Letter: Busy year for Portsmouth Arts Guild

Letter: Busy year for Portsmouth Arts Guild

A sampling of some of the Portsmouth-themed tiles that were on display during Gallery Night in May.

To the editor:

This year has been a whirlwind of great things happening with the Portsmouth Arts Guild (PAG) Center For the Arts. We’re always looking for ways to solidify the connection between the Guild and the Portsmouth community. The Guild is always looking for volunteers, contributing artists and ways to respect the past while looking towards the future.

My first experience as president of PAG was to help organize a memorial celebration for one of the Guild’s founding members, artist and educator Sally Weiffenbach. This beautiful and thoughtful event consisted of a meeting of her friends and relatives at the Guild gallery with an ample display of her artwork.

This was rapidly followed by the intake for the Emerging Artists Show, a show designed to showcase the talents of younger artists. The Guild widened and opened up the requirements for entries and went beyond the confines of the Town of Portsmouth. We extended invitations to all interested young people up to the age of 18 to contribute art to the show. Consequently, over 80 artists delivered their work to the Guild from towns all over the State of Rhode Island.

The Guild hosted a12-hour Art Marathon in April with members and newcomers sharing space in the Gallery to produce artwork. The evening was topped off with a modeling session by the “Lady Who Paints,” who posed at different times in a Joan of Arc-inspired garment and a burqa.

Then there were the regularly scheduled shows: the Non-Juried Members, the color-inspired series Imagine White and the Members Juried Photography show. The photography show opening was the date of the very first Portsmouth Gallery Night, sharing the honors with the opening of the Portsmouth Tile-Board project.

A sampling of some of the Portsmouth-themed tiles that were on display during Gallery Night in May.
A sampling of some of the Portsmouth-themed tiles that were on display during Gallery Night in May.
The Tile-Board project was months in the making, entailing selling and distributing blank 6×12-inch sheets of masonite that artists were encourage to attach to or make art on with the theme “My Portsmouth.” This project started at Portsmouth High School in conjunction with the sister city of Portsmouth, England and in conjunction with the Portsmouth 375th anniversary committee. It quickly expanded to artists at PAG and beyond with over 100 artists participating.

This Gallery Night took place in four locations, the Portsmouth Library, the Town Hall, the Portsmouth Arts Guild and the Portsmouth Publick House restaurant. This and the photography show are still in place with all the works from the Tile-Board show available for bidding by silent auction. Bidding ends June 27 and some of the works are still at bargain prices.

Thanks to everyone at the Guild and the Portsmouth community who have made all this possible. Now we’re looking towards the future, new shows, new members and new volunteers.

Wayne Quackenbush

President, Portsmouth Arts Guild