Dennis Perrin opens gallery
Painter Dennis Perrin moved to the Seacoast 27 years ago. He’s lived in a number of its towns, worked out of the Button Factory for years, and sold at many local galleries.
Now he’s in Portsmouth proper at the Dennis Perrin Fine Art Gallery at 125 Daniel St., where he’ll both reside and run a gallery that features his own work.
“The first floor is the gallery, the entire floor. It used to be an office. It’s had several incarnations, so it was ready-made, with track lights and everything,”Perrin says. “We had a nice sign made and put it outside and that’s it.”
The plan is to open weekends and evenings as often as possible, “and anytime there’s an ‘Art ‘Round Town,'” he says. “And we’ll have a grand opening July 12.”
Perrin also rented a studio in a downtown location, “where I’ll be (painting), teaching, running workshops and be doing my live streaming courses there,” he says.
Moving in “feels fabulous,” he says. “Aimee (his wife) and I have long loved Portsmouth, but never lived here. We love that we can walk anywhere. We love it.”
The gallery is also open by appointment just call (603) 205-0425. For more information regarding workshops, classes, etc., check out www.dennisperrinfineart.com.
Margolis invites artists to contribute to projects
Visual artist Aimee Margolis has a few initiatives in the works, and is inviting others to get on board.
Two projects are outcomes of her art manifesto “Not My Fathers Art Work:” the “Wood Sculpting Fest at the New Sculpture Park” and the “YB1 Art Salon in Portsmouth.”
“Not your Fathers Art Anymore” is manifesto, and a call for action.
“Basically, the manifesto says one should have – make – art that has not been regurgitated or done before, that doesn’t mimic the past,” Margolis says.
Too often today’s artists repeat styles of the late 1800s, she says.
“Look, the theater people and music people here are cutting edge. Even the culinary arts are cutting edge in the Seacoast area,” she says. “Why is art still doing impressionism . … They’re lagging behind. … It would be nice to find out why … visual art is so far behind.”
Enter “YB1 – Art Salon,” a gathering that will be held at the La Maison Navarre on Congress Street. “We’re having a call-out for intellectual artists, visual artists, poets, theater, anyone who is interested in the art,” she says. “People can show their work and talk about intellectual issues …. and get real feedback. “Time and date to be decided by participants.” If interested, contact Margolis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second project is the “Wood Sculpting Fest.” Margolis hopes to create a sculpture garden on the property she owns in North Hampton, starting this fall.
“(Sculpture gardens) are wonderful,” Margolis says. “While walking in the park, you come across fine art. It’s a nice surprise.”
The first step is a weekend of carving and presenting work on location.
“I’ve put a call out for artists who sculpt in wood, 3-D or relief form. I don’t mean whittling or craft, but a fine art discipline”
She envisions it as a “carving weekend.”
“I have the wood here. They bring their tools, themselves and their passion. It will be like an art happening in the woods,” she says. “I plan it for this fall, September or October. Really it depends on how the weather is going. As you know, we’re having strange weather.”
She will also gauge it by people’s interest, Margolis says.
The event will offer prizes including a $400 grand prize. Margolis hopes artists are willing to leave work in the park and, if all goes well, the festival will become an annual.
Deadline is July 20. Info at myspace.com/ryegatesculpturepark
Underbelly Tours to be no more
The Portsmouth Underbelly Tour starts its 16th year on July 2, “and this will be the last season,” owner-operator George Hosker Bouley said on June 20. “I just decided that this morning.”
“Well it’s for no other reason then I’ve been doing this for 16 years. When Laura (Pope) and Marion (Marangelli) and I had this idea, I had no idea that this would continue for so long,” Hosker says. “It’s been a wonderful experience and probably my favorite performing experience, but there are other hills to climb.”
“I’m sure I’ll find other opportunities for Silas and Olive (the ‘Underbelly’ characters) to perform, but I haven’t had a weekend off in honestly my entire adult life, including my last 11 years with my husband.”
It’s just time, he says. He still loves it, loves writing and performing the characters, “but it feels like time to me.”
Having recently bought a new home in Atkinson may factor into the equation some. (The home, built in 1780, and 1930, featured in a history book, was once part of the Underground Railroad, he says. He and husband Michael Hosker Bouley will spend time working on the new property.)
There is also the allure of weekends off.
For now, he and Sarah Shanahan (Olive) “are anxious to get started,” he says. “We only have seven walking tours, so you only have seven opportunities over the summer if you want to see the show.”
They will also continue with the “Underbelly at Foster’s,” launched last year. It will run for four Wednesdays, starting July 18, “a dinner theater format … a full lobster dinner.”
“We did them last year, huge success, and we love doing it. … We do all the scandals of York and Southerm Maine … and let me tell you, there is one story that is so completely horrific, it shocked me!” he says. “We’ll also do music as well.”
Hosker will also continue teaching theater and improv classes to youth for the York and Hampton Recreation Departments this summer.
Billy Butler is PSO’s Artist in Residence
Finally caught up with Executive Director Ginna Macdonald of the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, regarding the organization’s selection of Billy Butler as its next Artist in Residence (announced in last week’s column.)
“Butler’s tenure basically starts immediately, but the first performance will be for the Nov. 4 opening concert,” Macdonald says. “We love his energy. We felt in terms of local appeal. it is a good choice.”
There were 10 “very qualified” candidates. It was eventually brought down to four, one backed out for being over-booked.
Butler took the title. “I think John (Page, Music Director) wanted to do something very different – and Billy is it,” she says.
“We wanted someone with a name, and we liked that his work is a little edgier. We wanted to see what collaboration with him would turn up,” Macdonald says. “And Billy being with theater we are trying to up our show …. to improve the overall experience of the performance besides the music. We have the music part down.”
Butler will be involved with all the PSO performances, four mainstage and its “Explore and Learn Concert” for youth.
As for Butler’s feelings on the appointment, “I jumped at the opportunity to apply for the residency. Getting to play in the sandbox with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra? Yes, please!” he says. “Collaborating with an orchestra is one thing, but getting to do it on my home turf is a dream come true. I can’t wait to get started. I have some fun, crazy, if not impossible ideas. Circus, theater, poetry, and music, music, music!”
Jeann McCartin has her eyes and ears out for Seacoast gossip. E-mail email@example.com.