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Women's Caucus for Art, New Hampshire

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  • 09/04/14--07:23: Upcoming Meetings, Fall 2014
  • Exhibitions Meeting: Next meeting is Thursday, September 18, from 10am-noon. Meeting at the Chamberlin House, at 44 Pleasant Street in Concord NH, on the third Thursday of the month. Exhibitions is inspiring and a fun way to get involved in “business of art” process. Please join us! Art Share: Start an Art Share in your area! Come […]

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  • 09/15/14--07:21: WCA/NH Fall Meeting
  • TELL US YOUR STORY! It will be here before we know it. October 25 at the Jaffrey Civic Center, 40 Main Street, Jaffrey, NH at 10:00am. This year’s meeting will coincide with the Tell Me a Story exhibition, which runs from October 17 – November 15, 2014. With that theme in mind, we would like […]

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  • 03/19/15--14:28: Spring meeting!
  • Fabulous Spring Meeting at the Pease Public Library in Plymouth! We caught up on the new activities–both in-progress and planned–and visited the 20 Years–A Celebration exhibition upstairs. Many thanks to Paulette Brace, Kate Higley, and the board for pulling it all together.  We have such a great team. It was wonderful to see you all […]

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    The New Hampshire Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art is 20 years old this year. We were founded in 1995 by a small group of women artist, led by Gail Smuda, as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of women artists. We celebrate 20 years of advocating for women artist in New Hampshire […]

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  • 07/12/15--11:08: WCA/NH Exhibition news
  • Come to the Plymouth Congregational Church for an exhibition of paintings, prints, and drawings by WCA/NH members who live in the Plymouth area. The exhibition is free and open to the public and will run from June 22 to August 14, 2015. • Plymouth Congregational Church, 4 Post Office Square, Plymouth, NH • Our […]

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    The Women’s Caucus for Art/New Hampshire Chapter is part of a national organization that promotes the advancement of women in the visual arts through educational programs, networking, and exhibition opportunities. We were founded in 1995 by a small group of artists led by Gail Smuda and, for twenty years, have been supporting each other in […]

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    Each year, for the past 11 years, the New Hampshire Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art has awarded an annual scholarship of $1,000 to a female NH resident majoring in the visual arts at a NH college or university. The scholarship also awards a one-year membership in WCA/NH, which includes access to exhibition opportunities […]

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    What are Giclée prints and what do they have to do with Rock & Roll? Giclée (pronounced zhee-CLAY) is a term often heard in the artist print market. But what exactly does it mean? First, let’s look at the history. In the early 1980’s, at the dawn of personal computers, there were few choices for […]

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    I stopped by the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire last week to check out the current exhibit “Out of this World & Buoyant Beings” at Gallery 6 and ran into Tess Feltes who curates the art for this lovely art space. I thought about doing a blog post about the space and then thought it […]

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  • 06/29/16--07:38: A Visit with Deb Claffey
  • by Gail Smuda Change is in the air and new habits and criteria are being formed among so many artists who have either retired in the past few years or who are making the transition into retirement today, as is Deb Claffey. Of course artists never really retire. Look at Matisse, bedridden and still working […]

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    Annette Mitchell is a printmaker, painter, quilter, inventor, and teacher. During Annette’s long career, she has studied and worked in most art media. Her current work is diverse, including painting, dimensional assemblages, quilts, and foam plate printing—an innovative printing technique invented by Mitchell. After retiring as Professor of Art and Director of Drawing from Plymouth […]

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  • 11/30/16--12:31: Holiday Party & Fundraiser!!
  • WCA New Hampshire Chapter

    is having a small exhibition of 5″x7″ works

    to benefit our Scholarship

    at the Women’s Club of Concord‘s

    Holiday Party


    Friday, December 2nd

    5:30 to 7:30 pm

    and you are invited!

    No RSVP needed,

    but feel free to bring a gift of food or drink if you wish

    Many Thanks to All Our Members

    Who Donated 5x7 Works to This Effort


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    by Debra Claffey I recently had a chance to sit down with Susan Rock, a long-time member of WCA/NH, at her home in Bow, NH. It was a wet and snowy day, but I could see the winter bones of her gardens as I entered. I’m a professional gardener when I’m not painting, and I […]

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    What are your aims in your work right now? My primary aim is to keep exploring—I think exploration and discovery are at the heart of the art-making process. I’m interested in color contrast and relationships—how colors respond to each other in the painting. My paintings tend to fall into several different themes, which I’ve been […]

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  • 01/24/17--07:33: Interview with Gail Smuda
  • Author’s Note: Gail Smuda and I had planned to meet at Gibson’s bookstore in Concord for this interview, but as luck would have it, we met up unexpectedly at Twiggs in Boscawen, sat down in the comfortable Student Corner, and enjoyed chatting for well over an hour in the midst of Laura Morrison’s work on a changeover of exhibits. Laura is the Gallery Manager at Twiggs and frequently collaborates with Gail on art projects. At one point this became somewhat of a three-part interview.

    How did you first become involved in art and how long you have been teaching?

    Actually, my first serious experiences with art were through an adult education class when I was living in Florida. I was taking an adult education drawing class offered through our town. I had always done crafty things, but had never taken formal art classes. A few months later I took a painting class offered by the drawing teacher in her home. While painting at the first class, someone asked me how long I had been painting and my answer was, “About fifteen minutes.” From that point on, I became involved in pursuing a formal course of study as a nontraditional (I was thirty years old at the time) undergraduate. I also began teaching during my final year, even though I hadn’t finished my degree, because an instructor was needed at a local college and they thought I could do it, and so I did.

    Are there particular artists who have influenced your work or way of working?

    Three that come to mind are Susan Hiller, whom I actually met once, Renee Stout whom I was also lucky enough to actually meet, and Robert Rauschenberg. I admire the way each of these artists both work and think on a conceptual level. My work is conceptual. I recall experiencing a Hiller exhibit at MOMA and having an “Ah, ha moment.” I also remember admiring work by Renee Stout that I saw at the Smithsonian about twenty-five years ago. It was very much idea-based in earth tones, as is much of my own work. There is a certain respect for old and used objects that certainly carries over into my own art. Rauschenberg, of course, had an eclectic sense of putting things together. I admire that as well. It’s a process that might be referred to as an “educated” instinct.

    What are the dominant themes that interest you most?

    Anything to do with history and especially women’s history—particularly with women and women’s work from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

    Gail Smuda, Frida Kahlo Folio

    Gail Smuda, Frida Kahlo Folio, mixed media

    How long have you been involved with WCA?

    I was a member of the WCA Boston Chapter for several years before I co-founded the New Hampshire Chapter in 1995.

    I have noticed you have done some commissioned work as well as collaborative work. Do you plan to pursue both in the future?

    Probably not commission work because at this point in time, I am more interested in pursuing my own immediate interests rather than going through all the changes that it often takes to “get it just right” for what those who are commissioning the work have in mind. But I look forward to pursuing more collaborative work with fiber artist Laura Morrison. The level of trust and respect we have for each other’s work and way of working is amazing! (Author’s note: At this point in the interview, Laura paused her work and was invited to join in. She enthusiastically concurred with what Gail was saying). We never try to convince each other about a certain idea or way we think a project should go, but rather we listen to each other and go with what will work best for the project. Our latest collaboration is called Saw Mill and is about a saw mill run entirely by women in Concord during World War II, following the 1938 hurricane that left many downed trees to be harvested for lumber throughout the state. The first showing of the original piece was at a juried exhibition on Rosie the Riveter in Chicago. We then had the book edition of Saw Mill at Twiggs Gallery during the November 2016 NH Open Doors weekend.

    Has your teaching experience influenced your own art?

    Most definitely—always! A recent example is a student who for the first half of the class accomplished very little, and then once she had had sufficient time to absorb information and gather her thoughts, ended up producing a great altered book. It was a reminder to me that everyone processes information in different ways. This is an important concept to keep in mind when teaching.

    Of your solo exhibitions are there ones that stand out as most satisfying?

    There are two in particular. One was at New England College (NEC) about fifteen or twenty years ago where I was interested in telling a story using selected quotations from women’s diaries found among work donated to the New Hampshire Historical Society, where I worked for a time. Since the journals were all handwritten, I wanted the quotations from them included on the walls of the exhibition using actual handwriting by women. They were handwritten on the walls by female students at NEC. The director at the time, Inez McDermott, was very supportive of this idea and it turned out to be a perfect way to incorporate student participation and interest.

    Another memorable solo exhibition, titled “Historical Fictions,” was a more recent exhibit at AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH. I have been a long time member of AVA and have AVA executive director Bente Torjusen to thank for this show, that was based on my personal views of history. That in itself was memorable, but the most amazing experience was when a long time collector showed up (during terrible winter weather) for the opening and made a good number of purchases. It definitely is worthwhile continuing to send anyone interested in your work show cards of all your upcoming shows—even if you haven’t heard from them in quite some time!

    Gail Smuda interview photo

    Gail Smuda

    What are some of your plans for the upcoming year?

    In a way, I’ve come full circle. My primary interest during the 1980s was political, and I am returning to that because of what is happening to us politically as a nation. I’m returning to an interest in photocopy work that will create a type of “broadside” that is easily reproducible. Book works that I am currently working on are about the subject of injustice including the Sacco and Vanzetti case, the Japanese interment in World War II, and, of course, the Suffragettes. A recent photocopy work is called “Leaving the Ship of State” and has specific commentary on our current situation. I had the idea about the Titanic and found I had all of the parts I needed even though some of the images had been found months and sometimes years ago.


    Featured Image: Gail Smuda, Leaving the Ship of State, mixed media, 11 x 8.5 inches

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    A spectacular show of large artworks is on display at the Gateway Gallery at Great Bay Community College at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth now through March 26.  The gallery serves as the entryway to the college complex. This is a juried show and 16 selections were chosen from 50 entries. Juror, Dr. Annette […]

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    You find a work of art that you love and make the purchase – an inspired investment. But then what? What does it take to keep your art in tip top shape? There are some basic tenets for keeping your art safe. Here are some tips for you: Sunlight First and foremost, do not hang […]

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    It is a mistaken idea that collecting art is only for the super-rich. It is true that there are wealthy individuals who attend high end auctions to spend millions for art. That is only one scenario. There are many more individuals who buy art that they love and fill their home with original artistic creations. […]

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    Liz D’Amico calls her studio “a glorious MESS!” Primarily an assemblage artist, she is working on three different pieces at the same time. “Ring of Fire” (nearing completion) has presented many challenging problems to solve, Liz says, “including how to mount the very heavy ‘innards’ of an old clock and craft handles to manually make […]

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  • 01/07/18--13:24: Meet Mindi Holland!
  • Mindi Holland is one of two artists who were awarded a 2017 WCA/NH Scholarship. She is a senior at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester. I met her at the Fall Members’ Meeting when she gave us all a small presentation about her work. We look forward to working with her. I though […]

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