Full Circle Opens in the Edwards Art Gallery

Franz Nicolay
The creative life is an imperative for human beings. It adds challenge, joy, fulfillment, and purpose to one’s trajectory in this physical plane. Recognizing this at an early age, our artists made the decision to embrace bold exploration and cultivate their commitment to working with materials of engagement and expression.  In each case, our alumni directly responded to the culture and dynamic life and environment surrounding them.
Full Circle: 2019 Alumni Art Exhibition opens tonight and will feature the work of five artists: Nate Hicks ’98, Lizzie Legere ’11, Tara Hamer ’98, Carlie Bristow Febo ’06, and Amanda (Simms) Arlington '92. It is worth noting that this is the last exhibit that will be curated by Edwards Art Gallery Director Franz Nicolay.
Nate Hicks embraced the region that shaped his view of the world, and the industrious, inventive, lifestyle that is Maine. With an education in goldsmithing and jewelry design from the University of Vermont and a background in welding and metal fabrication, in 2008 Nate began his jewelry business with the Original Keepah cuff, a bracelet made from an official gauge lobstermen and women use to determine if a lobster is of legal size—or “a keepah.” The honesty of handwork, and Nate’s love of metal transformed into beauty, is evident in the work he presents in the exhibit.
Likewise, Lizzie Legere’s intimate photographs of the winter landscape surrounding her rural home in Waterboro, ME, is a hyper-observant meditation on place, and its quiet, lasting impact on our consciousness. “The forest acts as an open curtain to the winter,” she writes in one observation. “The land feels exposed and clear, but somehow still concealed underneath a departing white veil.” Lizzie’s reflective spirit slows the pace of our own lives, asking us to use these images as a reminder to look closely and long, in every moment—and see the real beauty and value of all life within arm’s reach.
Tara Hamer’s photography allows her to explore the dynamic vitality of lives in transitional moments—the coming together of individuals in a committed relationship, the pregnancy and birth of a child, and the reawakening to life as a family. In addition to photographing weddings, Tara is a newborn photographer for Wentworth Douglass Hospital in Dover, NH.
“Everything that I capture is in an environment that requires me to think on my feet and photograph meaningful moments at the same time,” she says in her artist statement. “I strive to blend classic light posing intertwined with messy, joyful moments so that my clients see themselves in such a way that they feel empowered as well as emotional.” Poignant and profound, those moments in the arc of life, are chosen, and Tara’s photographs mark the portals of transformation.
Carlie Bristow Febo turns her eye to another moment of change in our development. After taking a break from photography for five years, this past year Carlie felt compelled to pick up her camera once again in order to create portraits of the teenage girls with whom she was working. In collaboration with her subjects, Carlie supports young people in their own awakening of self-identity.
“This work centers the subject’s vision and voice, and I look to them as equal collaborators,” says Carlie. “I start planning for each photoshoot by asking how they want to be portrayed and talking through what makes them feel valued. I believe that real change can happen when you give young people agency and a space where they are taken seriously.” These portraits are testaments to the process of emergence, and the nascent power of understanding and recognition.
Amanda Arlington’s photographs are equally striking in her depiction of strident protest within our country. Working in stop-motion design, video, and photography, Amanda has attended as many protests as possible, “to see how Americans are reacting to policies that many see as hateful, violent, and dangerous,” she writes in her bio. “I cannot say this work is objective as this is no time for objectivity. To be clear, I have editorialized this moment in American politics.” You can almost hear the sounds of the street as Amanda’s images reflect the intensity of emotion and purpose. Her photographs become the voice of movement in the present struggle for oppressed, marginalized, and victimized people in our land.
This circle of creative alumni has demonstrated with their lives, in both quietly personal and overt public means, an honest response to their world, based on seasoned experience over the years, post-Holderness. We are fortunate they are in this world making a difference, and that they honor us by freely sharing their lives and collective passion with us. Our creative alumni have come back home, full circle.

Full Circle: 2019 Alumni Art Exhibition will be on exhibit April 12 - May 24.
There will be an opening reception this Friday, April 12 6:00-7:30 PM.
Gallery hours: Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Wednesday and Saturdays, 9:00 AM - Noon.
Please note the exhibit is not open on Sundays.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Franz Nicolay at 603/630-2238 or fnicolay@holderness.org.

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