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Thorne Season Opens with Pottery and Boston Art

Shogun, a porcelain vase by Brother Thomas

Photograph by Sean Kirby, courtesy Pucker Gallery

KEENE, N.H. 1/8/03 - The Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery will open two exhibitions in February - one showcasing the world-renown pottery of Brother Thomas and the fabric paintings of Ali, and the other exploring the European émigré-influenced 1940s Boston art scene, a watershed for progressive art in the city.

The Boston art world opened its doors to the new viewpoints, styles, and talents of European émigrés who settled in the United States after World War I. The Visionary Decade: New Voices in Art in 1940s Boston traces the work of such luminaries as Jack Levine and Hyman Bloom, both trained in Boston, as well as the German émigré Karl Zerbe. They laid the foundation for the humanist expressionism that would come to define progressive art in Boston.

The Visionary Decade, which runs from Saturday, Feb. 1, through Sunday, March 2, explores the ensuing artistic revolution among Boston artists, dealers, collectors, teachers, and curators. This exhibition, organized by the Boston University Art Gallery in cooperation with the Boston Public Library Print Department, presents prints, drawings, photographs, and paintings presented in a historical context.

Boston is connected to the Thornes second exhibition Visions in Cloth and Clay: Cloth Paintings by Ali and Ceramics by Brother Thomas and Other Fine Art Potters, which runs from Saturday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, March 9. This exhibit features artists represented by Bostons Pucker Gallery, which is lending all the works for this exhibition.

Ali, also known as Alison Cann-Clift, creates landscape and still-life paintings using pastels to achieve detail and a variety of fabrics, such as fine netting, to create the illusion of shadow and form. Ali attended Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and her works reflect her childhood in Cuba and adult travels to Mexico.

Internationally renowned potter Brother Thomas (Bezanson) began making pots after graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and used this craft to earn money for the Benedictine Monastery in Weston Priory, Vt. He later studied in Japan, and much of his work is inspired by what he learned there. He specialized in creating vases, plates, and tea bowls that are graceful in form and covered in richly colored glazes.

Visions in Cloth and Clay is the centerpiece of the Friends of the Thorne K-12 Education Program, which runs Feb. 10-21. Art activities and guided tours for children in kindergarten through high school will be offered during this time. For information, about this free program visit, visit or call 603-358-2737.

The Friends of the Thorne will host an opening reception at the gallery for both exhibits on Friday, Feb. 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Free guided gallery tours through both exhibits are offered at 2 p.m. every Sunday by Keene State art student intern Charles Langille. Reservations are not required.

The Thorne gallery is located on the Keene State College campus and is open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday, and noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The exhibits, reception, and tours are free and open to the public. For information, call 603-358-2720, or visit

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