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Local Artists Create Unique Treasure Boxes for June 23 Auction

June 6, 2007

Local artists Tim Christensen–Kirby (front), Arthur DiMambro, Grace Youngren, Jane Kaufmann, and Valerie Sobel pose with their “treasure boxes” created exclusively for the pirate-themed “Hidden Treasures” auction to be held at The Art Gallery.

One-of-a-kind treasure boxes, made of wood, ceramics, metal, paper, or found objects, have been created and donated by over 25 local artists to the upcoming “Hidden Treasures” auction at The Art Gallery.

Each box has been individually crafted or enhanced by the artists in their signature styles, resulting in truly unique works of art made exclusively for this gala event. Many other original works and antiques, including paintings, photographs, prints, ceramics, and sculpture, as well as textiles, jewelry, and glass, will also be up for bid during the pirate-themed festivities.

“Hidden Treasures” takes place Saturday, June 23, at The Art Gallery, Paul Creative Arts Center. A preview and reception will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. with the auction immediately following. Advance reservations are recommended ($35 per person or $60 per couple) and may be made online at www.unh.edu/art-gallery or by calling 2-3712.

Many of the participating artists have embraced the spirit of the event by creating works with nautical or aquatic references. Durham artist Arthur DiMambro covered his treasure box with fish and placed an extra painting on the inside.

A retired orthopedic surgeon, DiMambro has been a full-time artist since his retirement in 1991. In 2001 his work was featured in a major two-person exhibition, “On Great Bay,” at The Art Gallery with that of his long-time friend, artist Christopher Cook.

Rochester artist Grace Youngren drew a pear on the lid of her treasure chest. It is mirrored by a pear attached to the side of the box. Youngren is a UNH alumna and was recently awarded the James and Eugenia Georgopoulos Memorial Award for Drawing at the New Hampshire Art Association 59th Annual Juried Exhibition held at The Art Gallery.

Jane Kaufmann, a Seacoast potter for forty years, made “Chick of the Sea,” a ceramic mermaid holding a small box. An English major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, she learned about clay by taking summer classes in ceramics at UNH.

Portsmouth resident Valerie Sobel’s embellished box of shells and pearls is enhanced by the hand-painted ship image on the cover. She began her career as an art therapist and is also known for her weavings and jewelry. Her finely crafted string of pearls will be included as a “hidden treasure” inside Jane Kaufmann’s whimsical “Chick of the Sea” treasure box. Sobel currently serves on The Art Gallery’s board of advisors.

Tim Christensen–Kirby, a finalist in this year’s NH Charitable Foundation’s Piscataqua Region Artist Advancement Grant competition, has been working with etched porcelain since 2003. The lid and sides of his black-on-white treasure box are decorated with flying birds flying. He just returned to his studio in the Rollinsford Mills after exhibiting in the 25th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C.

Other artists who have created treasure boxes for the auction include, among others, Jayne Adams, Jennifer Benn, Lindsay Bezick, Sue Anne Bottomley, Andrea Burzon, Judith Heller Cassell, Barbara Conover, Christopher Cook, Eve Corey, Grant Drumheller, Kim Ferreira, Ellen Friel, Melinda A. Haas, Sarah Haskell, Donna Heald, K. Lee Mock, Adam Pearson, Scott Schnepf, Rose Sielian Theriault, Paulette Werger, and Eileen Wong.

Guest auctioneer for “Hidden Treasures” will be Devin Moisan of Devin Moisan Auctioneers, Inc.

“Hidden Treasures” is organized by members of The Art Gallery's Board of Advisors and volunteers. Funds raised from this special event will support exhibitions and public programs at the gallery, the Seacoast's premier art museum where visitors gather to enjoy changing exhibitions, music, lectures, poetry readings, and receptions. Its permanent collection includes 1,500 historical and modern works by American and European artists. The museum welcomes visitors throughout the academic year and is open to students, faculty, members, and the general public free of charge.

For more information or to make advance reservations visit www.unh.edu/art-gallery. To reach The Art Gallery directly, call 2-3712, or send an e-mail to art.gallery@unh.edu.

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