Impact presents works of art by Carl Austin Hyatt, the 2020 award recipient, and Shaina Gates and Jocelyn Toffic ‘07, finalists of the prestigious Piscataqua Region Artist Advancement Grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The grant recognizes the contributions of working artists to the cultural life of the region by providing an annual financial award of $25,000 to support the artistic growth of artists and crafts people. It is designed to help in the development of an artist’s career, providing unrestricted financial assistance to meet the needs of artists to advance their studio practice. The award is also intended to inspire philanthropy by encouraging others to support artists living and working in our community as well as the many local arts organizations who present the visual arts to the public.
Portsmouth photographer and award winner Carl Austin Hyatt is known for his large-format gelatin silver and platinum prints of landscapes and portraits. Hyatt’s extensive travel to Peru and South Africa taught him about the sacred quality of stone while studying with indigenous cultures, in particular shamans who worked to tap the healing and spiritual qualities of stones. This award allowed Hyatt to spend uninterrupted time exploring the palpable connection he feels with stones and producing images to capture that invisible essence.
Shaina Gates’ works are unique camera-less photograms. Gates uses only sunlight and the manipulated paper itself to create the image, without the use of negatives, darkroom technology, digital tools, or the objects of traditional photogrammetry. Jocelyn Toffic ’07 is a figurative narrative artist working mainly in oil, although she dabbles in mixed media assemblages, video, and live/dead animal installations. Toffic received her BA degree from the University of New Hampshire.
While all three artists represented in Impact find inspiration in nature, their divergent approaches and techniques speaks to the breadth of creativity, talent and independence of artists working locally and whose artistic contributions enrich the cultural life of the community.