Friday, September 28, 2012

Appraisal and Assessment Day

McGowan Fine Art announces a free Appraisal and Assessment Day on November 8, from 11 to 3 PM.  It is an opportunity for you to bring in your paintings and prints to have them appraised.  It is also an opportunity to speak directly with the restorers if treasures are in need of repair or cleaning. 

Cory Barbis of Barbis Fine Art Conservation will be here to look at your art on paper.  Cory will give free estimates on cleaning and restoring art that is damaged, such as water stains, mildew, acid damage from improper framing, and tears.  Cory is also able to restore antique or valuable frames.  Several of the pieces that were brought to our last Appraisal and Assessment Day were not considered valuable, but the frames they came in were.  There is presently a demand for antique frames.

Linda Donovan of Conservation of Paintings will be here to look at all works on canvas.  Exposure to smoke from wood fires, smoking or just plain dirty air will discolor a painting.  Restoration will bring back the original color and luster.  Linda is also able to repair tears and flaking paint, and restretch canvases.  She will be giving free assessments as to the condition of your paintings. 

Martha Richardson of Richardson Fine Art of Boston will be giving free verbal appraisals of artwork.  Her specialty is American and European paintings, but she is also familiar with a number of other mediums.  She will give free verbal appraisals, but if you need a written appraisal for insurance or donation reasons, she is happy to discuss that with you.

The last Appraisal and Assessment Day, five years ago, was a very successful event and fun for all.  There was never more than a twenty minute wait, but most people enjoyed listening in on assessments of others' treasures.  It was an opportunity to speak with one of the specialists and perhaps be surprised.  Remember that values are established by auction records, so if work by an artist has not been sold at an auction, no value will be assigned other than "decorative" value.  We hope to see you here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gary Haven Smith - Reflections

McGowan Fine Art announces the opening of “Reflections” featuring recent paintings and sculptures by Gary Haven Smith. The show will run from October 9 - November 9, with an opening reception on October 12 from 5 to 7 PM.  It is free and open to the public.

Gary Haven Smith has long been recognized as one of New Hampshire’s premier sculptors – completing such public works as The Source, a large sculpture at the Thorne-Sagendorf Gallery at Keene State College and the fountain in the entry of Concord Hospital. Many of his paintings and sculptures are in private and public collections throughout the state including the Currier Museum of Art and the New Britain Museum of Art.

Gary continues to coax art from stone, lead and slate, letting the tools take the lead in the design. His most recent work has moved towards a sparer, more elegant look with fewer colors. “I am pushing the tools more than the materials” says Smith. And sometimes that push requires restraint. This is evident in the large painting “Vernalis.” The grain of the slate creates waves of concentric pattern which are broken up by the organic forms of gold leaf ebbing and flowing across the surface. The grid pattern of the slate pieces adds a geometric orderliness to the painting. “My paintings are moving away from color and towards etching and gilding of the surface. The texture of the materials does enough.”

Smith continues to explore mechanically controlled cutting of granite boulders to create his sculptures. In “One the Way II” he has allowed the diamond tipped blade to slowly drop through a stone while it rotates on a turntable. Cutting at approximately an inch an hour the movement creates a tight helix. “The sculptures are about what is there and what isn’t there,” says Smith. It creates an interesting give and take between the ghost silhouette of the former stone and the freshly cut outline.

There will be a studio tour at Mr. Smith’s home on October 20 at 11 AM. People interested in attending should RSVP to the gallery at 603-225-2515. The group will meet at McGowan Fine Art at 10:30 AM to carpool to his studio.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Amanda and Jessica's road trip to Vermont

Amanda and I trekked to Vermont a couple weeks ago for two corporate installations. I normally assist Amanda behind the scenes, so it was fun to finally see Amanda in action. We began our day bright and early, leaving NH at 5am. Amanda already had her car packed, and I already stopped for coffee, so we were ready to go. 

Our first appointment was at 8am in Bristol, at Bristol Internal Medicine. Amanda recently selected prints depicting New England landscapes and still lifes to install in their beautiful new building.

Since the building is not yet open, we had the space to ourselves. Amanda had previously carefully planned where each print would be placed. First, she showed me her installation process.

Then, I gave it a try.

We divided up the prints, and between the two of us, we finished installing ahead of schedule. 


 It was nice to walk through the building when we were finished, and see how the bright, cheerful prints really transformed the space, giving it the finishing touch.


Since we finished early, we headed towards our next appointment in Middlebury, at Addison Family Medicine. We stopped to check out Middlebury's downtown since we had a little time to spare.  We visited a few galleries, and stopped into a children's consignment shop, June Bug, to pick up a little souvenir for my son. (I couldn't resist!) It was about lunch time, and after multiple recommendations, decided to check out Costello's Market.


I had the most delicious goat cheese stuffed red pepper, and the meat tart. Amanda had what she describes as "the best lasagna of my entire life!" (Well, second to her grandmother's lasagna, of course.) Definitely check out Costello's Market if you are in the Middlebury area. We loved it.

We also saw these adorable sugar packets at Costello's...

After lunch and a nice walk downtown, we headed to our next destination, Addison Family Medicine. This installation was different than our first, as we worked around staff and patients. Amanda and I came up with a system where she would do the measurements, and then I would hang the print, to efficiently get us in and out of the rooms discreetly in between patients. It was fun to work with the staff, and help select the best piece for their work space. We ended up doing a little swapping around, and everyone was pleased with the end result. 

It was a great trip, and gave me a much better understanding of the corporate side of our business, seeing a corporate project from start to finish. It was so rewarding to see how gorgeous the finish product looks, but also how happy the art made the staff and their clients.

If you have any questions about corporate consulting, please contact Amanda Lacasse,