Photo c/o Jackson Art Studio
A worldwide recognition that celebrates the international collaboration through art, World Art Day first came into inception by the International Association of Art. While the epicenter of this celebration resides in Los Angeles, the ripple effect of honoring art’s important place in society can be felt all the way in the mountains of Mt. Washington Valley!
Not only does the vast expanse of national forest and New England’s highest peak, Mount Washington, provide the ultimate illustration, it also acts as a muse for a community of artists.
The valley’s history is steeped in artistic works from artists hailing from cities such as Boston and New York. These artists would visit the valley for its endless well of inspiration, paint incredible landscapes and then bring them back to buyers in the cities from which they came.
The paintings were so unbelievable “Bostonians” and “New Yorkers” visited the valley in droves, just having to see the White Mountains for themselves. From there the vacation destination, known as the Mount Washington Valley took off!
Years later, the valley has curated a haven for artists. From oil to acrylic to sculpture to landscapes to abstract works of art, the walls of the White Mountain National Forest is home to a hub of creativity. Treasured pieces can be found in the forms of galleries, murals, installations, statues, antiques and more. Tour the art galleries in Mt. Washington Valley, by making your way to each village where you can find local artists and community members doing what they love, and sharing it with the world.
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The Cassidy Gallery is a fine art and craft gallery and features the work of over thirty fine artists and artisans from the Mount Washington Valley and New England. Offering high-quality framed original art by professional artists, many pieces depict local scenes.
Macomber Glass Studio is a glass blowing and metal working studio, open to guests, by chance or by appointment. You can see Nathan blow glass, check out the small gallery, or see some of the works in progress. From January through April, you can also stop by the studio and learn how to blow your own glass ornament for $25.00!
Tin Mountain Conservation Center’s Nature Learning Center hosts many programs out of its Nature Learning Center in Albany. This building is a work of art in itself, utilizing local materials, including 20 species of wood all harvested in New England, most within 10 miles of the Center. Slate covering the lobby, kitchen, classroom and restroom floors was procured from Vermont. The art within the walls of the NLC, is just as impressive and includes natural displays, as well as a mural spanning three walls.
The Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center is home to Fryeburg Academy’s own award-winning music and theater productions. As well as touring musical and theater groups. The LHEPAC is also home to the Pace Gallery which rotates featured art showcases. Each show is unique and evokes a wide range of emotion and presents an array of talent.
Head North to North Conway!
Settlers Green features a walkable art exhibit featuring sixteen pieces of art. Each work in Settlers Green Public Art initiative reflects themes such as dance, community, the whimsical, mountains, granite and fashion. The outlet village has invested deeply into the art community, and is proud to feature artists from around New England, including three local artists. MWV Arts Association hosts a gallery at Norcross Circle in North Conway Village that art enthusiasts can visit. This non-profit also hosts the annual event “Art in the Park,” happening on Saturday, August 1, 2020 and Sunday, August 2, 2020 in Schouler Park right in North Conway Village. MWVAA members also showcase their art at The Met Coffeehouse in North Conway Village and Settlers Green.
Frontside Coffee Roasters is a hometown favorite coffee house. You’ll immediately feel a relaxed vibe when you walk in. The friendly baristas, large windows letting bright light in and walls filled with art immediately invite you to sit back and chill. Frontside rotates featured art regularly, highlighting local and regional artists.
Zeb’s General Store is the epitome of old New England charm. With the state’s longest candy-counter and two floors of New England made gifts and crafts, you’ll immediately be transported to the time of yesteryear. Not only does Zeb’s General Store radiate an old-time feel, it features a 1929 Model A Truck, parked outside the store. A must-stop on your art tour of Mt. Washington Valley!
League of NH Craftsmen is a historical gallery, which features contemporary and traditional fine crafts by over 200 of NH’s finest artists and craftsmen. You can also take an array of classes there including pottery classes!
Vintage Frameworks started out as a hobby for owner Louise Ann Perry, in her barn. She repaired and replaced one-of-a-kind frames back into use, fixing broken ornamentation pieces, and mastering the craft of retouching and refinishing these restored frames to create a final look in keeping with the integrity of the original finish. Soon her hobby turned into a career. Now located in North Conway, Louise's shop now holds an impressive collection of vintage frames from Mission oak, Victorian walnut, and the Ornate gilded multi-tiered frames of the 19th century to the Art Deco and Art Nouveau frames of the early 1900s. And if you can't find what you're looking for, Louise can search her ‘back room’ also known as our frame-making and frame restoration department. Here there are yet many more vintage frames to choose from. In Vintage's showroom, you'll find a showcase of a variety of decorative and local art prints and cards, White Mountain maps, antique engravings, and postcards, as well as ready-to-hang artwork.
The Met is a local hotspot with two locations, one in North Conway Village and one in Settlers Green. Both spots feature art from the members of the Mt. Washington Valley Arts Association. Enjoy works in the form of acrylic and oil paintings, photography and more.
North Country Fair Jewelers: A shop started over fifty years ago, by local, Brian Smith, North Country Fair Jewelers is a hub for rare treasures - both in jewelry and in people. You'll be welcomed with a warm smile, exceptional customer service, and stories shared by Brian and his staff that will keep you entertained for days. North Country is known far and wide for its talents in restoring vintage jewelry. What they find, they bring back to North Country Fair Jewelers, and custom-make pieces for their clients. Not only is restoring vintage jewelry part of their craft, but making custom work but is as well. Now, Brian's team includes the leadership of his son-in-law, Greg Mossman, who is known throughout the country as one of the best restorers of vintage jewelry, as well Brian's daughter, Emily Smith-Mossman who works as a bench jeweler. ogether Emily and Greg help to make a significant impact on the Mt. Washington Valley’s arts and culture scene.
Jewelry by Timothy Psaldakis, just up the road from North Country Fair Jewelers and neighbor to Vintage Frame Works is a working jewelry shop with years of experience in metal smithing, stone setting, repairs and custom order work in all karats of gold, silver, platinum and other metals. Timothy willingly apply his skills to any task at hand; restringing pearls and beads, matching items for your wedding party, sizing rings, converting that old tie tack into a pendant, or cufflinks into earrings! He even offers the opportunity to teach you and your partner to design and make your own wedding rings under his direction.
Keep Going to Jackson!
Jackson Art Studio and Gallery is a working studio where you can find working artists creating and demonstrating on weekends. Jackson Art Studio and Gallery is home to modern, eclectic and interesting works of art.
Ravenwood Curio Shoppe located in Jackson Village, is a work of art in itself. The building is a sight to see, with craftsmanship that looks as though it belongs in a fairytale over a modern day street. Inside you'll find a collection of pottery, sculptures, glasswares, jewelry, and more. Ravenwood Curio Shoppe is also part of the White Mountain Independents, which is a collection of locally owned shops where you'll find something original, and beautiful to cherish.
The Wentworth – An Elegant Country Inn pays homage to its rich history of origin, where it was built as a wedding gift In 1869, by Joshua Trickey for his daughter Georgia Trickey’s marriage to her husband-to-be, General Marshall Wentworth. Historical books, documents, and scrapbooks are maintained in the inn. Something that makes the Wentworth even more special is that its home to paintings by traditional landscape painter, Erik Koeppel.
When looking for art galleries in Mt. Washington Valley, you'll find exactly what you're looking for and more.
For complete trip planning resources and information, explore this site, visitmwv.com, or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) to talk to a Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce rep. To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, go to www.VisitNH.gov.