PRESS RELEASE: First Annual “The Art of Climbing” A Success

Photo by Brian Post

CONWAY VILLAGE: November 18, 2007: It was a first in more ways than one: who knew that art and climbing could make such a successful combination?

On November 9th over one hundred guests attended Kismet Rock Foundation’s first ever The Art of Climbing event at Salyards Center for the Arts in Conway Village. Outdoor enthusiasts and art appreciators alike gathered to enjoy a climbing themed art opening followed by a captivating slideshow presentation by The North Face athlete Mark Synnott. The result was nearly $4,000 in donations and artwork purchases, with proceeds split between Kismet and Salyards.

“It was a most wonderful event held at the Salyards last Friday”, said Salyards Center for the Arts managing director Cindy Russell. “It was such a unique and superb presentation. I truly hope we can have a ‘second annual’ next fall.

Featured artists included painter Renan Ozturk and mixed media artist Emilie Lee. Local photographers included Anne Skidmore, Brian Post, Joe Klemintovich, A.J. Jones, Ashley Link, Brian Irwin and Rick Wilcox. Two jewelers, Kris Pastoriza and Karen Eisenberg, offered wearable climbing and nature-inspired pieces. Participating Jackson artists included oil painter Anne Garland, Randy Rackliff with his climbing-inspired woodcut prints, Stan Bodkins and Dick Devellian. Non-local contributing artists included Mike Shore, George Bouret, Harrison Shull, Mark Richey, Martha Davis and R. Todd Shaffer. Climbing literature from writers Clint Willis and Laura Waterman was also featured.

Special thanks to Mark Synnott for donating his slideshow presentation and gathering The North Face giveaways. Thanks also to Mike Jewell, Kismet’s executive director and master pianist, for donating musical entertainment; to Louise Perry of Vintage Frameworks for offering discounts to participating artists and providing easels for the event; to Joe Quirk of the Majestic Theatre for assistance with the slideshow technology and to Steven Hartmann & Laura Glassover of Nereledge Inn for offering lodging discounts. The Art of Climbing event atmosphere was greatly enhanced by Cafe Noche’s food and beverage bar as well.

Kismet Rock Foundation offers comprehensive and technical courses in rock climbing and mountaineering to young people who, because of financial and cultural limitations, do not have access to such an education. Kismet’s annual campaign is now underway, with a goal of raising $40,000 by the year’s end. Learn more by visiting or send a check to Kismet Rock Foundation, P.O. Box 1744, North Conway, NH 03860.