Rochester Creates: Home Sweet Home

A Community Sculpture

June 7th through October 19th , 2014

1 North Main St. Parson Main Square

Downtown Rochester, NH  





What does home mean to you? Is it reading a good book in front of the fireplace, being outdoors in your garden, or gathering around the kitchen table with your family?

Art Esprit's new project for 2014 was recently installed on June 7th. Hundreds of panels were constructed into one architectural sculpture which is displayed on Parson Main Square in downtown Rochester.  People of all ages were invited to participate in painting the panels for this community sculpture.


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Art Esprit members riding a tandem bicycle built for three in front of the Rochester Public Library.



       Art Esprit's 2013 Public Art Exhibition

   Twelve Giant Postcards - Downtown Walking Tour

Artists, writers, and local students collaborated to create twelve giant size postcards. Many of the pieces were interactive with cut-out holes. People could ride a bicycle for three, jump on a motorcycle, or take a Rochester Opera House tour! The exhibition was on display from June 1st through October 6th, 2013.

You Are Here Walking Tour Map



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                  June 2nd to November 3rd, 2012


       The Mythology of Rochester

       Art Esprit's 2012 Public Art Exhibition    

From the Cocheco River to building rooftops, twelve mythological creatures made by Seacoast artists, writers, and students descended on downtown Rochester! The public art exhibition featured creatures and their stories for a fantastic mythological journey.

Free Entertainment included: Michael Trautman - Visual Comedy Act, Perry Alley Puppet Theater, Bradigan Irish Band, and the Strafford Wind Symphony!    Opening Day Entertainment - June 2nd

Entertainment Sponsor: Albany Engineered Composite

Art Esprit  has continued their popular series of public art exhibitions with a venture into the fantastic in "The Mythology of Rochester." The group brought together local artists and writers to collaborate for a mythological art project in downtown Rochester .
"We invited artists to imagine creatures that might have lived in the city, and then to partner with writers to define their mythology," explains Adam Pearson, president of Art Esprit. As a result, a jury that included noted sculptors Gary Haven Smith and Megan Bogonovich accepted twelve teams to the challenge. "The response is truly delightful and inspired," Pearson says.
Eight creatures and their myths were the collaborative brainchildren of artist and writer teams: Nathan Walker/Rebecca Yankes, Susan Schwake/Grace Larochelle/Chloe Larochelle, Craig Gray/Marta Gray, Elizabeth Helfer/Rebecca Helfer, Michele O'Neil Kincaid/Ross Bachelder, Marilyn Price/Anne Smith/Rose Theriault/Sally Allen/Grace Youngren/Henry Theriault/Kim Theriault, Jocelyn Toffic/Hillary Peatfield, Cynthia Fontneau/Pat Frisella.
Two more emerged as school-based collaborations; one from Spaulding High School and the other from Rochester Middle School. Members of Art Esprit rounded out the exhibit with two additional beasts. Writer Joanne Piazzi combined the stories and poems inspired by each creature into a complete myth of Rochester which Art Esprit published into a book along with photos documenting the installed pieces.
Community mask-making workshops in the spring and a fundraising duck race on Comic Book Day (May 5th) all led up to a celebration of the creatures' release into downtown Rochester on June 2, 2012. The celebration revealed the twelve collaborations and featured an oral performance of the complete myth.


Download a Mythology Brochure  MYTH-brochure-or.pdf


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Spaulding High School students created their
mythological creature "Elemental Hydra", which was
located in front of the Rochester Opera House.

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Pandora's Box was created by Art Esprit artist Cynthia



 Rochester Creates: Portraits

 June 4th to October 23rd, 2011

Art Esprit's exciting 2011 community art project of 500 portraits was permanently installed at the Rochester Community Center on January 25th, 2012. The mosaic piece and 11 large wall panels are now in the halls of the Community Center. The Rochester Recreation Department, Gerry's Food Pantry, the Senior Center, along with other social services are housed at 150 Wakefield Street. The portrait panels bring color and vitality to the Community Center for everyone to enjoy!


This project explored who we are as a community. Square wood panels were painted with over 500 individual portraits and combined together in one architectural sculpture. Art Esprit members held workshops with school children, adults, and seniors to paint their individual portraits. Participating groups include: Spaulding High School, Rochester Middle School, Girls Inc., Rochester Recreation Department, Rochester Safe Haven, Chamberlain St. School, The Homemakers, Colonial Hill Care and Rehab, and Community Partners.

The artwork was installed by Art Esprit members on Saturday June 4th at the Parson Main Square in downtown Rochester. NH artist Lizz Van Saun worked with the public to create a mosaic piece, which will also be displayed at the Rochester Community Center along with the 500 portraits. 

This year the proceeds from this project funded $2000 in scholarships which were donated to Spaulding High School Seniors pursuing an education in Art and Creative Writing!

Check out our photo gallery! Download a brochure: Rochester Creates:Portraits

Corporate Underwriter: Profile Bank



If These Rocks Could Talk: Stories of the Granite State

June 4th to October 17th, 2010 


New Hampshire, The Granite State
Rocky shore lines, stone walls lining country roads, the fallen "Old Man of the Mountain", rocks, rocks and more rocks in our soil as we till our gardens.  Rocks are a part of who we are as "Granite Staters."Art Esprit members, along with Spaulding High School students created a walking tour to share their rock themed stories through art and poetry.

The Project

Art Esprit, following the great success of “The Shoes of Rochester” was proud to unveil a new project for the summer of 2010, “If These Rocks Could Talk: Stories from the Granite State”.  Art Esprit members created an exciting outdoor walking tour in downtown Rochester.  The art exhibition included 20 rock inspired sculptures based on rock themed poems and stories that highlight the Granite State.

Download a brochure:  Art Esprit If Rocks Could Talk

Corporate Underwriter: Granite State College


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The Shoes of Rochester

June 6th to September 26th, 2009


Our first large scale project: "The Shoes of Rochester, a public art exhibition"  A book was created from this project and has all the full color photographs of the individual shoes, all the poems, a historical time line of shoe production in Rochester and much much more!

Download a PDF of the book: Shoes of Rochester

Download a PDF of the brochure for the walking tour which includes a map, list of artists and poets and sponsors right here: The Shoes Of Rochester

A press release about the kick off event:

Art Esprit revs up for the kickoff of its community arts exhibit and walking tour, “The Shoes of Rochester”, Saturday, June 6th, 2009 from 10AM to 3PM.  Opening day events include the tour of the “Shoes” themselves - eleven enormous shoe sculptures, created over the winter by Adam Pearson will be on display along with the artists who painted them and the poets who wrote about them , a 10AM signing of the “Vietnam Boot” installation at City Hall by area veterans,a scavenger hunt for the children and a shoe art fashion show at 2PM.  This opening event is just the beginning of a summer-long run for the “Shoes”, a walking tour of the public art in downtown Rochester.

“Shoes of Rochester” is a celebration of Rochester, its rich mill history, and its talented arts community. But “The Shoes of Rochester” project is far more than just beautification.  It is a walking tour, a collaboration of artists, a call for community involvement, and a just plain great way to get involved in the arts.  Each shoe is an individually sculpted work of art, made from earth friendly materials.  Local artists and writers have collaborated to decorate each shoe with their words and images.

The shoe decorators are an accomplished group, and include local artists such as Susann Foster Brown, Marilyn Price, Susan Schwake, Stephanie Piro, Ron and Diane St. Jean, Larry Reynolds, Anne Smith, Grace Youngren, Sally Allen, and Rose Thierault, as well as Student artists from Spaulding High School. The poets involved in the project include Roches
ter's Poet Laureate Andrew Periale, Marie Harris, Pat Frisella, Jennifer White, Rick Agran, Neil English, Paul Sprague, Matt Jasper and students from Spaulding High School's Literary Magazine, the Wandering Pen.

Art Esprit, the Rochester-based literary and visual artist group that created the event intends “The Shoes of Rochester” as a draw to the downtown area and to the city itself.  Included in the roster of “Shoes” events are the unveiling of the “Shoes” planters, and workshops for local youth to paint old shoes to be displayed in local businesses as planters. The creation of a poetic/oral local history by Rochester’s Poet Laureate, Andrew Periale, will honor the memory of Rochester’s past through the stories of its shoe-mills and shoe-mill workers.


Art Esprit
PO Box 495
Rochester, New Hampshire 03866-0495