“New Day – Amoskeag”
National Trust For Historic Preservation Award Commemorated By Local Artist Randy Knowles
Award winning artist Randy Knowles was asked to create a piece of artwork to commemorate the Manchester Millyard’s National Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The original pastel painting commemorates this national honor award that is presented annually to projects identified by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the “best in preservation” across the United States.
About the artist:
Randy Knowles, a local artist that paints both en plein air and in his studio, creates paintings that capture the New England countryside, coastal settings and the urban landscape. Traditional in approach and subject matter, Randy’s focuses on the use of light, atmosphere and perspective to create a work that draws the viewer in, captures a brief moment on the busy city street or holds forever a moment of nature’s magnificence. Currently Randy’s work is focused both in pastel and oil.
As a member of East Colony Fine Art, located at 55 South Commercial Street, the artist continues to create work that portrays Manchester’s changing streetscape. Landmarks in the downtown continually appear in his work as well as the relationship of those institutions and their more recent counterparts. The artist is inspired by the day to day events that many seem to overlook.
Taking everyday events and creating works of art with human interest seems to be a recent focus. Past favorite works have included street venders, night time traffic on Elm Street, parking tickets on Hanover Street and the colorful signs that light Downtown Manchester’s night sky. Due to this continued focus on downtown Manchester as his subject, it seems fitting that Randy was asked to commemorate the Millyard’s award. Randy is a member of the NH Art Association and the Manchester Artist Association.
Notes from the artist:
I am honored to be part of the ongoing celebration and to have my artwork commemorate the continued success of the Amoskeag Millyard. The pastel painting captures the Millyard as it exists today. I depicted the mill buildings bathed in sunlight to reflect the energy of those that have worked, currently work in or have succeeded in preservation of this historic landmark.
The inspiration for the painting began nearly nine years ago when I was completing my art degree at Notre Dame College. About five years ago it was re-energized when I became a founding member of East Colony Fine Art, located in the Millyard. The ideas never seemed to make it to paper or canvas. It did not become a reality until the committee contacted me last fall.
The title itself became the driving inspiration or push that was needed to complete the piece which came together in a matter of weeks. My hope is that New Day-Amoskeag acknowledges the history and impact the complex has had on both Manchester’s economy and the families that worked there for generations while celebrating the new generation of workers and businesses that inhabit the brick structures today. In the preliminary sketches for the piece, I was focused solely on depicting the architecture of the complex. Several sketches into the process I determined that it was only fitting that the river be the focal point. It seemed appropriate since the Millyard exists due to the source of energy provided by the river and the river remains the connection for the mill buildings that remain to the east and west.
As an artist I constantly question whether my image will grab the attention of the viewer or convey the story or the emotional connection that I felt when completing the piece. Since the unveiling, I have found that I did in fact connect with the viewer. The response has been overwhelming for this piece and its significance to the City of Manchester. To view the artist’s work you can visit East Colony Fine Art or check out www.rknowles.com.
Own a piece of History:
Available for purchase, are 250 professionally framed limited edition giclee prints signed and numbered by the artist. Exclusively offered through Sullivan Framing, there are two frame styles to choose from for this limited-edition print. To view samples of the framed print, visit Sullivan Framing at 55 South Commercial Street or the Millyard Museum, Mill #3, at the corner of Commercial and Pleasant Streets in Manchester, NH. A portion of the profits from the sale of these prints will be donated to the Manchester Historic Association, dedicated to their historic preservation efforts in the City.