February 4, 2011

'Unknown Artists" no longer

Aimee Cozza of Derry has spent about two months pulling together the “Unknown Artists” show,
which includes her own artwork and pieces from eight other artists.
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- The town is losing two local arts shops this month, with the closing of Poles Apart Artisan Gallery on West Broadway and the Country Cupboard on Crystal Avenue.
But 23-year-old Aimee Cozza of Derry says she hopes that a new free art show she has curated will encourage people to take some time to appreciate local, relatively unknown artists.
“I think it’s sad to see,” Cozza said of the recent business closings. Cozza said she had become close
 with Poles Apart proprietor Marylee Martin after participating in the Art of the Sidewalk event last fall. 

Martin announced last month that she would soon be closing her doors after six years. 
“Our arts community feels kind of nonexistent, and I feel like there’s still a lot of headway to be made,” Cozza said Tuesday. “We’re trying to bring something to Derry, and I think it’s slowly gaining interest.” 
Cozza, who moved to Derry from Litchfield three years ago, is studying illustration at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester. 
Working primarily in digital arts, Cozza said she has displayed several of her pieces around Derry, at the Art on the Sidewalk event, at How’s Your Onion? restaurant and The Coffee Factory coffee shop. She is preparing a few pieces for display at the Derry Public Library soon. 
But in February, Cozza is presenting a new group show at The Coffee Factory, running through the end of the month. 
“This is the first time I’ve done a group event,” she said. “And it’s been pretty grueling trying to get everybody on the same page.” 
Altogether nine artists from Derry and surrounding towns are participating in the show, which Cozza has named “Unknown Artists.” Among the more than 60 works are a range of paintings, photographs, jewelry and a reclaimed skateboard deck that Cozza cites as one of her favorite mediums. 
Many pieces are already hanging at the coffee shop, but the show’s opening ceremony is scheduled for Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. 
“They asked if I wanted to charge and I said no, this should be free,” Cozza said. “It’s just not that sort of thing. I want people to come in and enjoy the art; talk to the artists and just make connections.” Cozza has started curating other shows for the Steez Gallery in Nashua. 
While she currently works at a local bank to put herself through school, Cozza said she hopes to one day put her curating skills to full-time use. 
“I’m hoping I can put all my interests together to one day run a gallery and publish other people’s works and have a studio of my own,” she said. “It will be some kind of Frankenstein creation.” 
The Coffee Factory is located at 55 Crystal Ave. in Derry. For more information, call 432-6006. 

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