Showcasing work of local students
By Liz Premo
Hampton Union, January 14, 2014
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON — Jane Copp may have retired from her position as Hampton Academy's art teacher in 2011, but that doesn't mean she has retired from teaching.
In fact, Copp is still going strong in the realm of artistic instruction, now offering private lessons in her home studio to adults as well as to students in middle and high school.
Seven of Copp's students currently have their work on display in the Wheaton Lane Room at the Lane Memorial Library, and a well-attended reception was held last Saturday evening to celebrate their achievements in drawing and painting.
The participating students showcasing their work are Cate Cassassa, Sara Duhamel, Isabelle Flemming, Meredith Maloney and Michaela Maloney (all teens), and Nancy Drew and Maggie Ginieres (both adults).
"I think they have done a fabulous job," said Copp, surrounded by the artists and guests during the reception. "They have come a long way — it's amazing. I'm delighted in what they have accomplished."
Close to 60 people ventured through the doors into the Lane Room to enjoy viewing an array of still life, landscapes and portraits captured in vibrant acrylics, watercolors, and graphite.
"Everybody's work is so impressive," said Steve Scatturo, taking a close look at Flemming's lifelike graphite drawing of a dog. "It's just so nice to see local artists."
Scatturo's mother, Irene, agreed, saying she was "totally impressed" with what she viewed.
"I'm in awe of anyone who can put pen or pencil to paper and come up with this," she said. "I'm not an artist, but I can certainly appreciate it."
Sandy Buck observed that the Ginieres' extensive selection of artwork "really shows how talented Maggie is. I've known her for years and never knew she could do this."
Another Ginieres friend, Brian Abasciano, complimented her on a still life that featured eggs, a nest and feathers she painted in neutral acrylics against a draped backdrop of brown and black fabrics.
"There's something about it — it's like it comes off the (canvas)," he said. "Maggie is obviously a very talented artist."
As an educator, Copp is no stranger to holding art exhibits in the Lane Room — she showcased her middle school students' work there for 10 years while at Hampton Academy.
"I always liked using the library for shows," said Copp, noting that the Lane Room's deep blue walls provide "a very nice presentation" for artwork.
Her students seem pleased to have the opportunity to exhibit their art in a space that public services librarian Darrell Eifert called a "valuable community resource" for such events. This is one of numerous art exhibits Eifert has coordinated for the library.
"I appreciate Jane doing this," said Ginieres, who may possibly hold a show of her own at the library at some point in the future. "It's fun to do it with other people. It's not as intimidating as I thought it would be."
Drew, whose half-dozen framed graphite drawings documented her progress from a simple still life with pumpkins to a scenic barn that had to be drawn using a grid technique, admitted she was a little hesitant when Copp first suggested holding the show.
"I was like, 'I don't know about that,'" said Drew, who gradually warmed up to the idea and happily welcomed friends who attended the reception. "I'm proud of my work now. I'm not afraid," she added with a smile.
Drew explained how Copp "has just taught me so much. She's a very calming, enthusiastic and caring teacher. She lets you do your work, then she just comes over to critique it."
Eighth-grader Michaela Maloney has taken classes with Copp (her neighbor) for the past two summers. Having received lessons during her regular art classes at Hampton Academy, Maloney said she "went right into painting" under Copp's instruction.
Maloney has on display a rose painted in acrylics and a fish done in watercolors. She said she "was really proud" of her work.
Fleming's selections include a vertical panel of tropical fish captured in watercolors and a coastal scene in graphite.
She has been taking lessons with Copp for the past year, after someone recommended Fleming contact her for instruction.
"I was self-taught," Fleming explained. "I came to her for strategies and techniques for paining and drawing. I progressively got better."
Depending upon their level of ability, Copp typically has her students start with the "basic tenets of drawing" especially if they are novices.
"I like people to be proficient in drawing before they go on to painting," she explained. Lessons are "custom-tailored" and typically provided on an individual basis, though she has taught in a group setting.
Whether she's teaching a single student or a group of them, Copp — an author as well as an artist — has found that "the students are enthusiastic and focused on their work. (It's) really exciting."
The public is invited to share that excitement by viewing the exhibit, which will be on display in the Lane Room throughout the month of July at the Lane Memorial Library.
For more information call Darryl Eifert at 926-3368 or visit janedaviscopp.com.