“MOMMA” exhibit opens at the Silver Center for the Arts

February 27th, 2014 by Lynn

     

    Marcia Santore, “Lupa,” painting.

    Four artist-mothers, Marcia Santore and Annette Mitchell of Plymouth, Laura Morrison of Concord and Patricia Schappler of Bedford will reveal their insights into the concepts of mother and motherhood in a new exhibition, MOMMA, opening at the Silver Center for the Arts at Plymouth State University March 3. A public reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 at Silver. The show runs through April 11.

    Motherhood is a profoundly feminist subject for Santore, who curated “MOMMA”, choosing the artists and art works for the exhibition. “MOMMA” explores themes of motherhood from the visceral, to the emotional, to the intellectual — responding to a society that sentimentalizes mothers but does not always respect them, according to the curator. Santore says the exhibition is about showing something important about artist-mothers, “how being mothers affects the work we do as artists — we are who we are and where we are in large part because of our roles as mothers. How we see the world, what we notice, what we make art about is strongly affected by our roles as mothers.” But she adds emphatically that MOMMA is not a polemical motherhood manifesto. “It is not about mothers being better or worse than other women, or advocating any particular way of being a mother, nor is it about defining women as mothers first and anything else second.”

    Each artist was chosen because she addresses aspects of motherhood in her work, but each from a different perspective. Laura Morrison’s sculptural yarn work addresses the generative properties of nature, while her delicate assemblages are ruminations about family and connections between people. Morrison learned how to sew from her mother, playing with the materials in the sewing room. The memories generated by their working together represent a large part of Morrison’s childhood. Patti Schappler’s drawings and paintings create lifesize and more-than-lifesize, closely observed portraits of her children over time, individually and as a family. She says that since her teenage years she has used drawing as a way of quickly looking at and talking about the relationships she observes in the world. Annette Mitchell is bringing her perspective as a mother, a grandmother and a daughter to the show. Her paintings, prints and quilts reflect the fact that life with children can be both humorous and exhausting. The first of her own paintings Santore selected for the show is “Lupa,” a painting of the wolf who raised Romulus and Remus. In further exploring the topic, however, Santore ended up creating an entire new series of works, the “Minivan Series,” which is based on things seen and imagined from different perspectives inside a vehicle associated with motherhood.

    Karl Drerup Art Gallery and Exhibitions Director Cynthia Robinson says the artwork will be “fabulous, a visual feast that will lure us in and invite us to reflect on our own experience in today’s culture.” How working female artists who are also mothers in rural areas like New Hampshire are undervalued in the art world, is an underlying concept in “MOMMA.”

    The exhibitions program, in collaboration with the PSU Women’s Studies Council and Lamson Library, will present the film “Who Does She Think She Is?” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 10 in the Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center. This documentary by Academy Award-winning producer Pamela Tanner Boll features five bold women who navigate some of the most problematic intersections of our time: parenting and creativity, partnering and independence, economics and art. Through their lives Tanner Boll explores what it means to nurture children and family, and keep the creative fire burning within. The 82- minute film will be followed by a brief discussion. There is no charge for admission.

    Silver Center hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Information about the gallery and exhibitions program at Plymouth State University is online at Plymouth.edu/gallery.

    General information about events at Plymouth State is online at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu/.

     

    PSU study: Residents more responsive to wind farms if involved in process

    July 18th, 2013 by Lynn

      By DAN SEUFERT
      Union Leader Correspondent

      The cover of the spring-summer edition of Plymouth State University's alumni magazine highlights the wind towers from the Groton wind farm. (Courtesy photo)

      PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University’s Viewshed Valuation Pilot Study of residents’ attitudes on the value of scenic views affected by wind farms found discontent among Groton residents, where a wind farm went online in January.

      The study, which is in the process of being summarized, found widespread individual values-based opposition in the Plymouth area to current proposals from two European wind power companies, said Professor Shannon Rogers, an ecological economist at PSU’s Center for the Environment.

      Two students involved in the project, Ashley Hyde of Peterborough and Rebecca Brown of Londonderry, have been studying recent news reports, information supplied by opponents and those favoring wind farms, and looking at similar situations in European communities, where the not-in-my-backyard sentiment was very strong, Rogers said.

      That sentiment was also found in the Newfound Lake-Plymouth area, she said, even in Groton, a town in which a Spanish wind farm company just brought a 24-turbine wind farm online. State officials granted Iberdrola Renewables permits for the highly visible towers without much input from town residents.

      Many Groton residents felt they didn’t have any say.

      “We are only beginning to scratch the surface of local attitudes towards the Groton Wind Farm but currently there seems to be mixed support. The discussion revealed a strong desire to preserve New Hampshire’s natural assets for multiple interests,” Hyde said.

      The study also found that residents responded more favorably to wind farm projects if they were involved in the early proposal and planning stages.

      “Being involved in the process early really mattered to people’s values on the issue, for those in favor,” Rogers said.

      The students interviewed seven people from the area, several of them professionals, each of whom came from a different perspective — one had strong business interests, one was a watershed management specialist, etc. The residents expressed worries about the potential effect of 40-story towers and turbines on the area’s economy.

      “We are not taking a side,” Rogers said. “Rather we would like to see what the underlying values are around these issues and how they might vary across the community.”

      Rogers hopes to hold a community workshop once the study is finalized to facilitate more informed decision-making that takes residents’ values into account, she said.

      She received a grant for the study from the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

      She requested the grant “to stimulate community dialogs about the variety of ecosystem services encompassed in a viewshed and their associated values, including both economic and non-economic values.”

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