Inspirations from the Nashua River and Fitch's Bridge

June 10 – August 22, 2015

Nancy Graupner, photograph

June is National River Month, and in appreciation we are featuring four local artists with a commitment to environmental causes and a love for nature.

The idea for this show occurred to me while taking a walk across the Nashua River over Fitch’s Bridge. Offering access to a network of walking trails in West Groton, the new Fitch’s Bridge is an architectural gem that gracefully complements its natural surroundings. Once serving to span the Nashua River on a primary route of commerce, it is set in a location easily overlooked by travelers on, what is now, the main network of roads.

The iron structure, built in 1898 to replace the original wooden bridge, was one of the oldest rivet-connected truss bridges in North America. Over time it acquired a certain Industrial Age charm and patina, but changing times and newer road systems left it to obsolescence and decrepitude. In recent years a coalition of Environmental activists and trail enthusiasts mobilized to advocate for a new bridge, and in 2013 the effort came to fruition when a contemporary steel truss design suitable for pedestrian, bicycle, and equestrian traffic was put in place.

Ray Ciemny, sculptures made from iron remnants of old Fitch's Bridge

Ray Ciemny, Groton Blacksmith and Metal Sculptor, saved a portion of the scrap material from the original bridge. He offers some whimsical pieces formed from those remnants.

Erika Radich, series, If I Were the Stream

Erika Radich employs novel printmaking and construction methods to explore the natural world and its complexities.

Nancy Graupner loves photographing the local landscape with its plant and animal life. Included in her selections are images of the old and new bridges.

Joni Parker Roach shares her ongoing public participation project, “Prayers for the River”. Each year, visitors to the NRWA Riverfest are invited to write brief messages, which become part of the assemblage.

There will be a reception for the artists on Tuesday evening, June 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Nashua River Watershed Association Founding Director Marion Stoddart will speak at 7 pm. A short film, Greenway Heroes, by Susan Edwards will be screened. All are welcome.

This exhibit is made possible by the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust.

Ken Hansen,