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Art in the House: John Hatch on Display in the President's House

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
September 29, 2010

Wes LaFountain, interim director of the Museum of Art, and Emma Bricker, examine a painting by John Hatch.

When Emma Bricker got the idea to use her residence, the president’s house, as an extension of the Museum of Art, she already had John Hatch in mind. After all, she says, he is one of our own.

Hatch, who died in 1998, was an art professor at UNH for 36 years. In 1996, a fellowship fund was created in his honor. A mural painted by Hatch graces the walls of Kingsbury Hall.

On Tuesday, Bricker helped Wes LaFountain, interim director of UNH’s Museum of Art, create an exhibit of Hatch’s work that will grace parts of the president’s house shared with guests during receptions and gatherings. A public viewing will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. during Homecoming weekend.

On Sunday, Oct. 10, participants and guests at the first Sunday Salon at the Museum of Art will be invited to view the exhibit. Sunday Salon is a five-part discussion series featuring former studio faculty members from the department of art and art history.

"Self-portrait in a Blue Booby, 1967," John Hatch, private collection.

The Oct. 10 program will present Arthur Balderacchi, Christopher Cook, Daniel Valenza, and Melvin Zabarsky. LaFountain will moderate the discussion, which will focus on the early development of the department and the creation of the university's first public gallery spaces.

Wes LaFountain unwraps the 1987 John Hatch painting "White Mountian Brook" a watercolor and sumi ink owned by the Museum of Art.

The 15 Hatch paintings—one that belongs to the museum and the others on loan from private collectors-- will remain on display through Oct. 19, 2010.

“I have seen this done before and wanted to bring the idea here,” Bricker says of the president’s residence being used to display art. “I’d been trying to figure out a way to connect Homecoming and John Hatch and Arts for Life. I think they work together as a good launching point for the idea.”

The plan is for future exhibits to follow.

Adds LaFountain, “This has been a great collaboration. It’s a great idea. The museum is happy to be involved in anything that advances art.”

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