works by Jen Akers-Hughes

  • Reception / Meet the artist: Friday, March 3 / 5-8pm
  • Free and open to the public
  • Reception coincides with Art Round Town.

In honor of Portsmouth’s 400th year anniversary, 3S Artspace held an open call for submissions by artists living or working in Portsmouth today. There was no shortage of talent and creativity. We invite you to join us as we celebrate the extraordinary artists selected to exhibit in the Lobby Gallery in 2023. All exhibited works are available for purchase, with revenue supporting both the artists and 3S.

Artist Statement
The City of Portsmouth that we know today, a bustling red-brick downtown full of charm and history, was born out of the ashes of devastation. Midway through Portsmouth’s 400-year history, three separate fires in 1802, 1806, and 1813 ripped through crowded wooden center of town. Jen Akers-Hughes' work explores disasters wrought by destructive forces of nature. As Portsmouth has shown, from disaster can come beauty. Resulting from the repeated fires was the Brick Act of 1814, mandating that all new structures be built of inherently more fire-resistant brick which has given us the city that we know today.

These works—The flames tumultuous rage around, From ruin and destruction fly, and Desolation covers all the place—take their titles from lines of a ballad, “The Unhappy Sufferers of Portsmouth” printed in a Boston newspaper after the second fire in 1806 and are scenes of a blaze engulfing the artist's conception of an early 19th-century Portsmouth.

Jen Akers-Hughes Bio
Jen Akers Hughes is a self-taught emerging artist that specializes in painting acrylics. Originally from the chilly Canadian Prairie and raised in a family of firefighters, she is particularly drawn to depicting calamities, disasters, and those moments of tension between humanity and inescapable forces of nature. Jen’s work has appeared in galleries in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.


Generously supported by:

3S Artspace is supported in part by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.