Saturday, May 20th, 5 pm to 7 pm
Warm summer months on Lake Winnipesaukee bring the delicate dance of the dragonfly. Come to the League of NH Craftsmen Meredith Fine Craft Gallery, located on 279 Daniel Webster Highway (Route 3), for the Spirit of the Dragonfly exhibition and special Artist Reception during a Taste of the League event on Saturday, May 20th from 5 pm to 7 pm.
Come and meet the artists and enjoy some tasty appetizers created by Lakehouse Boutique Catering, paired with some of the fabulous wines from Hermit Woods Winery, one of the top 500 Wineries in the Country as voted by Food & Wine Magazine. Bob Manly, one of the owners of the winery, will talk about wine and give away two-for-one coupons to visit their tasting room and tour the winery.
The Spirit of the Dragonfly exhibition will be on display from May 1st to 31st.
Spirit of the Dragonfly is a collaborative exhibit featuring the work of various League juried craftspeople in all media — jewelry, glass, metal, fiber, and more. Dragonflies have been present in our world for over 300 million years. In their longevity, they have been revered by Chinese tradition as a symbol of good luck, in Japanese tradition as symbols of “swiftness and as a sign of summer and autumn”, and in many Native American cultures are symbolic of “purity, activity, and swiftness” (Almanac).
Jack Dokus, a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen since 1976, states on his website’s bio that his “professional experience is ever evolving, but always on the foundations of technical quality and aesthetic validity.” Once you hold a pair of Jack’s newly designed dragonfly earrings or pendants in your hands, there is no doubt that you will certainly view both technical and aesthetic quality. Unlike the usual ‘view from above’ of the dragonfly’s wingspan, Jack took a different design approach when he researched and then chose a profile view of a dragonfly, a design feature often used in the Art Nouveau period. The intricately detailed profile view of the dragonfly’s head, wings, and body lead to legs which hold a pearl, giving life, character, and interest to this unique design which Jack feels is a “personal triumph.” We can certainly see why.
For six years now, artist Michael Updike, who is an accomplished sculptor of stone, granite, and marble, creating impressive memorial stones, has carved what appear to be fossilized creatures in recycled slate roof tiles. Inspired by a fascination with dragonfly fossils, and fossils in general, Michael finds it satisfying to carve dragonflies and other creatures into pieces of recycled slate. Michael says the allure of the dragonfly for him is its gracefulness and its well-proportioned shape. The dragonfly etchings seem ancient and natural on their neutral, yet expressive, pieces of slate.
Many of us know the common symbolisms associated with dragonflies such as renewal,spring,and purity, but Kathleen Krzewinski’s metal garden art dragonflies are based in other symbolism that is deeply rooted in Kathleen’s past. When she was young, she lived in Japan, Europe, and the Philippines, and was fascinated with how Samurai warriors often had dragonflies on their helmets and apparel, symbolizing strength and victory. Later on, Kathleen came to appreciate the Native American association of dragonflies, as well, as a symbol of purity. She now feels the most meaningful dragonfly symbolism to be that of them being viewed as messengers between this life and the after-life—the idea that they can carry messages between the living and the dead. She shared that it is not uncommon for people to see dragonflies appear at a burial site. Symbolism aside, her colorful steel dragonflies are an alluring feature in any garden.
A large blue dragonfly visitor in Mary Ann Reis’ studio, several years ago, became the start of Mary Ann’s trademark painted dragonflies on her wheel-thrown porcelain pottery pieces. The green wavy lines, painted in addition to her dragonflies, connote movement and grace. The mystical qualities of the dragonfly, and what she refers to as their “happy patterns”, all contribute to the allure of her signature porcelain pottery.
Sharon Dugan’s love of the natural world, as well as form and texture, led her to include dragonfly designs in the weaving of her baskets. A self-proclaimed “farmer at heart”, she feels the dragonfly just couldn’t be denied in her work. Her beautiful baskets may be classic Shaker basketry in form, but with the incorporated woven elements of our natural world, like the dragonfly, they become unique in design and speak to the woods, fields, and waterways of New Hampshire.
Exclusive to our Meredith gallery, are Lucy Golden’s dragonfly wing earrings, a new and delightful addition to our dragonfly exhibit. These beautiful silver and turquoise blue earrings are made of sterling silver and resin. Lucy, a 25+ year juried League of NH Craftsmen artist, has held a fascination with dragonflies and other insects since she was a child, even occasionally lecturing at Audubon programs on moths. Lucy says that incorporating her fascination and love of dragonflies and other insects into her jewelry, “brings things full circle” for her. We are grateful to have the addition of these winged beauties in our gallery.
Plan to join us for the reception on May 20th, or visit anytime during the month of May to enjoy these amazing and varied interpretations of the dragonfly as we welcome the summer season to the Meredith Gallery.