Fast Forward: Women Artists at Kelley Stelling

At a time when women are still much more likely to be the subject of art rather than the artist**, Kelley Stelling Contemporary has other ideas. Its current exhibition, Fast Forward, features 5 women artists, including Upper Valley painter (and the Hood Museum’s Public Relations Coordinator) Alison Palizzolo. 

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Kelley Stelling Contemporary is the new creation of Karina Kelley and Bill Stelling, a gallery dedicated to contemporary art of emerging artists. Seeking to move us on from the interminable winter doldrums, this exhibition is full of color and verve. 

Jessica Brilli’s work, such as Novato (photo, top), features bold images, and for several viewers evoked Edward Hopper. Alison Palizzolo’s (below) richly-textured January Sunrise captures the delicate light and crisp edge of winter mornings. 

Alison Palizzolo, January Sunrise

Lisa Noonis’s series of paintings includes her childhood world of The Back Yard “. . . flanked by the clothesline, where my grandmother hung the sheets to dry. It is where my sister broke the tire swing and hurt her neck. As an adult, it is where I sit reminiscing about growing up and feeling grateful, rules and all.” Works by Carol McMahon and Cindy Rizza round out the show. 

Lisa Noonis, The Back Yard

The gallery is small, urban-ish, and friendly, serving up mimosas on a recent Saturday morning. The resident dog Rufus (below) is unabashedly thrilled with each new visitor. 

On March 3 at 1:00 p.m., Kelley Stelling is hosting a panel discussion with some of Fast Forward’s artists about the challenges women artists face in the (still) male-dominated field of art. Noted political activist and radio host Arnie Arnesen will moderate. 

Kelley Stelling Contemporary is located at 221 Hanover Street in Manchester NH. For more information including hours, check out its website here.  

**In 1989, the Guerilla Girls famously asked “Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met Museum?” noting many naked female subjects and few naked men, but more so, few women artists represented in the museum’s collection (less than 5%). They have asked the same question in 2005 and 2012. Here are their answers.


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