Hundreds flock to Greeley Park for 64th NAAA show

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Artist Erika Carullo works in some detail on a piece she created during Sunday's second day of the annual Nashua Area Artists Association's 64th Greeley Park Art Show. The show attracted more than 1,000 visitors over its two days.

NASHUA – A noticeable breeze and slightly lower humidity Sunday made for a fine day of viewing the work of some of the region’s top artists on the grounds of one of the top public parks around.

The two-day show, which this year featured nearly 70 exhibitors from Greater Nashua and beyond, marked the 64th year for an event that members of the original Nashua Artists Association debuted in 1954 at the same place where it takes place today.

Now called the Nashua Area Artists Association, with a membership many times that of its 1950s numbers, the group’s top priority remains the same: Creating “an experience (visitors) will never forget – a chance to mingle with their fellow artists and art lovers” and to “experience local art and support a local artist.”

An oil painting by Mandy Halford, a versatile, visual artist born in Mississippi who came to Nashua not long ago after living in St. Louis, Chicago and Philadelphia, was selected for this year’s best-in-show honors.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Alec Smolsky, 13, makes his way past the large, bold portraits by Londonderry artist Michael James Toomy, one of nearly 70 exhibitors who took part in the Nashua Area Artists Association's 64th Greeley Park Art Show over the weekend.

“This is my first festival,” Halford said Sunday as she was congratulated for winning the award with her entry “Old San Juan.”

Introduced to the arts at a young age, Halford studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts while living in Philadelphia. Among her chief influences is the culture of urban art, which is reflected in her paintings as well as her work in sculpture, murals and chalk art.

Following are the first-place winners in each of the categories judged on Saturday.

*  Watercolor: Charles Mooradian, “Bell in the Field”

* Pastel: Jacqueline Barry, “Sweet Pea”

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Visitors to Sunday's second day of the Nashua Area Artists Association's 64th annual Greeley Park Art Show pause to take in a puppet show, one of several performed by puppeteers with Teresa Moler's Blue String Marionettes.

* Acrylic: Marilene Sawaf, “The Card Game”

* Oil: Nancy Christopher, “Days End;” Monique Sakellarios, “By the Village” (tie)

* Mixed media: Eric Peterson, “Almighty Rearranger”

* Photography: Chris Bower, “Dead Vlei”

* Drawing: Liz Winchester-Larson, “Old Rutabaga with Spring Fever”

* 3-D: Gary McGrath, “Dizzy Bowl”

The NAAA, meanwhile, is getting ready for September’s reopening of ArtHub, its collaborative gallery on the lower level of the R.J. Finlay building at 30 Temple St.

The gallery will be open four days a week – Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.

In addition, the gallery will host a “grand reopening” celebration from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28.

For more information, go to www.nashuaareaartistsassoc.org or www.naaa-arthub.org, or to the group’s Facebook page.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.