Upper Valley Organizations working to keep you connected…

Please visit the below local organizations to find content to keep you informed and entertained, and also consider supporting these organizations to keep the Upper Valley humming!


Camerata New England


Center for Cartoon Studies

City Center Ballet


Dance Collective

Hood Museum

Howe Library

JAG Productions

League of New Hampshire Craftsmen

Lebanon Opera House

Lebanon Public Libraries

Library Arts Center

Montshire Museum of Science

North Country Chordsmen

Northern Stage

Norwich, VT Library

Opera North

Parrish Players

Pentangle Arts

Revels North

Shaker Bridge Theater

Two Rivers Printmaking Studio

Upper Valley Arts Alliance

Upper Valley Music Center

We The People Theater

White River Indie Film




AVA Campus Closed Until April 6

March 16, 2020, 12 pm

Dear Friends of AVA,

New Hampshire Governor Sununu and Vermont Governor Scott declared a state of emergency and ordered all NH and VT public and private schools closed until April 6. Naturally, AVA takes this action very seriously and wants to adhere to measures that will keep our community safe. In order to remain consistent with protocols for social distancing and preventing further spread of COVID-19, we have decided to close AVA’s campus to the public. This means all classes, community programs, and events (including AVA’s Annual Silent Auction and current exhibitions) are postponed until a later date. Reduced staff will be in the office and studio tenants will be able to access their studios, but the general public is asked to please view exhibitions online.

We will have the current Carla Kimball | Solitude exhibition posted in our Off the Wall online gallery, soon. All artwork in AVA’s Off the Wall online gallery is for sale by calling 603-448-3117 or emailing Exhibition Manager, Joshua Dacey, at joshua@avagallery.org.

Instructors and students should expect to be contacted by AVA Staff regarding re-scheduling of classes or refunds/credits for cancelled or postponed classes they will not be able to attend. Questions may be directed to Education Manager, Nick Gaffney, by calling 603-448-3117 or emailing nick@avagallery.org. We ask for your patience when waiting for a reply during this very busy time.

Keep an eye on AVA’s website www.avagallery.org for information on public events, free community programs, and classes.

Further information sources:

AVA’s COVID-19 Policies

March 15, 2020, 3:00 pm
Dear Friends of AVA,

In consideration of State of New Hampshire mandate to close all public and private schools, AVA is cancelling all current classes, community programs and events effective immediately. That means no classes, community programs or events will take place beginning Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 4.

We ask for your patience while we speak with instructors and develop a plan of action. Staff will contact current students (as of 3/15/2020) to discuss reimbursement of pro-rated tuition or possible rescheduling of remaining class sessions. Classes that have not begun meeting that are scheduled to start during this time will be rescheduled for a later date if at all possible. If we are not able to reschedule a class, or if a student is not able to attend the rescheduled class, AVA will offer a full refund or credit toward a future class at AVA.

The March 12 Mudroom and March 28-April 4 Silent Auction have been postponed.

The Mudroom has been postponed until June 11. Anyone with tickets may use those tickets at the June 11 event. Anyone seeking a refund may call the office at 603-448-3117 or email info@avagallery.org

The Annual Silent Auction date is to be determined. Anyone who has donated artwork or items to the auction will receive their donation thank you and tax deduction letter, and the items will be kept at AVA until the event takes place later in 2020. Anyone wishing to hold onto their donation for now will be contacted closer to the event date for item collection. We thank you for your generosity and patience.

Cancellation Policy Changes During COVID-19 Outbreak

If AVA cancels a class currently in session, tuition will be pro-rated for the remainder of the session and/or the remaining sessions will be re-scheduled. Students enrolled in classes that have not yet begun to meet will be offered either a refund or the option to apply their tuition the another class at AVA.

If a class participant cancels 10 business days or more before the first class, full tuition will be refunded in the form of a check or as a credit towards another AVA class within one year of date of issue. If a class participant cancels 9 or fewer business days before the first class, a credit towards another AVA class withing one year of date of issue will be offered. Administrative fees surrounding class cancellations have been waived during the pandemic.

We ask you to do your part!
  • Stay home when you are sick and seek medical care if needed
  • Stay home if you have been in contact with infected persons
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Use elbow bumps or fist pumps instead of handshakes and hugs
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
WHO: How to handwash? With soap and water

Thanks for your vigilance in keeping our community safe and healthy!

AVA Celebrates 30 Years in Lebanon!

By ALEX HANSON – 3/11/20

Features > Arts-Entertainment-Theater

Art Notes: AVA Gallery holds a subdued celebration

A line extends out the door for the first show in AVA Gallery’s new location in Lebanon, N.H., in March 1990. (Courtesy AVA Gallery)

Attendees crowd into AVA Gallery’s first opening in their new space in Lebanon, N.H., in March 1990. (Courtesy AVA Gallery)


Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 3/11/2020

Large public gatherings are whatever the opposite of “all the rage” is right now.

That’s a shame, as there’s a milestone that deserves to be celebrated by the masses. Thirty years ago, AVA Gallery and Art Center opened its first exhibition in the ground floor of the H.W. Carter and Sons clothing factory in Lebanon.

The date was March 16, 1990. Founded in 1973, AVA had occupied space in a Norwich barn and in a second-floor space behind the Dartmouth Bookstore in Hanover. It was largely by artists and for artists.

The move to Lebanon changed that. In addition to the first-floor gallery, AVA also leased a teaching studio on the factory’s second floor. Over the years, AVA and its growing community of artists and students rented out more and more of the former factory. AVA acquired the building in 2003 and later renovated it and added a Sculptural Studies Building. Now, it is possibly the most comprehensive center for the visual arts in New England, with dozens of exhibitions, workshops, classes and camps taking place each year.

Thanks to the coronavirus, there will be no reenactment of that first opening night at 11 Bank St. But to celebrate the anniversary, AVA is offering a membership deal. On Monday, a person can become a new member of AVA for $30 (it usually costs $55), and a family can join for $45 (instead of $75).

And let’s hope there’s no pandemic in 2023, when AVA celebrates its 50th birthday.

AVA will hold a gathering from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, an opening reception for “Solitude,” a show of photographs by Carla Kimball in AVA’s Members Gallery. A gallery talk is planned for 6 p.m on April 9. Also on view at AVA, black and white photographs of Lebanon by the late Cornelia Rahmelow.

Bente Torjusen receives award for Distinguished Arts Leadership

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards, who will be formally honored at a gala on Oct. 21, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Bank of New Hampshire Stage in Concord.

New Hampshire’s Governor’s Arts Awards recognize the contributions of individuals, organizations and communities that make a difference in quality of life in New Hampshire through the arts. To be eligible for nominations, individuals must reside in New Hampshire or have made significant contributions to the arts while living in New Hampshire; nominated organizations, cities and towns must be physically located in New Hampshire.

The 2019 Governor’s Arts Award winners are:

  • Arts Education: Theo Martey, Manchester
  • Arts in Health: Crotched Mountain School, Greenfield
  • Creative Communities: Town of Mason
  • Distinguished Arts Leadership: Bente Torjusen, Lebanon
  • Folk Heritage: Jane McBride Orzechowski, Newport
  • Individual Arts Champion (two awards): Stephen Duprey, Concord and Robert O. Wilson, Concord
  • Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure: Sylvia Nicolas, Mont Vernon

To learn more about the 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards and to see lists of previous winners, visit nh.gov/nharts/artsandartists/gaa/index.htm.

Limited tickets to the 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards event, which will include a reception with light refreshments, are available online from the Capitol Center for the Arts ccanh.com or by calling their box office at 603-225-1111.

Award sponsors for the event are Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, Eversource, New England College, Northeast Delta Dental, Sanborn Mills Farm, Shannon Chandley and Tom Silvia, and Christine Dwyer. Event sponsors are Blue Orchid Interiors, Carol and Roger Brooks, the Capitol Center for the Arts, the Hotel Concord, Kelley Family Properties, O Steaks and Seafood, and WMUR.

The N.H. State Council on the Arts is a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The State Arts Council provides a wide variety of services, competitive grants, and technical assistance to not-for-profit organizations, schools, health care facilities, and individual artists, helping to ensure that the arts thrive in New Hampshire and are accessible to all. Funding for grants and services is provided by the New Hampshire Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Learn more at nh.gov/nharts.

AVA Announces New Executive Director

AVA Gallery and Art Center Appoints Heidi Reynolds as Executive Director

Lebanon, NH (October 14, 2019) The Board of Directors of AVA Gallery and Art Center today announced the appointment of Heidi Reynolds as AVA’s new Executive Director.  AVA’s Board Chair, Andrew Garthwaite stated: “The Search Committee considered many qualified applicants from across the country.  Heidi’s natural leadership qualities, her dedication to the role of the arts in the Upper Valley community and her commitment to the future of AVA made her the clear choice for Executive Director.”

Reynolds recently joined the staff at AVA as Interim Exhibition Manager in June and was retained permanently after successfully integrating into the culture at AVA. She will continue her duties as Exhibition Manager until her successor is named, assuming the Executive Director mantle from Bente Torjusen, AVA’s previous Executive Director who returned to AVA on an interim basis during the directorship search.

“I follow in the footsteps of a formidable leader and am grateful to have Bente as a mentor and guide as AVA embarks on this new chapter,” says Reynolds. “AVA is experiencing a groundswell of support since Bente spearheaded the Spring Into Summer Campaign and I intend to continue honoring AVA’s past and improving upon the traditions that make this institution the core source of support and community for visual artists and patrons in the Upper Valley and beyond.”

A life-long photographer who studied at Columbia College in Chicago, Reynolds served on the board of Fotofest in Houston, Texas, while continuing her photographic studies at Maine Media and Santa Fe Workshops. Reynolds’ family later moved from San Francisco to settle in Hanover, New Hampshire in 2004 where she continued her commitment to service as a volunteer and board member at several non-profit organizations. Most recently, Reynolds worked in development at Northern Stage, managing the corporate sponsorship and exhibiting artist programs, and at the Montshire Museum of Science, coordinating development events and managing volunteers.

Reynolds feels a strong responsibility toward supporting non-profit organizations that sustain our rich community life. “Having worked or volunteered at many Upper Valley organizations, I understand how interwoven these teams are among the lives of the people they serve. I am honored to have relationships with those who are dedicated to the arts, social services, education, and research, whether as employees, clients, members, or donors. I hope to nurture these relationships and continue to foster collaboration among as many fellow non-profits, supporting businesses, and benefactors as possible. Working together only makes us stronger.”

Valley News Article

Concord Union Leader Article

A Welcome Reception for Heidi is planned in the Gallery at AVA on Friday, November 8, 2019, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. All are welcome!