Backstage Pass: Beauty of region on display in Hopkinton

Published: 09-05-2023 3:28 PM

By Monitor staff

Colin Callahan, an oil painter who taught art and humanities at St. Paul’s School in Concord for 39 years, has an eye for the natural beauty of the area that’s reflected in his art.

Many of Callahan’s paintings are landscapes in Concord and Hopkinton.

“I’ve spent many hours walking the roads and trails in this part of New Hampshire and I am always fascinated by these scenes,” he said. ”Even the simplest aspect of a scene or moment in nature can be worthy of admiring. It might be the bright green of a distant tree seen through the shadows of the stream in the foreground, or it could just be the way light hits an island of pine trees, or a still summer pond.”

An upcoming exhibition titled “New Hampshire Up Close,” at Two Villages Art Society in Hopkinton will featuring Callahan’s work. The exhibit, which opens Saturday, explores the wonder and joy of everyday scenes in New Hampshire, revealing the magic often overlooked in the day-to-day hustle of life.

“Colin Callahan is a really important artist for our area,” said art society board member and artist Annie Frye. “He’s very well regarded and has exhibited in several galleries, but there has not been a solo show of his work in the Concord area in a long time. We’re thrilled to present a selection of his work.”

Callahan’s artistic experience is varied. In addition to painting and exhibiting, he has seen several of his still life paintings appear in movies such as “Girl on a Train” and “Julie and Julia.”

“It’s not a major income generator, more of a fun thing to see one’s work in a film,” Callahan said. He has also served on the board of directors of Kimball Jenkins School of Art in Concord and currently serves as an advisor.

“New Hampshire Up Close” opens Saturday September 9 at Two Villages Art Society’s gallery at 846 Main Street in the village of Contoocook. There will be an opening reception with the artist from noon-2 p.m., which is free of charge. Light refreshments will be available and live music will be provided by guitarist Joe Gattuso.

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Callahan will speak about his work and will be on hand to greet visitors during some of the days the exhibit is open.

Two Villages Art Society is a non-profit, member-driven art association with a gallery located at 846 Main Street in Hopkinton’s Contoocook Village. Its gallery is open to the public free of charge Thursday through Sunday from 12:00 - 4:00.

“New Hampshire Up Close” closes on October 7. For more information, visit the art society online at