“Culture Shock!” The Artists…

We are so excited to share ArtFront’s latest show “Culture Shock!” with all of you on October 12, 13 & 14, 2017.  Here is a glimpse into the backgrounds of our amazing artists!


Tim Donovan came to art slowly.  In 1983, he and his family opened a residential treatment and rehabilitation program for people with an acquired brain injury in Deering, NH where he remains as vice president.

Tim was searching and curious in the following years and after dabbling in student film production, was formally introduced to the art world through Helene Aylon, a resident at The McDowell Colony.  Aylon, a conceptual, eco-feminist installation artist, introduced Tim to a new range of artistic possibilities.  Tim responded with a sustained sense of wonder and generous amazement at both the possibilities of art and the eccentric souls that populate the art conversation.  Aylon introduced him to many artists including Christo and Jean Claude, performance artist John Kelly, author Rick Moody and encouraged Tim to show his own work in New York.  During that time, Tim’s photographic and sculptural works were included in many group exhibitions juried by Jack Shainman, Jim Kempner, Peter Blum, Jessica Stockholder to name a few.  Tim was also juried into the Royal Photographic Society where his photographs toured the UK.

In 1999, Tim volunteered with the 1st Provincetown International Film Festival and has had the privilege of working with John Waters for the past 19 years. Throughout those years he has had the opportunity to meet other edgy filmmakers including Gus Van Sant, Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch.

Tim is also an avid curator, producing exhibitions in New York, Provincetown, MA and Peterborough NH.  He and his business partner, Sam Trioli have run Launch F18, a gallery and project space in New York and Peterborough, NH for over 10 years.  He is a past member of the Guggenheim’s Young Collectors Acquisition Council where he was instrumental in the museums acquisition of David Altjmed’s work.  He is also a published poet/flash fiction writer.

The images Tim presents at ArtFront’s “Culture Shock!” exhibition were inspired by a conversation he had at The Provincetown International Film Festival with Alan Ball regarding his (then) new HBO series called True Blood – a synthetic blood that contemporary vampires could drink, so they were no longer a “real” threat.  Similarly, in Twilight, Tim noticed vampires sparkled when hit by sunlight.  Bela Lugosi would have been incinerated.

Here is an excerpt from an essay written by Tim that accompanied his artwork: “These writings focus on my inquisitiveness of the media’s recent depiction of vampires and my hypothesis on how their portrayal coincides with society’s past and present struggle with discrimination.  In early media, vampires were hideous and foreign.  Contemporary vampires, on the contrary are alluring and radiant – even celestial.  They’ve acquired a peculiar persona of simply being misunderstood or misrepresented and we’re allowed to be benevolent, however, this benevolence is not free from various levels of apprehension, scrutiny and judgment.  The idea of complete inclusion continues to be a delicate issue.  Acceptance is one thing; integration tends to be another” 

Tim is a graduate from The New Hampshire Institute of art and on the roster at Gallery Kayafas, Boston.  He also had the honor of being one of the invited jurors for the MacDowell Colony Centennial Exhibition in 2007.


Patrick McCay completed his undergraduate and graduate work in Fine Arts at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, U.K.;  he holds a second Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.  He completed his Post- Graduate Certification in Education (distinction) from St. Andrews University. McCay’s national and International exhibitions record includes: The Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, The Edinburgh International Festival, London’s Royal Academy, The London Institute, Sydney College of Fine Arts , Australia, Leila De Pintura, Rue Miguel, Lisbon Portugal and the Irish College for the Humanities.

McCay is the recipient of numerous juried awards, grants, purchase prizes and scholarships inc.  Andrew Carnegie Trust Award, Scottish Arts Council Traveling scholarship and the David Carghil Award, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Arts.

Public and private collectors include:  Royal Bank of Scotland, Baldwin Piano Corporation, HRH.  Princess Margaret,  Zurich RE Insurance Co.,  Georgia Council for the Arts, Westin Hotels Inc.  Irish College for The Humanities.

McCay is an active academic artist and lecturer with 25 + years experience at the College level; including leadership positions in American International School of London, Savannah College of Art and Design, College for Creative Studies, MI.  and NY School of Visual Arts.  He served as the New Hampshire Institute of Art, Academic Dean for 10 years and presently serves as the Chairperson of Fine Arts and Senior Faculty Member for NHIA.

The particular pieces selected for ArtFront’s “Culture Shock!” represent formal painterly attempts to visually re-edit the well worn iconic context and symbols of the New England environment.  They are an alchemy of ambiguous chromatic signal, formal invention and visual fact.  The paintings strive to be interpretive and immediate, utilizing the power of summary and unpredictability to exploit visual surprises.  I have tried to provide elements of the dignity of the unknown to that which is all too well known; the signature hand writing of both ‘monument and moment’; in editorialized flashes and fragments that pepper the regions landscape and hallmark the New England optics as we absorb and journey through them.

The paintings are both ‘modernist and modest’ McCay asks simply that one might perhaps briefly suspend an individual view point and perspective in the temporary acceptance of someone else’s.


Claudia Rippee is a photographer with interests ranging from analog, lensless photography to digital photography.

Claudia’s fascination with public expressions of opinion and art began in Prague in 2004 where she had the opportunity to view the Peace Wall — the only outlet for free expression during the years of communist rule in Czechoslovakia. On the wall were layers and layers of drawings and words in a myriad of languages and a mix of both profound and mindless commentary.   More recently Claudia has found a similar, more widespread expression of public art on the urban walls of NYC. The streets have become a collaboration of diverse individuals as they alternately layer, over paint and strip away the previous mark. These multi-layered collages are a vibrant, morphing canvas where successive individuals are continuing, editing and redirecting content. Through Claudia’s lens, she invites us to experience the content and intensity of the color and graphics of these urban landscapes. Claudia’s large format canvas prints in the “Graffiti” series won the Photography Award in 2011 at the Currier Museum of Art exhibition of the New Hampshire Art Association.

Claudia received her Certificate of Photography from the New Hampshire Institute of Art and has won many awards for her work including:

  • NH Art Association Photography Award Currier Gallery of Art Annual Juried Exhibit (2009)
  • NH Art Association Jack Parfitt Memorial Juried Exhibit Award (2009)
  • NH Art Association Joan L. Dunfey Memorial Juried Exhibition, Prize winner Photography (2000)
  • NH Art Association Jack Parfitt Memorial Juried Exhibit Award (2004)
  • NH Institute of Art Biennial, Jurors Award (2003)

Additionally, Claudia’s work has been exhibited at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, From Hand to Machine; The NH Art Association Annual Juried Exhibit at the Currier Gallery of Art; The NH Art Association Joan Dunfey Memorial Juried Show and the NH Art Association Annual Jack Parfitt Juried Show.

Claudia splits her time between her photography and co-owner of both Republic and Campo Enoteca restaurants in Manchester, NH.


Erin Sweeney lives and works in southern New Hampshire. She received her MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she was awarded the Elizabeth C. Roberts Prize for Graduate Book Arts. She also has a BFA in Sculpture from the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine.

Sweeney exhibits nationally, most recently at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, OR, the Artmobile in Bucks County, PA and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, ME.

Additionally, Sweeney is an instructor, teaching book arts workshops at her Lovely In The Home Press. She also travels to teach workshops at many locales, including Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Stone House, the University of Southern Maine’s Book Arts Intensive; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Cló Ceardlann in Donegal, Ireland, and the Philadelphia Center for the Book. She is a member of the NH State Council on the Arts’ Artist Roster, and is a faculty member at New Hampshire Institute of Art.

She can also drive a backhoe, rake gravel for extended periods of time, and install septic pipe.


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