T H E S Q UA R E spring/summer 2015
THE SQUARE The Magazine for Seacoast Creativity, Culture & Community
Odiorne State Park
the art of illusion making it on the seacoast
With landscape photographer Jerry Monkman
thistle pig exploring the seacoast in honor of those forgotten
Making It on the Seacoast 36 African Burying Ground Memorial 30 Hit The Decks (A dining guide) 64 PLUS: Shopping, Shelter, Dining & Events
inside Volume 02
Spring /Summer 2015 on the cover
Daisies at Odiorne Point State Park By photographer Jerry Monkman (taken with his cell phone)
07 Square One
Start here for everything you need to know about the Seacoast.
20 Music Man
PMAC’s Russ Grazier is all about access to the arts.
22 The Art of Illusion
Allison May Kiphuth builds big ideas into small spaces.
26 Cultural Conversation
Authors Katherine Towler and Tim Horvath take a walk in the woods.
30 In Honor of Those Forgotten
A dream becomes reality with the opening of Portsmouth’s African Burying Ground Memorial Park.
36 Making it on the Seacoast
30 In Honor
36 Making It
Twelve years in the making, Portsmouth comes together to honor those forgotten. Story by J.L. Stevens
In Portsmouth’s West End, a community of makers gets to work. Story by Debbie Kane
Port City Makerspace opens its doors to Seacoast builders and creators.
40 Beyond the Desk
INHOUSE Worldwide’s Tharon Cottrell makes good things happen.
42 A Seaside Idyll
Fuller Gardens in North Hampton looks to its future as it tends to its past.
50 On the Walls
Inside the carefully curated home of Artstream’s Susan and Rainer Schwake
56 Family Dinner
Peek into the family kitchen of Denise and Evan Mallett (and their flourishing sous chefs).
60 Thistle Pig
A small restaurant in South Berwick makes a big impact on the local economy.
64 Hit the Decks
From upscale dining to a paper basket loaded with fried clams, we’ve got a place for you.
70 Exploring the Seacoast
42 A Seaside Idyll North Hampton’s Fuller Gardens cultivates a passion for roses on the edge of the Atlantic. Story by Laura Pope
60 Thistle Pig A love for family and fine food makes South Berwick’s latest eatery one of the hottest dining spots on the Seacoast. Story by Kristin Fuhrmann-Simmons
Step inside Odiorne State Park with nature photographer Jerry Monkman.
76 Spring /Summer Events
A selection of what’s happening on the Seacoast
78 Good Eats
Nothing beats a good breakfast spot, here are a few of our top picks
80 What the ... ?
Do you recognize any of these kids from 1973?
Contributors Jennifer Moore is a library clerk, maker and sustainable style blogger. Find her via Twitter @recovergirl. Moore lives in Kittery with her husband, two boys and two cats, Cocoa and Scratch.
John Benford is a commercial and fine art photographer, specializing in on-location photography of places and people. He lives in Portsmouth with his wife and their 2-year-old son. Check out his work at johnbenfordphoto.com. Kelly Wright is the director for Freeman’s Trusts & Estates (New England) and a current appraiser on the “Antiques Roadshow.” He lives in Portsmouth with his family. He is happy to provide free and confidential advice. Wright can be reached at 603-498-9530 or e-mail him at kwright@ freemansauction.com. Kristin Fuhrmann-Simmons is a food writer, pastry chef and director at TABLE Culinary Programs in southern Maine. She is a member of the International Food Writers and Travel Writers Association along with the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and blogs regularly about food and family travel at her website, 4ticketsplease.com.
john bedford by celeste ladd, stephanie simpson lazenby by misa erder
Laura Pope writes about the arts, history and travel for newspapers and magazines. She has published two books about Portsmouth history and is working on a book of short stories. She lives on a farm in Eliot, Maine.
Liz Davenport has been a photographer for 20 years and is the proud owner of Convinced Photography. “There is always a story to be told in every image and I am privileged to share it with you.” You can reach her via e-mail: email@example.com.
Greta Rybus is a photographer who specializes in editorial, portrait, food and travel photography. Originally from Idaho, she bounced around a bit before landing in Portland, Maine. Photo by Rebecca Stumpf
Chloe Kanner likes stories of all kinds, but the true ones most of all. She is co-founder of The Sound newspaper, a freelance reporter, photographer and designer, and a mom.
Lori L. Ferguson is a freelance writer based in southern New Hampshire. She enjoys writing on lifestyle topics as well as all things artistic and may be reached through her website, writerloriferguson.com.
Jerry Monkman is a conservation photographer from Portsmouth. His book, “The AMC Guide to Outdoor Digital Photography,” was awarded a 2012 National Outdoor Book Award. His most recent endeavor is a documentary film about the Northern Pass project called “The Power of Place.” Stephanie Simpson Lazenby is a writer, educator and performer. She writes lifestyle features for the Portsmouth Herald and runs enrichment workshops at local elementary schools. She’s performed in “Listen to Your Mother.” She also makes a helluva good spaghetti and meatballs.
Michael Winters is a photographer and a counselor at Portsmouth High School. Check out his work at michaelwintersphotography.com.
Chris Hislop has been writing and conversing about the Seacoast music scene for more than a decade. He loves music. And his 2-year-old son. And his wife. And his dog, Red. And people ... He’s pretty friendly. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Award-winning illustrator Mark Hoffmann got his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in illustration and his MFA in visual design from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Hoffmann’s work can often be seen locally at Nahcotta in Portsmouth. Guy Capecelatro III is a storyteller and songwriter in Portsmouth who owns the record label Two Ton Santa. He is the creator of “Some Women,” and guest curator of “Songwriters in the Round” at The Music Hall Loft. His latest release is “Scatter the Remains” through Burst & Bloom records. Rachel Forrest is a food writer and restaurant critic who lives in Exeter, and Austin, Texas. She is the co-author of “Maine Classics: More than 150 Delicious Recipes from Down East” and writes for newspapers and magazines. See her work at rachelforrest.com.
J.L. Stevens meets and writes about interesting folks. E-mail her at email@example.com.
There’s No Place Like Home
As I write this letter there is a soft April snow falling outside of my window. The kind of snow that says to New Englanders, weary after one of the worst winters on records, I am not done yet. It is a test of sorts: Will you stay or will you go? Oh sure, I know that a couple of days from now a bright spring sun will melt this snow and water the bulbs underneath, and that soon tulips will poke through the ground and we will get the green grass that we deserve after so many feet of snow. But sometimes, on mornings like today, I wonder, why do I call this place home? When I was a child in Portsmouth, I lived six houses away from the home I live in now with my own child. I walk my dog past the old Stop n’ Go, where I spent hours playing Pac Man with my friends. When I walk down Congress Street, I remember Hudson’s and The Little Professor Bookcenter (home of my favorite Garfield bookmarks), J.J. Newberry’s with its counter service and the old police station on Penhallow Street. I run into people I knew from those days, grown now but eternally 12 years old to me. I moved away and lived in western Massachusetts, San Francisco and Seattle. Then, after the umpteenth gray day that the Pacific Northwest is so famous for, I convinced my Californian husband to move 3,000 miles away to a place I called home. That was back in 1999, and now he calls Portsmouth home too. Since
then, I’ve reconnected with old friends and met new ones. Buildings and businesses have come and gone, but many of the creative spirits that I have gotten to know here have grown alongside the city. While you may read many different stories in this issue of The Square, the common thread here is that the Seacoast is the place we call home. It’s where Ben Hasty decided to open a restaurant, Thistle Pig, with Jen Fecteau, in a town his family has called home for generations. It’s where Alvan Fuller built a garden for his wife almost 100 years ago, a beautiful testament that is lovingly maintained and enjoyed to this day. It’s where a town cares so much for its history and its people that it would work together for more than 12 years to honor and celebrate an African Burying Ground that had long been forgotten. It’s where Crystal Paradis, hometown girl and creator of #PortsmouthLOVE, decided to return to after a sojourn in Hawaii. (OK, she may be regretting that move after February’s Snowpocolypse …) Whether you’ve lived here your whole life, moved here recently or you’re just calling the Seacoast home for a night, I hope you enjoy the stories in The Square as much as I do. Have a story you’d like to share? Just want to say hi? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear from you. Here’s to summer! We’ve earned it.
Meganne Fabrega Editor
photo by alyssa alameida duncan
From the Editor
M c L ean C omm u n i cat i ons , Inc .
A d i v i s i on of Y an k ee P u bl i sh i ng , Inc . , D u bl i n , N H
President/Publisher Sharron R. McCarthy x5117 email@example.com Associate Publisher Susan Smith x5161 firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Editor Rick Broussard x5119 email@example.com
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Barbara Coles x5129 firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Editor Erica Thoits x5130 email@example.com Creative Assistant Candace Gendron x5137 firstname.lastname@example.org
Concerts. Comics. Cinema. And Celebrated Authors. On stage, on screen in two theaters
Production Manager Jodie Hall x5122 email@example.com Senior Graphic Designer Wendy Wood x5126 firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic Designer Nancy Tichanuk x5116 email@example.com Office Manager Mista McDonnell x5114 firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Executive Tal Hauch x5145 email@example.com Events/Marketing Manager Erica Hanson x5125 firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing Services Manager Heather Rood x5115 email@example.com Sales/Events Coordinator Amanda Andrews x5113 firstname.lastname@example.org
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© 2015 McLean Communications, Inc. The Square® is published by McLean Communications, Inc., 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101, (603) 624-1442. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for any mistakes in advertisements or editorial. Statements/opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect or represent those of this publication or its officers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, McLean Communications, Inc.: The Square disclaims all responsibility for omissions and errors.
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8 a day in the life 10 style 14 five faves 16 seacoast shopkeepers 18 vintage seacoast
Donâ€™t feel like cooking from scratch? Grab these tasty potstickers from Chow Maine. Get them at Golden Harvest in Kittery, Maine Blogger Jennifer Moore has more suggestions on page 10
e f i L e h t n i y a D A s e g a r e v e amscot B
of Squ9:12 a.m.
day. Located in what was Conner Bottling Works opens for the in Newfields, it’s as home y famil the d behin originally a barn expect. you’d old-timey and small-town friendly as
ries throughout New loading the truck and making delive Four days a week, the day begins with plant uses. The the produce 50% more electricity than Hampshire. The solar array on the roofs feel of the site. ed shion old-fa the losing ut rnizations witho family tries to incorporate such mode
in the busiTom and Eileen Conner work together founded was any comp The . ness hub of the plant g the Civil by Tom’s great-great-grandfather durin ration of War, and their son Dan is the fifth gene born and Conners in the business. Tom H., also company for raised in Newfields, has been with the r, is married to 26 years, and Leroy, a part-time drive Country Store. the woman who runs the Newfields
oon. Here, birch Soda production begins in the aftern ng machine. beer-flavored syrup enters the bottli for all the Sugar syrup, which serves as the base pumped flavors, is mixed on the first floor, then and added. mixed are rings flavo the e wher upstairs, the to stairs down The mixture is then pumped ine. bottling mach
recent roft tests the carbonation level from Back at the plant, employee Tom Howc nt of soda amou small a s spray and cap batches. The gauge punctures the bottle hand in a small notebook. to get the reading, which is logged by
y John Ben
Photos b Story and
production. Empty bottles are fed Dixie (the bottling machine) is in full at a time. The bottle is capped, bottle one fills which ine, into the mach excess off the outside. any wash then fed through a sprayer to
Throughout the afternoon, Tom H. alternates between feeding empty bottles to the machine and pulling g the full bottles off into boxes. Durin the summer high season, they can produce 150 cases a day, or 3,600 ibottles. “We’re stretching the capac Dan. says ty of the facilities,”
Seven brightly colored bottles sit in a refrigerator near the front door, where customers can see all of the company’s 22 flavors. Customers can walk in and purchase a case directly.
The company still uses glass bottles
to maintain the old-fashioned feel of
noteworthy items from around the Seacoast to add to your shopping list. k s ProNest Hammoc Eagle Nest Outfitter , too rs oo ind at for Hammocks are gre oms. moms or teen bedro especially for new $64.95 Sports Eastern Mountain uth Portsmo
Moore is a library clerk, maker, and sustainable style blogger. Find her via Twitter @ recovergirl. She lives in Kittery with her husband, two boys and two cats, Cocoa and Scratch. Kilim Pillow Softer than you think, this kilim pillow mixes well with masculine or feminine dĂŠcor.
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Euphorbia Sticks of Fire (or pencil cactus) Succulents are low ma intenance and a must-have for that des ert modern look.
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Style contributor and local sustainable style blogger, Jennifer Moore, shares her top 10 picks from around the Seacoast and why she is loving them.
Mini Notebook by Wrap A chic little notebook to capture remi nders, inspiration and passwords. $9 FOLK Shop & Gallery Kittery, Maine
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s e v a F Five Here in New Hampshire we take our ice cream seriously ... heck, we even have our own ice cream trail! Here are five favorite Seacoast spots for getting your cold, creamy fix. And don’t forget to tip the scoop guys and gals! Word travels fast on the day that The Ice House (112 Wentworth Rd., Rye, 431-3086) creaks open its windows to serve the first scoops of summer. Located on the sweet spot of the “New Castle loop,” the parking lot fills up fast on hot summer nights. Take your cone down the road to the Great Island Common (301 Wentworth Rd., New Castle) and watch the sunset. When Lago’s Lone Oak (71 Lafayette Rd., Rye, 603-964-9880) lights up the giant cone sign, it’s the signal to pull over and try Scotty Lago’s Bronze Run flavor, created after the family snowboarder who earned a medal in the 2010 Olympics. You’ll need to work off that sizeable scoop, so head on down to Summer Sessions (2281 Ocean Blvd., Rye, 603-319-8207) and take a stand-up paddle tour on the Atlantic. There are plenty of great scoop shops in Portsmouth, but this editor’s favorite is Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream (49 Ceres St., Portsmouth, 603-436-3400) located directly across from the city’s
iconic tugboats. After you finish off your Yellow Brick Road (golden vanilla ice cream with roasted pecans, praline pecans and caramel swirls), walk up the hill and peruse the soaps and silver earrings in Prelude (65 Market St., 603-431-0694) or pirate paraphernalia at Macro Polo (89 Market St., 603-436-8338). Those of us who grew up on the Seacoast remember when the Mrs. & Me was just a tiny shack with a drive-in theater nearby. Route 1 may have changed, but you can still get your Mrs. & Me Homemade Ice Cream at the same spot with a newer building (400 US Route 1, Kittery, Maine, 207-439-1141). Earn it first just a few minutes away at Maine’s largest super-fun ropes course, Take Flight (506 US Route 1, 207-439-8838). What’s more fun for a little kid than licking the drips off of a rapidly melting scoop? Seeing where that ice cream came from! Take the kids over to the Fairchild Dairy in Durham (36 O’Kane Rd., Durham, 603-862-2972) and show them what happens at a local working dairy farm; they even have times where visitors can watch the cows being milked. After a few hours at the barn, cool off at the UNH Dairy Bar (3 Depot Rd., Durham, 603-862-1006) with a bowl of something sweet (sprinkles on top, of course).
Kids get the true farm-to-table experience at Fairchild Dairy.
Turns Her Lens on the People of Portsmouth
aya Al-Hashmi — creator of the photo-blog, People of Portsmouth — radiates a positive spirit. Her brown eyes glitter as she describes how her early years of living in England and traveling to Oman sparked her love of listening to people. “Everyone has a story. We are not as different as think we are — we have so much more in common than we realize.” When Al-Hashmi launched People of Portsmouth, she had recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in journalism and was working at a “lifeless” job. The blog helped her put her photographic talents to use. She says, “I wanted to make sure that after doing something I loved for four years, it wasn’t all for nothing.” A year later, People of Portsmouth has thousands of followers and her time spent as a world traveler led to working at The Hotel Portsmouth. “I love the hospitality world. I’m super thankful that I now work somewhere that I feel good about,” she says. How does Al-Hashmi capture the perfect moment? “When I approach a person, I try to not use any filter. I think it’s my confidence that brings their stories out.” Next time you are walking down Pleasant Street or running into Market Basket and a upbeat young woman inquires if she can ask you a few questions and take your photo — say yes. You can follow People of Portsmouth on Tumblr at peopleofportsmouth.tumblr.com or “like” People of Portsmouth on Facebook to keep it in your feed. – Stephanie Simpson Lazenby
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. Spring/Summer 2015
of those ideas. With the entrancing theatrical production swirling around, the fun really begins. “It is the utmost importance to bring the story to life with the merchandise. It’s not just a bottle of beautiful perfume; It is a scent inspired by the idea of a snowy Russian sleigh ride,” says Proprietress Rita. She also compares the Pickwick’s Mercantile experience to opening a steamer trunk and unwrapping the many layers brought back from a foreign land. However, you do not sift through it all alone. The dedicated staff is there to guide you through your experience. Remember that perfume inspired by a Russian sleigh ride? Jones is ready to introduce you to their hundreds of fragrances, helping you find the right one for you — or for a friend — while telling you stories about the perfumeries and giggling over salacious olfactory inspirations. “I think that what is critical to our service at Pickwick’s is that we give the same level of service to the person who is buying a 25-cent piece of candy as we do to the person who is buying a handcrafted leather bag from Italy, and everything in between: Every customer counts. The experience counts every single time. That is what we strive for.” And that is certainly what they accomplish. – Stephanie Simpson Lazenby Pickwick’s Mercantile is located at 64 State St. in Portsmouth. Also visit Lady Pickwick’s a few doors down and, a short walk away, Pickwick’s on the Banke in the heart of Strawbery Banke. 603-427-8671, pickwicksmercantile.com.
Seacoast Shopkeepers: P
f there were a mathematical formula to explain the magical alchemy of impeccable customer service and exquisite goods at Pickwick’s Mercantile, it might look like this: Theatrics + good old-fashioned customer service - pretentiousness x yummy products like body milk + a respectful vibe = Success. Cross the threshold of Pickwick’s and you enter the clear and collective vision of Rita Fabbricatore, who calls herself “Proprietress Rita,” and of “cast members” such as Thistle Jones. Says Jones, “We want you to have an immersive experience. We create many layers — the sights, the smells, our costumed characters — because you are not just here to shop. We want you to enjoy the show.” Proprietress Rita explains, “We consider what we do here to be a real production, with a backstage, main stage and our characters. We ask each other, ‘Can we make it snow in the window, or put roses on the ceiling or can we give a full Hogwarts experience for our customers?’” The answer is a resounding “yes!” to each one
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Scheier Pottery hen it comes to mid-century modern design, everyone knows the power couple Charles and Ray Eames whose ubiquitous furniture designs filled schools, offices and living rooms. But here in New Hampshire we have our own “power couple”: Edwin and Mary Scheier. The Scheiers met in the late 1930s at the beginning of the American Studio Pottery Movement. In 1940 they settled in Durham at the University of New Hampshire — Edwin as an instructor and Mary as an artist-in-residence — where for close to three decades they lived, worked and produced some of the most iconic works in pottery of the 20th century. Largely self-taught, much of what they produced was collaborative; Mary was known for throwing very fine, thin-walled pots and Edwin for his imaginative surface decorations and glazes. Their early works are simple and often functional, with incised patterns (known as sgraffito) that are sometimes abstract but more often totemic, with themes of love and fertility. As their work matured, they moved into large-scaled items with three-dimensional decorative elements that leave functionality behind and enter the realm of sculpture. Easily recognizable by their unique decoration, earth-toned glazes and distinct “Scheier” signature, you can still discover pieces at tag sales and local auctions. Popularity of their work is definitely on the rise with items regularly trading at design auctions for several thousand dollars, and in retail galleries for tens of thousands of dollars. Examples of the Scheiers’ work can be seen in museums around the country, but the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester easily has the most important and comprehensive collection. Having had several exhibitions at the Currier over their 70-year careers, the Scheiers gave much of their personal collection and archive to the museum upon their passing in 2007 (Mary) and 2008 (Edwin). For more information on the Scheier collection, visit currier.org. Kelly Wright is director for Freeman’s Trusts & Estates (New England) and a current appraiser on “Antiques Roadshow.” Have an antique item with some local history? E-mail Kelly Wright at email@example.com.
On exhibit in May at Discover Portsmouth 10 Middle St., Portsmouth
Edwin & Mary Scheier: Mid-century Modern New Hampshire Artists. On exhibit May–September
Enjoy works of pottery, paintings and textiles from two internationally known artists, and learn how New Hampshire was one of the first states in the nation to recognize the economic development potential of crafts in the post-Depression era. For more information call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433 or visit online at portsmouthhistory.org. Seasonally open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
An exhibit in collaboration with the University of New Hampshire and in partnership with The League of NH Craftsmen.
dis a r a P l a t s Cry feel
u to wants yo outhLOVE sm the #Port
t was the tweet heard ’round the Seacoast one unseasonably warm March day in 2012 when Crystal Paradis coined the hashtag #PortsmouthLOVE: “I WANT TO GO PLAY FRISBEE!!! It’s soooo nice outside our office door ... #PortsmouthLove” The 32-year-old self-described Portsmouth enthusiast was born in Portsmouth when the hospital was located where City Hall now stands. “I liked to think that I was born in the mayor’s office, but then I figured out that it was closer to where the jail cells are,” she laughs. After high school Paradis spent a brief time in Tennessee and a longer spell in Hawaii before returning to the Seacoast; her time away only deepened her appreciation for the place she calls home.
Paradis doesn’t just talk about how much she loves Portsmouth: she embodies the spirit of the “City of the Open Door.” While her weekdays are spent at Vital Design as a content strategist and copywriter, in her “free” time she pursues a wide variety of passions including acting as a trustee for the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, leading the Portsmouth Breakfast Club, organizing the TEDxPiscataquaRiver conference and compiling all of the goings-around-town in a must-read #PortsmouthLOVE newsletter. As the hashtag gained momentum, a whole chorus of voices have used it to promote events, share information and well, just revel in the Portsmouth love. To sign up for the #PortsmouthLOVE newsletter go to laughtercrystal.com.
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Music Man unity mm Co ative Inspiring ther fosCre art d an ters access to music PMAC leader Russ Grazieters By Chris Hislop, photo by Michael
ne local leader has made it his mission to cultivate and harness the creative community through his own arts organization, and through collaboration with the other people, places and things that make living in the Seacoast community so interesting. That leader is Russ Grazier, who, in 2002, along with his wife Katie, founded the Portsmouth Music and Arts Center (PMAC), a nonprofit community music and art school that caters to students of all ages and abilities. Grazier began his community arts education career while living in Chicago but later returned to the place where he was raised to bring up his own young family and set down the roots for his own education center. The man is driven by research. He never makes a decision without scouring miles of analytical reports to make sure his choices are sound. Early on, his research led him to the 2000 National Census, where he found data on New Hampshire’s aging population. Around the same time, he says, he came across an article about the New Horizons Band, a program Roy Ernst developed for senior citizens at the Eastman School of Music. It provides an opportunity for older adults to reconnect with the instruments of their youth or play for the first time in an ensemble setting. “This philosophy of bringing together people passionate about music making, but who were not aspiring to become professional musicians, evolved into the core PMAC philosophy of allowing anyone in our community — in our case, regardless of age, aspiration or economic status — the opportunity to achieve their
study in the same school where a person tries piano lessons for the first time at age 50, or later,” he says. “A strong, vibrant and creative community grows naturally from this.” Over the last 12 years, PMAC has grown into a new home, moving from Albany Street to its new location at 973 Islington St. Those 12 years have been filled with gratifying moments for Grazier. “I can’t really pick one top moment because the top moment keeps happening over and over,” he says. “A youth art show where I watch children excitedly share their work with parents; a teen rock per-
For example, in October 2012, PMAC partnered with Rudi’s restaurant and six local chefs for an event called “Perceptions: Music Inspired Cuisine.” Each chef worked with musicians from PMAC’s faculty to create a meal in which each course was paired with specific music selections performed live in the restaurant. “Community for me is in person; not digital, not online,” says Grazier. “It’s being in the same room with people, interacting creatively and learning from each other. It happens on the street, in local gathering spaces and when we invite others into our home. It’s in these moments that we learn from one another in the most mean-
“I can’t really pick one top moment because the top moment keeps happening over and over”
creative best,” he says. Grazier applied the same philosophy to his organization’s visual arts programs. “Tie this to the 2002 Portsmouth Cultural Plan’s call for youth arts education, and you get PMAC, where a young person who is perfecting their craft so they can pursue art or music in college and as a profession can
formance at Prescott Park; our adult jazz big band playing a dance at a local retirement community; playing our annual Jazz Night show with our amazing jazz faculty (humbling experience); producing events that pair local food influenced by — and presented alongside — local music; or seeing the faces of people, all ages, as they enter our new home for the first time. It’s all good.” For Grazier, it’s all about access — not just giving students access to the means to express their creativity, but also giving the community at large access to unique programming and presentations. PMAC collaborates with area schools and other nonprofit and for-profit organizations to strengthen the community from an array of vantage points — from teachers to business owners to students and consumers.
ingful ways. It’s learning how to work together without ever sacrificing the uniqueness of each individual.” Grazier’s students and faculty recognize his contributions to the Seacoast’s creative community. “If he were an artery, he’d be one of those big ones you can’t function without,” says PMAC music teacher Nick Phaneuf, guitarist for Tan Vampires and several other local bands. “He is one of the floating data farms through which the musical information of the Seacoast flows.” Grazier says he looks forward to continually building on PMAC’s service to the community. “In 10 years, I know we will have a history of accumulated knowledge about how to be a community arts center, that even if we’re the same size, we’ll evolve into something more meaningful and more accessible to all in our community,” he says. p thesquarenh.com
Art of Illusion A
diorama, everything clicked. “I realized I loved creating the illusion of bigness in a little tiny box.” These days, Kiphuth is leveraging every opportunity possible to explore the inherent mysticism that dioramas represent for her. The fact that a 21st-century artist is working in an art form that first gained popularity in the 19th century is itself intriguing. Yet in Kiphuth’s experience, people’s fascination with this scenic representation is timeless. Dioramas, which feature sculpted figures and lifelike details (usually in miniature) displayed before a realistic background, naturally incite curiosity. “I frame my pieces with museum glass, which is non-reflective, and I know people feel
compelled to reach into the scene to experience the inside of the box because I find their fingerprints on the glass. I’m excited by the tension the glass produces — I’ve created the illusion of a three-dimensional world with two-dimensional pieces of paper, thus setting up a scene that you draws you in while simultaneously blocking your entry.” Kiphuth is able to witness reactions to her dioramas firsthand at Portsmouth’s Nahcotta gallery, where she both works and exhibits her art. (Her next show, with fellow artist Danna Ray, opens on May 1.) Although born in Portsmouth, Kiphuth lived outside of New Hampshire until recently; she spent her childhood in upstate New York and then moved to Massachusetts to attend Smith College. She returned to the Seacoast in 2011. “I always had a deep desire to move back,” Kiphuth explains. “The landscape in this region inspires me — I don’t know many other
llison May Kiphuth works as an artist, but at heart, she confesses, she’s actually a builder. “As a kid, I spent a lot of time in my mom’s bead store, crouched under a table building miniature structures in empty jewelry boxes,” Kiphuth recalls. “I absolutely loved constructing things.” Kiphuth also remembers being mesmerized by the large-scale dioramas at the National History Museum in New York. “Anytime I saw a diorama in any museum, really, I was captivated. I almost didn’t care about the subject matter — I was just drawn to the constructed, miniature nature of the art form.” It’s little wonder then, that the first time Kiphuth created her own
By Lori Ferguson
photo of artist by peter c. harris
Allison May Kiphuth builds big ideas into small spaces
Fire, 2.25"h x 8.5"w x 1.75"d Ink, watercolor and paper in antique box
The Observer 4.125"h x 2.875"w x 1.5"d Ink, watercolor and paper in antique box
places where you can go from a pastoral setting to a spruce forest to a rocky coast to a quaint New England town, all in the space of a few hours. I love that diversity!” Kiphuth turns to this landscape frequently for energy and inspiration. “I’m outside as much as possible; the natural environment feels good to me and rejuvenates my creative well.” Back in the studio, Kiphuth pours that energy into her art, creating miniature worlds that in turn transport viewers to another place. “I’d make dioramas whether or not people bought them because the process gives me such an unbelievable rush,” Kiphuth confesses. “When I finish a new work, I feel tingly, and as an artist, if you can maintain that sense of intrigue, excitement and curiosity about the world and channel that into your work, you’ll succeed.” p
The Observer, 4.125"h x 2.875"w x 1.5"d Ink, watercolor and paper in antique box thesquarenh.com
“The natural environment feels good to me and rejuvenates my creative well.” Allison’s Studio in Dover (right)
The Spectators (below) 4.25"h x 6.5"w x 3.75"d Ink, watercolor, paper and thread in antique box
words about pictures
Frank knew the roads of Tillman; the mill, the horse farm on 28, the abandoned quarry where he swam as a kid. From an early age he’d felt a stranger in his own life, an anthropologist studying some foreign culture and, though he hadn’t been back in nearly 40 years, he’d sometimes imagined the life unrealized. Frank could see it as though it were a motion picture flashing before his eyes. Working the fields alongside his brother as his father had and his father’s father before him. Building a small home on the outer forty and raising a family with Beatrice Wellen. The long days and cool nights. Kids. Traveling with the carnival offered both freedom and restriction and, though he wouldn’t have changed a thing, being back in his hometown allowed Frank a wistfulness he wouldn’t have otherwise indulged. The smells lit a tiny fire in his brain and as everyone set up around him, he closed his eyes to fully immerse himself in the moment.
by Guy Capecelatro III
He’d gotten a wire when his mother passed and nearly came back, but they were in Oregon and, by the time he’d have gotten home it would have been pointless. Still he remembered her softness and the quiet songs she’d sing to soothe him, pouring hot water into the tub at night when he suffered the growing pains in his legs. He remembered the faraway looks she’d get when hanging clothes on a line in the autumn air and the way she’d comb her hair on the couch, listening to radio programs at night. Setting up the fortune teller booth, Frank wondered if his brother Bill would still be around. He tried to picture that young, skinny boy as an old man like himself. He froze a moment when he heard his name called across the field in that familiar accent, then put the hammer down and went to greet him. Bill thrust a hand forth but Frank embraced his brother fully, holding him firmly and deeply for as long as he dared. Time had a way of softening everything. Guy Capecelatro III is a Seacoast songwriter/performer / landscaper who occasionally allows old photos to arouse his literary muse.
cultural conversation Tim Horvath & Katherine Towler
Two writers, a digital recorder and a cold February day at the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge can result in a fascinating conversation about the role of place in literature, the “budget travel” of the mind, the importance of taking long walks and the beauty of living in the moment. While authors Katherine Towler (the “Snow Island” trilogy) and Tim Horvath’s (“Understories”) quest to birdwatch may only have resulted in spotting a couple of juncos in the parking lot, the transcript of their discussion reveals an hour spent philosophically traveling beyond the boundaries of the reserve.
on the role of place in writing
What do you think of writing as a form of travel?
Tim Horvath: Off we go ... we’re here at the … Katherine Towler: Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. TH: And this is one of your favorite places to come? KT: It is. I love coming out here because I see lots of beautiful birds, and it’s so open, and the light is so beautiful. And it’s very quiet. All of this land was part of Pease [Air Force Base], and when they did the land redevelopment they set aside this space for the wildlife refuge out past the end of the runway. There are some beautiful trails here. TH: We’re supposed to talk about writing while we go, and the thing that occurred to me was to ask you to talk about the role of place in your writing, because obviously it plays a significant role. KT: I’m very interested in how place shapes people’s lives, and the accident of the place where you’re from and how it may shape you in ways you’re not even aware of. And I’m interested in the character of different places and trying to evoke that character in words. For me a piece of writing often starts with place. Character is very important to me also, but I have to have the setting and see the place in order to imagine a story and the people who will inhabit it. TH: I think for me that I would say that I like how going to different places actually brings out stories for me. I feel like when you travel someplace new, at least in my experience, it’s almost an alteration of brain chemistry. I’m really drawn to the different color schemes, different shapes, different rhythms and different speech patterns. Part of what I love about the Seacoast is that we’re
between so many different environments, and so rather than feeling stuck in one I feel as if I’m commuting between different ones, if that makes sense. KT: You’ve got the ocean, you’ve got mountains not far away, you’ve got woods, and you can easily get to those places. It’s great. So how does place work for you? Your writing is different because it’s more experimental. TH: On several levels for me a lot of the different places I’ve invented in my fiction are ways of traveling: They’re like budget travel. I was very taken with [Italo] Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” as a kid, the idea that a city can be anything and cities are places of concentrations of possibility. I’m equally fascinated by real places. There are stories in “Understories” that take place in particular places — the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park in Montana; Freiberg, Germany; spots in New Hampshire — there’s not really a huge distinction between the invented places and the real places for me. I want them both to feel equally possible and real, if that makes sense.
TH: It’s an excuse to travel, among other things. In the novel that I’m working on, I’ve sort of set scenes in places that I would like to go. They are skeletal scenes right now and I don’t know that I will actually get there. I’m sort of working on two novels right now, which is probably ill-advised, but they’re both making demands on my loyalties and neither one is relenting. One of them is largely set around the Desert of Maine [in Freeport, Maine]. It’s this bizarre little enclave created through accidents of history and bad farming practices, and it looks like a miniature desert in the middle of the piney Maine woods. Part of how that functions in the novel is that it’s a means of travel for a character who can’t afford, for various reasons, to get to a real desert, so she takes up residence in this fake desert, and in her imagination she remakes it and so for her it becomes as legitimate as the Gobi or the Sahara. She’s rewriting reality to fit what she needs: Part of it is escapism and part of it is empowerment. She’s going through some heavy stuff psychologically. With that, Tim says “We’re at the end of something.” KT: We’re on the observation platform and we’re looking out at the pond, which is frozen and covThe Desert of Maine
writing as travel
KT: It strikes me that writing is always a form of travel. What I love so much about writing is being in another world. That other world I inhabit when I’m writing may be tied to this world in some particulars, but it also exists purely in my mind when I am doing the work. And it’s such a pleasure to create a place in your mind and go to that place.
. Spring/Summer 2015
ered in snow, but when it’s warmer you can often see beavers here, and all kinds of ducks, and great blue heron, and in the springtime you’ll see lots of nice songbirds and warblers coming through here.
on robert dunn, portsmouth, and walking
KT: All of my novels are set on a fictional New England island which was based on a real place in the center of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. I had the real island in my mind, and invented the characters around this place. I needed to be anchored in the place where I had spent time, and then I could draw from it and create a fictional world around what was real to me. But the manuscript I have just finished ... TH: Congratulations. KT: Thank you ... is a nonfiction memoir about my friendship with the poet Robert Dunn, who was the Poet Laureate of Portsmouth. He died in 2008. I knew him for at least 15 years, and the book is the story of our friendship. There is also a lot in it about Portsmouth and what Portsmouth was like when I moved here in 1991 and how much it has changed, and how a place like
Portsmouth made Robert’s very unusual existence possible. I was interested in the relationship between Robert and the town. It was different for me to be working in nonfiction, which I had not done before, but in many ways I had to cultivate a relationship with the real place as much as I ever do in fiction with an imagined place because I had to really dig down and explore my relationship to the place where I live, and how that relationship had evolved over time, and how the place had changed and I had changed with it. That was as much of a task of the imagination as writing a fictional world, in many ways. TH: Were there physical cues for you? KT: I wrote about J.J. Newberry’s on Congress Street (a dime store like Woolworth’s), places like that that were part of the old Portsmouth. When I came in 1991, the first wave of gentrification had already happened, but before the second and third wave there were still places like Newberry’s and downtown was very much defined by them. Robert didn’t own a car and walked everywhere and was known to many people downtown. As I wrote, I tried to walk in his footsteps. TH: I spent the first couple of decades of my life walking. I grew up in the New York City area and
didn’t get my license until I was 26, and I would say that writing is a lot like walking, it’s very similar rhythmically, very similar ... you can’t leap around too much, but you just have to methodically get from point a to point b, and it can be trancelike, like writing. KT: Sometimes I will be sitting at my desk and get stuck, but if I go out and walk, even if I’m not consciously thinking about the writing, something will work itself out in my mind. It is very meditative. And I am not talking on a cell phone when I am walking.
on living in the moment KT: I took up birdwatching somewhat seriously about five years ago and one of the reasons I love
it is that it is an activity that requires being purely in the moment. It really sharpens your senses. You have to have a lot of sensory awareness: you have to pay attention to sound and movement in order to spot the birds. When I’m out birding, I am completely absorbed in an almost meditative way; I am not thinking of anything else, and I think that it has helped me understand more deeply what it means to be in the moment. This has been tremendously beneficial to my writing. As I get older and have been writing longer, I understand how much of writing is being in the moment and not trying to anticipate where the story is going. As I try to do this more in my writing, I don’t worry as much about the overall effect of the story. TH: For me it’s a matter of listening to the story, coming back to that sense of sound. I think that I’m a wannabe composer/musician and my old 1990s-era laptop is my instrument of choice these days. Part of it’s the clacking of the keys — back then they didn’t have those flat Chiclet keys that are barely there, but instead these big, clunky percussive things. But lately I’ve been taken to saying, almost singing my work aloud as I am typing it. It’s gotten so I’m a little wary of writing in public. I can’t listen to music and do anything else very well, even walking or running. For me that’s what being present means: Listening to the story and following it, riffing along with it, maybe even harmonizing with it. My other novel is about contemporary composers, which has been a really good excuse for me to explore and figure out ways to make the writing musical corresponding to the subject matter. At least one of composers embraces atonality and dissonance, so if the writing feels off, that will absolutely be my excuse. KT: If you can be fully present as you’re writing the story, then something sublime can happen. And it’s interesting how what you do outside of your work, like birdwatching, can affect your writing.
TH: I’ve been really interested in watching actors doing the same thing we’re trying to do, but they figure out the story through movement and action and gesture, and if they’re really good they’re doing it in a way that is ... beyond words. I want to do more of that, and do more with film.
on publishing a Book
KT: I think that people often have the misconception that to be a writer and an artist you live differently, and of course, what is fascinating is how you integrate the creative work into an ordinary life because all of us have ordinary lives. (laughs) TH: Very ordinary. KT: When my first book was published and I did events, people would ask me questions like “How has your life changed since your book was published?” and I would think “How has my life changed? Well, now I have to do events like these.” Other than that, I would say to them, “I still vacuum my house. I still take the trash out. I still cook dinner.” I’m still living a regular life. TH: That’s right, it doesn’t make the trash any lighter. p This conversation has been condensed and edited.
worth the trip from anywhere!
35 Broadway Dover, NH Route 125 Plaistow, NH www.redsshoebarn.com thesquarenh.com
in honor of those forgotten by J.L. Stevens
Opening photos by David J. Murray
Below: The Portsmouth community stands at the African Burying Ground site with candlelight, listening to a gospel song by the Soweto Gospel Choir of South Africa.
Twelve years in the making, the African Burying Ground Memorial in Portsmouth brings a communityâ€™s vision to life 30
photo by xavid j. murray, cleareyephoto.com
A birdâ€™s-eye view of the park under construction
So it was only natural that, when the African Burying Ground Committee was putting together its plan for the memorial’s artwork, that they would reach out to involve local schoolchildren and that Nuttall, along with art teacher Deirdre Shea, would play a key role. In 2007 the committee proposed that the African Burying Ground Memorial Park should be identified with iconic art, marking it as a sacred spot with West African cultural roots. The title, “We Stand in Honor of Those Forgotten,” would set the theme. Sculptor and artist Jerome Meadows of Savannah, Georgia, and Roberta Woodburn, a landscape architect from Newmarket, were key participants in the design of the park. In October of 2014, Portsmouth Middle School students from Nuttall’s and Shea’s eighth-grade art classes embarked on an artistic journey that went deeper than the two-dimensional designs they were about to draw. While the artist’s proposal required an educational component, Nuttall says, “It didn’t have to be installing artwork, it could have been Jerome coming in and working with us in some other capacity. It’s kind of cool that the kids are really going to be able to leave a piece there.” The 88 students worked with the visiting artist on designing tiles at six inches by six inches, which will ultimately be five inch by five inch ceramic tiles. “Jerome’s going to take their designs and print them and then fabricate them onto the ceramic tile. Basically he’ll fire their design on the ceramic tile and that’s what will be installed,” Nuttall explains. Shea adds that, while they students were working on the Ghanaian-based designs, it “really seemed like the focus was on turning something negative into something positive. It was involving younger people and that was important to him. It’s not just about the past; it was about the future too.” The students all had different perspectives to bring to the class. Shea says, “I have a boy whose driveway is on that street, so he was really excited.” photo by john bedford photography
hen city contractors unearthed the crumbling remains of wooden coffins on Oct. 7, 2003, in the area that old maps of Portsmouth marked as the “Negro Burying Ground,” it appeared that this city — 91.5 percent Caucasian — had an undiscovered history. If you walk to this spot on Chestnut Street today, just a short walk from Market Square, you will see a placard stating “In Honor of Those Forgotten.” A dozen years and $1.2 million after the initial discovery of the burying ground, Portsmouth is making the final preparations to honor, with artwork and a reburial ceremony, what early maps signify could be the remains of almost 200 Africans and African-descended people who lay in unmarked graves. The backbone of the project is the African Burying Ground Committee, which the city formed in 2004 with the involvement of prominent members of the local African-American community. Five members of the original committee remain: Vernis JackAfrican Burying Ground Committee Chair Vernis Jackson son as committee chair; Mary Bailey, comjust had such great programs. Standing room only,” mittee vice chair; Kelvin Edwards, current president of Seacoast African American Cultural she recounted. An integral part of that programming Center; Portsmouth native Valerie Cunningham; involved Anna Nuttall. Nuttall, a creative soul with spiky red hair, has and City Councilor Chris Dwyer. Up until the been a visual arts educator in the Portsmouth School end of 2014, Jackson also served as president of Department since August 1999. She’s also become the Seacoast African American Cultural Center something of a passionate force for the SAACC, as (SAACC), an institution she founded in 2000 well as a friend to Jackson. to celebrate the lives and achievements of AfriEvery April, when the SAACC would open for the can-American people with an emphasis on the year, Nuttall and her art students would make sure story of those in the Seacoast. the Cultural Center looked and felt ready for visitors. Jackson is an African-American Portsmouth “For the past five years she has done some kind of resident who is intensely involved in the city’s culproject with those students that involves some kind tural hub. She says, “I retired from my ‘for-real job’ of black history or culture. Those kids have gotten [as a teacher] in June of 2000 and in August of 2000, so much education. Education: 1 and 1 is 2, ’tis true. I did this.” “This” is the SAACC, first located in the Everybody knows that. But everybody doesn’t know Connie Bean Center when it was located on Daniel what she is giving to them, ” says Jackson. Street. “The city gave us that room to use and we
Celebrate the completion of the Memorial Park
From May 20-May 23, there will be a series of community events that commemorate the opening of the African Burying Ground Memorial Park, including an artist talk by Jerome Meadows, an ancestral vigil, a reburial ceremony and a public celebration. For locations and times, visit africanburying groundnh.org.
Nuttall adds that homeowners on the street have been very positive about the project. The design is related to the Kente cloth tradition as far as symbolism of color and motif, “so the students had a nice conversation about art as a method of communication and the really deep roots of art as a visual language,” says Nuttall. The other motif used in the tile design was the Adinkra, a set of African symbols “some of them actually remembered from Harriet Tubman, who they studied in elementary school and how she would embed some of those symbols along the Underground Railroad.” “Jerome did a really nice job focusing on art as a language; art has a message. You’re saying something with what you create. You’re expressing something with your connection to this project. He did a really great job talking about public art and what it is and the goal of any kind of public art,” Nuttall says. Shea adds, “And that it’s not just for you anymore: It’s for everybody.” In Honor continued on page 34
photo by imke lass.
photo courtesy of the city of portsmouth
Portsmouth Middle School art teachers Anna Nuttall and Deirdre Shea worked with artist Jerome Meadows and middle school students to create tiles for the memorial park.
Meadows and Jackson discuss the proposed artwork.
Artist Jerome Meadows
In Honor continued from page 33
“My favorite quote,” Nuttall says, “was from a sixthgrade girl, who said, ‘So, public art is just like public speaking, except it’s there 24 hours a day.’ I was like, ‘Yes, brilliant!’” The brilliance of the project is not lost on Jackson. “I talk about it all the time when I’m traveling; I’m so proud of my community,” Jackson says. “For this community, which has a small minority population, to have an African American Cultural Center. For it to have the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, all of those visuals all around town, and then for them to have this project; where you have these groups of people like the abutters, the people who live on the street who have been living over those graves all this time, the archaeologist who worked on identifying what was there, the sculptor and artist, and Anna Nuttall, who has just been a jewel working with those kids.” Another jewel that Jackson cannot say enough about is Portsmouth Community Development Director David Moore. “He has been the guiding force
for this project. He has done so much and he’s unbelievable,” says Jackson. As project manager for the African Burying Ground Memorial Project, Moore says that the greatest message the project will have for future generations will be “the street closure, the memorial, its artwork, the careful way we have treated the remains, and the decade-long process to get to this point not only honors the as many as 200 people buried beneath the street, but it will endure as a message to the future that it is right and necessary to look back and acknowledge our failings. Inevitably, the same discussion will cause us to look around — now and in the future — and ask who we are at risk of treating unjustly.” As for Jackson, the African Burying Ground Memorial Park is also very personal. “It’s personal for me to see that somebody cares. Somebody cares,” she emphasizes. “And in this community, where the minority population is so small, it’s more personal for me to see that the whole community cares, and that they show it. They didn’t just care and sit back — they really showed it.” p
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Want to learn more about Portsmouth’s ties to African-American history? Explore the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. For information on upcoming events and the history of the trail, visit portsmouthhistory.org/portsmouth-black-heritage-trail. Take the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail self-guided tour, featuring 24 locations from the Wharf at Prescott Park to St. John’s Parish Hall, Chapel Street: portsmouthhistory.org/ self-guided-tour Learn more about the Seacoast African American Cultural Center founded by Vernis Jackson: saacc-nh.org Read more about the Portsmouth African Burying Ground project including its history, the design, updates and how to make a donation to the project: africanburyinggroundnh.org
thesquarenh.com Spring/Summer 2015 R
by Debbie Kane photos by Liz Davenport
Left: Carrie Richesson (metal artist) creating a metal rocking chair for a local art fair.
Below: Close-up of tools readily available to the members of the woodworking section of the makerspace. They are new or previously used tools that have been donated to the space.
n the parking lot of a low-slung building as a nonprofit. Between 40-50 members pay in Portsmouth’s West End sits a small a monthly fee to create in the 3,300-squarehouse on a trailer. It’s a mobile med- foot space, which includes a woodworking itation space, with weather-resistant shop, an electronics area with two 3D printers, polycarbonate walls trimmed in Douglas fir, a metalworking area, an automobile bay with painstakingly constructed by Ken Koski of lift and a large storage area for member “stuff.” Portsmouth. It’s a perfect example of why a The organization is volunteer-driven; tools and growing crowd of regulars flock to this former equipment are often donated by members and industrial laundry space now known as Port area businesses. Members clean and maintain City Makerspace. Alex Nunn of Dover, the the spaces; teach community classes on such manager of Port City Makerspace sums it up: topics as intro to woodshop or machining; “It’s a place where people hang out and make meet with school groups and maintain Port City’s website. stuff. For me, it’s really a dream come true.” One such member is Joss Reeves, a blackPort City Makerspace became a reality in 2012 and is among New Hampshire’s first smith from Portsmouth. Reeves, one of Port “maker spaces” — membership organizations City’s original memthat provide people access to space and tools bers, uses Port City so they can create essentially whatever they Makerspace as his want, whether it’s designing and creating primary work site (he a widget with a 3D printer, tinkering with a had space elsewhere bike or car, building a computer and, yes, even but prefers Port City’s building a house. It’s a trend that has its roots conviviality). “Everyone has their in the hacker movement, when folks interested in computers, technology, science and dig- own thing here but I ital arts met to socialize and collaborate, and consider us all artihas evolved into something bigger, tapping sans and craftspeople,” into people’s desires to create in an innovative he says. Liam Hardy learning environment, sharing ideas, skills of Portsmouth, who’s refurbishing a former and knowledge with others. “I think maker groups have gotten more plumber’s van — he popular with the increased emphasis on STEM calls it his “vansion” — (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) enjoys trading ideas education,” says Jane Bard, president of the with others. “It’s a Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Do- social outlet,” he says. ver, which has hosted the Dover Mini Maker “There’s lots of netFaire for the past two years (see sidebar, page working and collaboration between members.” 39). “Now it’s cool.” Robinson wants to expand the working It’s equally cool to have a supportive community in which to pursue your passion. Col- space in Port City’s existing building. Plans laboration is the heart of Port City Makerspace (dependent upon funds raised via grants and and one reason for its continued popularity. donations) include adding a textile room for Conceived by Zak Robinson, Clint Crosbie fabric work and creating cubicles with 4-footand Ross Beane, college friends who want- high moveable walls that establish clear worked a workspace to share tools and work on ing spaces while allowing for conversation projects together, the organization operates between users.
“It’s a place where people hang out and make stuff. For me, it’s really a dream come true.”
. Spring/Summer 2015
Creative Co-working in Dover Although Port City is currently the Seacoast’s only official makerspace, there’s a movement under way in Dover to fund a “creative co-working space.” Tentatively called The Junction, it’s part co-working space, makerspace and hackerspace: a single location for people and/or hobby groups to gather with their laptops, art gear and ideas. “I want to create something like a community center,” says Georgene Nunn, an organizer. “It’s a makerspace, but also an area where you can rent an office. We’ll offer resources rather than power tools.” The organization is still in the planning and community outreach phase; Nunn hopes to launch a Kickstarter campaign for funding and identify a space this spring. Whether working with power tools or art supplies, the common bond of maker groups is community. And that’s why people join. “The tools bring people in (to Makerspace),” says Joss Reeves, “but it’s the community that keeps them here.” p Port City Makerspace 68 Morning St. Portsmouth, NH 603-373-1002 portcitymakerspace.com The Junction firstname.lastname@example.org junctionnh.com
Two connecting spaces — woodworking and metalsmith areas are connected by a protective curtain.
. Spring/Summer 2015
Carrie Richesson (metal artist) and Tyler Lonczak (metal artist) take a quick break to share the updates on their projects. Carrie is creating a metal rocking chair and Tyler is working on his motor bike.
Cameron Wake is using his woodworking skills to create “practical re-purposed sled.”
Making It at the Dover Mini Maker Faire
Chris came in to work on his personal project, a wood table.
Resourceful hackers, tweakers and builders from around New England are making the Dover Mini Maker Faire a “must do” summer event. Scheduled for August 29 and hosted by the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, the Faire, which is entering its third year, is one of many Mini Maker Faires around the world. Showcasing creativity, ingenuity, arts and technology, the Faire features booths, workshops, demonstrations and events ranging from how to code or how to pick a lock to artists’ and garden demonstrations. More information on being a maker, volunteering or visiting is at makerfairedover.com. thesquarenh.com
k s e D e h t d Beyon ide w d rl o W E S U O H IN f o ll re tt o C n Tharo enport
by Debbie Kane, Photo by Liz Dav
ne wall of Portsmouth development firm INHOUSE Worldwide is painted with inspirational sayings such as “Inspire” and “Dream Big.” A carryover from the offices’ prior incarnation as a yoga studio, these statements could easily describe INHOUSE’s founder and president, Tharon Cottrell. A tall, impeccably dressed man with an infectious smile, Cottrell has earned the respect and admiration of employees, clients and peers throughout his 20-plus years in marketing and sales. His passion for people, strong work ethic and natural leadership ability are well known. “There is no ‘Tharon at home and Tharon at work,’” says Mary Dean Taylor, a former colleague and current INHOUSE client. “He is the same fabulous, experienced leader over coffee as in the boardroom.” Cottrell, 47, is a major part of the success of INHOUSE, which he started two years ago with one other employee, Kat Antonioli. The company, housed in a former mill space in Portsmouth’s West End, provides web development and application support and works with advertising and marketing agencies to create and execute web and mobile concepts. Cottrell attributes the company’s growth to strong client relationships as well as the INHOUSE employees. “I’m the face of the company, but the people who work for me are the reason we’re successful,” Cottrell says. Helping people motivates Cottrell, who grew up in North Billerica, Mass. A graduate of Salem State University, he attributes his work ethic and drive to his parents, especially his mother, who encouraged him to work hard, do his best and “take the high road,” he says. His mother’s advice is now his personal phi-
losophy. “I believe if you do the right thing, then good things will happen,” he says. “Be honest, be open and be who you are.” Good things started happening for Cottrell early in his career as a customer service representative for footwear manufacturer Converse. Recognizing that Converse could benefit from targeting an urban footwear market, Cottrell took his suggestions to the company president. His initiative landed him a job in the marketing department, then later in product development. Marketing positions at Stride Rite and Fila followed, then a six-year stint at Monster.com, the employment website. He left for an opportunity at a Boston advertising agency, eventually purchasing it. Although firmly entrenched — or so he thought — in Boston, Cottrell was recruited to work at The Atom Group, a web development firm in Portsmouth. He spent three years commuting from his home in Boston’s South End to Portsmouth before being approached by an investor to start INHOUSE. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “I’ve met the most amazing people here.” Cottrell is generous with his personal time. He’s on the board of Arts in Reach (AIR), a Portsmouth-based nonprofit that provides mentoring and arts programs for at-risk teen girls, and regularly volunteers at Pro Portsmouth events. He also provided marketing support and branding for “A Pint of Understanding,” a musical commentary on racial misconceptions and an inter-racial love story, currently in production in Boston. Cottrell sees potential in the Seacoast’s tech community and is eager to introduce others to the benefits of living and working in the area. “There’s so much talent here,” he says. “The last three years have really been the best years of my life.” p
e b , t s e n o h â€œBe e b d n a n e p o â€? . e r a u o y o h w
An Enduring Seaside Idyll by Laura Pope, photos by Denise F. Brown
hile some flock to Fuller Gardens (fullergardens.org) to admire the more than 1,500 rose bushes in hundreds of varieties, or to stroll manicured paths through five distinct habitats of a preserved Colonial Revival-style garden dating back to the late 1920s, many will admit the most singular draw of the botanical seaside tableaux comes down to rarity. The expansive gardens, designed by eminent landscape architect, Arthur A. Shurtleff, were installed in 1927 near the Carriage House of Runnymede-by-the-Sea, the grand summer estate of Massachusetts politician and businessman, Alvan Fuller and his wife Viola. The estate took its place along a manse-dotted section of sea-hugging Route 1A in North Hampton, an area that continues to be a popular scenic drive along New Hampshire’s diminutive shoreline. The 88-year-old gardens at 10 Willow Ave. occupy almost three acres and were initially designed to be a spectacular cutting garden. “The reason Fuller had it re-designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm in Boston,” explains Jamie Colen, garden director, “is that he was tired of seeing the beauty of the gardens chipped at with the cutting. He wanted beautiful gardens, viewed from the road and his house.” What visitors — as many as 10,000 each May-through-October season — experience at the nonprofit, public botanical destination are the multiple gardens favored by that era. The property comprises a series of meticulously tended pocket landscapes: the Side Garden with its circular rose beds; the tropical conservatory brimming with tropical and desert spec-
Founders Alvan T. Fuller and his wife Viola
“A lot of people don’t even know it’s here. They think it is private, which is part of the mystique.” thesquarenh.com
A footbridge leads the way to the Japanese garden. imens; the Japanese garden with its dappled light, waterfalls, shrubs and bonsai; the formal English perennial borders; and the privet and hedge area surrounding the gardens featuring carefully groomed apple trees, each festooned with statuary. Colen likens the gardens to a captivating book with several engrossing chapters. While the estate was taken down in 1962 by Fuller’s posthumous orders, his namesake Carriage House and gardens persist as a sensory time capsule — “one of the last working formal estate gardens of the early 20th century,” declares the group’s website. “A lot of people don’t even know it’s here. They think it is private, which is part of the mystique. When they do discover it, it comes as a surprise, an out-of-theway discovery,” says Colen, who has worked at Fuller Gardens since 1989 when he was a college student at UNH, and where he has served as its garden director for 15 years. “The goal is to keep it with very little evidence of the 20th century, to allow people to escape to a peaceful setting set back in time. That’s the charm of the place in addition to its location, its design history and its remarkable existence.”
The sheer abundance of roses at Fuller Gardens not only makes it a beacon for those seeking a perfumed visual encounter, they make it an ideal education hub. “Our best advice to gardeners is to be patient and observing, even in our short growing season. We tend to panic so fast,” adds Colen, who is also a former rose consultant for the City of Boston and frequent speaker at garden clubs in New England. Colen instills a mostly organic, no-pesticide policy at the site. The rose garden design ensures that roses are always blooming across the color spectrum throughout the season. “In holding with tradition,” he says, “we used to plant each type of rose in its own bed, but that came with an unsightly down cycle, so we now plant almost every bed with mixed colors and varieties, which is very pragmatic and very Victorian.” Colen and his crew of 13 add 200 new roses every year and “we remove the poor performers or those that are too old. We also change the annual displays every year as well as the dahlias.” A career tender of gardens, Colen advises those who crave a reliable olfactory visit in the rose garden
Sculptures enhance the gardens’ natural beauty to visit in morning or late afternoon. “The seaside climate tempers the really cold weather,” he says, adding that the real challenge to a New England rose garden is the freezing and thawing seesaw of winter that causes heaving and wind and desiccates the plants. (For more on rose care from Colen, visit the Fuller Gardens website and link to Education and then Rose Care.) Several events punctuate the calendar at Fuller Gardens, including their most profitable one, a two-day plant sale in May (May 8-9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), a June mixer to attract new members (June 17), a July garden party (July 8, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and a September rose seminar (September 26), rain or shine. Honoring Fuller’s legacy by keeping the gardens healthy and open to the public remains a paramount concern at Fuller Gardens. “Our future goals as a nonprofit organization,” says Colen, “are to be more self-sufficient and to attract more financial help from individuals and corporations. Attendance, events, our own fund and membership cover only half the costs, so we look for ways to move forward and keep this revered survivor going.” p
More than 1,500 rose bushes welcome 10,000+ visitors every season.
Looking for even more inspiration? All of these historic gardens are located on the Seacoast or just under an hour away.
photo by ralph morang
Historic Gardens of the Seacoast
Moffatt-Ladd House and Garden
Moffatt-Ladd House is a historic 1763 mansion located in downtown Portsmouth. It has formal gardens, terraces and flowerbeds, and is noted for its tulips and the giant horse chestnut tree planted in 1776 by Declaration of Independence signer William Whipple. 154 Market St., Portsmouth, 603-430-7968. Open June–October. moffattladd.org Prescott Park has more than 10 acres of flower gardens, walkways, seating, docking and
grassy areas, and is known for its trial gardens with more than 1,500 flower varieties and formal gardens spring through fall. 105 Marcy St., Portsmouth, 603-4318748. prescottparknh.org Strawbery Banke Museum is a 10-acre maritime history museum dotted with eight historically accurate gardens, from the 1695 Colonial garden to the 1943 Victory garden. Marcy Street, Portsmouth. 603-433-1108. Open May–October, with special events throughout the year. strawberybanke.org
. Spring/Summer 2015
Celia Thaxter’s Garden is located a boat ride away on Appledore Island at the Isles of Shoals and is devoted to famed Portsmouth-born poet and writer Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835-1894). A tour of the cutting garden made famous in her book, “An Island Garden,” features some of her original plantings. Led by UNH Marine Docents, the tour package includes round-trip boat ride to and from the island, tour and lunch. Contact shoals.lab@ unh.edu.
An herb garden at Strawbery Banke
photo courtesy of historic new england
photo courtesy of historic new england
Hamilton House, a Georgian manse dating back to 1785, sits on a bluff overlooking the Salmon Falls River and features an elaborate perennial garden, garden cottage and spaces to stroll and picnic. 40 Vaughan’s Ln., South Berwick. 207-384-5269. Open June–October. historicnewengland.org
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Brick Store Museum boasts a 1940s Victory Garden in the back yard as well as period poster art. 117 Main St., Kennebunk 207-985-4802 Open year-round. brickstoremuseum.org
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The Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum sits in the middle of downtown South Berwick and features the famous turn-ofthe-century writer’s herb and flower garden, which figured prominently in her well-known 1896 short story sequence, “The Country of the Pointed Firs.” 5 Portland St., South Berwick, 207-384-2454. Open June–October and November–May. historicnewengland.com
Massachusetts Maudslay State Park is anchored by the former Moseley family estate on the Merrimack River and features 19th-century gardens and plantings, rolling meadows, towering pines and one of the largest naturally occurring stands of mountain laurel in Massachusetts. Most breathtaking are the ornamental trees and masses of azaleas and rhododendrons that bloom in May and June. Curzon Mill Rd., Newburyport, 978-4657223. Open year-round with limitations during winter months. Contact email@example.com.
A Master Gardener’s Primer on a Native Herb Garden Erik Wochholz, curator of historic landscapes at Strawbery Banke Museum, recommends several easy plants for those who want to start a native herb garden, including strawberry, passion flower, ground cherry, bee balm, wintergreen, echinacea, sassafras and blood root. Here he shares information on each, as well as growing instructions.
Passion flower Passiflora sp. Passiflora incarnata is a pantropical perennial vine that requires winter storage in temperate northern climates. Direct plantings will need to be removed and stored during winter months in areas that include US hardy zones below 6a/6b. Plant in moist rich soils in full sun. Trellising is often necessary to train these vines with a height of around 30 ft. Passiflora incarnata leaves and roots were often used among native Americans to make a tea that was used for insomnia and hysteria.
Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria vesca subsps. americana) commonly known as wild strawberry, was used by the native population as an important part of their early summer diet and for medicinal purposes. In the New England seacoast region, the native name, Wuttahimneash, translates to “heart-berry,” indicative of the belief that the plant worked well as a blood thinner and heart strengthener. Strawberry is rarely grown from seed and is usually established in the landscape as a transplant. Plants will tolerate full sun to partial shade in rich well-drained soils and reach a height of no more than 8 inches.
(Echinacea purpurea) Purple coneflower, a plant widely recognized by its distinctive spiky flower head, is a plant native to the American Great Plains. Native Americans used this plant for a wide variety of maladies, and today it is commonly used for boosting the immune system and defending against minor illnesses. It is a hardy perennial growing up to 4 ft. with a width of 1 ft. and prefers full sun in welldrained soil.
(Gaultheria procumbens) or eastern teaberry is a native herb that was used by Native Americans in a tea to alleviate rheumatism, fever, sore throat and other minor types of aches and pains. Wintergreen contains salicylic acid and reflects the same chemistry involved in the production of aspirin. It is a low-growing evergreen perennial that reaches heights of 4-8 inches and grows best in shade and acidic soils.
(Albidum) is a deciduous tree native to eastern North America. Sassafras trees grow from 30–59 ft. tall and spread 25–39 ft. wide. A tea of sassafras was first thought to be a potent elixir and soon became a valuable commodity for export to Europe. Sassafras was highly valued for its aromatic bark, which was brewed into a potent tea that was believed to cure venereal diseases and prevent aging, and later used as a flavoring in root beer. Sassafras grows well in full to partial sun in well-drained and rich soils.
(Sanguinaria canadensi) is a hardy, low-growing native perennial of eastern North America that reaches a height of .5-1.5 ft. Flowers emerge in early spring, from March to May. Blood root is naturally a woodland/wetland plant and is often established as a transplant in moist, rich soils with shade and partial sun.
Ground cherry Physalis peruviana. Physalis While some Physalis species are native to North America, many other species are native to tropical and subtropical regions, and have been introduced to North America over time. Physalis was called wintercherry, as the fruits could keep throughout winter if preserved in their husks. Physalis is a self-sowing hardy annual in temperate climates and reaches heights of 1-2 ft. Directly sow seeds in early spring at a depth of 1/4 inch below soil surface. Plants will grow in well-drained soils and bear more fruit in areas with full sun.
Bee Balm Monarda didyma & Monarda fistulosa. Colonists and settlers used the red sweet-citrus (M. didyma) or pink, spice-peppery flowers (M. fistulosa) in tea or on salads. Monarda sp. is a native plant and is endemic to North America. Leaves were taken in a tea by various indigenous peoples as a remedy for colds and coughs. Modern science has proven its usefulness in soothing sore throats as an antiseptic. Monarda sp. typically grows from 2-5 ft. tall in full sun and rich, well-drained soils.
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True teas (green, black, etc.) are derived from the tea plant Camellia sinensis while an infusion with dried or fresh herbs used as a beverage or for medicine is called a tisane.
On the Walls with Susan and Rainer Schwake By Chloe Kanner Photographs by Meg Hamilton of Rodeo & Co. Photography
family of artists can take a surprisingly long time to paint a wall. Susan and Rainer Schwake, owners of the Artstream gallery in Dover, had been looking for a color for their remodeled kitchen for three years. Then Susan’s younger daughter, Chloe Larochelle, walked into the room in a yellow souvenir sweatshirt. It was casual for the art and fashion student, but it was a perfect fit for the kitchen. They custom ordered the exact color and named it Cape Cod Yellow. The kitchen update was more of a paring down. Schwake says she wanted to get rid of the upper cabinets to open up the room and maximize wall space for art. It’s all about wall space for her. Pots and pans hang above the kitchen island and baking dishes are stored under it, freeing up walls. And, to avoid shelving in the living room, she checks out books from the library, where Grace Larochelle, her other daughter, works. “We like minimalist, but it’s hard when you also like objects and you’re a maker of objects,” Susan says. “And, in the winter, we’re in the house a lot, so it’s also good to surround yourself with things you love.” The family takes a less-is-more approach to decorating and furniture that lets their artwork stand out. It’s like Artstream in that way. They even rotate out some of the work during different seasons since they own more art than walls. And it is carefully curated. Each piece is meaningful and agreed upon together. “I haven’t put up anything we haven’t all loved,” Susan says. After 10 years in downtown Rochester, Artstream moved to Dover for a more central Seacoast location in 2013. The family still lives in a quiet residential area of Rochester. Artstream is unique in its multifaceted structure. In addition to the contemporary gallery with ever-changing exhibits, they offer art classes for all ages and levels as well as graphic design services. Susan has also completed the fourth book in her kids’ art series, “Art For All Seasons,” filled with creative ideas based on 20 years of teaching art. Left: Painting by Susan Schwake
From left: Chloe Larochelle, Rainer and Susan Schwake stand before a moss-covered backyard shed recently used to write poetry.
Functional art resides in the kitchen, like bowls and platters by Megan Bogonovich. Left: A Whimsical bovine portrait graces the custom colored wall. Spring/Summer 2015
Left: In the serene entry of their home, where natural light is generous, visitors are welcomed by one of Amber Lavalley’s portraits of the legendary Prescott sisters of Portsmouth. Like many of the artists featured in the house, Lavalley has also shown in the gallery. “There are certain pieces that just really move you,” Susan says. She tries to take home art that will always fascinate her, and warns against purchasing art just because someone or something is trending.
Above: Their back yard is a quiet respite with gardens, but even here, there’s art — a metal sculpture by Adam Pearson of Barrington, who was one of the first artists represented by Artstream and helped hang art there for years. Artstream is located at 10 Second St. in Dover and the online shop and class schedules are at artstreamstudios.com. On The Walls continued on page 54
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In the kitchen, a bold Tim Wirth painting demands attention, but on the side table beneath it are sentimental pieces, such as a ceramic gift from Jane Kaufmann and photos of the kids.
Above: The dominant piece in the living room is a new self-portrait that Chloe drew on a large nautical map, hanging over the couch. There are also paintings by her mom and stepfather nearby. There’s a real variety of work, including a painting by local artist Dustan Knight and an illustration from Indiana’s Penelope Dullaghan, as well as a black and white, cut paper piece by Molly Bosley and a colorful, paint-splattered abstraction from Mitchell Rosenweig. With three artists living there, the house is also a working studio. There’s a shared space downstairs where they can paint, and individual spaces for drawing and sewing. Chloe has taken over the entire upstairs for her projects, now that Grace has moved out. “It can be chaotic, but it’s always a good energy,” Susan said. “Everyone is always doing something creative.”
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In the Kitchen with Chef Evan Mallett By Rachel Forrest
Photographs by Meg Hamilton of Rodeo & Co. Photography
t’s a rare evening — usually a Wednesday — when the entire Mallett family is home together enjoying a meal around the barn-board table just off the small kitchen in their Berwick, Maine, home. Chef Evan Mallett and Denise Dwinnells Mallett take turns running Black Trumpet, their restaurant in Portsmouth, and their children, 14-year-old Eleanor and 11-year-old Cormac, have many activities. Still, they’ve worked out a way to enjoy conversations around that table as much as possible. “There’s always dinner around the table, never fast food,” says Evan. “And when the stars line up we have five people, including my father, Charlie, who lives with us. That’s a really good day.” The couple switches off cooking duties. On a recent Monday night, while Denise is at the Trumpet, Evan starts his evening of culinary improv, pulling ingredients from the fridge and pantry — Swiss chard, beet greens, quinoa — while beans soak on the counter. Marinating chicken awaits the porch grill. He continues to explore the refrigerator shelves. “Ooh, lobster stock. I could have used that for the quinoa.” The quinoa toasts in a pan on the stovetop. This is not a restaurant-quality stove, but it doesn’t need to be. This is family, and it’s
the ingredients that count, from the farm, backyard gardens and even foraged from 10 acres of land packed with mushrooms and wildlife. Cormac gathers algae from Biddeford Pool and dries it. He has opened his own home restaurant, Sunny Side Up, making breakfast almost every free morning. Eleanor and Cormac are often part of the evening’s prep. “They could easily make dinner on any given night,” says Denise. “We’ll often put them in charge of making salad and dressing.” Ingredients come from Riverside Farm until late fall, so meals might include cellared vegetables, beans from Baer’s Best and local cheeses. When the stars do align and the whole family is at home, the conversation around the dinner table is lively. “When we do have our time together, it’s pretty rich with conversation that’s meaningful and super silly,” says Evan. “My favorite is having everyone say one good and one bad thing that happened to them that day,” says Denise. “It is very enlightening and often will take the entire dinner to get through everyone. We don’t talk about the restaurant too much at dinner because it is a nice time to focus on the rest of our lives.” p
When the Malletts moved into their Berwick, Maine, home 10 years ago, one of the first tasks was to replace the electric stove with a simple gas version. Denise is home more than Evan, so she tends to cook more, but she says Evan tends to cook bigger and more complex meals. On Wednesdays, the familyâ€™s regular night together, Denise usually cooks, but likes to have Evan nearby talking to her and helping with finishing touches.
Flowers from the garden in a jelly jar add a rustic touch to the farmhouse-style kitchen.
Evan Mallett, daughter Eleanor, son Cormac and Moxie, the family’s Bernese mountain dog. Not pictured is Denise, who is at Black Trumpet on some nights when Evan stays at home. Once a week, usually on Wednesday, the family is in one place at one time for the family meal.
A chicken coop in the back yard sits next to a smokehouse where the Malletts hang hams. The chickens — and one duck — roam the yard, and there is always a supply of fresh eggs.
This 100-year-old Glenwood stove is now purely decorative, but it’s a nod to the traditions the Malletts weave into their daily life.
When the stars do align and the whole family is at home, the time around the dinner table is “... pretty rich with conversation that’s meaningful and super silly,” says Evan.
Set for dinner: The kitchen has a rustic farmhouse feel, from cherrywood cabinets, built by a neighbor, and a barn-board table, a Christmas gift from a friend. Around the kitchen are mementos from trips to Mexico, including pottery, rare bottles of mezcal and a 100-year-old Glenwood stove.
Swiss chard and beet greens simmer on the stove. Chicken on the grill, quinoa, beans and these sautéed greens are on the menu for the Mallett family, all improvised that night. There is always a dinner table meal, never fast food, and at least three members of the family to enjoy it all.
an afternoon at
Thistle Pig by kristin fuhrmann-simmons photos by greta rybus
Roasted Maine scallops in a Pernod cream sauce
Glazed meatloaf is a house favorite. Mini burgers with spicy pickles and blue cheese on challah buns
Chef Ben Hasty prepares a meal in the cheery kitchen that welcomes diners to take a peek behind the scenes.
2 p.m. I arrive at Thistle Pig during the tail-end of the lunch rush. It’s Monday and the “Moo & Brew Special,” a burger and craft beer for $12, is the order of the day. The atmosphere is bright and my appetite is whetted by the savory aromas from the kitchen. A couple sits at a barnwood, high-top table sipping the last of their beers, with large, brown paper bags propped on their laps. Copious leftovers? I’m too curious not to ask. “We’re buying chops and sausages to take home,” they say with a smile. The restaurant serves and sells meat from the chef ’s family farm, Breezy Hill. I soon realize that this felicity is the norm for Thistle Pig; there is a house full of happy customers who embrace the restaurant’s distinct sensibilities. Thistle Pig lives where food and culture have quietly intersected for hundreds of years in South Berwick, Maine. In 2014 the owners, chef Ben Hasty and Jen Fecteau, set out to create a place that reflected their philosophy: Great food is part of a great community. They have years of culinary experience between the two of them. Hasty was at the executive helm of When Pigs Fly in Kittery and Epoch at The Exeter Inn, while Fecteau refined her own set of skills in the front of the house at Wentworth by the Sea and in management for Weathervane Seafoods. The plan for the restaurant was deliberate and intentional. “We made sure to review our goals and create a clear focus,” says Fecteau. The result is spectacular. To an outsider, a restaurant in a sleepy village that serves up the likes of foie gras mousse and beer-battered chicken (and that practices the resurging art of “snout-to-tail” cookery) seems surprising. But this area is where farm-to-table has always been less of a movement and more a way of life. South Berwick’s century-old family farms operate side by side with agriculture newcomers, and the farmer’s market is testament to its culinary vibrancy. The village primary school boasts one of Maine’s most active greenhouse classrooms where its programming teaches the students to grow and cook their own food.
Thistle Pig’s owners Ben Hasty and Jen Fecteau
Hasty’s Hollandaise sauce for the Eggs Benedict can only be described as “sublime.”
The bar and barkeep Ben invite locals to stop in for a quick lunch or a leisurely afternoon meal.
Noontime regulars take advantage of the lunch menu.
I make up my mind to order a Sorachi Ace, a saison-style ale that is bright and mildly bitter. Fecteau is a beer lover and the menu reflects it. Craft beers from Kittery’s Tributary and the Midwest’s Founders Brewing regularly make their way to the menu. She says, “I like to have a lot of choices with beer and wine. I gear it towards the season and a rich range of flavor.” After one sip of the saison, my palate wakes up and I order the kale salad. I notice the chew of the salad first; the ingredients are sized in perfect ratio to one another. I taste a balanced mouthful of kale, apple, walnuts and blue cheese. Next, the Eggs Benedict arrives with a glass of the Loggio della Serra, Greco di Tufo white. It’s full and fruity, and proves to be a perfect partner for the rich eggs. Thistle Pig Benedicts come atop When Pigs Fly challah bread, served with a choice of smoked salmon, ham, Brussels sprouts or their beloved, house-made sausage. I hold the warm plate for a moment, taking in the generously rich blanket of Hollandaise and the aroma of crackly, fried potatoes. “Whole, good food cooking is the new normal,” says Chef Hasty. “We are happy to help our customers embrace that.” p
Thistle Pig is located at 279 Main St. in South Berwick, Maine. 207-704-0624. Its craft food and cocktails are served up Thursday-Monday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. thistlepig.com thesquarenh.com
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By Meganne Fabrega Illustrations by Mark Ho ffman
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Take a walk to the Bow Street area of Portsmouth and you’ll have your pick of dining tables with a waterfront view. Want the waves from the Piscataqua River lapping at the dock next to your table? Poco’s, Harpoon Willy’s or Old Ferry Landing would be a good pick. Looking for an upscale menu with indoor seating? Martingale Wharf or Surf has you covered. Maybe you’d like a culinary adventure with local delicacies? In that case, Black Trumpet would be the perfect spot.
If you want to see Portsmouth from the othe er, tucked awa r side of the ri y on Badger’s vIs la nd is Weatherv the Rough. Sit ane’s Lobster across the Pis in cataqua from Bow Street an the bustling d d take in the e cks of sunset at one sitting on a st of the picnic ta ool on their p b les or ier. (Bonus: If Portsmouth acr you walk there oss the Memo fr om rial Bridge, yo friends that yo u can tell all o u “walked to f your Maine” that d ay.) Weathervane’s
Lobster in the Rough 31 Badger’s Is land West Kittery, Maine 207-439-0335 weathervanes eafoods.com
Entering its 50th season, Geno’s plans to do what it’s always done best: Casual daytime dining in the heart of Portsmouth’s historic South End. Family-run and family-friendly, Geno’s is great for a cup of chowder or a lobster roll lunch as you watch the local fisherman come in to the docks with the day’s catch. Geno’s Chowder & Sandwich Shop Intersection of Mechanic and Hunking Streets Portsmouth 603-427-2070 genoschowder.com
Arghhh, Petey’s! (Best said in a pirate voice.) This is the place to go for clam baskets, pi les of fries and classic Ne w England coastal-theme décor, with fis hing nets and wide wo oden oars up on the walls. Head there with a big group when you want the full beach vacation experience, or if there are just a few of you, the bar is the place to be with friendl y service and classic dr inks.
Petey’s Summertime Se afood and Bar 1323 Ocean Blvd. Rye Harbor 603-433-1937 peteys.com
Along the banks of, you guessed it, Chauncey Creek in Kittery Point, the parking lot fills up early at this local spot. Pack a picnic of sides, BYOB, and grab a picn ic table for some DIY dining. Chauncey Creek will cook up lobster s, steamers, popcorn shrimp or hot dogs for the little ones. (Sure, you could go and order the whole meal there, but what’s the fun in that?) Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier 16 Chauncey Creek Rd. Kittery Point, Maine 207-439-1030 chaunceycreek.com
has one of the best spots on Looking for an island view? Latitudes rlooking the Wentworth Marina the Seacoast with a rooftop bar ove d standbys. After your meal, and fresh takes on traditional seafoo check out some of the yachts take a walk around the grounds and k season. that anchor at the marina during pea Latitudes Waterfront Wentworth by the Sea 588 Wentworth Rd. New Castle 603-373-6566 wentworth.com/ latitudes-waterfront
A mainstay of Perkins Cove, Barnacle Billy’s will be celebrating its 54th season this year. Fans of Billy’s come from far and wide in season to eat their steamers or one of their classic lobst er rolls while overlooking the busy cove. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, and their rum punch has a loyal follow ing.
Barnacle Billy’s Perkins Cove Ogunquit, Maine 207-646-5575 barnbilly.com thesquarenh.com
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This year, why not try some
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TIME TRAVEL THROUGH 350 YEARS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE HISTORY
OPEN DAILY: MAY THROUGH OCTOBER Tour historic houses & gardens meet costumed role-players, learn traditional crafts. Special events. 14 Hancock Street Portsmouth NH 03801 603.433.1100 www.StrawberyBanke.org
SUMMER CAMP FOR KIDS ARCHAEOLOGY FIELD SCHOOL NEW HAMPSHIRE’S BIRTHDAY JUNE 21 AN AMERICAN CELEBRATION JULY 4 VINTAGE & VINE WINE FESTIVAL SEP 12 PICKWICK’S AT THE BANKE SHOP VISITOR CENTER CAFE
Exploring the Seacoast
Odiorne Point State Park by Jerry Monkman
or the 20-plus years I have lived on the New Hampshire Seacoast, Odiorne Point State Park has been there for me. The park’s nearly two miles of Atlantic shoreline and adjacent woodlands have provided me and my family a local place to connect with nature and each other, while plying the tide pools for crabs and anemone, soaking up the sun on a secluded beach or cross-country skiing next to the salt spray of winter surf. I love it as a place to get in a quick dose of outdoor adventure without a long drive or all-day commitment. As a conservation photographer, I rely on Odiorne as a location for keeping my photo skills sharp between assignments to other parts of New England. I do most of my photography in the park on foot (kayaking is also an option), either walking the coast or on the few miles of woodland trails. Dawn is my favorite time to shoot the coastline’s combination of rocky tide pools, exposed bedrock and sandy beaches, but I have found photo ops all day long in the park by focusing my camera on the details of Odiorne’s flora and fauna — more than 2,000 species of plants and animals have been identified in the park since 2003. Odiorne Point State Park is located at 570 Ocean Blvd., Rye, NH. In-season admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-11, children ages 5 and under and NH residents age 65 and over are admitted free. Season passes are available. When the park is unstaffed during the season, use the Iron Ranger (self-serve pay station). For more information, visit nhstateparks.org.
Spring wildflowers cover an old bunker near the entrance to the park. Odiorne Point was fortified as a defensive position by the military during World War II. 70
Dew-covered daisies in a seaside field thesquarenh.com
Monkman discovered this crab shell on rockweed at low tide during a morning run in the park.
Lichen cover the stones on a centuries-old rock wall. Odiorne Point was home to the first permanent European settlement in New Hampshire. thesquarenh.com
A flowering shrub sits atop an old bunker in a remote section of Odiorne Point State Park.
It’s the 10TH WILD YEAR of WINDOWS TO THE WILD! Join host WILL LANGE to explore New England’s wild places & meet people who love the outdoors.
WEDNESDAYS 7:30 PM NHPTV PRIME Generously sponsored by
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Help us honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom and remember all the brave men and women who serve our country today. Because, they’ve had our backs and now we need to have theirs. To support New Hampshire’s military members and their families every day, visit vetscount.org.
Spring/Summer Events by Olivia Pettenati & Meganne Fabrega
Spring and summer events are plentiful on the Seacoast, so there’s no excuse for a Saturday night spent at home! Here is a selection of Seacoast events, and for up-to-date event information, like us on Facebook at The Square or follow us on twitter @TheSquareNH. Have an event you’d like to share? Please e-mail details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drift Contemporary Art Gallery Opens for the season May 2 Wind your way down a wooded road just minutes from downtown Portsmouth to visit one of the area’s notable contemporary art galleries, located on the grounds of the historic Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion. drift-gallery.com
MAY 25th Annual Kitchen Tour May 9 Take a peek inside the finest kitchens of Kittery and be inspired. From smaller cottage homes to larger modern kitchens, there is inspiration for every budget. Trolleys will easily transfer you from one home to the next. themusichall.org
The Blind Boys of Alabama May 23 Attend this uplifting concert (a blend of gospel music with a modern spiritual twist) in recognition and celebration of the African Burying Ground Memorial. themusichall.org
JUNE WOKQ Chowder Festival June 6 This annual taste-testing event allows you to experience delicious chowder from multiple restaurants in the Seacoast Area, then cast your vote for the best one. prescottpark.org
Taste of the Nation June 24 When the tent goes up at Strawbery Banke, you know it’s time for one of the area’s most popular evening events. Come taste delicious food from top chefs and help those in need at the same time. ce.strength.org
Prescott Park Arts Festival presents Peter Pan First showing June 26 The Prescott Park Arts Festival kicks off its 41st season with the musical “Peter Pan” and invites members as well as the general public to come enjoy riverside performances Thursdays-Sundays, June 26-August 23. While Peter Pan is its anchor, PPAF will also have a wide variety of musical guests and other events throughout the season. prescottpark.org
South Berwick Strawberry Festival June 27 The strawberry season around here doesn’t last long, so celebrate it while you can at South Berwick Central School, 197 Main St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
JULY NHSPCA Paws Walk June 7 Leash up your best friend (the one with four legs) and head on over to Stratham Hill Park to raise money for the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. nhspca.org
Market Square Day June 13 This iconic Portsmouth festival includes loads of vendors and entertainment from local musicians. There’s never a dull moment at MSD. proportsmouth.org
Sand Sculpture Competition
June 18-20 Enjoy a relaxing stroll along Hampton Beach and see the amazing sights created by talented sculptors. Finish off the night with a colorful fireworks display. hamptonbeach.org
150th Juneteenth Celebration
June 19-21 This is a celebration to reunite and reconnect NH Black friends and families of Portsmouth and will include a BYO picnic, music fest and Sankofa Ceremony. portsmouthhistory.org
An American Celebration at Strawbery Banke Museum July 4 See what Independence Day is truly all about by revisiting American history, listening to live music and enjoying the festive bicycle and wagon parade. strawberybanke.org
3rd Annual Prints & Pots Exhibition at Chases Garage July 18 This popular exhibition at Chases Garage Artists Studios and Gallery in York opens on July 18 and runs through September 13, but you can visit the gallery all summer long. It opens for the season with a reception on May 23. chasesgarage.com
American Independence Festival July 18 Celebrating its 25th year, Exeter comes alive with historic re-enactors, an artisan village, cannon fire and plenty of patriotism. independencemuseum.org
Halcyon Music Festival
Hampton Beach Talent Competition
July 23 Taking place at multiple locations around the Seacoast, the Halcyon Music Festival, led by Artistic Director Heng-Jin Park, brings chamber music to fans and performers alike. halcyonmusicfestival.org
August 28 Did you miss the latest “American Idol”? Cruise on down to the beach and watch as-yet-undiscovered singers compete for cash prizes (or join in the fun yourself). hamptonbeach.org
Tour of Celia Thaxter’s Garden
Mini Maker Faire
July 30 Just a short boat ride away lies Appledore Island, where famed poet Celia Thaxter tended her garden surrounded by the frigid waters of the Atlantic. Take this day trip, then read Thaxter’s classic, “An Island Garden.” www.sml.cornell.edu/sml_reservation.php
August 14 This eclectic music festival in Portsmouth is described as “Contemporary music. Local and international acts. 7 concerts. 6 venues. 3 days. Breaking barriers. Bridging genres.” Events will be held at various locations around Portsmouth including The Music Hall, 3S Artspace, The Dance Hall in Kittery and more. parmamusicfestival.org
Wednesday Wednesday May 6th 6th 9:00 AMMay —2:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6TH
9:00 AM—2:00 PM 6:00 PM—7:30 PM 6:00 PM—7:30 PM
9:00 6:00 AMAM—2:00 —7:30 PMPM EARLY CHILDHOOD
3 TO GRADE 8 EARLY CHILDHOOD 3 EARLY CHILDHOOD 3 TO GRADE 8 TO GRADE 8
SEPTEMBER Jackson Hill Cider Day
PARMA Music Festival
SPRING OPEN SPRING OPEN OPEN HOUSE SPRING
August 29 Unleash your creativity and have some hands-on fun with the family at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover. makerfairedover.com
September 12 Start fall off right with seasonal refreshments, games and music. Have fun grinding your own apples and pressing cider. historicnewengland.org
Vintage and Vine September 12 Feel like a VIP for a night while indulging in food
SAINT PATRICK PATRICK SCHOOL SCHOOL SAINT 125 AUSTIN STREET, PORTSMOUTH, NH 125 AUSTIN STREET, PORTSMOUTH, NH WWW.STPATSWEB.COM 603-436-0739 WWW.STPATSWEB.COM 603-436-0739
specialties from five-star chefs and feeling the warmth from a bonfire. strawberybanke.org
Hampton Seafood Festival September 11-13 Head to the beach and get a taste of the sea. There are more than 60 restaurants participating, a lobster-eating competition and even sky diving. hamptonbeachseafoodfestival.com
Portsmouth En Vogue September 20 Portsmouth may not be known as a major fashion city, but on this certain day it may seem to be. There will be an exceptional show displaying high-fashion creations from famous designers. portsmouthhistory.org
Hamilton House Fine Arts and Crafts Festival September 26-27 This cultural event in South Berwick features hundreds of artisans and their creations, ranging from jewelry to metalwork. You can also get a tour of the Hamilton House. historicnewengland.org
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Good Eats! by Olivia Pettenati
Whether you’re an early riser or consider 10 a.m. the crack of dawn, the Seacoast has a breakfast place for you. Here is a selection of some of our favorite spots on the Seacoast — from a no-frills, lowcost diner to brunch with all of the trimmings — to get that first cup of joe and a hearty meal to start the day.
Beach Pea Baking Co. 53 State Rd., Kittery, Maine 207-439-3555, beachpeabaking.com Get the ultimate Parisian experience while eating a croissant that tastes like it came straight from a French bakery.
Big Bean Café
The Friendly Toast
118 Main St., Newmarket 603-659-8600, thebigbeancafe.com Whether you choose the Eggs Benedict or the homemade bread, you will be happy that you came across this hole in the wall.
48 Main St., Durham 603-868-2688, youngsrestaurant.com Enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch at this small joint right in the heart of the college town of Durham.
113 Congress St., Portsmouth 603-430-2154, thefriendlytoast.com This hot establishment is creative with its dishes and its atmosphere. They even offer late-night dining and cocktails.
20A Third St., Dover 603-343-5030, ocrepe.com Pretend you are sitting at a café in Europe while creating your own delectable crepe.
Colby’s Breakfast & Lunch
55 Main St., Newmarket 603-292-0110 joineryrestaurant.com Joinery requires a hearty appetite. Choose a favorite like biscuits and gravy or the overnight waffle with sautéed apples and ice cream (if you’re feeling decadent).
105 Daniel St., Portsmouth 603-436-3033 Sit down for a home cooked meal, just as good as Mom’s. You can’t go wrong with the cinnamon French toast.
The Golden Egg 960 Sagamore Ave., Portsmouth 603-436-0519, goldeneggrestaurant.com Stop into this inexpensive hidden gem and appreciate the fresh fruit and homemade granola, along with the changing breakfast specials. Go early, the lines can get long.
The Country View Restaurant 692 Portsmouth Ave., Greenland 603-431-7426, thecountryview.com Your dollar goes a long way at this local breakfast and lunch spot. Great service and daily specials.
Harvey’s Bakery & Coffee Shop Roundabout Diner 580 US Hwy. 1 Bypass, Portsmouth 603-431-1440, roundaboutdiner.com This convenient location right off the highway is open from 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m. at night. The Eggs Benedict is a crowd pleaser.
376 Central Ave., Dover 603-742-6029, harveysbakery.com For more than 50 years Harvey’s has been the bakery in Dover, serving up a maple round that is impossible to resist. If you need a heartier start, ask for the Cocheco Falls Favorite.
Sunday Brunch at Joinery
Trackside Café 66 Lincoln St., Exeter 603-580-4086 The authentic baked beans and huge pancakes are a crowd pleaser for sure.
St. Anthony’s Bakery 231 Water St., Exeter 603-778-0910 Amazing bread and pastries made fresh every day. A real local delight.
Steve’s Diner 100 Portsmouth Ave., Exeter 603-772-5733 You won’t want to leave here without indulging in either the stuffed French toast or massive pancakes. Kids will love this place.
Betty’s Kitchen 164 Lafayette Rd., North Hampton 603-964-9870, bettyskitchen.com See the chef in action doing flat-top cooking, the way breakfast should be.
207-361-4682, stjoesyork.com Check out the Bennies (short for beignets) with an assortment of sauces and, of course, a refreshing coffee.
Rick’s All Seasons Restaurant
Hoaty’s of Hampton 682 Lafayette Rd., Hampton 603-926-1198, hoatys.com This hopping spot has delicious daily specials and great omelettes. You’ll get to hang out with the locals.
The Airfield Café 9 Lafayette Rd., North Hampton 603-964-1654, theairfieldcafe.com This spot offers generous portions, but you still won’t want to share. Choose from omelettes to crepes and more as you watch the arrivals and takeoffs.
St. Joe’s Coffee 449 US Rte. 1, York, Maine
240 York St., York Maine 207-363-5584 Blueberry pancakes are at the top of the must-order list. Enjoy the stack with a side of corned beef hash.
Popovers on the Square 8 Congress St., Portsmouth 603-431-1119, popoversonthesquare.com This counter service café is a perfect spot to grab a pastry, lunch or, of course, a popover. It has one of the best breakfast sandwiches in town.
Stella’s Sweet Café 1 Government St., Kittery, Maine 207-703-2990 Great eggs and homefries. Maybe stay for a yummy gelato to wash it all down.
The Early Bird 241 Main Street South Berwick, Maine 207-384-8100, earlybirdsobo.com Unique breakfast sandwiches galore. You like hummus, avocado, ham or pesto? This one stop has it all.
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55 MAIN STREET, NEWMARKET 603-292-0110 JOINERYRESTAURANT.COM thesquarenh.com
What the... ?
WW Owens 1973
The year is 1973. Watergate and Roe v. Wade dominate the news, the Oakland As beat the Mets in the World Series and “The Godfather” wins an Oscar for Best Picture, while the music of Elton John and Jim Croce play on the radio of the gas-guzzling family station wagon. This image was taken by photographer Bill Owens in January of 1973. The location is the lean-to roof of the Richard Jackson House on Northwest Street in Portsmouth. Built in
1664, the Richard Jackson House is the oldest surviving woodframe house in New Hampshire and is now owned by Historic New England. This scan is taken from a Kodachrome slide. So far, none of the children in the photo have been identified. Do you know anything about this photo or recognize any of the kids? If so, contact James Smith at the Portsmouth Athenaeum by phone (603-431-2538) or e-mail (email@example.com).
downtown Portsmouthâ€™s only indePendently owned and oPerated boutique hotel 40 Court street (603) 433â€“1200