Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Local, Local, Local, Says New Owner Of Upper Valley Gallery

Long River Studios
Long River Studios And Gallery, in Lyme, showcases local art and craft. Co-owner David Celone says he wants the space to promote what he calls the three "L's" — local art from local artists in a local gallery. ";

It’s been about nine months since an arts and crafts gallery in the Upper Valley narrowly averted closure, but today it’s thriving. The Long River Studios and Gallery in Lyme, New Hampshire almost shut its doors last March because the three founders decided they could no longer run it. But the new owner has kept it alive with some unusual events.  

On a balmy evening earlier this fall, about 70 poetry and art lovers helped themselves to wine and cheese as the new co-owner of Long River Studios, David Celone, welcomed the standing-room only audience into the small retail store and gallery. It’s in the center of this tiny picturesque riverside town.    

“And I am absolutely thrilled to introduce to you Barbara Newton, Parker Towle and a little bit later, Alice Fogel,” Celone began. 

“But tonight I’d like to start just by letting you know that this is an art opening, a conversation about how poetry and art connect, and it’s also a conversation about poetry in and of itself by virtue of the fact that Alice will be reading some poetry later on in the evening.”

The event was also a promotion for some of the work on display, including collages by Barbara Newton, a former owner of the Gallery. Long River Studios is selling a richly illustrated book called Poems and Collage by Newton and her friend Parker Towle. Newton showed Towle collages of her favorite landscapes, and he wrote verse in response to the artwork.

“Does all heat come from the sun?” Towle began reading from his poem named in response to Newton’s collage, Winter Shadows.

“Today, leaf buds are dormant, the sun so bright through bare limbs warmth must be rising from below. See how gaps have melted around tree trunks and protruding rocks. Old sol can’t do it all. There must be activity down below. Voices echo in the soil. Release me. Sister spring bursts her shackles beneath our feet. She cries for air, her sleep is ending. She can tell snow melt seeps through the roots of her hair, over her eyelids pleading for light around her fingertips spreading upwards. Daylight returns in my birches, my solitary pines, my hillsides.”

Credit Barbara Newton
"Winter Shadows," a collage by Barbara Newton, inspired a poem by the same name penned by Parker Towle. Both works are found in a new book, "Poems and Collage."

Towle is, by training, a neurologist. Now retired, he’s a poet—a very different career, because he says doctors have to be more rational than poets.

“We have to base our decisions on facts but we are aware of this huge unknown around us,” he told his gallery audience.

And poetry, Towle suggests, can tap into that unknown—into the mysteries of nature. But New Hampshire’s Poet Laureate, Alice Fogel, takes a very different creative route. She writes her poems about highly abstract art.

“I think what I am trying to get at is more consciousness—how does art affect our consciousness? And my inspiration is awe—I want to be awe-struck.”

Credit Alice Fogel
"Gesture," by New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alice Fogel, was recently featured at an event at the newly re-opened Long River Studios and Gallery in Lyme, New Hampshire.

Fogel tries to arrange words on a page in an artful way, so that the poem makes a shape of its own—and it’s often printed with the painting that inspired it. That kind of avant-garde art shares space in this gallery with down-to earth crafts—pottery, jewelry and hand woven apparel.

Co-owner David Celone, a former fund-raiser for Dartmouth College, says the challenge for small town galleries like this is to give rural artists a way to sell work where they live, rather than shipping it all to urban markets. Many artists, he notes, need to live far away from their buyers and patrons in order to find inspiration.

“Or because they want to have that isolation so they can pursue their art without too many interruptions that happen in metro areas where it’s easy to sell art—or easier to sell art,” Celone said.

Celone says he wants Long River Studies and Gallery to promote what he calls the three “L’s”—local art from local artists in a local gallery. And so far, he says, the triple strategy is working to keep art coming into—and going out of—the re-opened doors.

Charlotte Albright lives in Lyndonville and currently works in the Office of Communication at Dartmouth College. She was a VPR reporter from 2012 - 2015, covering the Upper Valley and the Northeast Kingdom. Prior to that she freelanced for VPR for several years.
Latest Stories