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The Art Place — Show of new works by Peter Ferber opening Feb. 19

by Barbara Gibbs
The Art Place

On Saturday, Feb. 18, The Art Place in downtown Wolfeboro will hold its semi-annual Peter Ferber Gallery Show featuring new original paintings by the local, well-known artist. The unveiling and artist's reception will commence at 9:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend and meet the artist. A snow date is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 19 at 11 a.m.

This morning when I looked out the window at the freshly fallen snow, I saw what I call a "Peter Ferber painting." It's an experience that I have quite often since I've graced the walls at the Art Place with Peter's artwork. In my mind's eye, I can imagine Peter creating that scene in a painting. He has the ability to capture dappled light as it gleans through trees, make perfect cloud formations, and create a wake from a wooden boat to the point where you think you can hear the motor. These are all pictures that Peter is able to capture through his painting. Basically, it is the essence of time standing still. Whatever moment in time, Peter Ferber captures it when he paints--it's put down on paper, and its beauty has been preserved. These snippets of images are a chance for me to step out of myself or what is going on in the world and breath in the beauty of a "Peter Ferber painting." For the rest of you who may or may not have experienced Peter's paintings in your imagination, his artwork can be seen for real in this upcoming show at The Art Place, located at 9 North Main Street in Wolfeboro.

In referencing the upcoming show, Peter states, "As I look over the paintings taking shape for this next show, the common thread I find is that most are offshoots of other work–largely photo reference collected for other paintings that turn out to have merit of their own as a basis for a painting. Last summer I did a large oil of the Robert's Cove view. I took a number of pictures focused on Quarter Mile Island. The way I zoomed in on it from the hillside above created a wonderful composition. There was also a sailboat moored next to it that was perfectly positioned as a center of interest, that hadn't made it into the first painting. Later, going down to the shore for a closer look at the island's trees and ledge, a boat set out for an evening cruise. The visual as it passed the island, and the sense of anticipation you feel heading out into the lake for a boat ride, launched another painting.

"A few years ago in looking through an old photo album in connection with work for Castle in the Clouds, I found a marvelous period image of the Kona Mansion boathouse. Though it only included a portion of it, the detail was so wonderful I knew I needed to make use of it. I've had it in my archive since, and it's finally taken shape in two pieces–a watercolor and a cut paper assemblage. It's interesting to see the same subject approached in such different ways–one playing up the rich colors, the other focused solely on the textures, and the light and shadow.

"From work on a poster project where I was trying to evoke the feel of an Arts and Crafts wood block print, I stumbled on the Tonalist style of painting which was going on during that same period. The painterly style, rich, warm color schemes, and bold compositions have influenced my approach to several of the paintings in this show. It was interesting to find how this style changed the way I looked at my subjects, and made me see possibilities where I might not have before.

"What hasn't changed is my focus on this area which everyday shows us more of its beauty. There are many lovely atmospheric lake landscapes in this collection. In addition to boathouses, there's a porch, a Chris Craft, moonlight, snow, and even a Cornwall (England) cottage, most of which were not my originally intended subjects, but got my attention the second time around."

Since 1994 Peter Ferber has painted the official posters for the New England Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society's annual show, which also come as highly collectable artist proofs. Peter has exhibited in more than 50 shows in New England and the Midwest. He has been featured in a story on WMUR's New Hampshire Chronicles. More than 100 reproductions of his work have been made, including over 70 limited edition prints.

Peter Ferber's Gallery Show at The Art Place will be on display through March 4, or as long as paintings are available. The Art Place is the exclusive gallery for Peter Ferber's original artwork, and produces most of his limited edition prints. The Art Place is open year round. For more information, call 603 569-6159, or toll free 866 569-6159.

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Love 146's Black Dress Gala, a night to turn tragedy into hope

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Michael Higgins, Lindsey Daighneault, Pastor Dick AuCoin, Meredith Abbott, Katrina Keefe, Bryant Keefe, Eric Shanley, Martha AuCoin, Bob Rafferty

LACONIA — The topic of child trafficking and exploitation is one so dark and disturbing that it can be difficult for many to even think about, let alone address. But, Love146, a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization that fights for survivors and against the techniques that traffickers use to exploit and enslave the most vulnerable, has found that more people will engage with the topic if it focuses on the joy of survivor recovery and the hope that the commodification of human beings may one day cease.

That's the atmosphere that Katrina Keefe, event coordinator for the Love146 New Hampshire Volunteer Team, has cultivated for the 2nd Annual Black Dress Gala, a fund raiser for the nonprofit's activities.

The gala, billed as "An evening where glitz meets good," will be held on Friday, Feb. 3, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Belknap Mill. Tickets cost $100 each, and only 100 tickets will be sold. It will be very similar to last year's event, which was a sold-out affair that raised more than $12,000. This year's event is underwritten by sponsors Mainstay Technologies and Mills Industries, so that each dollar raised will be donated to Love146. To inquire about tickets, contact Keefe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The gala will feature a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres donated by the Local Eatery, a live auction of goods and services offered by local businesses, Love146 co-founder and President Rob Morris will speak. Alton artist Tracy Button will create a painting during the event, which will be auctioned off at the end of the evening. Also, a team of Boston-based DJs will provide music for dancing.

Keefe said she wanted to ensure that the event had a celebratory flair.

"We focus on the hope that is available," she said. "They're providing kids with a new life, a new chance. That's why we dance."

The thought of child exploitation is uncomfortable, if not painful, which is why so many are unaware of what it looks like or how extensive it it.

The International Labor Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, estimates that there are 4.5 million people, many of those children, forced into the sex industry. However, as the activity exists underground, precise figures are impossible to report.

What is clear, though, is that there are people, both near and far, who profit by exploiting the financial and emotional vulnerabilities of children. It occurs in Asia, where Love146 first directed its attention and where the organization operates homes for children who have escaped their captors, but it also happens much closer to home. Keefe said that sex trafficking occurs wherever there are large events, such as the NASCAR races in Loudon, or during Laconia Motorcycle Week.

As well as providing resources and services for survivors of exploitation, Love146 is also educating young people about the risk. Traffickers develop a skill set that helps them identify a vulnerable target, and then gain their target's trust and, ultimately, dependency. If potential victims can be alerted to these techniques, they will be able to identify their exploiter while there's still time to escape.

The exploitation of children, taken on its own, is a tragedy. But, with the efforts of organizations that seek to address it, the story can become hopeful and celebratory. That's what makes the Black Dress Gala such a hot ticket, said Keefe.

"We're abel to go, have a fun date night, dancing, and all of that money is going to a good cause," she said.

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The circus is (still) coming to town

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Sylvi Faldetta, 12, practices poses on the aerial fabric. (David Carkhuff/Laconia Daily Sun)


Riding worldwide tide, local classes in circus and performing arts enjoy rise in popularity


LACONIA — A day after the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced its own demise, circus students at the Laconia Community Center climbed, spun and juggled with eager delight.
Erin Lovett Sherman, artistic director of Artsfest, which offers professional instruction in circus and performing arts for youth and adult students, said the headlines generated plenty of conversation but didn't dampen enthusiasm.
Artsfest started its winter session on Jan. 8. On the second week of class, students arrived to the grim news about the 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announcing the end of performances. Changing tastes and battles with animal rights groups took a toll on the American institution, according to owners of the circus. Ringling Bros.' two circus units will conclude their tours with final shows at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., on May 7, and at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on May 21, a Feld Entertainment press release reported. (On Jan. 31, tickets go on sale for April 21-23 shows at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.)
Sherman, artistic director of Artsfest, said she was saddened by the news, as well as the recent bankruptcy of the Big Apple Circus based in New York. An auction of the Big Apple Circus' assets is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7, according to its website (www.bigapplecircus.org). This circus had been in business since 1977.
"It's crazy," Sherman said, shaking her head, while waiting to start teaching students in Laconia on Sunday, Jan. 15.
But circus is an "emerging market," and despite the grim headlines, Sherman said she can't keep up with demand.
"Every year we quadruple our popularity," she said.
"We're really growing right now," Sherman said.
Artsfest will continue with Sunday classes in topics such as aerial fabric, trapeze, lyra or aerial hoop, Spanish web (suspension of an artist on a long. cloth-covered rope), acrobatics and partnering, hoop dance, handstands, flexibility and strength building, and cyr wheel — Sherman's husband, Michael Manning, climbs into a cyr wheel, a heavy ring in which he defies gravity as he forms the spokes of the wheel and rolls across the floor.
People can join instruction any time, Sherman said. She welcomes new students, even halfway through a session, and she offers scholarships. "If a kid is really interested in this and wants to pursue this, I can take them up to the professional level," she said. "If there's a kid in need, I'd love for them to come join us."
The winter session features several accomplished youngsters, whose feats are a combination of gymnastic prowess and fearless grace.
Jennifer Faldetta, a yoga instructor from Central Massachusetts, said she travels for several hours each Sunday to bring her daughter, Sylvi, 12, to Laconia. Faldetta said, "It's worth the drive for us. These guys together are just really excellent coaches."
Sylvi Faldetta scales the aerial fabric, a pair of dangling ribbons, twisting herself into poses far above the community center floor.
"She's just really passionate about it," her mother said. "She's an amazing athlete.
She's incredibly strong and confident."
Sherman said circus instruction helps instill confidence and stamina.
"It's really excellent for team building and leadership skills," she said.
"It's all the athletic training without the competition. So it really fits in well for a lot of kids who don't do well with the competitive aspect of sports training," Sherman said.
Sherman said Laconia is her home town, and she started the community center program about 15 years ago. She recalled growing up and how she was mentored, and wants to be there for kids seeking direction.
"The groups vary each week. Sometimes we have up to 25 kids and sometimes we have eight. We do circus and performing arts training. Some of the kids might be doing it for fitness or for fun or for professional aspirations."
Sherman is a dancer, choreographer, educator and director of youth programs and outreach coordinator for the New England Center for Circus Arts, nonprofit circus school based in Brattleboro, Vt.
In September 2016, the center broke ground on a new home, "which will be the only custom-built circus arts building in the United States," according to the center's website (www.necenterforcircusarts.org).
The New England Center for Circus Arts offers a mastery of circus arts, a three-year college program, which is the nearest equivalent of a bachelor's degree, Sherman said.
"We can't make circus artists fast enough to live up to the market right now," Sherman said. "Right now, in the circus world, there are a lot of jobs. It still is this emerging art form. In Europe it's huge. In Quebec, it's huge, and the schools there are sponsored, they're nationally sponsored."
The entertainment form known as circus arts has been evolving, Sherman said. "It's been evolving for years now. With the introduction of Cirque du Soleil, the face of circus has changed, and it's continuing to grow."
Saying demand for circus arts has been "blossoming and growing and developing all over the world," Sherman described a "forward trajectory that can't be matched. I hope that traditional circus stays alive and evolves with it."
"The kids that graduate from our programs, they have good job prospects," Sherman said.
"Circus is the most popular that it ever has been, and looking to the future it's only getting bigger," she said.

The Artsfest Circus and Performing Arts program includes instruction for students ages 4 and up at 3 p.m. on Sundays at the Laconia Community Center. For details, visit https://www.facebook.com/ARTSFEST.us.

An 'intentional community'

01 10 communal farm mug EjarqueAlton farm being groomed as a communal living project


ALTON — Nearly 50 acres of farmland here could become home to an "intentional community," a group of people growing their own food and living communally, based on the vision of a retired aeronautics engineer.
On Thursday, the architect of this community welcomes interested people to attend a meeting in Durham to explore the idea.
Peter Ejarque of Durham said he is a retired engineer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration with an interest in sustainable agriculture and renewable energy.
"By trade I'm an aerospace engineer. I used to work for NASA. I've lived in a community before, and I'm really fascinated by this," Ejarque said.
The farm he envisions is called "Sunburst."
"I've had a lot of interest. We've had a lot of people apply already," Ejarque said.
But the idea remains in the planning phase.
"We're still in our infancy. We don't have any buildings up on the farm yet," Ejarque said.
According to his Craigslist ad, "Sunburst is a community with plans to be self-supporting, providing jobs through intense aquaculture, hydroponics, beekeeping, internet business, recumbent-bicycle making, and the production of electric bicycles and trikes. Sunburst is a home for those who share high ideals and who know that tomorrow is built today. We are presently in the formative stages: We now own 50 acres of farmland and are in the process of purchasing another 45 acres on which to build our buildings and residential housing. We are building the relationships and the organizational foundations of a community. We are planning on building a cluster of energy-efficient mini-homes/moveable mini-homes on trailers and developing a conference and education center which will demonstrate conservation of energy resources and sustainable agriculture."
Nic Strong, town planner for Alton, confirmed that Ejarque owns 46 acres on Coffin Brook Road in Alton.
"He did get a building permit to put up a couple of pole type greenhouses for his personal use which have not yet been constructed," Strong reported in an email to the Sun. "The property is located in the Rural District, and Agriculture is a permitted use in that district. Depending on the particular agricultural use that is proposed for a property, it may require a minor site plan with the Planning Board. No applications have been submitted to the Alton Planning Board."
Ejarque explained, "We are presently in the formative stages."
The community could spread out to encompass 140 acres, including the nearly 50 acres of farmland in Alton and 48 acres on Lake Wentworth. Another 46 acres about four miles from the Alton site in Barnstead are owned by a nearby property owner who is interested in Ejarque's vision of building residential housing, also in a communal-living style and possibly as an adjunct to the farm, Ejarque said.
Ejarque explained that he learned about the 46-acre site in Barnstead about four months ago, and this discovery of a potential housing hub ignited his interest in gathering a community of people at Alton to generate food on an educational farm.
"We're trying to get this thing to take off. We're not sure how many members we want to have on the farm, in the community, but we have about 15 people who are really interested," Ejarque said.
Ejarque said he lived in an intentional community in Twin Oaks, Virginia. The key is to find like-minded people who will contribute to the farming and living effort, he said.
"We're trying to provide a place where someone can work in in exchange for free room and board," he said.
Ejarque expects to host monthly meetings, with the idea of screening participants. People who have "tiny homes and/or small homes on trailers" are invited to join the community. Ejarque said he plans to bring in two large greenhouses in the spring. He also envisions two storage containers, electric fencing and a small moat around the greenhouses for irrigation. If the project takes off, the farm could include cutting-edge growing methods and solar power.
Citing experience at NASA with hydroponics, the science of growing plants without soil, Ejarque said his home in Durham features a composting heating system, where woodchips and horse manure organically heat up a system of piping.

Many of these areas of study would be incorporated at Sunburst, according to his Craigslist meeting notice.

"The community house will include a pro-type aquaculture system utilizing fish and vegetables. Also we plan to install an underground thermal storage tank for our compost heating system combined with our solar hot water and rocket stoves. This spring we will be putting up another greenhouse for our hydroponic gardens. In addition we will be building a 'living pond' and constructing two sheds to house our rabbits and chickens," he wrote.
Sunburst is ideal "if somebody wants to quit their dead-end job and come out and live on a farm and come out to a community and support it, build up a farm where you can generate your own money," Ejarque said.
Some of the produce may end up in local grocery stores, based on his early inquiries, he said. The intentional community would not hinge on religious affiliation or any kind of "cult" mentality, Ejarque said.
"We're looking for people with a sense of the future and who have some grand ideas and want to change the world," he said.

For more information about Sunburst, visit the Fellowship for Intentional Community at http://www.ic.org/directory/sunburst-2/.
The meeting in Durham is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12. Anyone interested in attending is asked to make a reservation first via http://nh.craigslist.org/apa/5944425632.html.


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Peter Ejarque's house in Durham features renewable energy systems and a spot for his electric car. Ejarque hopes to convert a farm in Alton into an "intentional community," a place for people to live communally and grow food. (Courtesy photo)

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