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Explore New Zealand Culture Sept. 25 at the Thorne Gallery

KEENE, N.H. 9/08/08 - The public is invited to the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery for a reception that includes a discussion on New Zealand art and culture and the screening of two New Zealand films on Thursday, September 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Maori artist and Fulbright scholar Aroha Dahm and New Zealand Honorary Consul to New England, Simon C. Leeming, discuss and answer questions about New Zealand culture and the art exhibit “Earth and Spirit: Contemporary Indigenous Art from New Zealand and Australia” at 6 p.m. at the gallery located on the Keene State College campus. After the discussion, the KSC Film Society screens two New Zealand films at the Putnam Arts Lecture Hall. Alex, which follows a New Zealand swimmer training for the 1960 Rome Olympics, starts at 7 p.m., and Old Scores, about two old men recreating the controversial 1966 All Blacks/Wales rugby match in New Zealand, shows at 9 p.m. Admission is free to both films, the reception, discussion, and the exhibit.

“Earth and Spirit,” which is open through Sunday, Oct. 19, features indigenous art in a variety of media, including paintings and traditional forms such as weaving and carving in wood and jade.

Dahm, who is on the KSC campus during the week of September 21 and has one of her woven artworks, in the “Earth and Spirit” exhibit, plans to speak to various classes about New Zealand culture and traditional Maori arts such as weaving, carving, and painting. She also is speaking on Sunday, September 21, at 2 p.m. at the Mariposa Museum in Peterborough. A Maori weaver, Dahm learned to weave from family members. She works as a senior lecturer at a polytechnic school in her home town of Wellington, New Zealand. She has exhibited internationally in Spain.

“The Maori heritage is a significant part of modern New Zealand, and Maori words, phrases, ideas, and traditions are a big part of the country’s cultural fabric,” explains Leeming, in a January article in the New Hampshire Bar News.

A partner in the Concord, N.H., law firm of Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau, & Pachios, Leeming has served as New Zealand Honorary Consul to New England since 2001. Born in New Zealand, Leeming is a member of the New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts bar associations, and is a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand. He holds a law degree from Suffolk University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston University. He also studied two years at University College in Cardiff, Wales.

The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday, and noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Hours will be extended from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 1, during the KSC Children’s Literature Festival. The gallery is accessible to people with disabilities. To request accommodations for a disability, please call the gallery at least two weeks before your visit. For information, call 603-358-2720 or visit

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