New England Destination Guide
I am very excited to have connected with Tomiko Harvey at Passports and Grubs to write this New England Destination Guide! A fellow colleague – Jessie Leiber over at Little Legends Design suggested I do a New England travel guide of the places my work has taken me. Below are some places off the beaten path that are perfect for the aspiring adventurer.
In addition to being a graphic designer, I am a fine art photographer who has exhibited work in over 32 exhibitions in the last 3 years. As an avid traveller, I have made a point to go to the receptions of these exhibitions to mainly network, meet new people and see a new place. I’ve been lucky to have exhibited abroad as well as nationally and have exhibited in almost all of New England. Today, I will share with you gems that cannot be missed that I have discovered while adventuring around New England!
1. Pomfret, CT – Celebrations Gallery and Shoppes
Unfortunately the shop has since closed, but the town of Pomfret, CT is certainly a destination off the beaten path. Located in the heart of Windham County Connecticut, it is a town that boasts beautiful rolling hills and bed and breakfasts that promote a country vacation. The town it’s self is known for a strong artist and crafters community and it’s businesses are a reflection of that. While on a vacation in the country you can stop by local artistsan shops and find the local dressmaker, furniture maker, holistic health practitioners, ceramics and other unique products. One must not forget to stop by Martha’s Herbery for local greens and herbs.
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2. Beverly, MA – Cabot Street Studios
This business has since dissolved and is now Zeitgeist Gallery. I had my first studio at this location for about 6 months. I feel like Beverly often gets overshadowed a lot because Salem, MA is right next store. The tourists flock to Salem for it’s obvious charm, but Beverly, has a lot of charm of it’s own. It is a small artist and holistic practitioner community that is well connected. With Montserrat College of Art right there, it is a great resource and destination for an emerging artist.
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3. Greenfield, MA – The Boxcar Gallery
This location too has since closed (noticing a trend here??). I swear there are galleries my work has been in elsewhere that have remained open! Greenfield is a hub of commerce and culture and one of the cool things about this gallery was that yes, it was indeed an old Boxcar – turned – gallery! Also interesting to note that this particular exhibition had original works of art from JMW Turner. It was pretty cool to exhibit my work amongst a classic. Greenfield is nestled in the Hampshire County in Western MA, and a great location spring and fall – especially so to see the foliage.
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4. Cambridge, MA – Gallery 263, Kathryn Schultz Gallery, University Place Gallery
Cambridge, MA is an interesting city as it houses many famous universities, businesses and is a high tech cosmopolitan city that boasts historical charm. The combination of the past and the future provides a unique symbiosis for emerging fields in art, science and technology. Cambridge, MA has a lot of unique gems and museums to walk through; for example the Harvard Natural History Museum and the MIT Museum provide invigorating stimulation.
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5. Provincetown, MA – Gallery Ehva
This destination has a fond place in my heart because my family and I would take me to Provincetown every summer growing up. As a child, I had dreamed of exhibiting in Provincetown and finally it happened in June 2014! I had met a gallery owner through an arts festival in Provincetown and we connected and planned to exhibit my work in their upcoming show that reflected Amy Winehouse; it featured works done by my age group (20 somethings) which was rare for me. We later partied the night away in Provincetown.
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6. Bethlehem, NH – 42 Maple Contemporary Arts Center
After going to college in the infamous Christmas City in Pennsylvania, being accepted into an exhibition in Bethlehem, NH was the ultimate irony. Bethlehem, NH is very different than Bethlehem, PA especially it’s location. In New Hampshire it is situated in the middle of Franconia National Park. A location where you can see the sights and hike the mountains. My work was accepted into a show called the Bee’s Knees which promoted the depopulation of the Bee species at a location known as “The Tallest Toy Box in Town” – 42 Maple Contemporary Center.
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7. Gloucester, MA – Rocky Neck Arts Colony
Noted as the oldest artists colony in the country, Rocky Neck Arts Colony is nestled in Gloucester, MA – a charming, unique fishing town on the North Shore. The Rocky Neck Arts Colony community center is located in a renovated church in downtown Gloucester on a stretch of rocky land that sticks out into the water. There are many unique shops, galleries and restaurants to wander around. It is a nice way to spend a summer day without having to go all the way to Cape Cod.
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8. Bar Harbor, ME – MDI Biological Laboratory
This exhibition was unique as it was located at a biological laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. The exhibition was celebrating the centennial of Acadia National Park. I have heard of Bar Harbor being an excellent summer destination and with a unique combination of art and science it was a road trip not to be missed. Traveling only 5 hours from Boston, made it be an accessible getaway for the weekend. The trip was short enough where you weren’t stuck in the car all day but long enough to motivate you to stay longer. The area was magnificent with it’s scenic views and blue horizons. It’s a perfect destination for the outdoorsy and the beach goers. As an emerging artist in the field of art and science exploring the biological laboratory was a dream. It was interesting to see the scientists working there and the types of people the reception attracted.
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There you have it! The above locations have a fond place in my heart for they are slightly different than your typical country destination or even your beach community. Adventuring to these locations has been an eye-opener for me to see new sights and senses. It had never occurred to me that you can combine travel with exhibiting art, but if you make a point to attend the events it will naturally become a part of it.
Kristi Beisecker is an artist and freelance designer in Massachusetts. In her spare time she creates photograms using electricity and organic materials with analog darkroom processing. She also reads and writes about science and spirituality, composes and performs music and gives spiritual guidance.