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View scenes from Monadnock region

  • The Sawyer farm in Jaffrey. Judy Unger-Clark

  • LEFT: Ray Bollerud of Harrisville. PHOTO BY Peter Tuttle

  • Little Leaguers celebrate a win. PHOTO BY Dan Millbauer



Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:10AM

We’ve received an early Christmas present this year: 118 photographs filling almost to overflowing the walls of the main gallery of Sharon Arts in Peterborough, depicting the working people of the Monadnock region at work, at play, their children, homes, farms, shops and industries, as they were photographed by 17 Monadnock region photographers during the past year.

Gary Samson, the artist laureate of New Hampshire, called for volunteer photographers last year to document in pictures the region’s working people, their children and lives, in the spirit of the great Farm Security Administration photo project of the 1930s New Deal era. (The most famous of those pictures, and perhaps the best known American photograph of the 20th century, is Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother,” a young Dust Bowl refugee holding her child protectively in her arms).

But, as Samson notes, “Other FSA photographs showed better days, and portrayed the grit, resilience, determination and hard work that sustained the country then, and sustain it now. And those are the photos that inspired our Sharon Arts exhibition.”

And the show’s a hit.

“We’ve had a wonderful response,” said Camellia Sousa, the Sharon Arts director, “beginning with the full house at the show opening. You could scarcely see the pictures for the people, many of them seeing themselves, their families and friends, their houses and places they worked, up on the walls.”

So please, feel welcome to see yourself, perhaps, and surely some people you know, or have seen at their work or just walking down the street, in the pictures at Sharon Arts’ main gallery on Grove Stree. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s the best free photo show in town.

The actual prints on the wall are large and gorgeous, but we’ve included a small sample portfolio of the Monadnock Photography Project (the show’s formal title) here to intrigue you.

(And yes, I’m one of the photographers who took part in the project).