Art and nature converge at Jackson Ski Touring. (Roger Lohr)
Jackson Ski Touring Center in New Hampshire featured two local abstract painters, in a display of art with nature on a snowy Saturday in February. Instead of a white walled gallery, in its place were walls made from snow, hemlocks, and birches, all places for paintings to hang from... and the beneficiaries were on snowshoes and cross country skis.
During the four hours for viewing, hundreds of cross country skiers and snowshoers were instilled with the energy of culture experiencing the avant garde exhibit called “Art Along the Trails” in Jackson with more than two dozen paintings installed on tree trunks and limbs. Prices of the different sized paintings (some as big as three-by-four feet) ranged from $125 to $2,900. The exhibit had pieces with titles such as “Illuminated Icefalls” and “Cosmic Wash."
The artists hoped to develop a new language by using radically different color palettes to represent local places, landmarks, and the weather of New England. Many of the canvasses were non-representational, measuring four feet by three feet with high contrast colors to express abstract landscapes in the area. The artists believed that the snowy cross country ski trails were the perfect place to host their work.
The painting duo, Rebecca Klementovich and Kristen Pobatschnig from Conway, N.H. refer to themselves as the "Femme Fatales of the North" and they are working to bring more attention to female painters in northern New Hampshire, especially abstract artists. Klementovich commented, “We hauled 25 pieces on a sled to set up the show starting at 8 a.m. and it was only seven degrees. It was worth it watching the kids seeing abstract art in what was probably their first experience with abstract art and hoping that the introduction to it would impact them throughout their lives.”
Klementovich, who sells most of her work in galleries located in Boston and southern New England, stated, “only about three percent of sales of abstract art is by women and there is very little recognition of women abstract artists in northern New England, so we wanted to make a statement.” Visit her website for more info about her art.
"The raw power of the landscape in northern New Hampshire is an extraordinary source of inspiration," said Pobatschnig. And the art scene in Jackson, which is emerging as a small gem in rural New England with four galleries and one museum seemed like the perfect place to exhibit the inspiration.