LACONIA — Patrons attending the Belknap Mill's 190th anniversary celebration on Friday, Nov. 8, will have the opportunity to meet Annie Posnack, this month's featured artist at the Mill's Riverside Art Gallery. Her exhibit — "My New England, Bits, Pieces and Players" — features images of boating, the lake, botanicals, architecture, portraits, and a few abstractions.
Posnack said she loves the antiquity of New England and anything is fair game for subject matter.
A local resident who lives on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee with her husband, father, and five feral cats, Posnack says she has been interested in art since her mother showed her how to do some simple drawings. There were lots of art books in the house for her to explore and, as a youngster, she was inspired by classes she took in painting at the Currier Art Center.
In high school, she took her first photography course and said she was hooked. She learned traditional darkroom techniques there and in college but later taught herself to do digital photo editing. She returned to school and earned a degree in Studio Arts with a concentration in Photography in 2003.
"It was a far cry from the sixties when I started out as a math major," Posnack said, adding, "It's strictly an avocation. I can't ever imagine taking an assignment. If people like what I do, fine. If not, I'm still just doing what I love to do, for me. I find that this medium is best for my lifestyle and commitments. I can pick it up and put it down easily. There are no chemicals and mess to contend with that can't wait until the next day or the next week."
Some of Posnack's images are realistic photographs, but most of them have a thread of birth, decline, death, and rebirth. "It's the life cycle which is beautiful and haunting," she says, "whether in a person, landscape, or structure. While I stay away from weird effects, I find that Photoshop is a wonderful tool to help evoke the original feeling that you had when you saw something that called out to be photographed. Maybe it's the color, the lighting, the shape, the form, or an emotion. Adjustments can enhance those aspects."
The chance to view Posnack's exhibit in the Riverside Art Gallery is just one of the attractions at the 190th anniversary celebration. Many of the region's finest caterers will be presenting their signature dishes and patrons will be able to tour the historic mill and see its latest addition, the Belknap Mill Art Gallery, which features juried art that is available for purchase (just in time for the holidays).
Musical entertainment will be provided by Swing A Cat Band, a group of women musicians from New Hampshire and Maine who specialize in swing music.
The event, which includes a cash bar, will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday. For more information and to make online reservations, call 603-524-8813 or visit www.belknapmill.org.