Jeff Kolter is an artist, musician, and film maker who has been living and creating art in the Monadnock Region for the last 12 years. He graduated from Keene State in 2008 with a degree in film production, also studying fine art briefly at Savannah College of Art and Design. Since then, Jeff has occasionally put on subversive, surrealist performances which he calls, ‘anti-comedy “experiments”.’ He also writes esoteric poetry, performs in several bands and draws psychedelic detailed ink illustrations. Read more about his vision in his own words:
Spotlighting artist Molly Fletcher:
My personal work explores what it means to be a New England Native. Through buffalo plaid patterns, a suggestion of flannel, and expressive portraiture my work challenges the notion of quaintness that New England is often associated with and emphasizes the often dark sense of humor that this area is known for. Creating traditional and non-traditional venues for art to be viewed has been a passion of mine over the last 15 years. I am impressed with the changes that have been happening in Keene over the past few years. The city’s commitment to the arts is whole-hearted and I feel lucky to be able to create in a community that is so supportive of the arts.
This month we interview Rich & Sandra Neil Wallace of Keene! Who are they? Sandra had a long career in television as an ESPN sportscaster and host of a travel show on public TV. Rich was a senior editor at Highlights for Children magazine. Now they are authors bringing light to inspiring stories!
“We’ve both published several novels, but we consider ourselves investigative journalists,” says Rich. “When we became empty nesters, we moved to Keene, and we love it here.”
We recently spoke with artist, educator, and arts community organizer Mary Goldthwaite Gagne about her work, her connections to the region, and her passion for community. Here is more about her in her own words.
About Mary: I have been making cut paper illustrations since 2012. I have been interested in portraiture since I was a high school student. I am enamored with likeness and family resemblance. In addition to being a visual artist, I teach art and I am the Visual & Performing Arts department chair at ConVal High School in Peterborough, NH. I also am on the leadership team of The Thing in the Spring and Broke: The Affordable Arts Fair.
A Historical Society that brings in innovative practices to celebrate history, culture, and community || by Rick Swanson || For 91 years the Historical Society of Cheshire County has been collecting, preserving, and communicating the history of Cheshire County. We do all the things that other historical societies do – from archives to re-enactments. But that’s not all we do. The museum world is changing and we are changing with it. We fully recognize that people will not return again and again to museums that are just repositories of “old stuff”. Today people support organizations where the public can come to make discoveries about local history and culture, form connections to the past, and create their own sense of place. Our partnerships with artists, writers, and musicians are key ingredients to make that happen.
Two hubs of the Monadnock Region are uniting arts and main street businesses to activate and enliven their communities by hosting arts activities, building partnerships with artists, and encouraging downtown businesses to stay open late every First Friday of the month! Arts are a great driver of tourism, economic activity, and community vibrancy. First Friday Monadnock in Peterborough and First Friday Art Hop in Keene are beginning to build a partnership in which the two groups will come together to co-market the First Friday events in both locations.
Arts education is an equalizer that gives kids in our community - all kids - the skills that help them flourish. That is something that the folks at MoCo Arts in Keene deeply believe in as they work to transform lives through movement and creative expression.
We recently had a chance to talk to their leadership about their programs and their exciting campaign - MoCo Moves: Building MoCo Arts’ Future Capital Campaign - for a brand new facility in Keene for the future of the organization, along with the architect and builders taking on the project. Please enjoy!