Public Art :: Spooky Sculptures, Halloween 2013

Hidden Spooky Sculptures Made for Free Halloween Treats!

Participants in this fall’s Sculpture Modeling, Plaster Casting, and A Public Art Project, an AVA class taught by Ernest Montenegro, had a great time working with clay to produce original sculptures in clay. Once the final designs were completed, participants made molds from which they created a series of plaster-cast multiples. The plaster sculptures were then hidden throughout the PowerHouse Mall on Halloween-where children and families could find these surprise gifts of art during the mall’s annual trick-or-treating celebrations.


AVA wishes to thank the PowerHouse Mall, the sponsor of this Public Art Project.

The Mudroom – Getting Schooled

TheMudroom Getting Schooled

The Mudroom, an exciting new initiative modeled after NPR’s The Moth Radio Hour, will kick off this fall in AVA’s beautiful galleries.  This new program is designed as a social gathering venue for adults in the Upper Valley, offering an opportunity to meet new people, enjoy a fun evening, and connect with friends. Please join the group to hear amazing real-life stories that might otherwise go unshared.

Stories must be approximately seven minutes in length and relate to the theme of “Getting Schooled” with no explicit material.
Please email submissions (either video or word doc.) to by September 1.
Chosen storytellers will be alerted before September 9.
Save the date: Thursday, December 5 when another theme, to be announced, will be explored.

AVA’s Green Building Challenge: A Work in Progress

This past spring, we were pleased to announce a new initiative: AVA’s Green Building Challenge. Its aim is to significantly shrink our carbon footprint, with the goal of making our facility a “net zero” building by 2017. In other words, we hope to have a building that ultimately produces more energy than it consumes.

As we continue the conservation efforts that began with our 2007 building renovation, we will also begin tapping into the significant solar-power potential of our site.

The first phase of this goal began in May, when we contracted with the Jordan Institute to focus on the energy-saving opportunities inherent in our building and to examine the potential for renewable energy. In hiring the Jordan Institute—New Hampshire’s premier think-tank dedicated to addressing climate change in the built environment through aggressive building efficiency upgrades— we will once again be working with the team that was instrumental in our achieving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold-certification for our renovation. Jordan’s staff, led by Paul Leveille, is currently analyzing three years of our energy consumption, both thermal and electrical. (It is already evident that the 2011 LED lighting upgrade in our gallery spaces made a significant reduction in kilowatt-hours.)

The strategy is to reduce the electrical loads as much as possible (measuring devices placed throughout the building will identify areas for improvement), then address the solar potential of AVA’s rooftop as well as other areas capable of producing both thermal and electrical energy.

The prospect of making the “new” old Carter-Kelsey building net zero has energized AVA’s Board, staff and friends. It builds on work that has been accomplished over the past several years and reflects our ongoing commitment to sustainability. It is in our DNA: The Arts and the Environment—a winning combination!

Micro Macro 2013

AVA Partners with Dartmouth College for a Two-Week Art and Science Summer Camp

Sponsored in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation

Ages 9-12: July 29 – August 9

Teens: August 5 – 16

AVA is delighted to announce the launch of Micro Macro, an art and science camp offered this summer in partnership with Dartmouth College’s Biology Department, the Dartmouth Microscopy Lab, and the Murdough Greenhouses at Dartmouth.

Participants will take field trips to see tropical, sub-tropical, desert, and aquatic plants— including the Brout Orchid Collection—observing plants and their environments from a Macro perspective. A visit to the College’s Microscopy Lab will introduce students to plants on the Micro level, as they see incredibly close using contemporary technology. The insights gained through these trips will be brought back into the art studio, where participants will interpret and express their experiences through 2D and 3D projects, both big and small.

Micro Macro is funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Sincerest thanks go to Dr. Eric Schaller of Dartmouth College, a longtime AVA member and volunteer, for his leadership and vision in making Micro Macro a reality.