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Exhibition of Chinese Woodcuts at Plymouth State University

 PLYMOUTH — Lamson Library at Plymouth State University will present an exhibition of Chinese woodcuts from the folio Woodcuts of New China and Frans Masereel's folio, China Memories through December 20 at the Library on Highland Street in Plymouth. David A. Beronä, dean of library and academic support services at Plymouth State, curated the exhibition.
Beronä explains that the Chinese People's Association for Foreign Cultural Relations invited Masereel, a Belgian artist and pioneer of the woodcut novel, to China in 1958. Woodcut novels were wordless books of woodcuts that focused on the social ills in Europe during the early twentieth century. During his visit, Masereel discovered that his woodcut novels, not bound by a language barrier, had been widely distributed across China. Along with the influence of the great writer, Lu Xun, Masereel's woodcuts served as an inspiration to the Chinese avant-garde movement in the 1930s and mirrored the revolutionary struggle of the Chinese people. This Expressionist style evolved into woodcuts of the mid-20th century that displayed more traditional styles and promoted the ideals of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Chinese woodcuts in this exhibition display examples from this later period and Masereel's impressions in color reproductions and drawings of the Chinese people and countryside following his visit.
A recognized scholar on woodcut novels and wordless books, Beronä has written extensively on the genre, and authored the introduction to the latest edition of Masereel's Passionate Journey: A Vision in Woodcuts, published by Dover Publications.
Beronä has also written his own book, Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels, which was a First Place winner at the 2009 New York Book Show and was nominated for a Harvey Award. In the book he examines the history of wordless books and the art and influence of pioneers like Masereel, Lynd Ward and Otto Nuckel among others.
He says, " The themes in these wordless books show a powerful relevance to our world today, the significance of wordless stories, and the growing importance of visual narratives in all cultures—both Western and Eastern."
Beronä will give a gallery lecture on this topic at 5:30 p.m. October 24 in conjunction with "Adventures in Chinese Culture," a lecture series complementing an exhibition of paintings by Chinese brush artist Yang Jukui at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery. His talk will have particular focus on Western artists including Masereel, Käthe Kollwitz and Carl Meffert and their impact on Chinese avant-garde artists and the Modern Woodcut Movement.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 08:40

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New at Sandwich Fair: Kid’s Scavenger Hunt on Monday

SANDWICH — A new Kid's Scavenger Hunt event will be held on Monday, October 14th. at The Sandwich Fair. The hunt will begin at the Smith and Hodge Exhibit Hall at 10 a.m.
The Kid's Scavenger Hunt is designed for children ages 2-7, but open to all who would like to participate. During the hunt there will be thirteen clues which means there will be thirteen stop signs all over the livestock area of the fair. Upon finding the one that matches the clue on the list participants will take a cut out of the item from the attached container and a plastic tie to fasten it to the barn. When all thirteen items have been found and attached participants will be asked to return to the start and receive an award ribbon.

This is not a competitive event, rather strictly educational. This event is free thanks to generous donations from The Common Man and Farm Family Insurance. For more information call the office at 284-7062.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 08:25

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7th Annual Old Ways Days Oct. 19-20

CANTERBURY — Dave and Anne Emerson are planning for the 7th annual Old Ways Days, October 19-20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Ways Traditions, 418 Shaker Road, Canterbury.

Old Ways Traditions is part of the Ham Farm which was started by Joseph Ham, one of ten children of a Portsmouth ship carpenter. In 1785, 24 year old Joseph paid the first taxes on the 100 acre farm.
This year Dave and Kevin Fife, master stone wall builder, will reintroduce farm tours, "The Stone Walls Tell the Story of the Farm," 2 p.m.. both days. The farm has about every type of stone wall there is, and they all have something to tell us. Jessica Abbate and her large, strong, friendly pack goats (they can carry quite a load) will accompany the tour. They will also lead a walk on the trails at 11 a.m.

Weekend activities will involve visitors with early ways of work. The corn sheller will be working with the corn grinder, as well as the bean sheller and winnower. People are urged to bring their dry beans and corn. A crab (a portable capstan) is probably the only one on display and working in the state. It pulls a freight wagon, but was used to move buildings and ships.

Tools for Kids provides the opportunity to discover how easy it can be to use traditional tools such as hand drills, bit braces, several types of saws, spoke shaves with shaving horses and early laundry equipment.
There will be at least two steam engines running the lathe and, for the first time, an antique planer.
New blacksmith this year is, Zach Archambeault, who says "Blacksmithing has been my passion for a number of years, and in the Summer of 2012, I stepped away from engineering medical devices to be able to chase the iron and work at the forge full-time. Since then I have been demonstrating at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, creating ironwork using traditional tools, techniques and thrift to bring the craft into the contemporary lifestyle, and sharing the love of traditional designs with others."
Music will be by Homefolks Saturday at noon. Their style is country gospel with a bluegrass flavor. On Sunday from noon to 2 p.m, The Fiddling Thomsons, the unique duo of Ryan and son, Brennish, fresh from The Big E, will perform.

This award winning twosome perform lively tunes on a variety of instruments including banjo, accordion, flute, whistle, percussion, and, of course, fiddles. Friends and neighbors who show up will also be playing occasionally.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 08:22

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Archaeology Dig at Holmes House a 'Hands On' Lesson in History

PLYMOUTH — It's early October, 1892, and the village of Plymouth N.H., is winding down after a busy fall day. As the autumn light fades and breeze turns cooler, a man steps out of the rear door of his house on Summer Street, walking toward an adjoining barn, and without breaking stride, he throws away a dish he had just broken in the kitchen. Just below him, the Main Street is quiet, except for the occasional clatter of horses' hooves, while the dim yellow glow of kerosene lamps in the windows of neighboring houses provides a counterpoint to the gathering dusk.

It's a scene repeated countless times over dozens of decades in Plymouth; but that one act of discarding trash will ultimately produce an exciting and transformative moment for a Plymouth State University student. Now, nearly 120 years later, students in David Starbuck's Intro to Archaeology class are digging behind the Holmes House–and Hannah Dutton's eyes widen as her trowel delicately scoops up a tiny shard of a broken plate, seeing the light of day more than a century after it was thrown away.

"I really like feeling connected to history, this came from a different time, a simpler time, and it hasn't been touched since it was thrown away, which is really cool," said Dutton. A first-year Anthropology major from Merrimac. Dutton says the dig is galvanizing her career choice.

"This makes me more excited and solidifies what I want to be doing–I definitely want to keep going with this in the future."

According to Professor Starbuck, Holmes House pre-dates any of Plymouth State University's academic predecessors by nearly three decades, and the grounds are a prime spot for unearthing artifacts of life before any modern conveniences, like rubbish collection.

"We're digging on the east side of Holmes House, which has always been the backyard of the home and adjacent barn," said Starbuck. "Right behind the rear doors of dwellings is where you find the most artifacts. There are nails from the house, pieces of pottery, buttons and buckles, tobacco pipes, pieces of butchered bone. For the folks who lived in the Holmes House in the 19th century, their lives are reflected all through their backyard in their trash, and the students are helping tell that story. Real archaeology starts with these basic skills in the field. This is real archaeology and it's on their own campus."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 08:08

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