Healing Arts Gallery to open new exhibit

  • Fierce Attachment by Johniene Papandreas. Courtesy photo—

  • New Day by Johniene Papandreas. Courtesy photo—

  • New Day by Johniene Papandreas. Courtesy photo—

  • Greta Thunberg by Ann Putnam. Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/6/2019 2:19:44 PM

When Soosen Dunholter chose a portrait theme for the latest exhibit at the Healing Arts Gallery, the first person that came to mind was Ann Putnam.

Putnam, a Wilton artist who hand carves tiny rubber stamps, isn’t a typical candidate for gallery shows. Her rubber stamps portraits typically produce prints that are two inches by two and half/three inches, which doesn’t really fit with what people might expect on gallery walls. But for this show, Putnam decided to take an extra step in the creation process to make them more suitable for the show.

“I’m always surprised when someone asks me to show my work,” Putnam said. “What I do is a little bit different.”

She first took the four images chosen for the show and blew them up on a computer. Then went to the MAxT Makerspace to use a laser cutter to transfer her portraits on to a piece of wood. From there, she added ink to the wood and printed her portraits of Greta Thunberg, Harriet Tubman, Christine Blasey Ford and Lenny Pozneron on to an 8-inch by 10-inch piece of bristol board. She also chose quotes or excerpts from each person to lay over each of the portraits during the computer process.

Putnam is one of six artists that will be part of Winter Rest, the latest show at Healing Arts Gallery at Monadnock Community Hospital that will open with a reception on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The show will be on display through Feb. 4, 2020.

The hospital gallery puts on four shows each year and Dunholter, a member of the volunteer gallery committee, has morphed into the point person for picking the artists.

“I’m just looking for works that I think would work well together,” Dunholter said.

At first, Dunholter wanted to focus on portraits of people, and Johniene Papandreas, a fellow member of Monadnock Art, was also on the shortlist. Papandreas has a fascination with subtext – with reading between the lines. In her more traditional work, Papandreas is known to take what can be considered a moment of expression from a classical painting and use it as the inspiration for creating a new painting of a new person.

“If you could capture that micro second, that’s what I’m trying to do,” Papandreas said.

But for this show, Papandreas decided to submit a different set of works. For the committee's consideration, she put forward a series of four paintings of a baby’s face titled “New Day” that in sequence shows a baby waking.

“If you hung it in reverse, it shows a baby falling asleep,” Papandreas said.

The “model” for this was a single photo of the baby that she reoriented and changed to amplify the sensation of that "waking moment" in the viewer, Papandreas said.

In “Fierce Attachment”, Papandreas asked the model to show her an expression of anger, but when she when she went to create her crops from the photo, she discovered that her eyes were depicting two emotions – with anger coming through strongly on the left side, while the other eye seems to be revealing a sense of sadness.

With a goal of giving viewers a wide range of mediums to see, Dunholter also chose a pair of photographers in Danielle Stickney, based out of Milford, who does anything from birth and newborns to children and families, and Michelle Christmas, who specializes in maternity and newborn photos.

But Dunholter also had a few artists in mind that didn’t fit into the person portrait category, but rather specializes in painting animals. That’s why gallery visitors will also see the works of David Bulger (Harrisville) and Rosemary Conroy (Weare).

“I knew I had a couple of artists that I really appreciated their portraits of animals,” Dunholter said.

The Nov. 14 reception is open to the public. Following the reception, the exhibit will be available for viewing essentially 24 hours a day since it is located in the hospital.

“This is really a low key gallery experience,” Dunholter said.

For more, visit https://monadnockcommunityhospital.com/category/healing-arts-gallery.


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