The Sharon Arts Center hosts local artists’ exhibitions, offers classes and operates a retail shop in Peterborough. Beth Krommes, who won a Caldecott Medal for illustration in 2009, learned a technique at the Sharon Arts Center that she said led to the award.
BETH: The Sharon Arts Center has three components. It’s a school, it’s a gallery, and hand craft shop. I had always been an artist. I was a painting major and print maker in college, but it wasn’t until I came to the Sharon Arts Center and saw an exhibit in 1982 of three New Hampshire wood engravers, when I saw this exhibit (of the work of Herbert Waters, Nora Unwin and Randy Miller) it just sort of knocked my socks off and I felt like I had really come upon the medium that made the most sense for me and that I just fell in love with.
So as I began my illustration career I worked in wood engraving, eventually I switched to scratchboard which has a similar look of wood engraving. The look of my work is what has set me apart in the children’s book world and I think it just helped me get to the point where I won a Caldecott Award for a book that I illustrated (The House in the Night). I don’t know, I think things would have been completely different for me had I never come to the Sharon Arts Center.
Now my family is also involved at Sharon. My husband, Dave, has taken pottery, calligraphy, and bird carving, but my teenage daughters have taken many classes over the years. So it’s really fun for me to see my kids following along as artists. We’re so lucky to have this kind of quality art education right in our little corner of New Hampshire.