By Jeanné McCartin
“It kind of goes back to it. Remember back in re:Ports days, we were always putting a piece of art on the cover? I thought of it as a regular gallery in print back then,” Augusta, the book’s editor, says. “Since we sold it. I’ve watched for something like that to happen, for somebody to pick up what re:Port did – sort of promoting local regional artists.”
Post re:Ports, he initiated a number of publications highlighting the arts, notably “Black and White” in the late ’80s, but none took off. Other subsequent Portsmouth publications touched on different areas, he says. There were reviews, occasional poetry, “but nobody regularly published someone’s art.”
“Anyway, this idea has been percolating along for 35 years really,” Augusta says. “The idea is basically for the arts community, for there to be some kind of forum. I think of (Ten PIscataqua) – the coffee table book – as a more grown up form than a weekly paper.”
This is not a tourist book, Augusta emphasizes. While a steeple or tugboat may make an appearance, they’ll be few and far between. “It’s really more about the arts community; it’s FOR the art community, … for them to have something.”
The book’s funding is a hybrid of shared risk-taking and crowdfunding.
“Since I can’t pay photographers in advance like a typical publisher would, I’m asking them to stick their necks out with me, and share the risk, and they each get a share of anything the book makes,” he says. “I’ve extended that to those that will help produce, market and distribute.”
For example, artist Gordon Carlisle designed the series logo, and Jenny Jenson Greenleaf designed the book, he says. Laura Pope has written the photographers’ introductions; they are all stakeholders.
“As editor … I tried to collect a diversity of different categories or genres of fine art photography, for example, landscape, portraiture, photojournalism, abstracts, still life, architecture, nature, etc., rather than just the one note of scenic landscapes people seem to expect when I mention the title.”
What he has now is “a fine art portfolio about the community,” he says. “It’s tremendous – outstanding talent, and this is how you can see it.”
Crowd-funding for printing happens in January and February 2018.
To stay abreast of what’s happening (including discounted pre-sales) and future crowdfunding information, see tenpiscatiqua.com. or sign up for monthly updates at http://eepurl.com/c_1Fev
“I stared this project in 2014 when the craft scene was starting to get really crazy. I got interested and wondered who was actually making they beer. I started going around to the breweries and photographing the brewers,” Penney says. “And then I decide it would be really cool to make a book of portraits of craft beer brewers throughout the New England … a good area to explore.” See some of Penney’s portraits and a story about his project at www.seacoastonline.com/news/20160414/toast-to-brewers.
“Portraits” features 16 pioneers with photos and accompanying brief biography by Penney. The Seacoast’s Peter Egelston, owner of The Portsmouth Brewery (Granite State’s first brewpub) and Smuttynose Brewing Company in Hampton, is included.
“It’s a pretty cool cast of characters; it’s pretty interesting, to me, when you see them all.”
The run is limited to 150 books with 25 copies, signed by all the pioneers and author available for a bit more.
Publishing his first book “feels great,” he says. He concedes it was disappointing to not go for a larger coffee table book first. “But, I took the money out of my retirement fund to do this book,” he says. ” … Now, I just hope people are interested in it.”
Portsmouth Music and Arts Center’s CEO Russ Grazier is one of 30 saxophonists worldwide who will premier a saxophone and strings arrangement by David Amram on Feb. 25, as part of the “Worldwide Concurrent Premieres” project. Grazier’s performance of Amram’s “Greenwich Village Portraits” will be held at the center.
“I’ll be performing the piece with an ensemble of eight string players and a guest conductor from Boston Conservatory,” he says. “It’s very cool.”
Worldwide Concurrent Premieres was organized by Ken Radnofsky, one of Grazier’s former teachers, to allow groups of saxophonists to combine resources to commission major works by established composers.
Amram (a former featured guest at Portsmouth’s defunct “Jazzmouth Festival”) wrote the piece for sax and piano in 2014.
“What I’m premiering is the version of the piece for sax and strings, a new version,” he explains. “It’s a beautiful piece very difficult and virtuosic. … It’s really a haunting, beautiful, nostalgic piece. I’m really excited to play this.”
The premier will feature PMAC faculty members, and Hannah Reitz, concert master of Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra. A graduate conducting student from the Boston Conservatory (“my alma mater”) will conduct.
“The other human interest part of this is, … I will turn 50 the day before,” Grazier says. “So, when I got a request to take part I thought I have to do this. This is a great way to celebrate turning 50.”
In other PMAC news, “the West End Master Series is growing.” The next one, Jan. 21, will feature Cathy McLaurin as speaker.
“Cathy is the most recent recipient of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Artist Advancement Grant,” he says. “She’ll be talking about her art – the event is free and open to the public,” Grazier says. ” I think that will be really interesting; she’ s a really fascinating artist.”