Like many organizations, Monadnock Art/Friends of the Dublin Art Colony were forced to put its big anniversary celebration on hold in 2020.
But that only means they can go a little bigger to mark the 25-year milestone this fall to commemorate all that has transpired since the first art tour was held in 1995.
On Saturday, Monadnock Art/Friends of the Dublin Art Colony will host a festive party at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture in Peterborough to celebrate the opening of the annual Art Tour Preview Exhibit, featuring ceramics, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, glassworks, fiber art and more, and a special exhibition to honor the history of the Dublin Art Colony.
The preview exhibit will feature more than 100 works from the 60-plus artists taking part in the tour to be held Oct. 9-11, as well as 21 pieces created by artists who used the region as a place to hone their craft dating back to the 1880s.
“We really wanted to do something to tie to the origins of where this started,” said Monadnock Art President Joe Caracappa. “The people that created the organization had a deep love of these artists.”
The Dublin Art Colony got its start when Abbott Handerson Thayer moved to the area in the 1880s, according to Michelle Stahl, executive director of the Monadnock Center.
Soon Thayer was giving classes to wealthy art enthusiasts from places like New York and Boston and other artists came to the region in the summer months to work with Thayer. The likes of George de Forest Brush, Joseph Lindon Smith, William Preston Phelps and Lilla Cabot Perry made up the first wave of artists in the Dublin Art Colony, while others like Richard Sumner Meryman, Barry Faulkner, Alexander James, Albert Duvall Quigley and Gouri Ivanov-Rinov came along later, several of them studying under the tutelage of Thayer.
“Abbott Thayer is a major American artist,” Stahl said. “A major name in art history. Some of the others are not that well known, but they should be.”
The exhibition, titled Artists of the Dublin Art Colony, is made up of works from private collections and historical institutions and pays homage to the early artistic energy of the region.
“It’s a very eclectic group of paintings and an interesting way to sample the works of the Dublin Colony artists,” Stahl said.
Stahl studied art history in college and grad school and completed her undergrad capstone project on one of Thayer’s students, Elizabeth Brooks Fuller.
“So this is actually something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” she said of the exhibit.
The show includes a number of views of Mount Monadnock, streetscapes, landscapes and portraits.
“It’s interesting to see the breadth of subject matter these artists engaged with,” Stahl said.
Caracappa said the ability to show the early works was only made possible by the generosity of those who possessed the paintings.
“The work is beautiful,” he said. “It’s definitely worth going over and taking a look.”
Monadnock Art/Friends of the Dublin Art Colony celebration will be held Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Monadnock Center from 4 to 7 p.m. There will be free cider and doughnuts, musical entertainment and an art raffle.
At the opening you can grab a map to plan your itinerary for the tour. All works in the tour preview exhibit are available for purchase.
“It’s a good place to see all the works and plan what artists you want to see,” Caracappa said.
The exhibits continue through Oct. 30 with new works being added throughout the month. During the Art Tour weekend, the exhibitions will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from Oct. 13-30, gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and masks are required inside the Monadnock Center.