From outdoor art and music to a cool covered bridge, these are must-sees in the upper valley.
Three students ride along Lebanon Street in Hanover on inline skates before sneaking into a courtyard at Dartmouth College’s Black Family Visual Arts Center.
It’s clearly a familiar route, with the trio flying over three exhibitions of contemporary sculpture before disappearing under a picturesque brick passageway near the entrance to the Hood Museum of Art and heading towards East Wheelock Street.
Outdoor art is “like a background theme song to life here,” said John Stomberg, head of the campus art committee that manages Dartmouth’s public facilities. “Even if you don’t focus on it, it’s part of the experience.”
Stomberg describes outdoor art as a way to frame nature and showcase the landscape.
It’s also a reminder that any visit to the Upper Valley should start here, where the white spiers and red brick buildings are an Ivy League postcard of centuries of universities and the city center has a laid back energy. -chic.
To figure it all out, start at Dartmouth Green, the center of the campus since its founding in 1769, to view a map of the sculpture locations (or download it from hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu).
Outdoor art – designed to withstand New Hampshire winters – spans the gamut of approaches and styles, from sculpted figures to abstract forms. Consider two bronze pieces: George Lundgeen’s 1996 figurative sculpture by poet Robert Frost and the untitled work by Joel Shipro 1989-90, a suggestion of unstable elements finding a moment of balance – like trembling limbs wearing a weight.
Viewed from an angle in the courtyard, Shapiro’s sculpture appears to loom above the catwalk, wobbling above the skaters like a giant.
It’s an interesting visual dialogue.
Don’t miss the first room placed on campus, a bronze fountain from 1963 with a contemplative figure at its center. The Dartmouth Class of 1943 commissioned Thomas Bayliss Huxley-Jones to create a piece in memory of classmates who died to “defend our freedom” during World War II. The fountain is typically turned on on Memorial Day weekend and turned off in September before the colder weather arrives.
It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to visit all of the sculptures and read the panels about the artists and the meaning of their creations, said Stomberg, whose official title in Dartmouth is Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961, director of the Hood Museum of Art.
If you need a boost, grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat at one of the few restaurants in the city center, including Umpleby’s Bakery Cafe, 3 South St., then take the pleasant loop. 1.6 km around Occom Pond, nearby. the north end of the campus near the Hanover Country Club golf course.
Packard Hill Covered Bridge: It is on Riverside Drive, near the intersection of Bank Street Extension and Hardy Hill Road in Lebanon. The adjacent parking lot is part of the Baker’s Crossing Conservation Area and includes details of the first version of the bridge that spanned the Mascoma River here – an open wooden bridge that was built for Ichabod Packard in the late 1780s.
The 76-foot-long structure that stands today was built in 1991. It features a system of Howe trusses and replicates the features of traditional covered bridges. This means it’s an image-worthy sight from the shores, where people stop to see the crisscrossing woods stretch out above the water, and inside, where a stroll by a sunny day has a tunnel effect – like spending cool shading in a flowery pastoral painting.
Northern Railway Trail: Just down the road from the bridge is a popular trail on the 58km Northern Rail Trail, which runs from Lebanon to Boscawen. Park here for biking, hiking, running, or horseback riding – and keep that in mind during the winter months for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and snowmobiling.
Music and arts: Although the 1934 Lebanese Opera Theater remains closed for now, it is launching a free Nexus music and arts festival this summer.
It will take place downtown Friday through Sunday August 13-15, in and around Colburn Park, and extend to the pedestrian mall and the upgraded rail trail tunnel.
Highlights will include: Katie Runde, a chalk artist from Middlebury, Vermont, whose sidewalk art appears like 3D magic; Twisted Pine, a Boston band who call their sound “Americana funk”; the folk styles of singer Kat Wright, guitarist Bob Wagner and bassist Josh Weinstein; and Moondance and its celebration of Van Morrison’s hits including “Brown-Eyed Girl”, “Tupelo Honey”, “Domino” and “Wild Night”.
AVA gallery and art center: Located at 11 Bank Street in the former HW Carter factory off Colburn Park, the center offers listings of exhibits, classes, community programs and summer camps for youth – from storytelling sessions to shows. of dance “al fresco” viewed by the public through the AVA. the Windows.
Her latest exhibition is “Tethered by Light: A Group Exhibition Inspired by National Mental Health Awareness Month of May.” As part of a collaboration with West Central Behavioral Health of Lebanon, the work will be on display until June 4. It’s both playful and contemplative as the artists work on both the isolation and the silver linings of a pandemic year.