LACONIA — Lending voice to its tag line "Where Art and History Come to Life," the Belknap Mill Society yesterday added a gallery, featuring the work of juried artists, to the offerings of the oldest unaltered textile mill in the United States.
David Stamps, president of the society, said that when vacant space on the second floor failed to attract a tenant, Peter Ellis suggested moving the administrative offices upstairs and opening a gallery downstairs. He said that Ellis and Tom Tardif designed and outfitted the 1,000-square-foot space.
Recalling the mission of the mill — "Education-Art-History-Humanities" — Andre Paquette, vice-president of the board and acting executive director, explained that the gallery will feature the works of juried artists in a variety of mediums — oil, watercolor, charcoal, digital drawings, collage and ceramics — that will be offered for sale. The society will receive a commission from each sale, which will be applied to the support of the mill.
At the opening works by eight artists were on display, including Roger Gagne's images of Canterbury Shaker Village, watercolors and oils by M.L. John, Jeri Ryan Bothamley, Lorraine Gateriewictz, Liz Wilson, Carole Groenke, digital drawings by Marian Federspiel and ceramics with pre-Columbian and Egyptian motifs by Devitt Liptak.
Paquette said that artists are welcome to apply to show their work at the gallery simply by calling the mill at 524-8813 and requesting an application.
CAPTION : The Belknap Mill Society yesterday opened a gallery showcasing the juried work of local artists. On hand for the ribbon cutting were, from left, Peter Ellis, a trustee of the society, artist Roger Gagne, David Stamps, president of the society, artist M.L. John, Karmen Gifford, executive director of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, potter Devitt Liptak and Mary Rivers, also a trustee. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)