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Four Artist-Mothers' Insights on Concepts of Mother and Motherhood at PSU


PLYMOUTH — 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 life-size and more-than-life-size, 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.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 10:35

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Belmont Parks & Recreation Flower Show Trip

BELMONT — The Belmont Parks & Recreation is teaming up with Moultonborough Recreation Department to offer a trip to the Boston Flower Show on Thursday, March 13.

The trip will depart the Belmont Park & Ride on 106 at 8:35 a.m. and travel by coach bus (with restroom) to the Seaport World Trade Center. A light snack will be served en route, and we will arrive at the flower show at 10:30 a.m. This year's theme is "Romance in the Garden". Betty Sanders, Master Gardener, is scheduled to lecture about "Fragrance in the Garden".

The bus will leave Boston at 2:30 p.m, stopping at Cracker Barrel in Londonderry for an early dinner on the way back. Seats are limited and pre-registration, with payment, is required. Registration forms are available on the Town website at www.belmontnh.org, or by contacting the recreation department at 267-1865.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 10:29

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International Film series presents Riding Alone on March 3rd

LACONIA — The Laconia Human Relations Committee in cooperation with the Laconia Public Library presents Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, Monday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. This is another presentation as part of the International Film Series shown monthly at the Laconia Public Library.

Gouichi, a Japanese fisherman has not been on good terms with his son, Kenichi, ever since Gouichi’s wife died many years ago. The son is a Japanese filmmaker. Gouichi learns that his son is now dying of liver cancer and travels to Tokyo to see him. Kenichi, still angry that his father left him for a remote fishing town in a northern province to escape the reality of his mother's death, refuses to see his father.

Kenichi's wife gives her father-in-law a video tape made by Kenichi so that Gouichi may learn more about his son. The tape contains footage of Li, a Chinese artist, from a village in Yunnan province of China. In the video tape, Li promised Kenichi to perform the opera, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, for him if he returns the next year. Gouichi, wanting to know his son better, decides to go to China in his sick son's place to film Li's performance.

After many days of difficult travel in China, Gouichi arrives in Li’s Village only to learn that Li has been imprisoned for assaulting someone who insulted his illegitimate son. After much trouble attaining clearances Gouichi gains entry to the prison facility to visit Li. However, Li breaks down in tears and is unable to perform as he misses his son so badly. Gouichi decides to travel to Stone Village where Li’s son lives who has never met his father.

The travels and difficulties of bringing Li and his son together match the difficulties that Gouchi has had in reconciling with his son. Superb photography of the desert areas of western China are brought to life in the travels of Gouchi. Chinese rural life away from urban areas can still be found in this 2005 film that has won foreign film awards.

The Laconia International Film Series is open free to everyone. Brief informal discussion follows the film. Light snacks are provided. Feel free to bring a cushion for comfort in viewing the movie. For more information, contact Len Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Carol Pierce at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 10:25

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Breast Cancer and Beyond March Gathering

LACONIA — The March Breast Cancer and Beyond gathering will be on Monday, March 3,  from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Women's Imaging Center located at Lakes Region General Hospital, Laconia.

March's featured topic will be "Sexuality and Breast Cancer: Get Your Mojo Back".

RSVP appreciated but not required. For more information on the Breast Cancer and Beyond Support Program, contact Ginny Witkin ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) at 527-2940.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 09:58

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