About Me

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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer had been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Show in a Box

Show at the Prime Roast Coffee Company Cafe
This month I brought my “Show in a Box” to the walls of Prime Roast in Keene New Hampshire.  It is my favorite place to find coffee beans, both familiar and exotic, and a friendly venue to show my photographs, but it couldn’t have happened unless I was ready for “the call”.

Hanging Competition
There is an abundance of talented artists in the Monadnock Region.  A wide range of exciting work can be seen in many annual exhibitions including the Keene’s Art walk, Art in the Park and the Ewing Art Awards.  Over the years I have taken advantage of all of these opportunities to join others in showing my work, but I have also displayed my photographs in a long list of local galleries, restaurants, cafes, banks, churches and any other public places that might have an unguarded open wall.  As I have said many times before, it is all about “showing the work”, but it seems that the list of venues has been decreasing while the number of artists seeking places to display their work has exploded.

Some locations have grown tired of the hassle of constantly juggling rotating exhibitions.  Instead of managing a fresh set of holes hammered into their walls every month, many have opted for a fixed display of decoration.  I can’t say that I blame them.  

I probably wouldn't want the atmosphere of my elegant restaurant altered every month based on the artistic whim of my latest exhibitor.  Of course all styles have their own validity – just not all are conducive to digestion.  With the number of venues decreasing, the waiting lists are getting longer.  What is a poor artist struggling for recognition to do?  
 Consider just a few basic principals.

  • First get on the lists. Don’t be discouraged by the twelve or eighteen month waiting periods.  Time passes and, if you are on enough lists, you will eventually settle into a schedule.
  •  Be nice to your venues.  Show up as scheduled and hang and remove your work at a time that is convenient for your host, not in the middle of the dinner rush.

  • Try to be as gentle as possible to the walls.  If your venue doesn’t have a hanging system, avoid repeatedly pounding nails to re-position your work.  You won’t be invited back if you leave the walls in tatters.  I use my nifty picture hanging tool to get the height right the first time

  • Choose your art carefully to compliment the mood of the venue.  What would work well in a gallery of avant-garde art may not be appreciated in an elegant restaurant.  When displaying in hospitals or clinics, I tend to avoid my moody cemetery images.

  • Finally, you should be ready for opportunities.  I was on list for the Prime Roast in Keene New Hampshire, scheduled for sometime in 2017, but early last week I got the call.  Someone had dropped out at the last minute and Judy was looking for a replacement.  I have shown at the café on several previous occasions, Judy knew my work, and I had my “show in a box” ready to go. 

The Show in a Box
When not in a show I keep the bulk of my framed images, wrapped in corrugated, in a bin ready to load into the car.  From previous exhibitions, I knew that the front walls of the café can fit nine or ten of my images.  I looked back at the list from my last show and selected newer images that hadn’t been displayed there before.  Everything fit in a single bin.  Prime Roast has a wire hanging system which makes adjustment in spacing and height a snap.  Within a little over an hour, the show was hung, adjusted and photographed.  The next day I was able to post a list of the images.  Done!

The point here is that with all the competition for good venues, it is important to be ready to quickly accommodate the urgent requests.  It is surprising how often they come.  Owners hate bare walls, and they appreciate and remember those who are able to help them out of a bind.

So assemble your bin of art and be ready for the call.  Remember, it is all about showing the work.

  • If you around Keene drop by the Prime Roast Coffee Company for some great coffee and, of course, inspiring New England Photography


Check out the
Prime Roast Show Gallery.

Hanging Art : Links


  1. Excellent these photographs . Thanks a lot for shared guy .

  2. Another informative blog… Thank you for sharing it…