Working the Layers Opens at the Gallery October 5th

The Gallery at WREN presents:
Working the Layers | Works by Nancy E. Adams and Martha Elmes

On Friday, October 5, from 5-7pm, the Gallery at WREN presents the opening reception of Working the Layers, featuring two artist who work in layered mediums to achieve reflections of the world around us.

Nancy E. Adams is a mixed-medium encaustic artist who manipulates hand-dyed cotton to mimic colorful sunrises, sunsets, and ocean storms. Martha Elmes is a paper artist, printer, and painter who layers and arranges her mediums to create imaginative, winsome, and provocative pieces. Both artists invite viewers to spend time with their works, to contemplate not just the product, but also the process of creating art.

The opening reception is part of the monthly First Friday events in Bethlehem, which include exhibits at 42 Maple Contemporary Art Center, Maia Papaya, and Rek•Lis Brewery. After the reception, Working the Layers will be on display in the Gallery at WREN during the month of October, open daily from 10am-5pm.

Martha Elmes is an artist and art educator with a BA from St. Lawrence University and a MA in Arts and Education from Lesley University. She is a longtime Adjunct Art Faculty at Lyndon State College and past resident at the Vermont Studio Center. She taught Art in area schools for over 40 years. She is now repurposed as a paper artist, printer, and painter. Martha has exhibited in many Vermont galleries, including Burlington’s Flynn Theater for Discover Jazz commemorating Miles Davis and the music of “Bitches Brew”, and the “Arts Connects” Juried show at Catamount Arts. She has work in galleries in New Orleans on Royal Street, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Nancy E. Adams is a mixed-media encaustic artist who blends her interests in photography and fiber arts with the luminous quality of beeswax to create dreamlike seascapes and landscapes. Her technique of manipulating hand-dyed cotton contrasts with the more traditional process wherein color is achieved through the use of colored encaustic medium. Recurring ocean and mountain themes predominate and are a reflection of the artist’s New England heritage. Nancy enjoyed a 25-year horticultural career with UNH Cooperative Extension before pursuing her artistic talents full time. Nancy established Studio 25 in 2004 as a NH fiber arts studio dedicated to creating functional art – scarves, handbags and fashion accessories. That same year, she became a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen (LNHC). Her work can be seen at LNHC retail stores, Exeter Fine Crafts, at WREN, and on her website:

Meet the Artists of PEOPLE AND PLACE

On Friday, March 2, from 5-7pm the Gallery at WREN presents the opening reception of People and Place, featuring paintings by Andy Frost and Rachel Van Wylen. The paintings explore concepts of identity, intimacy, and inspiration through the parallel lenses of abstract portraiture and modern traditional landscape painting. Faces become windows into inner worlds, while sweeping landscapes and intricate architectures reveal poignancies about longing, belonging and what it means to be home. Van Wylen likes to paint on location because it gives her an authentic experience of each place, to smell the air, see the light from the windows flickering on the walls of the rooms, and talk to the people who call that place home. Frost explores the concept of neighbors in his bold and colorful pieces, each one an homage to an artist, friend or family member in a style that embraces the innocence and joy of childhood.

The exhibit is part of the First Friday events in Bethlehem, which include exhibits at 42 Maple Contemporary Art Center.
People and Place is generously sponsored by Leigh Starer Landscape Design.


Andy Frost_Gallery Shot 12-10-17Andy Frost describes himself as a “multi-media, multi-disciplined, multi-cultural, visual and word artist.” He studied at Boston College, Plymouth State University, and at the University of Oregon. His work has been featured in galleries and cultural centers, including the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, MA, the Provincetown Center for the Arts and Museum in Provincetown, MA, the Pagus Gallery in Norristown, PA and the Siena Art Institute in Siena, Italy among others. His writing and artwork have been published in The Tequila Review, Boston Arts Journal, The Grub Street Rag and The Drum Magazine. Art, for Frost, articulates otherwise inexpressible emotions, and provides light in a world that often feels quite dark.


Photo, Rachel Van WylenRachel Van Wylen’s interest in the idea of places and spaces began when she was a graduate student in New York City, living in a tiny apartment, which eventually led to an interest in exploring the freedom of ‘plein-air’ or ‘outdoor’ painting. Originally from Michigan, Van Wylen studied Art and English at Gordon College, fine art in Orvieto, Italy, and at the New York Academy of Art, where she earned her MFA in 2009. She has won high profile art competitions, and has shown her work throughout the Midwest, Northeast and Italy. She has taught at a number of schools and arts organizations, including Boston Trinity Academy, the Menino Art Center, and Spring Arbor University. She is currently the Art Department Chair at The White Mountain School, in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, where she has been actively connecting her students to the vibrant art community in Bethlehem and throughout the North Country




FullSizeRenderTracy Hayes is a mixed media artist, who has been showing in group, solo and themed shows since 2012.  A native of Nashua, NH who holds a BFA in Painting from New Hampshire Institute of Art, Hayes cites a concern for individual voice as a key impulse for the emergence of her current body of work.  Efforts in struggling to reach out and chart a path, buffeted and twisted by external forces; these are the catalyst. Hayes is pleased that resultant effects are organic, at times cellular and appear to be influenced from nature, though she claims these aren’t the goals in her creation: “I seek what is universal, and strive to uncover what is unique; if the forms and patterns that emerges from my marks coalesce and are reminiscent of things embedded in my memory, I am pleased.”

Connections and patterns emerge in intersections and crevices.   I have no preconceived notion of where my work is heading when I begin, other than to feel that it’s authentically “of me.”  This process of coming to know oneself and one’s environment through one’s work, this is the mystery in which I place my faith and journey daily.

ryanChristine Ryan was born in Massachusetts; she has lived in New Hampshire for over forty years.  Her oil paintings of landscapes and floral have been on display for the past ten years in local galleries, businesses, hospitals and libraries.  Her current work is more centered on contemporary paintings of rust and landscapes.  She has also been pushing the envelope with experimenting with sculptures made from car parts and everyday objects.   In 2017 Christine earned her Masters of Fine Art – Visual Arts from New Hampshire Institute of Art.

 I have a strong affinity with rusty old cars and metal because of my experience working with my family’s antique car restoration shop in Southern New Hampshire. The hues of rust resonate with me and feel like home. The oxidation of rust tells a story of its decomposition and loss.

jim lorette mysterious orrery vesselJim Lorette 
I grew up in a small NH. town were one end of main street emerged out of the lake  and the other end terminated into the town cemetery.  The town had no store, gas station or retail business and the post office was in a neighbor’s kitchen.  I walked a mile to a three room school house that had three teachers and grades one through six. I was in a class of five children. When the weather was fine we held classes outside under the apple trees or down at the lake. I would spend days watching wildlife, clouds, stars, sunrises, sunsets, hiking, swimming and sitting under waterfalls to cool off. It was this early exposure to nature that influenced my desire to create artful objects that challenge, entertain, and teach through observation and discovery.

The power of observation can be an incredible source of knowledge that allows you to see and experience things around you in a far more enhanced way.  Our perception of our world is directly related to how we interpret and relate to our environment. Materials, color, smell, texture, sound, light and temperature all greatly affect our emotions. Nature reveals patterns that show how we are influenced and connected by forces around us on many levels from the micro to the macro.

Introducing HOP sessions!

HOP logo Introducing HOP sessions!
One-on-one hour long sessions to help WREN Members overcome common business challenges!

Sometimes you’re stuck on some aspect of running your business as an artist, and just need a little bit of help to get back on track or get moving in the right direction. Or you’re ready to take your business to the next level, but you don’t have the time or resources to invest a whole year or more in your career. Maybe you’ve found that you learn best in one-on-one situations as opposed to group settings. If any of these scenarios describe you, then The Gallery at WREN’s new HOP Sessions might be just what you need. HOP stands for Helping Our People and is designed to give artists and entrepreneurs focused one-on-one help on a range of business of art topics in short, stand alone, no-nonsense sessions. Where the LEAP curriculum is comprehensive, cumulative and designed to transform one’s business plan as an artist over the course of a year, HOP is nuts and bolts help/feedback/instruction delivered in an hour, scheduled at the member’s convenience, and tailored to the member’s specific and individual needs.Members can sign up for one-hour sessions with Gallery Manager Katherine Ferrier, to get help with the common business challenges, including:
  • Pricing Artwork
  • Writing and Editing a Bio
  • Writing and Editing an Artist Statement
  • Setting up an Instagram Account
  • Navigating Facebook
  • Deciding which galleries/opportunities to apply for
  • Presentation (“packaging”) of Work (frames, mats, hanging devices, etc)
  • How to Write and Deliver an Artist Talk
  • Putting together a strong gallery application
Need help with something you don’t see covered? E-mail with your question or challenge, and we’ll design a session just for you. In-person sessions are available on most first and second Mondays of the month. Video Sessions can be booked at other times, pending availability. Check the calendar for available sessions. Keep in mind HOP sessions are designed to tackle a single issue or topic, to get you unstuck and moving forward towards success in your business. WREN has an array of resources to help with big-picture business growth, such as our nationally recognized BETA program, and our year long business of art series, LEAP.
$45 for members. Free to members who income-qualify.
For scholarship application, click here: Free Business MembershipScholarship Application Form
Link to signup on WREN calendar.

Meet the Artists of EARTH ALCHEMY!










Susan Retz is an architect turned watercolor painter based in Franconia. Born in Paris, France to American parents, she grew up in the DC area. Retz studied architecture at Case Western Reserve University, and went on to become a practicing architect for nearly forty years. When she retired she moved with her husband, Chuck Lovett, to Franconia, where she was drawn to the art community. She has studied drawing, painting, felting and clay at the Littleton Studio School, and has exhibited her work there, as well as at Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Cold Mountain Café in Bethlehem and Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Susan is active in her New Hampshire community through Moose Track Studio, where she paints, in watercolors, oil and acrylics; the Littleton Studio School, White Mountain Garden Club and WREN, where she is a member of the Board of Directors.

I am attempting to reinvent myself as an artist.  The act of creating pulls upon my heart which pushes me to the studio to work.  Inspired by the ever changing beauty of the North Country, I am pursuing my passion for color, light and nature. Every day brings transformation and a visual joy that I find fascinating.  Watching clouds move, the garden grow, and seasons change I’m learning to see with an artist’s eye the nature surrounding us.


Marghie SeymourMarghie Seymour has made a living as a farmer, a logger, the manager of the local landfill and recycling program, a solid waste planner, executive director of a small recycling non-profit, and a bankruptcy attorney, thought she now happily calls herself a potter. She skyrocketed to local pottery fame a few years back when she designed a simple garlic grater that ended up having a wide commercial appeal. She now makes them by the thousands and in turn they pay the bills, make a pottery studio a necessity, and provide an excuse to be muddy most of the time. It is also a job that allows her to spend half of each year in New Mexico, where most of her family has settled down and where the landscape offers ever-changing colors, patterns, and shapes that provide an inspiration never necessary to any of her other careers.
Marghie loves the look and feel of antique vessels and, in her recent work, strives to recreate the atmosphere and tactility of both functional and decorative pots and vases found in ancient cultures and in more simple modern ones.

After all, what more unlikely transformation can there be than to take a lump of wet mud and make it into a vessel, a whistle, a teapot, or a mug? And so, making things both useful and beautiful from handfuls of mud brings me a satisfaction I am both intimately familiar with and completely surprised by each time.  I love opening the kiln and seeing the end result of my work.  I love the feel of the pots I make, the endless surprises of texture and color, the heft and the curves and the solidity.  I feel connected to the earth and the past in my clay work and the more I do, the better the connection feels.




Meet the June Artists in The Gallery at WREN!

The Gallery at WREN presents:
WILD WONDER :: Carole Keller and Mimi Wiggin 

18836952_1302292723153158_4332897009734869183_o (1)On Friday, June 2nd from 5-7pm the Gallery at WREN presents the opening reception of WILD WONDER, an exhibit of paintings by Carole Keller and Mimi Wiggin. The exhibit is sponsored in part by The Littleton Coin Company, and highlights the talents of two North Country painters who share a love of wild animals, and the natural world.

Wiggin says “The wonderment of the outdoors has always been exciting to me. In my paintings I want to pass along this excitement and raise awareness of what is in our “backyards” as an encouragement for all of us to live in harmony with our natural surroundings.”

The opening reception is part of Bethlehem’s First Friday celebration of art, which includes exhibits at Maia Papaya, and 42 Maple. This exhibit runs through June and is free and open to the public. The Gallery at WREN is open daily from 10am-5pm.

Carole Keller was raised in rural NH and began painting at an early. She studied painting and art history at Plymouth Sate College with Mary Taylor. She has lived and worked in Florida and California, where she studied with Georgia Abood. She is a member of the NH Art Association and the Lakes Region Art Association, and shows her work in Portsmouth at NW Barrett Gallery and at the Bleu Waves Gallery in Meredith. Keller teaches oil painting classes at her studio in the summer.

“I am inspired by painters like Sorolla, who have gone before me, lighting the way.I am intrigued by the way the light bounces around my subjects and the colors it creates. I grapple with bringing my strokes, one at a time, loosely to the canvas with the desire to push the lights and the temperatures in the hidden shadow areas. I am forever working out the temperature of the strokes I lay next to each other as I go.

I make art because it’s impossible not to.”

Mimi Wiggin is an award-winning oil painter whose depictions of birds, wildlife and local scenes have been featured in Kearsarge Magazine, SooNipi Magazine, The Art & Gallery Guide, and Forest Notes, as well as on the cover and in illustrations of a book about 19th Century Women Writers from New Hampshire. Mimi lives in the Mink Hills of Warner, NH with her freelance writer husband Larry Sullivan. Her work can be seen in: Surroundings Art Gallery Center in Sandwich and at The Gallery at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner.

“The wonderment of the outdoors has always been exciting to me.  In my paintings I want to pass along this excitement and raise awareness of what is in our “backyards” as an encouragement for all of us to live in harmony with our natural surroundings”.