Portsmouth Historical Society Highlights Three Master Sculptors
“Seacoast Sculpture from Material to Masterwork” will be on display from July 7 through October 1 in the historic Academy Gallery.
2004. Bronze Sculpture by Sumner Winebaum.
Photo by David J. Murray, Swimmers
Metal, ceramics, wood—three renowned seacoast sculptors working in three materials are the focus of the latest groundbreaking exhibition at Discover Portsmouth. “Seacoast Sculpture from Material to Masterwork” (July 7- October 1) unites the career work of master artists Sumner Winebaum, Jane Kaufmann, and Michael Stasiuk in the historic Academy Gallery at 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth. A companion show in the Balcony Gallery—“Sublime Mud!—features work by over two dozen members of the NH Potters Guild. A lecture series accompanies the dual exhibitions, plus special free Saturday morning sculptural workshops for kids and a bonus meet-the-artist Sunday event.
The exhibition is free and open to the public.
“Featuring a retrospective of one of these unique seacoast sculptors would be a treat,” says guest curator Allison Galliher, “but combining three in a single show is an historic event, not to be missed.” Allison Galliher, Lainey McCartney, and Adam Brooks have organized the downstairs exhibition, with The New Hampshire Potters Guild in the balcony.
A seacoast native, Sumner Winebaum enjoyed a successful career in the “Mad Men” era of a legendary New York City advertising firm. Even when working in Europe, he made time to work on his sculpture. Since 1994 Winebaum has dedicated himself fulltime to his metal sculpture, creating clay forms in his York, Maine studio, that are then cast in bronze. His sculptures of the human form are influenced by the iconic work of Auguste Rodin.
For four decades Jane Kaufmann has delighted fans with her colorful ceramic sculptures, inspired by everything from garden flowers to newspaper stories, history, and politics. Her work, small and large, ranges from the humorous to the profound, inspired by whatever ideas and images sprang to her mind or shaped her fearless opinions.
Michael Stasiuk uses recycled objects he finds at flea markets to create one of a kind whimsical sculptures. Kitchen utensils, bowling pins, and other repurposed objects become bunnies, magicians, and more. He continues to work in his Portsmouth studio and a limited number of works will be available in the accompanying balcony gallery.
Cake Bunny, 2015. Michael Stasiuk
Sponsored by the Portsmouth Historical Society, “Material to Masterwork” explores the vision and personalities of this trio of three-dimensional artists in the beautifully renovated 1810-era lower gallery. Upstairs features work by members of the NH Potters Guild, a non-profit ceramic artist group bringing Granite State potters together since 1958. Members include clay artists of all levels and skills, working in both functional and sculptural ceramic arts. Their show, "Sublime Mud! New Hampshire Potters Guild Biennial Show," features a wide variety of traditional ceramic forms, contemporary sculpture, and wall mounted works.
Members Opening Gala – Thursday, July 6, 2017 from 5-7:30 p.m.
Don’t miss the opening celebration of the Portsmouth Historical Society's newest major exhibition, featuring a special tour of the sculpture show before it opens to the public. Enjoy a glass of wine, savor delicious refreshments, and mingle with artists and art-lovers. Admission: $20. To purchase tickets,
Exhibition Lecture Series
To purchase tickets for lectures:
“Bits and Pieces of Ceramics: Reflections on Portsmouth Households, 1720-1920”
Thursday, July 20, 2017, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Archaeologist Martha Pinello presents a reflection on ceramics excavated at pre-European Contact and Historic period archaeological sites on the seacoast reflecting domestic, trade, and manufacture patterns. Ceramic bits and pieces found at local sites reflect global sources and consumer choices revealed in the archaeological record not in museum and private collections. These vessels conveyed culture and status for the owners, their families and guests, and those who prepared and served the meals.
“Conversation with Artist and Curator”
Thursday, August 17, 2017, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Mary Harding, curator of the George Marshall Store Gallery in York, ME, and seacoast sculptor Michael Stasiuk take us behind the scenes in a discussion of the artist’s unique material, process, and technique. Join us as they talk about their twenty-year partnership as curator and artist.
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Christopher Gowell, director of Sanctuary Arts in Eliot, ME, has sculpted the human figure for over forty years. She will be joined by Josh and Lauren Dow of the Green Foundry who have cast the works of many artists, including Sumner Winebaum. Together they discuss the process of turning an artist’s work from clay into a rubber mold, to molten metal, and into bronze.
Doors open at 5 p.m. prior to each lecture with galleries open during the evening. All lectures are at 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
$10 Members, $20 Non-Members. For information, call 603-436-8433
Special Free Family Workshops for Kids
“Creating Sculptures with Found Objects”
Saturday, July 8, 2017, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
What can you make out of a paper towel roll, an egg carton, an old toy or a broken comb? A one-of-a-kind sculpture, that’s what. PHS Education Coordinator, Claire Spollen, leads children in a hands-on activity creating sculptures out of found objects. Each completed sculpture will be painted a solid color to create a piece that has depth, balance, and strength. This activity is inspired by the work of Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), a renowned sculptor whose monochromatic artworks are bold and delicate. Children ages 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Saturday, August 12, 2017, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Garden wire, beads, wood, and glue are the only materials needed for this crafty activity. PHS Education Coordinator, Claire Spollen, guides children in creating their very own wire-and-bead works of art. Wire sculptures introduce children to the art concept of line and space. Once completed, the sculpture will look beautiful in your home and it can be manipulated over and over. Younger visitors will work with pipe cleaners and beads to create their wire sculptures. This project is inspired by Ana Dziengel of BabbleDabbleDo.com. Children ages 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Saturday, September 9, 2017, 10 a.m.- 12 p.m.
Fold it, cut it, bend it, arch it, twist it, crimp it, tear it, roll it, scrunch it, glue it. PHS Education Coordinator, Claire Spollen, guides children in creating colorful three-dimensional sculptures out of construction paper. This art activity will introduce children to abstract design and the works of one of America’s most influential modern artists, Alexander Calder (1898-1976). Children ages 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
“Family Hour with Local Sculptor Michael Stasiuk”
Sunday, September 10, 2017, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Michael Stasiuk, a local artist and teacher, presents his process of creating sculptures through simple joinery between found materials that are mostly wood, metal, or fiber. Stasiuk has worked with students of all ages for several years and in this interactive talk he will introduce them to his artwork. At the end of the talk, Stasiuk will take the group into the gallery for an up-close look at his artwork. This lecture is best for children ages 11 and older.
Exhibition Sponsors include New Hampshire Council for the Arts; Steve Sanger/One Minute Brands; Bigelow & Company; Ashton & Company, PA Donahue, Tucker, & Ciandella, PLLC; Dr. Geoffrey Clark & Martha Fuller Clark; Mr. & Mrs. David F. Remington courtesy of the Hubbard Street Charitable Fund; People's United Bank; Piscataqua Savings Bank; Winebaum Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Anonymous; and Avery Insurance.
Season Sponsor: Rotary Club of Portsmouth