• Exhibit opening night - live music score performance: Friday, October 29 / 8pm / Ticketed event - purchase here
  • Art 'Round Town* reception/Meet the artist: Friday, November 5 / 5-8pm
    Gallery exhibits are free and open to the public.

*monthly gallery walk in Portsmouth.

Kim Massaro’s medium for The Lady of the Woods series, charcoal—often applied to torn craft paper—brings to mind gravestone rubbings, while the dark but heroic themes, limited palette, and her free style nod to comic books, graphic novels, and fantasy art.

An unfamiliar character, the Lady is an embodiment of death, like her brother, the Grim Reaper. While the Grim Reaper's domain is open space, she, instead, presides over the woods.

Massaro’s story finds the siblings in the present day: their realms are shrinking, threatened by urban sprawl, climate change, and the unfettered destruction of their ecosystems. Spurred by the kidnapping of an ally, the siblings join forces in a quest to rescue him and save themselves. It's a quest they discover is even bigger than they realized.

Artist Statement:
"I've always been interested in the spaces and states that transitions create. Death, and how it has been understood and explained through so many different perspectives throughout time and cultures has always been particularly interesting to me as an artist.

One night, in my studio when I was spent with the body of work I had been working on, The Lady appeared. I took out a piece of paper and with no real plan, began to draw. She just jumped out of me, revealing herself. I knew immediately who she was: The Lady of the Woods-- the Grim Reaper’s older sister, a figure of important purpose. As I developed her mythology, the story I was spinning felt akin to a graphic novel. However, I like to work with charcoal on a larger scale-- the process is a physical one. From the beginning, I imagined that this story would be experienced, physically walked through. No one is a bystander in this story. Everyone participates as they move through the pages.

As I continued to develop this immersive graphic tale, I began to understand that it needed a musical score to weave in with the visual and written language. I was put in touch with musician and composer, Jim Rioux. After only a beat and a glance of one drawing, Jim began work on the tone and movement of the accompanying musical composition.

Over a few months, many visual and audio exchanges, and plenty of hard work, I finished the narrative, and Jim finished the score. On Friday, October 29th, we look forward to the opening night of the exhibit presented in this fully realized, collaborative format merging art, story, and sound: The Lady of the Woods: Live Music Score w/ Jim Rioux's Crooked Orchestra.

We are currently working on the second installment/Book 2 of The Lady of The Woods."

Kim Massaro Bio:
I can’t recall when I knew I would grow up to be an artist. I've always approached my world as a creative thinker; a kid comfortable living in the space of the unknown where anything is possible. When I wasn’t exploring, I was drawing and painting on any paper, wall, sidewalk or mud-cake, I could find.

As a high school student, I attended the outreach program at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. I was accepted into the BFA program at Moore with a scholarship and studied 2-dimensional Fine Art for four years, followed by an invitation for Fellowship for a fifth year to study sculpture. After Moore, I lived in Philadelphia, working in restaurants, bars, catering, and creating in my studio late into the night with the urban setting as inspiration.

In June of 2000, I left my beloved city, relocating to the wilds of New Hampshire to attend the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire. The decision to move out of Philadelphia altered the direction of my work and life in unpredictable and significant ways.

The stillness and quiet of the New Hampshire woods, the vast uninhabited spaces, and sounds of nature, was at first terrifying. However, the feeling of loneliness and fear didn't last. After a short time immersed in the natural world, I felt at ease and contemplative. Sitting for hours at a time observing and recording nature with my brush and paint proved to be a conduit for spiritual growth and an awakening of self-awareness that prolifically poured out of me and onto the canvas. I would trek into the woods or through a meadow in heat, darkness, or snow to paint the world around me. Solitude and time in nature was enveloping and rapturous, and transformed my work forever.

Working out in the landscape and in direct observation of all that Mother Nature chooses to display continues to serve as the training for my works created in the studio. No longer a young budding artist, I am now more willing to take chances in my work. The slow mining of patience that can only be uncovered through passing of time has allowed me to conceptualize, develop, and push ideas into and through spaces of the unknown.


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Generously supported by:


3S Artspace is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan from the National Endowment for the Arts.


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