Friday, June 28, 2019

2019 New Hampshire Festivals, Fairs & Celebrations

Photo: NH Traditional Artist Garry Kalajian demonstrating
blacksmithing at the 2018 Traditional Crafts Days at Canterbury Shaker Village.
Photo by Kayla Schweitzer. 

Summer is here again in New Hampshire! Good weather coupled with great food, music, culture, arts and community- there are lots of celebrations, fairs and festivals to be excited about this summer! Below are some festivals, fairs and other celebrations in and around New Hampshire to enjoy! Make sure to check out area Old Home Days, music and food festivals  and agricultural fairs as well!

June 28-29
Portsmouth, NH
June 29-30               
Canterbury, NH
June 29-30
Washington, D.C.
The Social Power of Music
July 13
Exeter, NH
July 13-14
Warner, NH
July 14
Laconia, NH
July 24-25
Peterborough, NH
July 26-28
Lowell, MA
July 28
Loudon, NH
August 3-11
Newbury, NH
August 4
Nashua, NH
August 16-18
Manchester, NH
August 16-18
Lincoln, NH
Dover, NH
September 6-8
Salisbury, MD
September 7
Laconia, NH
September 7
Somersworth, NH
September 13-15          
Manchester, NH
September 14
Enfield, NH
September 15
Nashua, NH
September 20-22
Lincoln, NH
September 21
Keene, NH
September 21
Tamworth, NH
September 22               
Concord, NH
September 29-30
Portsmouth, NH
October 12
Portsmouth, NH
October 26
Canterbury, NH
November 2-3
Berlin, NH

If there are additional festivals, fairs and/or other celebrations not listed here, please feel free to let us know!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Discover WILD NH Day: The Legacy of the Outdoors on New Hampshire’s Living Cultural Heritage

Photo (L-R): Heritage & Traditional Arts Coordinator Kayla Schweitzer, Traditional Bamboo Fly Rod Maker Fred Kretchman, Black Ash Basket Maker Alice Ogden and Decoy Carver Fred Dolan. Photo by Shelly Angers.
This past Saturday, the Heritage and Traditional Arts Program (HTAP) participated in New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Discover WILD NH Day. As this annual community event explores New Hampshire's wildlife resources and legacy of outdoor traditions, this aligns with the mission of the HTAP Program "to identify, document, preserve, and promote traditional arts and artists in New Hampshire so they continue to be a visible and vital aspect of the state’s living cultural heritage."

New Hampshire has a strong legacy of stewardship of our natural and cultural resources so they will be available for future generations to benefit from.

Through this legacy and abundance of diverse natural resources, a wide array of traditional arts and folklife traditions have grown out of the love and relationship with our landscape- including decoy carving, timber framing, fishing, basket making, snow shoeing, stone wall building and dog sledding.

Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the NH State Council on the Arts and meet with traditional artists who were demonstrating their art forms: traditional bamboo fly rod maker Fred Kretchman, black ash basket maker Alice Ogden and decoy carver Fred Dolan.

Photo: Fred Kretchman  talking with attendees about
the design process for his bamboo fly rods. Photo by Kayla Schweitzer

Photo: Fred Dolan explaining the original
use and design of decoys to attendees. Photo by Kayla Schweitzer.
Photo: Alice Ogden showing
attendees her black ash baskets. Photo by Kayla Schweitzer


Thursday, March 21, 2019

2018-2019 Apprenticeship Spotlight: Fred Dolan and Paul Spencer, Decoy Carving and Painting


Originally designed as simple and utilitarian in form, Decoys, or “working birds,” were used throughout North America to lure birds in range of hunters. Usually carved out of cedar and weighted with lead for balance, decoys were suited to local hunting methods and specific bird species of the region. Like many of our living traditions, the tradition of decoys evolved in result of the passing of the Migratory Bird Act of 1918. This Act prohibited the hunting of over 800 species of migratory birds, which in turn made the demand for decoys decrease. With the lack of “demand,”
Photo: Calling Mallard by Fred Dolan.
Photo submitted by Fred Dolan.
decoy carvers moved from creating simple utilitarian decoys to decorative decoys, in which carvers executed decoys as beautiful portraits of the birds. This iteration of the tradition towards artistic excellence in techniques of carving the sculptural form and painting the sheer beauty of the bird transitioned decoys from their simple, functional form to works of fine craftsmanship and treasured pieces of folk art. Like many generations of master craftsmen and carvers that have shared and passed on their knowledge and skills in the tradition, Fred Dolan has dedicated his life to the mastery of this tradition and sharing his knowledge and skills with others.

Photo: Merganser by Paul Spencer.
Photo submitted by Paul Spencer.
During their 2018-2019 Apprenticeship, Fred Dolan and Paul Spencer will be researching the works of early Master Decoy Carvers, regional style differences, design techniques pertaining to materials and tools and will study basic bird anatomy and topography. As Paul has had previous experience in decoy carving, the team will be creating a Rocking Head Decoy, an innovative style developed by Master Carver Gus Wilson (1864-1950).
“As the state of New Hampshire develops and habitat is lost, I fear that this cultural tradition could be threatened. I strongly believe that our history and culture need to be commemorated and preserved. I take great pleasure in passing on my own knowledge and skills to emerging carvers.” –Master Artist Fred Dolan on why it is important to preserve this tradition in New Hampshire.
This year the NH State Council on the Arts supported by the National Endowment of the Arts was able to fund a total of five Master-Apprentice teams working to preserve and share the knowledge of Decoy Carving & Painting, Russian Icon Painting, Letterpress Printing, Accordion Music of New England and Scotland, and Blacksmithing, specifically focusing on pre-industrial handmade locks. We will be highlighting each of the five Apprenticeship teams in our "Apprenticeship Spotlight" series.
 Apprenticeship grants fund a master traditional artist to teach a qualified apprentice in one-to-one sessions over a period of six to ten months. Traditional arts and folklife – including crafts, music, dance, and foodways -  are passed down from one generation to the next within communities through observation, conversation, imitation and practice and are an important part of our living cultural heritage.

Friday, November 16, 2018

2018-2019 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grants Announced

The NH State Council on the Arts is thrilled to announce the awarding of Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grants to 5 Master and Apprentice teams. Apprenticeship grants help communities preserve their cultural heritage through traditional crafts, music, and dance so that future generations can continue to benefit from them. Apprenticeship grants fund a master traditional artist to teach an experienced apprentice in one-to-one sessions over a period of six to ten months. Nearly every state in the US has an apprenticeship program that is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Here are the 2018-2019 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Teams:

Photo: Sylvia and Anne practicing accordion music at Sylvia's home in Concord.
Photo by Kayla Schweitzer.

Accordion Music of New England and Scotland
Master Artist: Sylvia Miskoe (Concord, NH)
Apprentice: Anne Baier (Bow, NH)

Photo: Cinnamon Teal Decoy by Fred Dolan.
Photo submitted by Fred Dolan.

Decoy Carving & Painting
Master Artist: Fred Dolan (Strafford, NH)
Apprentice: Paul Spencer (Rochester, NH)

Photo: Sarah May and R.P. at press – "Field printing," Hillsboro 2016.
Photo submitted by R.P. Hale. 

Letterpress Printing
Master Artist: R.P. Hale (Concord, NH)
Apprentice: Sarah May Schultz (Epsom, NH)

Photo: St. Nicholas, Miracle Worker Icon by Marina Forbes, 2016.
Photo submitted by Marina Forbes.

Russian Iconography Painting

Master Artist: Marina Forbes (Rochester, NH)
Apprentice: Sister Fran DeMers (Manchester, NH)

Photo: German "Masterpiece" padlock with key
by Kevin Moreau, 2013. Photo submitted by Kevin Moreau.

Blacksmithing (focus on pre-industrial handmade locks)

Master Artist: Kevin Moreau (Brattleboro, VT)
Apprentice: Thomas Boucher (Northwood, NH)