Works by ‘Emerging Artists’ in Portsmouth


PORTSMOUTH — Not every art exhibit features a plane made out of Legos.

But then again, this isn’t just any exhibit.

The Portsmouth Arts Guild’s (PAG) “Emerging Artists” student show, like its name implies, features some of the youngest creative talent around.

“The requirement was that the artist is 18 or under,” said Wayne Quackenbush, PAG’s president. “We go down all the way down to age 4.”

In the past the show has been open only to local students, but PAG decided to allow to allow submissions from all over Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.

“This is the first time we’ve opened it up to more people. We got people from Narragansett, Providence and Tiverton,” said Mr. Quackenbush.

The show had its opening reception Sunday and will continue from 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9. The PAG gallery is located in the parish hall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2679 East Main Road. For more information about PAG, visit

Mr. Quackenbush and Suzanne Lewis are the new president and vice president, respectively, of PAG. Mr. Quackenbush said the Guild has big plans for 2014.

“The Guild is looking to have an infusion of new members, new ideas and new artists. So yes, we’ll be growing but I don’t know if the physical space is going to be different. We’re going to be more interactive with the community,” he said.

One new idea is a Portsmouth Gallery Night, similar to those in Newport and Providence, “even though there aren’t many galleries here,” he said.

Mr. Quackenbush said a local tile project, which began as a Portsmouth 375th anniversary initiative, will be tied into Gallery Night. In the collaboration with Portsmouth, England, artists are invited to create a tile with a design that represents the town.

“The tile project is going to be here and at the library and at Town Hall and we’re going to have a tour set up so people can come out and see. It will be in May sometime,” he said. “We’re going to invite people to come out to enjoy and share art.”

The Guild will also host a “Twelve-Hour Art Marathon,” repeating an event first held in Portsmouth last November. “We’re going to have another Art Marathon in the beginning of April, and that’s going to tie into the tile project. People can come in and work on their tiles,” said Mr. Quackenbush.

National Youth Art Month

The current show at PAG is just one event that’s part of National Youth Art Month (YAM). Numerous exhibits and events are taking place throughout March.

The K-12 YAM show officially opens at the Portsmouth Free Public Library from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, March 6. (PAG’s “Emerging Artists” show will also be open at that time and will continue this weekend.) Besides the library, students will also be exhibiting at Town Hall and Portsmouth Publick House, 600 Clock Tower Square, during business hours.

A Fashion Show and Expo, a senior project organized by Isabella Tomlinson and the Portsmouth High School Visuals Arts Department, will be held in the school’s new gym from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 19. Along with the fashion show there will be art, silent auctions and a bake sale to raise money for 2014 art scholarships.

The Portsmouth Middle Schools Art & Music Festival will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27. The evening will feature art displays, musical performances by students, face-painting, hat-decorating, and there will be pizza and baked goods available for sale.

For more information, contact any art teacher at PHS, or e-mail Rose Escobar at

And the winners are …

Here are the winners of the Portsmouth Arts Guild’s “Emerging Artists" show:

• First place: Amanda Chisholm, “Epoch” (colored pencil)

• Second place: Madison Lohrum, “Candy Jars” (pastel pencil)

• Third place: Connor Wray, “Breaking Through” (digital photograph)

• Honorable mentions: Arianna Carpender, “Winter Woods” (paint); Andrew Greenwood, “Rising Tide” (acrylic); Cooper Richmond, “Landscape” (oil on canvas); Brielle Hansen, “Travel Slab Box” (ceramics and glaze); Sofia Dwares, “Cosmic Jewel” (beadwork); Connor Wray, “Ring Tug” (ceramic); Sarah Bloom, “Untitled” (reduction block print); and Elizabeth Jackson, “Blue Lantern” (ceramics and glaze)


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.