Facts Sheet: UNH Art Gallery Celebrates Vastness of the Art World with Three New Exhibits Opening Oct. 25

Contact: Lori Gula
UNH Media Relations

October 8, 2003

Small Prints by Members of the Boston Printmakers
Founded in the fall of 1947, the Boston Printmakers began as a small group of senior students and faculty at the Boston Museum School and the Massachusetts College of Art. Led by Ture Bengtz, the head of the Museum School's graphic arts department, and Otis Philbrick, head of the Massachusetts College of Art's painting and graphics department, the fledgling group grew steadily and today numbers more than 300 members.

After the immense success of the group's first exhibition in the spring of 1948 representing the full gamut of printmaking—etchings, drypoints, linocuts, lithographs, engravings, woodcuts, and serigraphs—the Boston Printmakers group expanded its membership scope to include artists from other parts of the United States and Canada, not simply those from the greater Boston and New England region. The group prided itself on its acceptance of all forms of printmaking and styles of representation, becoming known for its inclusiveness, rather than adherence to a particular method of printmaking.

For the Small Prints exhibition, members of the Boston Printmakers were invited to submit prints that measured no more than eight inches square. This traveling exhibition of miniatures showcases the intricate and detailed nature of the print, even exaggerating that characteristic by the constraint of size. The viewer must step closer to the work and become intimately acquainted with each image, line, and hatch mark. The irony of the minute size is that these prints demand attention. They require that the viewer have an up-close, one-on-one dialogue with the artist's work.

Small Prints features the work of more than 70 artists from the United States and Canada. The works range from etchings to digital drawings, each depicting a subject unique to the artist. Their common link is their diminutive size and their ability to connect with the viewer.

Arthur Balderacchi: Drawn to Nature
After 37 years of teaching art at UNH, the artistic legacy of Arthur Balderacchi, one of the Seacoast's finest artists, is being celebrated by an exhibition of drawings and sculptures. With degrees from Duke University and the University of Georgia, Balderacchi's classical training developed his skills and his ability to observe the world and interpret it with beauty and insight. Immediately following his Master of Fine Arts degree, Balderacchi came to teach art at UNH, bringing with him a passion for making art and an enthusiasm for teaching—two enduring qualities that distinguished his career at the university through his retirement in 2001.

From 1965 until 2001, Arthur Balderacchi was a prominent figure in the UNH Department of Art and Art History, teaching a wide range of subjects, including bronze casting, life sculpture, and drawing. Students were drawn to Balderacchi, not only for his obvious talents as an artist, but for his approach to teaching. With humor, enthusiasm, and empathy, he engaged his students in art and conversation, viewing them as individuals who were eager to see the world around them in new ways.

A longtime friend and former colleague, Carl Dawson, now professor of English at the University of Delaware, writes of the artist in the exhibition catalogue saying, “Arthur's drawings can be rich in photographic detail or in dazzlingly pure space, as in the series of apple trees published as a counterpart to another friend's book of poems. Packed with detail, intense in focus, they exude color through the blacks and grays of trees in full leaf or none. Like the nudes and the cliffs, or the cliffs and hills that resemble nudes, they bare the slants of light or shadow, what John Ruskin called the angles of vision, with a kind of compressed passion.”

Drawn to Nature brings together almost 50 works from a long and prolific career. Balderacchi is a master draftsman whose romantic vision enhances every carefully observed landscape and human form. His earlier figure drawings, his renderings of the rocky New England seacoast, his pastoral views of the Italian landscape, and his undulating ceramic and bronze sculptures reveal an artist who has unwaveringly taken his inspiration from the beauty of nature.

India and Nepal: Selections from the Permanent Collection
The intrigue of the Far East has been captured in this small exhibition of Indian and Nepalese works of art. The bronze religious sculptures and miniature paintings are drawn largely from The Art Gallery's permanent collection, with other works on loan from Marion James, a professor emerita of history from UNH and an avid collector of Indian art. With beauty and exoticism, these works tell of a faraway country where the Hindu supreme God, Brahma, takes on various forms and identities as represented in some instances by the elephant-man, Ganesha or the man-God, Vishnu. These works convey the mythological details of an ancient religion still practiced by more than 80 percent of India's population.

Art historian Elinor Gadon comments, “The sculptures, as a whole, are small votive images of the gods and goddesses; the painting masterpieces are based on literary themes made for the Rajput rulers for their private delectation.” Overall these pieces reflect the inherent conflation of religion and everyday life in the Indian and Nepalese cultures. In these countries, a separation of self from religion is incomprehensible. Thus, these works of art are valued all the more for their religious and personal significance.

All three exhibitions will be on view together at The Art Gallery through Dec. 15.