Jaffrey Civic Center

40 Main Street, Jaffrey, NH 03452
Photo by Jeffrey Newcomer. All rights reserved

FUN@FIVE-Series of Music lecture/concerts with Virginia Eskin

The Jaffrey Civic Center will come alive with the talents of music and lecture by Virginia Eskin on three consecutive Tuesdays: April 7, 14 & 21 at 5 pm in the first floor Auditorium-Gallery.

Join Pianist Virginia Eskin once again at the Civic Center for three stimulating and entertaining sessions – Electric and Spicy Rhythms – Music from Spain, Impressionism in Art and Music -- Composers from France and Dark and Passionate Geniuses – the Russian Soul.

Each session will begin at 5 o’clock with a glass of wine and a snack to get you in the mood. Then Virginia will take us on a musical trip to three countries, where we will learn about some notable composers (men and women!) and listen to great music. We will be done by 6 and then have a chance to talk with Virginia and with each other.

As those of you who came last year know, Virginia Eskin educates, entertains, and amuses. Her varied background includes concerts throughout the United States and Europe, lectures at many colleges and universities, solo and chamber music recordings, and teaching at Northeastern, Boston University, New England Conservatory, and currently Keene State.

The series is free but you need to call and reserve a seat- 532 6527

Drop-in Improv Comedy Class

The Jaffrey Civic Center is really excited to announce this offering of “drop-in” classes on Wed evenings for six consecutive weeks: March 11, 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15, starting at 7 pm going until 7:45pm.

WHAT IS IMPROV?

Improvisation, or improv, is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. Often improvisers will take a suggestion from the audience, or draw on some other source of inspiration to get started. It is fun and requires no memorization or theatrical training. All ages welcome. This drop in class is the perfect place for absolute beginners to get acquainted with the joy of improvisation. Every week we will play in a safe and positive environment with group exercises and scene work. Come to all the classes or just "drop in" when you can! $10.00 cash per class at the door.

The class will be lead by Paige Lussier Johnson. Paige received her BA from Keene State College in Theater & moved to NYC in 2002. Paige is an actress with 10 plus years of training and acting in New York City and abroad. Paige has studied acting with The National Theater Conservatory in Denver CO, Meisner with James Price, Shakespeare at The American Globe and is a graduate of THE PIT Improv with Ali Farahnakian. Paige has performed Improv, Stand-up and Sketch comedy all over NYC and New England. She has even been in a commercial for comedy central! Paige is thrilled to be back in NH with her amazing husband (whom she met at KSC), and her two beautiful children.

80 Years (more or less) Behind the Brush

The Jaffrey Civic Center is proud to announce the retrospective exhibit of Shannon Stirnweis: a lifetime of efforts in the art of painting. The show will be in the second floor Cunningham Gallery and begin with an opening free to the public on Friday, March 20 from 5-7 pm and run through Saturday, April 18.

“Part of the exhibit is my earliest effort at the age of eight through a demanding art school studying illustration. A second part is my illustration work in NYC for 40 years, really into many clients and subjects. The third part is my efforts in the gallery field again through some twists and turns.”

“In any retrospective there is an element of narcissism, but I hope that the show and the comments will be of interest to anyone or anyone whose children are thinking about art as a livelihood. I’ve tried to show problems and decisions I made along the way, the outcomes are there to see. The problems are different now and our abilities are probably different…, but sometimes just a bit of information greatly helps.”

“I’m a painter that paints almost every day, am I driven? Perhaps! It is the most eloquent way of expressing myself of which I have at my command. It is a way of conveying feelings and emotion that are not readily translatable into words. I find the translation of bits of paint on a flat surface to evoke emotional responses from the viewer a fascinating process. Which if it were to be defined as “purpose” would be mine, that is, to get the maximum emotional visceral effect on the viewer, through color, values and varying degrees of verisimilitude. I am always searching for better ways to reach an audience, so I am always experimenting and looking. I am influenced by many artists as diverse as Andrew Wyeth, Tamera DeLemicka, George Innes, and Chris Payne. I am constantly experimenting with my approach although it is almost always in oil. A wise man once told me, ‘They can’t stop you from having fun!’"

Shannon was born and raised in Oregon, his art education was a year at the University of Oregon and the Art Center College of Design, where he was graduated with Distinction in 1954. After two years in the army he returned to Art Center for a two semester brush up before going to NYC, where he spent forty years doing art work, first as an agency sketch man, then doing childrens’ books, pulp magazine adventure illustration and paperback novel covers. He did advertising illustration for movies, Industrial clients, stamps and pharmaceuticals. He worked for many magazines: Reader’s Digest, Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, Show, the old Argosy and almost all the paperback houses in the city at that time. His work has been shown in the Smithsonian and Museum of the City of New York, had one man shows at the Society of Illustrators and the Jaffrey Civic Center and is part of the permanent collection of the US Air Force, the US Coast Guard, and the US Army Museum, Dept of the Interior, U of Texas, U of Wyoming and many others.

Shannon was a founding trustee of the Graphics Artists Guild in NYC and served as President of the Society of Illustrators in New York (1972-74.)

After doing a portrait of the Air Forces Flanker back for the Academy, he thought he had evolved a viable approach to gallery painting. Following that approach he did four gallery paintings and launched his gallery career.


Oil paintings by Scott Niemi

Scott Niemi will be exhibiting his colorful acrylic and oil paintings in the first floor Auditorium Gallery of the Jaffrey Civic Center. The show will begin with an opening on Friday, March 20 from 5-7 pm free and open to the public and run through Saturday, April 18.

Scott was born in Fitchburg, MA and completed his formal education at Florida Atlantic University where he earned a M.F.A. in Visual Art with a concentration in painting. Currently, he is an associate art professor at Becker College in Worcester, MA. In the past, he has worked for Florida Atlantic University as an adjunct art professor, as a part-time lecturer at Franklin Pierce University and as an art handler for the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art.

Scott has participated in many shows both on the national as well as the local level. His work can be seen, among others, in the corporate collections of the Oak Brook Bank (Oak Brook, IL), the Essex Inn (downtown Chicago), and in the Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts (Plantation, FL), UMass Ambulatory Center (Worcester, MA) and Clinton Hospital (Clinton, MA). He has work in hundreds of private collections, ranging from Beverly Hills to Australia. You can find his artwork at the following local galleries: The Boulder Art Gallery (Fitchburg, MA) and Collins Artworks (Clinton, MA). He resides in southern NH.

For further information, contact him at This e-mail link


Ann Sawyer Watercolors

"Charlie and Platykate" Watercolor by Ann Saweyer

The Jaffrey Civic Center is pleased to host the exhibit of watercolors by Ann Sawyer in the first floor Display Cases from Friday, March 13 through Thursday, April 9.

“For over 50 years I have found inspiration for my painting on our fifth generation dairy farm in Jaffrey, NH. I am creating paintings of farm life and a celebration of domestic animals, beautiful creatures who touch our lives in a wonderful way with their service and devotion. This is their legacy to us for which I am so grateful.

“So many family farms have been lost, but there still are many diverse farms across America contributing to the richness of life. What would our landscapes be like without farms and their animals? This is the legacy of New England and American family farming that I want to record with my paints.

“Relationships of animals to each other and to their caregivers is the subject to which I respond with joy, returning often to the maternal theme; cow and calf, mare and foal, ewe and lambs, nanny and kids. Perhaps this is because I have been calf "mom" to several thousand baby bovines in my lifetime.


Oil Paintings by Bill Schofield

The Jaffrey Civic Center is pleased to exhibit the oil paintings by Bill Schofield of Jaffrey, New Hampshire in the first floor Display Cases from Friday, February 13 through Thursday, March 12.

At the age of 66 after his semi retirement from Residential Resources Inc., in 2008, Bill decided to attempt to paint for the first time. “I have had the good fortune of working with Alex Farquharson , Jean Duval, Betty Glass and Deb Pero and others and have, through an amalgamation of their instruction, developed my own unique painting style. I work now in oil, water soluble oil and water color. I paint because it's fun.”


Photography Winners at Jaffrey Civic Center

Shirley Chodin with "Birch in Autumn's Glow

Standing on left is Shirley Chodin of Winchendon, MA, with her 1st place image, “Birch in Autumn’s Glow”, next is “After Oz”, the Honorable Mention photo by Jonathan Route of Leominster, MA, and the 2nd place image, “Waiting for Tomorrow” by Gerrit Bradley of Swampscott, MA and Jaffrey, NH.

The show was held in two portions: Photography and Multi Media, and ran from November 21 through December 20. The winners were determined by public voting and received awards from the Kana Riley Poetry and Artistic Fund.


Tuesdays with Bridge

Attention men and women… Tuesdays at 12:30, the Jaffrey Bridge group will welcome beginner and seasoned players to join. The group meets in the first floor Auditorium Gallery each week. There is no limit for enrollment and no cost.

No competition, just FUN!

Call the Center to sign up now.


Caroline Hollister Honored for Her Civic Leadership

Caroline Hollister receiving the Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award from Bill Driscoll on behalf of the Center’s Board of Directors. Photo by Tom doane

Caroline Hollister of Jaffrey was the recipient of the Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award, the annual honor bestowed for exemplary leadership by the Jaffrey Civic Center.

The ceremony was held at the Center on September 17 and attended by many friends and admirers of Ms. Hollister’s years of selfless commitment to the betterment of Jaffrey and the Monadnock region.

The Jaffrey Civic Center has instituted the Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award as a way to honor the commitment of citizens who have worked tirelessly for civic goals. It was Mrs. Johnson who built the Center forty-five years ago.

The Mission of the Center is to provide and sustain a public venue where citizens of the Monadnock region can pursue artistic, educational and civic activities. The Center’s goal is to contribute to the cultural enrichment and enlightenment of the community.


The Jaffrey Civic Center Partners with TD Bank Affinity Program

The Jaffrey Civic Center recently received a cash contribution from TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, through the bank’s Affinity Membership Program.

The Jaffrey Civic Center is pleased to work with TD Bank in this program for a second year. The Center is a beautiful building, which has become integral for many school and community organizations to meet. The Affinity Program is helping fund structural upkeep and replacement projects, such as a much needed entire second floor ceiling replacement, interiors of all windows painted, and an installation of a new furnace.

TD Bank’s Affinity Membership Program helps non-profit organizations raise money by receiving an annual cash contribution from TD Bank based upon the participation of qualified member accounts.

For more information about TD Bank’s Affinity Membership Program or to find a store near you, call 888-751-9000.

The Civic Center provides and maintains a public venue where citizens of the Monadnock Region can pursue artistic, educational, and civic activities. The Center’s goal is to contribute to the cultural enrichment and enlightenment of the community.

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