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Jurors Choose Art for Thorne Exhibit

Papermill/Transfer Station, an oil painting by Nathan Sullivan of Jaffrey, N.H., is among the artwork by 74 local artists in the 2011 Biennial Regional Jurors Choice Exhibition.
Papermill/Transfer Station, an oil painting by Nathan Sullivan of Jaffrey, N.H., is among the artwork by 74 local artists in the 2011 Biennial Regional Jurors Choice Exhibition.

KEENE, N.H. 1/24/11 - Jurors chose artwork by 74 local artists for the 2011 Biennial Regional Jurors’ Choice Exhibition, open to artists living within 30 miles of Keene, to be displayed Saturday, February 5, to Thursday, March 10, at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery. The Jurors’ Choice honorees will be announced at a 6:30 p.m. awards ceremony during the opening reception Friday, February 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the gallery located on the Keene State College campus. The reception is hosted by the Friends of the Thorne, which provides the “Best in Show” award. Visitors to the exhibit are invited to vote for a People’s Choice Commendation to be announced February 24.

The competition brought 152 artists to drop off 340 artworks at the gallery on Friday and Saturday, January 7 and 8. Jurors Margaret Burgess, associate curator of Modern and European Art at the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art, and Britta Konau, a writer and independent curator of contemporary art, culled through the work Monday, January 9, and chose 81 pieces for exhibition ranging from traditional landscape paintings to contemporary sculptures.

“We enjoyed seeing so many local artists working skillfully in diverse media, including pastel, watercolor, oil, ceramic, photography, and collage,” explained Burgess and Konau in a statement that opens the exhibit. “Considering New Hampshire’s inspiring natural beauty, we were not surprised to see many landscapes and artists working in realistic styles, capturing the magnificent hills and valleys, and flora and fauna of the area. In addition to the entries of fine art, we were especially pleased to see entries in various crafts - such as textiles and wood turning.”

Before joining the Portland Museum of Art, Burgess worked as a research fellow at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Fellow at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She has also held positions at Buckingham Palace, London; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; and the Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. She earned her Ph.D. in British and American art and art criticism and her master’s degree in 19th-century French painting from the University of Oxford, England. She has an undergraduate degree in art history from Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

Konau’s current outlets for publication include a biweekly art column in a local paper and reviews for artscope magazine. Previously, she was the curator at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport for three years, and held curatorial positions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, both in Washington, D.C.

She received a master of arts degree from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she also worked at the Ackland Art Museum. Konau has extensive experience organizing and jurying exhibitions of contemporary art and was the main author for Dreaming Their Way: Australian Aboriginal Women Painters published by Scala in conjunction with her acclaimed 2006 exhibition of the same title.

The reception and exhibition will be free and open to the public. For further information about the Regional Jurors’ Choice Exhibition, visit the Thorne website at or call 603-358-2720.

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