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"Where The Creative Spirit Thrives, A Community Will Thrive"

"The Groton Inn—1920s.’" Pastel by Bedford, NH artist Betsy Craumer on dislay at the new Groton Inn. Betsy’s family owned the original Groton Inn from 1900-1938 and this painting was based on a family photo from the 1920s.

by Barbara Scofidio

 

     When the new Groton Inn was just an idea, before the foundation was dug, before any concrete was poured and before a single steel beam was raised, the owners and managers of the new Inn said that they intended to support and participate actively in the life of the local community. Skeptics could reasonably ask whether such ‘happy talk’ would match actions. But the Inn has been true to their philosophy and their word, as many residents and owners of small local businesses can attest.

   And now, the Groton Inn’s vision for community engagement and development is taking another step forward as it teams up with Groton’s NOA Gallery to create a working art gallery, a gallery within the Inn itself, another step in the reimagining and remaking of Groton’s downtown, its cultural life and its economy. 

   With 50 works of fine art by regional artists featured in the Inn’s lobby and main hallway, this rotating collection is part of the shared vision of the Inn and Gallery to create a venue for New England artists to show and sell their work—and to make Groton a prominent arts destination.

   “We look forward to many such collaborations with The Groton Inn that will continue to elevate the art scene in this region. Where the creative spirit thrives, a community will thrive, ” says Curator Joni Parker-Roach, founder of Groton’s NOA Gallery.

     The collaboration is the culmination of Joni Parker-Roach’s vision—a lifelong artist, formally trained in fine art and art history—a vision held for a decade and a half since NOA Gallery opened on Main Street in the center of Groton. In addition to hosting its own art openings and featured artists, NOA has been a force behind public art projects including murals and sculpture and, for many years, coordinated a local Art Walk. In 2006, she also opened a school offering art instruction for all ages.

    Speaking of the transformational power of a creative art scene to remake a region, John Hanson, resident of Rockland, ME - once a hard scrapple Maine coastal town - said, “Rockland was saved by art,” He said “We had some pioneers and a couple of generations of artists. But now we have young artists everywhere, coming to be around like-minded souls, and bringing a real sense of community and creative energy. You can feel it.”

    Joni Parker-Roach is one of those very pioneers. It just may be that the Gallery by NOA at The Groton Inn will one-day be seen as the catalyst that took Groton’s art scene to the next level. 

   Parker-Roach points out that the Nashoba Valley region already has much to offer as an arts destination. Both she and her partners at the Inn, Migis Hotel Group, are working together to spread the word in hopes of attracting visitors from Boston and across New England. 

  Among the many art attractions in the region are The Andres Institute of Art in Brookline, NH—New England’s largest outdoor sculpture park featuring more than 100 sculptures along hiking trails covering Bear Mountain, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, the Fitchburg Art Museum, and the The Revolving Museum – a museum of outsider and visionary art in Fitchburg - are all just a short drive from Groton. 

   Not to be overlooked is the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, the many galleries and museums of downtown Lowell, not to mention Indian Hill Music Center slated to open in 2022 near Groton center. Of course the Inn may see all these artistic venues as perfect for weekend getaways—with the Inn as the anchor.

    In addition to arts venues, Groton is home to several renowned artists and art-inspired businesses. Paul Matisse, artist and inventor is known for his public art installations, many of which are interactive. Matisse also invented the Kalliroscope. Famed portraitist Mary Minifie lives in Groton as does Artist and West Groton resident Carol Canner who began her career as portrait artist, later turning her skills to the decorative arts by creating unique, beautiful sculptural mirrors for the Carvers Guild.  Metal artist and sculptor Ray Ciemny of Artisan Iron, too, finds Groton to be a comfortable environment for his artistry. 

    The new gallery will hold its first Artist Reception on Sunday February 3, 2019 from 2 to 6 p.m.  [see annoncment below right]Browse the works currently on display by Arnie Casavant, Betsy Craumer, Betsyann Duval, Joelle Levallet-Feldman, B Glee Lucas, Julia Mitchell, Linda Puiatti, Stephen R. Silver, Trina Teele and Alexia Rosoff Wilber; mingle with the artists; and enjoy the Inn’s warm and gracious charm on a winter afternoon while listening to live music by Chris McDermott.

For a sampling of the art currently on display, visit http://thegrotoninn.com/art-gallery/ 

Meet the Artists

   Groton residents will have a chance to meet many of the artists whose work is now on display at the "Gallery by NOA at The Groton Inn,” during the first-ever Artist Reception, being held Sunday, February 3, from 2 to 6 p.m.:

ARNIE CASAVANT (Boston, MA)—Arnie works in studio and en plein air, painting largely in oil on location at dawn or dusk, when the sun’s interaction with his subject matter is at its most dramatic. 

BETSY CRAUMER (Bedford, NH)—Betsy is a landscape pastelist working in southern New England; a member of the Pastel Society of New Hampshire, NH Plain Air and Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod; and past president of the Pastel Society of New Hampshire.

BETSYANN DUVAL​ (Acton, MA)
Betsyann’s work in oil, encaustic, watercolor, prints, sculpture and drawing has appeared in solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe, and is included in the The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Archives of Women Artists. 

   JOELLE LEVALLET-FELDMAN (Harvard, MA)
Born and raised in Normandy, France, Joelle now lives in Massachusetts and works in pastel, oil and watercolor. Her work has been shown in juried exhibits at the Concord Art Association, Zullo Gallery in Medfield, River Arts in Damariscotta, Maine, and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. 

B GLEE LUCAS (Boston, MA)
B. Glee Lucas is an oil painter in Boston’s South End Arts District and Lexington’s Munroe Center for the Arts. Her colorful paintings have been selected for national and regional competitions and are held by collectors across the United States. 

    JULIA MITCHELL (Vineyard Haven, MA)
Julia grew up in a family of artists, and had access to Japanese prints, art making materials and plenty of art books throughout her childhood on Martha’s Vineyard, which is again her home.  She regards her design and weaving not as separate processes but as inspirations for one another, and follow the lead of her materials rather than forcing them into preconceived imagery. In other words, she more or less let the tapestries weave themselves.

LINDA PUIATTI (Holmes, NY)
A former Chelmsford resident, Linda paints landscapes both en plein air and in the studio. Her scenes of the Hudson Valley, Belgian and French farmlands and the coast of Cape Cod are filled with light and atmosphere. She has lived and created her art in Europe and the United States.

STEPHEN R SILVER (Boston, MA)
After years of painting representational landscapes, Stephen picked up his palette knife and started spreading paint on the canvas. A native of New York, he has studied at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston and has been a student of master artist Tom Ouellette. He is founder of the SoWa Artists Guild.

TRINA TEELE (Chelmsford, MA)
​Trina Teele is an artist and life-long resident of Chelmsford, who believes that creative expression, is always a worthy pursuit. Her great interest in the essential and energizing role art and creativity play in our lives inspires her work.

ALEXIA ROSOFF WILBER (Pepperell, MA)
Alexia, a Pepperell resident, is a painter and mixed media artist, creating works that combine mediums and techniques, so that the viewer may even be unaware of the combination—such as graphite with pastels, digital transfers with watercolor and ink, and acrylics with oil crayons.

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