The Button Factory is a rehabilitated old mill building anchoring an end of Islington Street, and home to dozens of talented artists and artisans. The building is oozing with character inside and out – and it is definitely one of the treasures in town where the vibrancy of the art culture remains strong.
Nahcotta is one of Portsmouth’s art galleries and one of the stops on the Art ‘Round Town gallery tour that happens each month, and is located on the lower end of Congress Street, near the Friendly Toast and Jumpin’ Jay’s. It’s definitely one of my favorites, and they feature the Enormous Tiny Art Show (which I didn’t get to check out this year, but plan to make next year’s version) – which sounds very cool, and features pieces of artwork no larger than 10″x10″. Looming above the Nahcotta building is The Music Hall’s building (I used to always wonder what the building was while I ate at the Friendly Toast until I finally made a show at The Music Hall, and realized how massive the building was – go check it out!).
On either side of the gallery is our local running store, Runner’s Alley, which is also a great spot if you’re a runner of any level…and the good people of the shop seem to sponsor anything road race related. I was happy to catch this scene early Friday evening as the sun was setting, the buildings were all illuminated beautifully – and the textures of the various buildings and the road came together nicely.
The Rep (established 1988) is located on Bow Street, sandwiched in between Harbor Place and the Ale House Inn. It’s inside a funky looking building (by Portsmouth historical standards), and I’ve always appreciated the variety its architecture brings to the neighborhood. It’s especially cool when its glass ceiling reflects a lovely spring sky.
I haven’t been to many shows here, but it looks like there is always something featured (judging by the signs always being full). The Seacoast has a great arts community, and The Rep is a vital role within it. They also have the Bow Street Fair each year, which I’m hoping to take part in this coming July.
Portsmouth is the home of the 2009 New Hampshire Film Festival (additional details here: www.nhfilmfestival.com), which takes place October 15th-18th.
The annual festival is a great addition to the cultural offerings in the city – I’m hoping to make it to a few of my first films this year. Visit their website for more information on the films that were selected to be featured in this year’s festival along with schedules. Films are going to be screened at various venues throughout the city, with The Music Hall serving as the focal point of the weekend.
Check out one of the marketing posters for the event hanging in the city (near Gilley’s on Fleet Street), next to a very Don Draper ad for office space at the International Office Suites in a nod to Mad Men (probably the only show I won’t miss).