kids are invited to run a 1K Chicken Run down Lake Avenue, and every participant receives a medal. Proceeds go to the Sunapee Recreation Department. >> Ben Mere Gazebo, Sunapee Harbor, Sunapee, N.H. >> $20 registration >> sunapeeturkeytrot.com

Holiday Concert

Warner Hometown Holiday Saturday, Dec. 2 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Activities abound up and down Main Street in Warner. You will find artisans in every room at the Upton Chandler House Museum, a farmers’ market and cookie walk fundraiser at Warner Town Hall, story time and crafts at the Pillsbury Free Library, and great shopping at locally owned shops like MainStreet BookEnds, Warner Pharmacy, FootHills Country Treasures and others. >> Warner, N.H. >> kearsargechamber.org

Friday, Dec. 1 5 to 7 p.m.

Santa, a tree lighting and a community singalong? What more could you want to kick off the December holiday season? How about music by the KRES Chime Tones, Sunapee Flute Choir and the Exit 13 Tuba Quartet! Sponsored by the Center for the Arts. >> Whipple Hall, 429 Main Street, New London, N.H. >> Free and open to the public >> centerfortheartsnh.org kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


Festival of Trees

Handel’s Messiah

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

7 p.m.

Come see a display of more than 50 beautifully decorated holiday table top trees designed and donated by local artists, businesses and individuals. Vote for your favorite trees with raffle tickets.

Benjamin Greene conducts the 75-member Concord Community Chorus in the Concord’s 86th performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. The doors to the church open at 6:15 p.m.

>> Enfield Shaker Museum, 447 NH Route 4A, Enfield, N.H.

>> South Congregational Church, 27 Pleasant Street, Concord, N.H.

Daily, Dec. 2 to 16

>> Free admission

Sunday, Dec. 3

>> Free >> walkerlecture.org

>> shakermuseum.org

Third Annual Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Fair Saturday, Dec. 2 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Shop local for the holidays. The Center for the Arts is hosting its third annual holiday fine arts and crafts fair. Meet the artists, support their work with a purchase, and give a great holiday gift as well! >> Whipple Hall, 429 Main Street, New London, N.H. >> Free and open to the public

Sunday at the Center Sundays, Dec. 3, 10, 17 1 to 4 p.m.

Want to play cards, a game of pool, or just socialize? Check out the Claremont Senior Center. There’s a daily schedule, but you can meet up with friends, both old and new, on Sunday afternoons. Bring a snack to share. >> Claremont Senior Center, 5 Acer Heights Road, Claremont, N.H. >> Members and guests are free >> cnhcs.org

>> centerfortheartsnh.org

AVA Gallery Annual Sale & Exhibition Saturday, Dec. 2 to Monday, Jan. 1 Opening reception: 5 to 7 p.m. Daily: times vary

The Holiday Sale & Exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to find unique, locally made handcrafted gifts for your friends and family. AVA’s member artists offer a range of beautiful and fun items from artwork in all media to handmade ornaments and fine jewelry. You will find hand-dyed shibori scarves, upcycled mittens and cool snow globes that make great gifts for the holidays. The exhibition will be replenished as the work sells, so be sure to visit often. >> AVA Gallery, 11 Bank Street, Lebanon, N.H. >> avagallery.org 30

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

Lebanon Holiday Celebration Saturday, Dec. 6 2 to 5 p.m.

This free annual celebration of the holiday season includes crafts, refreshments, musical entertainment and jolly Old St. Nick. >> Lebanon City Hall, 51 North Park St., Lebanon, N.H. >> lebanonnh.gov

Guided Gallery Tours Saturday, Dec. 9 2 and 3 p.m.

Friends of the Audi Holiday Open House

Enjoy a guided tour of the New Hampshire Historical Society’s historic Park Street building and exhibitions led by a member of the Society’s education or volunteer docent staff. Find out more about New Hampshire’s “Temple of History” and hear stories about the objects on display that make their history come alive. From a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a 1972 Ski-doo, the exhibitions on display at the New Hampshire Historical Society show you things you just can’t see anywhere else.

Wednesday, Dec. 13

>> New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, N.H.

Ice Skating in New London

>> Members are free, nonmembers are $7 >> nhhistory.org

Wilmot Express Sunday, Dec. 10 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the Wilmot Community Association, Wilmot Public Library and Wilmot Volunteer Fire Department, this family-centered annual event features gingerbread house construction for kids at the WCA’s Red Barn; dinner and Christmas tree lighting at the firehouse; and Santa reading a story at the library.

6 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to exchange holiday greetings and enjoy a pot luck supper as Santa Lucia, crowned with candlelight, brings dessert and music on her special day. For more information, call (603) 344-4747. >> City Hall, 2 Prince Street, Concord, N.H. >> Bring a pot luck item to share >> concordcityauditorium.org


Open daily; lights shut off at 9 p.m.

Spend a day on the ice at the Bob Andrews Memorial Ice Rink, which sits between the New London Town Offices and the historic New London Inn. There’s a warming hut, built as an Eagle Scout project from Boy Scout Troop 71, where you can take a moment to rest or put your skates on. >> New London Town Green, Main Street, New London, N.H. >> Free >> www.nlrec.com

>> Wilmot Community Association, 64 Village Road, Wilmot, N.H. >> Wilmot Public Library, 11 North Wilmot Road, Wilmot, N.H. >> Wilmot Volunteer Fire Department, 1 Firehouse Lane, Wilmot, N.H. >> wilmotwca.org


kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


Ice Skating in Sunapee Mid-December Open daily

Spend a day on the ice in Sunapee. The rink is not staffed, but there are 50 to 60 pairs of skates for people to use for free and a warming hut. >> Veterans Field, Route 11, Sunapee, N.H. >> Free >> www.town.sunapee.nh.us

Social Dance Saturday, Dec. 16 Free lesson: 7 p.m.

JOSA (Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon) Sundays, Dec. 3, Dec. 17, Jan. 14, Jan. 28, Feb. 11, Feb. 25 4 to 7 p.m.

Held at the Center at Eastman in Grantham, JOSA is a jazz music series intended to replicate the jazz sessions of the 1930s and 1940s in New York and Chicago where renowned players like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis would come together and jam for hours on end. >> Center at Eastman, 6 Clubhouse Lane, Grantham, N.H.

Dance: 7:30 to 9 p.m.

>> Adults, $18; Seniors, $16

Want to learn ballroom dancing? Come to Whipple Hall for a free lesson with Natalie Mavor Miles from the Newport Ballroom Dance Studio. Then stay for a community dance. Open to all!

>> josajazz.com

>> Whipple Hall, 429 Main Street, New London, N.H.

Diversity Day Goes POP at The PEAK

>> $10 at the door

3 to 9 p.m.

>> centerfortheartsnh.org

Mah Jongg

Tuesdays, Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30 1 to 3 p.m.

Head on down to the WCA for a game of Mah Jongg, a Chinese tile game that is similar to dominoes. Beginners welcome; some instruction available. >> Wilmot Community Association Red Barn, 64 Village Road, Wilmot, N.H. >> Donation of $2 for each session >> wilmotwca.org

Monday, Jan. 15, 2018

Diversity Day at PATS PEAK celebrates the work, spirit and vision of Martin Luther King. This winter fun event commemorates the importance of diversity, nondiscrimination and freedom — and provide the atmosphere and a program that will encourage folks to bring individuals skiing, snowboarding and tubing who may believe that this is a sport out of their reach. Focusing on the diversity of cultures around the world, we will showcase world music in the lodge. >> Pat’s Peak, 686 Flanders Road, Henniker, N.H. >> Skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, rentals and lesson tips for one low price >> patspeak.com

Newport Winter Carnival

Feb. 8 to 11, 2018 For a glorious weekend, the small town of Newport will be transformed into a winter wonderland landscape of activities: midnight skating, pancake breakfasts, horse-drawn wagon rides, fireworks, games, food and music. >> Newport, N.H. >> newportwintercarnival.org


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A Career in the Arts John Bennett came to Claremont after college to teach art in the school district in 1968. Before long he was immersed in a fight to save the opera house from demolition. By Patrick O’Grady Photography by Jim Block


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com


ohn Bennett’s 50-year career in the arts — from teaching to interior design and historic preservation — has truly been a labor of love that he cannot let go of. Bennett, 73, of Claremont, N.H., retired from teaching several years ago and has dialed back his demanding schedule but maintains his interior design business and his longstanding commitment to the Claremont Opera House as vice president of the board.

Dabbling in design

Bennett, a Newport, N.H. native, came to Claremont after college to teach art in the school district in 1968. Before long he was immersed in a fight to save the opera house from demolition and was working in interior design, which he was introduced to while in high school when he dated a girl whose parents bought and restored old houses. At Keene State College, Bennett worked with designers on a few projects, including transforming the library into the student union and making changes to the school’s Senate chamber. “So for me that was sort of dabbling in interior design,” says Bennett, who laughs easily recalling his experiences, even those that may have frustrated him. In the early 1970s, an acquaintance suggested they start an interior design business, and she introduced Bennett to a well-known designer who had come to Charlestown, N.H., from Bedford, N.Y., to restore an old house on Main Street. That chance meeting opened the door and Bennett built on his knowledge and experience, cultivated a

client base, and expanded his abilities on his own. “I knew I had design talent, found a partner and, went from there,” he says. Bennett has always loved the challenge of coordinating everything in a room and working with like-minded people, and he might have made interior design his full-time job but the material world was no match for the tug of teaching. “I love empowering people,” Bennett says. “And with teaching, you want these kids to make it. You want them to really succeed and you encourage them.” Interior design presented a different kind of challenge and was rewarding in its own way. “I couldn’t give up design work because I ended up meeting so many interesting people,” Bennett says. “That has been great fun.” An interior designer, Bennet explains, is more than hanging curtains or choosing paint; he or she has to have a broad understanding of construction. “It is the idea of working with the surfaces, the furniture, the space, so you have to deal with where heating fixtures will be, the lighting, kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


whether artificial or natural. You have to know the plumbing, electrical and engineering enough to work with people on the job. You have to have a background in all of the materials that are used. So, as time went by, I realized I had to study all of these things,” he says. The breadth of his work has ranged from small businesses — including a now-defunct New England restaurant chain — to private homes, Boston clients and the historic Middlebury (Vt.) Congregational Church. “That was exciting because you had this important architectural structure that had to be restored,” Bennett says. “You get some big jobs and they can be intimidating. But once you get into them, they are a lot of fun and really exciting. You really have to stretch your creative imagination.” The importance of understanding construction was highlighted in one project when everyone consulted on the location of a window so the big draperies could be pulled back to fully expose the window. “We go through all of this, the client goes away, I go on vacation, and the builder puts the window in a different location,” Bennett recalls.

Just kept pushing

Not long after coming to Claremont, Bennett joined a local arts council that morphed into a committee to save the opera house. In the beginning, it looked like a lost cause, Bennett remembers. “People would tell me ‘John, you’re crazy.’ I said no, this is something I want to have happen so I am going to work at it,” he says. “I just kept pushing and pushing. I said, ‘I’m not giving up.’ ” In 1973 the committee got the building named to the National Historic Register and raised $60,000 in grants and donations for a feasibility study on its needs. “Suddenly people realized we have something here that is important,” says Bennett, who has lived in the house owned by Hira Beckwith, the builder of the opera house, since 1972. In 1979 the opera house reopened, and in the mid-1990s, Bennett helped raise money for air conditioning, seat reupholstering and new stage equipment. “It is something to be proud of for the community,” he says. “Working with the opera house is me giving and wanting it to succeed for the community.”



Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

Saving a Historic Curtain The 800-seat Claremont Opera House is empty on a late May morning but there is a performance of sorts taking place up on stage. Conservator M.J. Davis is surveying the historic grand drape, looking for spots where paint had flaked off. Davis, an art conservator with Curtains Without Borders, a Burlington, Vt., nonprofit specializing in the restoration of painted theater curtains, explains her work. “You kind of dab it,” Davis says. “You just try to equal things about and get rid of these nasty scratches. When I do this I just get a color on my brush, look around and see what is bothering my eye.” Mary Richardson was repairing tears. “What I have done is trimmed all the loose threads and now we are filling in the holes with this fabric. We have an adhesive on the back called beva and it adheres with heat. I’m using a tacking iron to do that,” says Richardson of Maidstone, Vt. The curtain — with a painted scene of a village with a river, mountains, a boat and small cart — hung in the opera house from its opening in 1897 until it closed in the early 1960s. When the opera house reopened in the late 1970s it was used briefly but concerns arose over its fragile condition. “Every time we brought it up and down, it left a trail of dust,” says John Bennett, vice president of the opera house board. “I thought, my God this thing is losing its paint. It is going to disintegrate.” The curtain was then stored in a specially made bag until the restoration last spring. The drape, 33 feet wide by 17 feet 6 inches high, was carefully unrolled on tables on the opera house stage for the restoration over several days. Also repaired were six “legs” of different scenes that stand on the sides of the stage and add perspective. Chris Hadsel, director of Curtains Without Borders, says the curtain is made of muslin with a linen weave and is signed by painter Maxwell Alexander. A thin muslin backing sealed with plastic film was applied in the 1980s. “That saved it,” Hadsel says. “It probably would have ripped to shreds without it.” The frequency of the drape’s use is uncertain, but now it can be raised and lowered straight up and down, not furled or pulled to the sides, which will further preserve it. — Patrick O’Grady

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


Enjoying the process

Bennett has consulted with clients in interior design and others with little understanding of the process. “When there was somebody who was discerning and really loved things and had a sense of beauty and texture, you loved working with them because they were always interested in the visual effect of something. That is so much fun to work with,” Bennett says. “It is harder when people want to do their own decorating. They buy a suite of new furniture and it doesn’t go with anything they have.” Bennett says to design properly he has to envision how everything works together in each room. “I’m the one who works with the vanity


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

and the surfaces of the walls and the whole thing that goes with the bathroom; making sure it is all coordinated,” he says. A good example of that approach was the old Claremont Savings Bank where Bennett matched wallpaper with the window treatments and carpets and commissioned an artist to paint local outdoor scenes. “You come up with schemes that all work together,” he describes. “So you have the floor treatment, the wall treatment, the window treatment. These are picking up the color off the ceramic floor so when you come into the lobby you have the feeling everything belongs together.” During some of his busiest years, while helping his wife Carol raise their two children, Bennett


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also served on the Claremont City Council, Conservation Commission and Historic District Commission. He may have slowed down some, but he is not stopping. “I’m still at it. I can’t let go. I enjoy design and putting it all together to make it work,â€? he says. Patrick O’Grady is an editor and reporter for the Valley News. Previously he was managing editor for the Eagle Times. He is the author of Replicate: The Rebuilding of the Corbin Covered Bridge in Newport, N.H. kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine



A Legacy of Community Arts An end-of-year donation to the 50-year old Library Arts Center in Newport, N.H. will help make community arts accessible to all for another 50 years. By Laura Jean Whitcomb Photography courtesy of the Library Arts Center


t is an ambitious goal: to raise half a million dollars. But local residents — and a matching grant from the Roy Malool Family Foundation — are ensuring that the 50-year-old nonprofit Library Arts Center (LAC) in Newport, N.H., has a solid foundation for the future. The Library Arts Center was the brainchild of Marjorie Dorr. In 1967, Dorr transformed a carriage shed adjacent to the Richards Free Library into a small gallery space and, with the help of community volunteers, hosted summer art exhibits. In 1970, she planned a studio space in the lower level of the carriage house, and by 1972 the first classes were taking place. The first director was hired in 1975, but locals probably remember Doris Nelson, LAC’s director between 1989 and 2007. Nelson introduced the annual holiday boutique (now known as the Gallery of Gifts) in 1992. After Nelson’s retirement, Newport native Kate Niboli Luppold was hired as the director. She developed the Children’s Summer Program and led a successful capital campaign to update the gallery spaces with wood flooring and energy-efficient light bulbs in 2013. Today, the LAC is a thriving center that offers annual events (the Peeps Diorama Contest and the Apple Pie Crafts Fair), exhibitions of local art, performances


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com


WEB libraryartscenter.org

Left: Mary Jane Q. Cross paints on the stage at the LAC. Right: Students paint in the studio in the 1970s. Below: A gallery opening at the LAC in September 2017

(concerts, music and films), and more than 100 classes and workshops. Many of the programs are provided at little or no cost to the community, and students (64 in 2016) receive studio scholarships. The LAC receives $7,500 annually in town tax support, but

relies on gifts and ongoing fundraising for operational purposes. “A strong endowment fund will provide financial depth and confident planning for the future. It will also help expand programs and extend mission to serve the

community with arts programming,” says Mary Schissel, chair of LAC’s endowment fundraising committee. The goal is to expand all current programming in ways that helps the LAC better serve all facets of the greater community — more art classes and workshops for children and adults, more concert series, and more free drop-in art projects for the whole family, to name a few. “This has been the most amazing experience to see the community come together with such strong support for this little arts center,” says Executive Director Kate Luppold. “Like all we do here at the Arts Center, it is the involvement, effort and inspiration of many who bring our programming to life; that same community momentum and engagement has brought us this far in this campaign. In this final stretch, we are hoping that even more people who have benefited from the arts center will join us to help us send the LAC into its next 50 years with a strong foundation.” There’s still time to support the LAC. Endowment gifts can be given in remembrance of someone, or in gratitude, through a gift of cash, stock or bequest. For more information, contact the Library Arts Center at (603) 863-3040.

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine



Topstone Barber Co. Topstone Barber Co. has mastered the customer experience with a few key ingredients: perfection of their craft, warmth of character and lightness of spirit.

Courtesy Photo

Text and photography by Leigh Ann Root

The Topstone team: Danny Brooks, Maxwell McLaughlin, Andrew Maki, Ryan Kirby, Ethan Smith, Ryan Perras

W WHERE TO FIND TOPSTONE 353 Main Street New London, N.H. (603) 748-1469 topstonebarber@gmail.com


hen you step into Topstone Barber Co., you take a step back in time. Immediately, your eyes are drawn to the vintage vibe, apparent in every crevice of the barbershop. This atmosphere, mixed with the modern men at work, creates a chemistry that is industry magic. Topstone Barber Co. has mastered the customer experience with a few key ingredients: perfection of their craft, warmth of character and lightness of spirit.

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

It simply feels wonderful to be within the wall of this bustling business, like a huge hug from an old friend.

The beginning

Owner Andrew Maki was drawn to this line of work by his own experience as a barbershop customer and his desire to work around people. “I like the community feel of it, the tradition. I do this because I love getting to know people, hearing their stories and seeing their lives happen, one haircut at a time,” he says.


Topstone Barber Co. opened in New London at the Colonial Plaza in September 2015, where a one-chair barbershop had been located for more than 40 years. After remodeling the space and flipping his sign to open, Maki became busier than he could handle. With the addition of two more barbers, they outgrew their first home in just one year.

The new location choice, located in the foundation of the New London Inn, has proven to be an outstanding one. Maki explains, “We’ve had our two busiest months, and we now have six full-time barbers. We feel more connected to the town, being in the heart of it. We’re beside the town green.”

According to Maki, “We’re dedicated to mastering our craft. We travel to other shops and meet our friends who are barbers. We like to see firsthand what is happening elsewhere and how we can make our customer experience that much better.” The shop is the work home of the “Artistic Six” — Maki, Ryan Kirby, Danny Brooks, Ethan Smith, Maxwell McLaughlin and Ryan Perras — who are the living example of a famous quote: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Customers witness humorous banter in a comfortable setting, where scissors and razors are in the hands of precision professionals passionately cutting and shaving in old-school tradition and new-school ways. Everyone knows your name here, just like in the television sitcom “Cheers” — and there’s even a bar. You

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine



can have a seat and a beverage while you’re waiting for your turn in an antique barber chair. They work with and around each other, as though they’ve been doing it for generations. It’s intoxicating to watch. “Ask any of us how we feel about our job and we’ll tell you, it’s the best job we’ve ever had. It feels like we’re hanging out in our own grown-up version of a tree fort all day,” Maki says. “On our days off you’ll often find us all together at breakfast, at a flea market or a golf course.”

Words from behind the chair

These young men fit together in the most energetic and magnetic way. As a patron, you’re drawn into this web of welcoming, being a part of something extraordinary, in a space that honors and appreciates everyone. “It’s an amazing atmosphere that I’m thrilled to be a part of. I love the camaraderie and talking with the customers. I love coming to work every day,” Kirby says. Brooks says, “I enjoy the connections that we make with the people. They open up to us, we’re like bartenders. It’s cheap therapy.” “It’s like we’re six brothers that can yell, disagree, hug, and go grab a beer at the end of the day,” says Smith. He appreciates the challenge that comes from the job. “Some cuts are harder, depending on hair type, density and even the shape of a head. We start with a consultation, find out what works, and make sure that the customer leaves satisfied.”


“We’re dedicated to mastering our craft. We travel to other shops and meet our friends who are barbers. We like to see firsthand what is happening elsewhere and how we can make our customer experience that much better.”

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

Andrew Maki, Topstone Barber Co.

“Here to help you with understanding, interest and expertise – to help you achieve your goals.”

Words from the chair

Topstone offers classic cuts and traditional shaves using timehonored techniques. Topstone also has a full line of shaving supplies, hair care and body care items. Most of the products are American made, which is something they do whenever possible. “We now sell used vinyl and offer a drop-off shoe shine service through The Country Cobbler in West Lebanon,” Maki says. Customer Scott Sweatt of New London says, “You’re not just a number here. This place bonds people and is a great intersection of our community.” “It’s the best shave in New Hampshire,” says Todd Westward of New London. “If I could skip work and not get caught, I would hang out here all day! It’s been a great place to meet some of the locals.” Their special touches are a big hit, from their hot towel service on the neck to a neck shave with a straight razor. This quintessential barbershop has masterfully connected the old with the new, its people to their passion, and individuals to the community. Leigh Ann Root is a freelance writer, photographer and yoga instructor. She teaches yoga throughout the Lake Sunapee region. Her traveling yoga business is Sunapee Yoga Company (sunapeeyogacompany.com). Leigh Ann lives in Newbury, N.H., with her husband, Jonathan, and two children, Parker and Joleigh.

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kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine



A Collaborative Theatre The Hatbox offers use of the stage, lighting and sound equipment, dressing rooms, promotional help and box-office help — entirely free. Text and photography By Katie Bushueff


Courtesy Photo


ou never know what you’re going to find inside a hat box. The same can be said about the Hatbox Theatre in Concord, N.H., where performance and community are coming together in a big way to revitalize the magic of live stage performance. The Hatbox Theatre offers an intimate and exciting theatre experience, and was started in 2016 by longtime New Hampshire resident, magician and theatre aficionado Andrew Pinard. While Pinard is the mastermind behind the project, the Hatbox Theatre is a work of community and collaboration. “This is a cooperative theatre,” says Pinard, “none of us get paid.” What this means is unlike most theatre venues, the Hatbox isn’t a for-profit business. While most venues charge a rental fee for stage use and other resources — all of which can be incredibly costly — the Hatbox is trying to work with, rather than against, its production teams. “Instead of being a venue that rents space, each group is asked to cooperate on a season,” explains Pinard. The Hatbox offers use of the stage, lighting and sound equipment, dressing rooms, promotional help, boxoffice help, and even production development education — entirely free. In return, instead of

Top: The Hatbox Theatre is ready for patrons. Bottom: The set of a recent production

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com


hiring employees, members of each production team contribute volunteer time and collaboration to running the theatre and helping other productions throughout the season. While a portion of ticket sales from each show gets paid to the producers and actors of that show, the remainder of sales and donations go entirely back into keeping the theatre running and the shared resources available.

take part, and share the work, so that each team can focus on its main goal of producing a great performance. Pinard, an illusionist from Bradford, N.H., came up with the idea for the cooperative theatre after spending a lifetime

Pitch night

This cooperative model has been embraced by the community. “This year at our ‘Pitch Night’ we had about 43 production groups vying for about 23 spots for the upcoming season,” says Pinard. “There was a lot of interest.” Once a year on “Pitch Night” producers and performers are invited to offer a two-minute ‘pitch’ of their show in hopes of getting a spot in the upcoming season. While the focus of the theatre is on live performances, Pitch Night is open for any sort of performance including music, dance, slam poetry and more. The reason the Hatbox has been so successful is due to its collaborative nature, according to Pinard. Theatre is an incredibly difficult field financially. Producing a show can be costly, and ticket sales offer a minimal return for production companies. But at the Hatbox, everyone benefits more in the end because so many costs are taken out of the equation via pooled resources and shared responsibilities. It fosters a community that encourages participants to give back,

circulating in and out of different venues around the world. And like all good ideas, this one took time to develop. “I’ve been working on this idea for 25-plus years now,” he laughs. He says for every venue he’s worked in, he always asks the same questions: “How can we improve this, how can we make this better, and how can we reshape this model?” After 25 years of reflection, the answer he’s come up with is a community oriented, cooperative and self-sustaining space called the Hatbox Theatre.

Why the name?

“People today have so much access to entertainment via screen…I think people are looking for the opportunity to have genuine, meaningful, live experiences,” says Andrew Pinard. “It’s rare to find… especially ones that aren’t overwhelmed by the noise of life around you.”

So why “Hatbox”? For one thing, Pinard says his first priorities in picking a name were to keep it “short and simple, and something you can’t mis-spell.” But beyond this, it was the theatre’s model and output that contributed to the perfect name. The physical space of the Hatbox Theatre is similar to a type of theatre called a “black box” — a simplistic and variable space in which production elements are minimal and seating can be reconfigured as needed for each show. While the Hatbox is not entirely a black box theatre, it has similar elements. Playing off of the name black box Pinard landed on “Hatbox” with the notion that “when you open the lid, you never know what you’re going to find inside.” The same goes for each theatre season: “We don’t know until Pitch Night what our season is going to look like.” It’s true. The Hatbox Theatre and each of its production ›››››

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine






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Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

seasons is a unique and exciting adventure just waiting to be discovered. At the Hatbox one can expect to see a wide range of performances, from classic theatre acts, dance, and comedy shows, to monthly magic performances and presentations like “Tales Told” — a night of reallife story telling from audience members, inspired by National Public Radio’s “The Moth.” Not only that, but the Hatbox also offers a monthly “Performance Lab” — a series of educational workshops that offer a whole range of production topics like Sound Design, Set Design, Stage Management, and much more. The lab series is open to volunteers for free and to the public for $10. To manage the volume of offerings, Pinard relies on the support of three volunteers who help out behind the scenes year round — Meredith Potter, a former student of Pinard who helps with all matter of tasks and keeping things organized; Kevin Barrett, an instrumental player behind the scenes with publicity; and Matt Potter, who has been particularly involved with the Hatbox’s podcasts and promotional work. Ultimately though, for these three and for every volunteer, the name of the theatre is especially fitting — with so much to be done, everyone involved wears many hats during a season, each chipping in wherever help is needed. Pinard tips his hat to these hardworking volunteers, saying “it’s all about a group of people who are cooperating and trying to pull it all together. This isn’t a one-man show.” While volunteers work hard to put on a show, Pinard is keen on the fact that theatre is really driven by an entertained and

WEB hatboxnh.com

involved audience. Without an audience, there’s little point to having a show, and the audience is a big part of what makes a show — and ultimately a community theatre — successful. “The community at the Hatbox is not a community of artists; it’s a community of artists and audience members. We want them involved in the process,” Pinard says. One of the Hatbox’s main missions is to bring high quality theatre experiences back to the area. The Hatbox strives to keep its tickets affordable and reasonable. “It’s about sculpting a really cool, really intimate experience. I want people to know that there are these types of experiences to be found in New Hampshire. And as the capital city (Concord), it’s way overdue!” Katie Bushueff is a freelance writer and photographer for Kearsarge Magazine. She loves all things New Hampshire, and spends as much time as possible exploring this great state.

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History through Music You'll find the past, present and future of music in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area.

The Hardtacks, from left to right: Woody Pringle, Marek Bennett, and friend Beth Eldridge

By Bridgett Taylor Photography by Paul Howe


rom the Civil War roots of modern country music to innovative new sounds, three local bands — the DoBros, String-a-Longs and Hardtacks — bring unique perspectives and solid musicianship to the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area.

Songs of the Civil War era

The Hardtacks — formed by Woody Pringle of Bradford, N.H., and Marek Bennett of

Henniker, N.H. — were born after the New Hampshire Humanities Council put out a call to artists for new and different topics. “I was teaching music, and I was teaching a lot of history through music,” explains Bennett. “I kept finding songs that, when you traced them back, they would go to the Civil War era or the Antebellum era just before it. More and more current culture and folk music seemed

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine



to pass through that era and be changed by it.” Bennett and Pringle, also a musician and educator, worked together to create an interactive presentation called “Rally ‘round the Flag” based on Civil War-era history and music. “We thought it would be a great way to do those discussions through participatory musical experiences — rather than just being a concert or a lecture about the Civil War,” says Bennett. The presentation included artwork from the era and readings that responded to the music being played. “The audience reads those quotes, not us,” Pringle says. Pringle and Bennett are eager to emphasize the impact that Antebellum and Civil War-era music has had on more modern popular music from hip-hop to folk music. “I grew up listening to the Beatles and MC Hammer, all this pop music,” Bennett says. “I’ve been amazed — by studying the music of the Civil War period, you can learn so much about modern music. When you look at the development of pop culture, it’s not like there’s a sudden burst and a new culture takes over.” “When you get into the music of the 1860s, you realize they were doing a lot of songs from the 1840s. And rock ‘n’ roll — these bands from the 1840s playing the banjo and the fiddle related to a lot of the 1960s and 1970s. And they were similarly part of the political process. You’re learning what these people’s values were, what they believed what they thought. You can get a different window to the 56

era, both a very similar and unfamiliar window to the past.” Bennett and Pringle play multiple instruments and are joined by additional musicians in their performances as schedules and interest permits.

Country and farm funk

The String-a-Longs play “old-time country,” says guitarist Steve Blodgett of Newport, N.H., who is joined by Arnold Stoddard of Charlestown, N.H., Chuck DeAngelis of Cornish, N.H., and Dave Legacy of Windsor, Vt. “A lot of the old Hank Williams and George Jones stuff.” Blodgett says that the band has had some changes in their lineup over its history, but the current group has been “mostly together” for the past four years. “I enjoy the music and the company, and like they say, music soothes the soul and I think that’s what it’s all about — just doing something you like and enjoying it,” he says.

Blodgett is self-taught and has been playing most of his life, since he was an early teenager, and remembers playing live at WGAW radio station in Gardner, Mass. With one member in his 90s and another in his 80s, the String-a-Longs are a contrast to the DoBros, a group of Warner, N.H., musicians in their 20s. The Americana group, who formed in 2013, recently released their first album on Bandcamp, a website that connects fans directly with musicians. “We kind of pieced ourselves together over a couple of months,” recalls Ben Dobrowski, who with his brother Luke helped give the DoBros their name. “I was lucky enough to get a Dobro guitar as a gift, and then our last name had that [name] in it and we were brothers…there were a couple of factors that went into that.” Ben Dobrowski predominantly plays guitar — electric

The Arnold Stoddard Stringalongs from left to right: Chuck DeAngelis, Steve Blodgett, and Dave Legacy

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com


WEB Hardtacks: civilwarfolkmusic.com The DoBros: cnevms.wixsite.com

The DoBros perform on the Main Street Warner Stage and amphitheater.

and Dobro — contributing his keyboard skills and vocals as needed. Luke Dobrowski also contributes vocals and plays banjo, mandolin and the drums; Chris Spann-Weitz plays bass guitar. Youngest and newest member Colin Nevins plays guitar and contributes vocals. Dobrowski says that the band draws on a deep variety of influences to create what he calls “farm funk.” “We really kind of listen to all sorts of things, from classic rock and blues to bluegrass and country — early kind of country, Hank Williams stuff — as well as jazz, funk and soul. As far as specific people I would say Grateful Dead, the Beatles and Bruno Mars.”

Community support

Dobrowski credits their time in the school band at Kearsarge Regional High School as another influence. Luke and Ben spent

two years in the school band. “Our bass player was also in the jazz band and in the concert bands with Luke and I; that was kind of a foundation point for us, having us learning together with a teacher who wanted us to perform to our fullest potential,” he syas. Colin joined the band later on. “Colin had been running around town kind of looking for people to play with, so naturally it worked out. His family is pretty musical as well: his grandmother, Darlene Nevins, is kind of a local legend in our town. She’s played the alto saxophone for years, and she’s in her mid-90s and still playing.” They began performing in small venues, including farmers’ markets and The Local, a restaurant on East Main Street in Warner, where they became a house band. “We’ve done

weddings, we’ve done backyard barbecues, and concerts for Smuttynose brewery, just trying to get our name out.” A spirit of community and local support seems common in the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge music scene. “Woody Pringle is one of the earlier influences in some of our playing,” Ben Dobrowski says. “He really supported us — actually gave us instruments early on. It was crazy, my brother wanted a mandolin and one day a mandolin just showed up on the porch.” Paul Howe is a freelance photographer based in Sunapee, N.H. His work has been in many shows, including photographs in juried shows at the Library Arts Center in Newport and New London Hospital art shows. Learn more at paulhowephotography.com

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


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ALife in Clay


Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

Text and photography by Alicia Bergeron

From mugs to sculpture, Artist David Ernster likes to think his work in some way might help others find the beauty in living.


very morning is the same ritual. We pick out a mug from the cabinet, consider its shape, size and texture as we hold it in our hands, and place it back on the shelf. Uh-uh. Too big. So we try another mug… and another. That’s the one! It’s the same coffee, but it’s just so much better when we are drinking it in the perfect mug. Some days I prefer a strong and gritty mug; other days a smaller, smooth one. The options are endless — and anything but ordinary — when you choose to surround yourself with handmade craft.

Interpreting the material

Craft is something that Newbury, N.H., resident David Ernster is passionate about. He has been a member of the League of NH Craftsmen since the early 1990s, jurying in shortly after moving to New Hampshire in 1989. We’ve had many conversations about the importance of living with handmade crafts, kicking around the idea that they have the power to enrich our lives. “One of my teachers used to say how working in clay was just like playing jazz — constantly interpreting and reacting to the material and kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


“The thing that inspires me most to go back and try new things is looking at and living with the finished work,” he says. “It makes me happy to think that these pieces continue their journey as objects of utility in people’s lives… over a cup of coffee perhaps.” the process,” Ernster says. “Jazz had a profound influence not only on music but on culture; it’s something we seem to need. Handmade traditional crafts can have a similar influence — waking us up to the beauty in our everyday lives.” Ernster has been a craftsman and clay artist his entire life. He attended the University of Iowa for his undergraduate in metalsmithing and West Virginia University for his MFA in ceramics. He has worked as a designer/goldsmith, production potter and independent artist all while teaching pottery at various institutions around the state. Teaching was not something he originally thought he wanted to do. “People kept asking me to teach, and I discovered that I truly enjoyed it,” he says. “I’ve learned so much from my students over the years. I’m not sure where I would be without that.” While he loves to make sculptural objects, much of Ernster’s work pays homage to the traditions of function. “I love to make things that people can use,” says Ernster. “We look at a piece of functional work differently than a painting or a 62

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

sculpture. Through daily use we develop a relationship with them — a more intimate connection.”

The alchemy of process

“When I sit down to make something my first thoughts are usually about the kind of clay I’m using and how it will be fired,” he describes. These things play an important role in the look and feel of the finished piece. That’s why he loves to make his own clay and glazes. He also loves to experiment with different local materials, keeping his eyes open for local (wild) clays and other minerals to be used in his clay and glaze formulas. One such glaze is made from clay dug near the Sugar River and another from the ashes of reeds. “It’s been done this way for thousands of years,” says Ernster. “Over the years I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into developing a process that is sustainable.” Much of his work is fired in traditional woodburning kilns. Most kilns are pretty efficient, but he enjoys using wood for many reasons. Wood is ›››››

Dozens of mugs line up to dry out in the afternoon shade. It may seem like a lot of mugs but production work is actually a potter’s best friend. Nothing is guaranteed. During the process, many things can go wrong, so it’s good to have backup as well as room to play a little.

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine


Unloading the kiln can feel a lot like Christmas. Along with the regular work there are usually a lot of experiments. There’s huge excitement to see what the results are of the firing. A look of joy and pride will sometimes cross over Ernster’s face as he says, “Ah, man, that came out awesome!” 64

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

WEB davidernster.com

considered a carbon neutral and sustainable fuel source. Firing with wood also leaves its mark on the work with beautiful, natural ash glaze deposits and surface colors caused by elements released from the wood during the firing. “I feel lucky to have discovered my passion for these materials and processes and to have been able to devote my life to working with them,” he says.

Objects of intention

Living with handmade craft can change how we see the world. Every little aspect of the work has been considered and chosen intentionally by the craftsperson. I find myself looking more carefully at other things I surround myself with. Trying to understand the reasons for a craftsperson’s choices is like looking through a small window into their world. Ernster likes to tell the story of when he was looking at an old piece of pottery from around 1400 BCE and the fingerprints of the potter were still visible on the surface. “That’s the thing about clay,” he reflects. “It is kind of timeless. I really enjoy that connection to the past and realizing that our needs have not changed all that much.” Alicia Bergeron is a photographer and graphic designer who enjoys art and the outdoors. Her work celebrates the connections we have to creativity and nature. She lives in the heart of it all near Mount Sunapee.


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Family owned and grown since 1953 Enjoy our greenhouse filled with fresh local Fraiser Fir & Balsam Christmas Trees. We offer fresh garland, plain and decorated evergreen wreaths, our beautiful bows are the finishing touch! Let us create a custom wreath just for you. Our outdoor pots overflowing with an assortment of greens, winterberries and white twigs, are always a crowd favorite and our poinsettia greenhouse is bursting with color! Our gift shop is filled with holiday joy! We have whimsical elves, santas, snowmen, bells, holiday linens, candles, tasty candy canes, chocolate and gifts galore! You will be happy you stepped through the door! www.kathangardens.com Check us out on Facebook!

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kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine



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Marketplace You’ll find it all at Autumn Harvest Farm! Seasonal Events, CSAs, Farmstore, Hiking Trails & Camping

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On the Road Warner: A Community Connector Text and photography by Leigh Ann Root

While “On the Road” with Kearsarge Magazine we often find ourselves in the charming community of Warner, N.H. This town center packs quite a powerful retail and entertainment punch. Our first stop was at Schoodacs Coffee House where there’s so much more than coffee. Their extensive drink menu includes many specialties that coordinate with every season. The Pumpkin Spice Latte was perfect for fall. We also had a jalapeno cheddar scone — yum. They’re a true coffee house, hosting open mic every Sunday and organizing public events on a regular basis. The owners,


Photos, top to bottom: the busy counter at Schoodacs Coffee House, the fireplace at Schoodacs, Warner Pharmacy

Darryl and Kristin Parker, are community players, cooperatively selling local produce and products in conjunction with their own. Schoodac’s expansive front porch is favored by locals and visitors daily.

Kearsarge Magazine • Winter 2017 • kearsargemagazine.com

Next, we took the sidewalk to Warner Pharmacy. They’re another business whose offerings expand way beyond what their name suggests. Indeed, they’ll assist in fixing what ails you at their pharmaceutical counter and aisles. They also have an extensive selection of gift items and greeting cards as well as unique clothing, accessories and beauty supplies. The pharmacy team exudes a warmth and concern for people’s well being, calling customers by name and interacting in a genuine and wholesome manner. Across the street, at MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, we were overwhelmed by their variety of goods. As you pass by the shelves of books, by the jewelry-filled counter and through the enormous kids section, you find yourself in their spacious MarketPlace

and Gallery. This attached barn features local art, local products and local food; they also host numerous community events here. Outside the building is an outstanding park and amphitheater, a shared area with the MainStreet Warner, Inc. This gem of a space is dedicated to promoting the arts, education

and preservation of the Warner community. A few doors down is the New Hampshire Telephone Museum. This place is fantastic — a must stop for any age. The young cannot believe the apparatus needed to communicate; the older population takes a delightful walk down memory lane. Every aisle showcases a certain time frame and the ingenious phones and equipment which accompanied it. From a family outing to school

trips, this place educates and celebrates history in the most creative and interactive ways. Country Cobwebs rounded out our Warner visit. Every inch of this store has something terrifically country, beautifully handmade, or locally inspired. This requires many laps around the shop to see it all. Local souvenirs and specialty gifts are abundant in this cool and quaint shop. Each nook has a theme and, within each theme, is a host of items. When looking to buy something locally made with a New Hampshire feel, this Photos, top to bottom: MainStreet is the stop for you. BookEnds, the gallery at MainStreet In any season, wanderBookEnds, local products at Country ing around Warner is a lovely Cobwebs, outside and inside the New Hampshire Telephone Museum, choice. more goodies at Country Cobwebs

kearsargemagazine.com • Winter 2017 • Kearsarge Magazine



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Profile for Kearsarge Magazine

Kearsarge Winter 2017  

A holiday issue that is focused on art and artists, theatre and music, local events and activities and the businesses that make the Kearsarg...

Kearsarge Winter 2017  

A holiday issue that is focused on art and artists, theatre and music, local events and activities and the businesses that make the Kearsarg...

Profile for kearsarge