Arts Spotlight: Taryn Fisher & the new League of NH Craftsmen store in downtown Keene

This month for our Artist Spotlight we spoke with Taryn Fisher. She claims she is not an artist herself, but a facilitator - bringing art to people, people to art, and inspiring conversation and connection through the process. She recently opened a branch of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. Here is her story, in her own words.

The new League of NH Craftsmen store in Keene, NH

The new League of NH Craftsmen store in Keene, NH

Over the course of my non-linear career, I've worked as a research analyst, a supply chain executive, a contract negotiator, a program director, and a business school professor. Opening a League of New Hampshire Fine Craft Gallery is the convergence of what matters to me. It presents an opportunity for me to stretch my wings as an entrepreneur and for me to positively impact both individual artists and the community where I live and work. 

Since the 2016 election we have experienced an intensively destructive political environment. I believe that - now more than ever - we need to focus on the genius of humanity, the beauty of art, and the brilliance of individual creativity to remind us of our potential and the importance of aspiration.

Entering the Keene Fine Craft Gallery on Central Square, which showcases an eclectic collection of fine craft with intentional spaciousness, invites an opening of the mind and soul and a celebration of the genius of humanity.

Steve Proctor examines his work in the new League store’s windows.

Steve Proctor examines his work in the new League store’s windows.

Opening a Fine Craft Gallery in Keene presents a tremendous opportunity for positive impact. The juried artists who chose to display their work at the gallery are masters of their craft. Gallery visitors are exposed to world class art in the heart of our community. The gallery supports local artists and the regional economy. A vibrant business heals the wound of an empty storefront and rises the water level for all.

The League of NH Craftsmen was created in 1932 to support local artists during an economically challenging time. Fast forward to today --- there are nine galleries across the state featuring the artwork of juried artists in categories including clay, glass, fiber, printmaking, photography, wood, and more.

league of nh craftsmen sculpture

Once the Keene Fine Craft Gallery is up and running at full speed, I'll turn my attention to the next phase of the project - the Central Square Art Atelier. Final plans for this space, which abuts the Keene Fine Craft Gallery, are in development. Ideally, this second space will be fitted out as an art gallery for installations exploring climate crisis and social justice issues, for artist talks and workshops, and for small-scale concerts and other arts events. Stay tuned for more information about the Central Square Art Atelier, coming soon.

The arts catalyze a region's economic well-being and contribute greatly to our quality of life. Dynamic, walkable communities bring people together for memorable shared experiences. Promoting our region will attract visitors, students, and a diverse array of people who want to live and work here.

Having the Keene Fine Craft Gallery up and running in time for Artwalk and for the international Walldogs festival has validated my assumption that the time and place are here and now. I have been warmly received by neighboring businesses and by hundreds of gallery visitors since I opened on June 1st. I have enjoyed immensely sharing information about the artists and their creative processes.