Embracing the Vibrancy of the AVA Gallery and Art Center


Goldenberg moves to Lebanon, NH

by Jeanne McCartin-Portsmouth Herald

The Seacoast arts’ community is a little poorer as of last week when musician/visual artist Roger Goldenberg packed up his studio and headed to Lebanon, N.H., and the AVA Gallery and Art Center.

Roger Goldenberg's Inspiration Banners add dynamism and warmth to AVA's already inviting foyer

Roger Goldenberg’s Inspiration Banners add dynamism and warmth to AVA’s already inviting foyer

AVA's Downstairs Galleries Are Closed for Installation.

The Glowing Warmth of the AVA Gallery and Art Center

“I’m just tired right now,” he said days before departing his Button Factory studio of 20-plus years. “I’ve had to touch everything I own at least ten times and carry it long distances.”
An old friend encouraged him to move years ago, “but my studio has treated me well. It’s been affordable and it was a sanctuary, so I didn’t feel any pressure to leave. I’ve said it was the wonderful studio space that kept me here.”
While here, Goldenberg was an outspoken advocate for Seacoast artist live/work space and workforce housing. It never came to fruition. He put his time into his beliefs, spending two years on ArtSpeak, the city’s cultural commission.
“But things have changed for me over the years,” he says.
A few years back, he formed In Ears ‘n’ Eyes with Saxophonist Matt Langley. It is a group of jazz musicians and a jazz painter (who perform music and art and lead workshops). He continued to paint and is an instructor with Portsmouth Music and Arts Center, Granite State College and Great Bay Community College but became less involved with the gallery scene.
Meanwhile he discovered Lebanon. “I just like the social climate and climate-climate (I like winter and LOVE snow). And the AVA is a robust culture; it’s the hub up there and there’s a lot of good energy.”
The building also features an elevator. “I was looking 20 years out. My studio is more a young person’s studio and I’m not that any more. I just thought it was time to bust a move and shake things up a little.”
Goldenberg will return to work on In Ears ‘n’ Eyes. “Really, the musicians have been my family,” he says. “I have a lot of real depth in the jazz community here. … I’m going to miss them a lot, but I’m not gone. … We’ve wanted to move Ears and Eyes beyond the Seacoast anyway, so we’ll keep spreading our wings.” The Ears and Eyes Creativity Workshop just wrapped up at Rye Elementary, and is heading to Dover Middle School and Windsor Middle School in Windsor, VT. We’re mobile, “So I’ll be back.”

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