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Meredith Sculpture Walk Committee celebrates more than 20 installations

MEREDITH — Although heavy rainfall dampened the day, more than 50 people gathered at the Chase House yesterday to celebrate the Meredith Sculpture Walk, a year-round, outdoor exhibition of two dozen juried works by New England artists placed throughout the town from the Meredith Library to Scenic Park.

The project grew from the success of the sculptures mounted in the Courtyard off Main Street by the Greater Meredith Program in 2012. In February 2013 the Sculpture Walk Committee, convened to grace public spaces in town with art for residents and visitors alike to enjoy, met for the first time. Bev Lapham, who with Sandy Sullivan chaired the committee, said, "I'm in awe of what these people accomplished."

Within a year the committee had invited some 250 sculptors across New England to submit works, from which the jury would select 24 to be exhibited. "We were the dog that chased the car," Bev Lapham said, "and we caught the car." Altogether the committee received applications from 39 different artists, who together offered 51 sculptures to be exhibited. The jury chose 24, and 23 were installed in five weeks.

Bev Lapham's wife, Liz, who is executive director of the Greater Meredith Program, recalled that a friend, after taking her grandchildren to see the sculptures, told her that her grandson said, "Number 21 is going to be a 'future installation,'" and asked, "Can we come back and see that?"

Bev Lapham explained that the project was underwritten by Meredith Village Savings Bank, Mill Falls at the Lake, Oglethorpe Fine Arts & Crafts and the Beautification Fund of the Greater Meredith Program. The town as well as private property owners provided spaces for the sculptures and the Department of Public Works installed the plinths on which the sculptures are mounted. Each sculptor received a stipend of $150 to meet the expenses of transporting and displaying their works.

Bev Lapham said that sculptures are on loan for between 15 and 18 months and that a fresh "call to artists" will be made this fall or winter. "The contracts are staggered," he said, explaining that five or six of the pieces will be rotated. "We got a really good response our first year," he continued. "Artists talk to each other and with the success we've had, it will be easier to get responses the next time."

Joe De Robertis of Danbury, whose "Feather" stands along the side the Meredith Historical Society on Main Street, welcomed the opportunity to show his work in the streets of town, noting that the market for art work has been marked by more competition, but less demand since the recession.

David Little and Steven Hayden, both of Meredith, collaborated on the the "Black Sailboat" at Scenic Park. Little, whose family traces its roots in town back 100 years, said the work was inspired by a photograph taken by his great-great-grandfather in the 1880s. "I'm so proud, so thrilled to part of the Sculpture Walk," he said. Hayden, who has two works of his own on show, recommended people lie on their backs beneath "Open Water II" to appreciate the work.

Calling himself a "a recovering sculptor," John Weidman, who also contriuted two sculptures to the walk, lauded the town and the committee for promoting the arts in public spaces. "You set yourselves for some interesting comments," he remarked. "I salute you all."

The Sculpture Walk appears to have been an immediate success. Bev Lapham noted that the first printing of 2,000 brochures, with pictures of the sculptures, a map of their locations, a directory of the artists, has been exhausted and a second printing is on its way.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 01:18

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Id. man dives from canoe to avoid approaching motorboat

ALTON – An Idaho man escaped serious injury after he dove out of his canoe to avoid being hit by a motor boat on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Marine Patrol said Robert Johnson, 74, of East Bridgewater, Mass., was "on plane," traveling about 30 mph between Rattlesnake Island and Sleepers Island Friday afternoon when he collided with a 16-foot canoe being paddled by Robert Cavallaro of Driggs, Idaho.

Cavallaro saw the crash coming, and was able to jump from his canoe.

Marine Patrol officials said charges are pending. However, alcohol did not appear to be a factor, they added.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 01:10

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Two injured in Sat. motorcycle crash on Weirs Blvd.

LACONIA — A man and woman were injured when they were thrown from a motorcycle after it collided with the rear of car on Weirs Boulevard on Saturday afternoon.

According to police, the accident occurred around 4:30 p.m. near the Ship Ahoy Condominiums where a Volvo sedan, driven southbound by Mary Clark, 65, of Monson, Mass., stopped to allow several pedestrians to cross the street. A Triumph motorcycle, ridden by Mickey Beall, 49, of Concord and carrying Zandra Fillmore, 47, of Canterbury, collided with the rear of the sedan. Both riders, neither of whom was wearing a helmet, came off the motorcycle. They were transported to Lakes Region General Hospital by the Laconia Fire Department and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Police said alcohol was not a factor in the collision.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 01:08

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Third person charged with manufacturing methampetamine stemming from raid in Meredith last week

LACONIA — A third person has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine following a raid at two homes in Meredith last week.

Joseph Clark, 36, of 906 Stinking Creek Road in LaFollette, Tenn., appeared in the 4th Circuit Court (Laconia Division) by video yesterday.

He is alleged to have conspired with Mark Carpenter, 58, of 388 Daniel Webster Highway, to manufacture methamphetamine. He is being held on $50,000 cash-only bail.

Paperwork filed with the court yesterday said state drug enforcement agents told the Belknap County Sheriff's Department he had been purchasing "unusual high amounts" of psuedo-ephedrine.

Affidavits said Clark made 21 purchases while Carpenter made 12 purchases between May 21 and July 13.

Carpenter and Tracy McGuire, 48, of 230 Meredith Center Road, were two of four people arrested in a two-pronged bust in Meredith on July 23. Douglas Peters, 53, and Crystal Smith, 28, of 9 True Road, were also arrested by police and charged with possession of a controlled drug.

Police said Clark had been seen at the apartment.

During the initial raid, police found a one-pot cook in progress as well as some finished product at Carpenter's home.

During the search of Carpenter's home, police said they found a meth lab inside the workshop portion along with Clark's non-driver Tennessee identification.

Affidavits said Clark was also seen on video purchasing Psuedoephederine.

Belknap County Sheriff Sgt. William Wright said in court yesterday that Clark has an extensive criminal record that includes assault, three convictions for burglary, and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Wright said Clark had a history of not following court orders and, in his opinion, was a danger to the community.

Clark, who was not represented by a lawyer yesterday, didn't argue his bail, but only said that he wasn't going anywhere. He said he had been staying a friend's house.

In a separate but related hearing, Carpenter waived his probable cause hearing for the manufacturing methamphetamine charge and had his bail reduced by agreement from $50,000 cash only to $10,000 cash or corporate surety.

The Sheriff's Department filed an additional charge of possession of heroin against McGuire. She waived her probable cause hearing on the manufacturing methamphetamine charge and her bail was reduced to $10,000 cash or corporate surety.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 01:05

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