Upcoming Programs and Events
Join fellow Fells supporters in celebrating the opening of the 2018 season! Take a peek at some of the newly installed "Art in Nature" sculpture which will open on June 24th, stroll the gardens fragrant with spring blossoms, and learn about the history of the Hay family and the estate through the new displays in our exhibit room. Complimentary wine bar and light hors d’oeuvres. Reserve HERE or by calling 603-763-4789 x.3.
Art in Nature 2018: Outdoor Sculpture is an exhibition of 35 extraordinary sculptures by 26 local and regional artists situated in the beautiful landscape of The Fells. A sneak peek of the exhibit opens to the public on May 26. The full installation will have a gala unveiling on June 24. The complete exhibition runs from June 24th-October 8th. All sculptures are available for purchase with The Fells receiving a portion of the proceeds.
The June 24th Formal Opening of the Sculpture Exhibit will feature live jazz music by the Michael Parker Jazz Ensemble, libations, presentations, hors d’oeuvres and tours of the exhibit. Call The Fells at 603-763-4789 ext. 3 or order tickets ONLINE. Cost is $50 per person.
There are seven species of turtles native to New Hampshire. Can you name them? Join Joshua Megyesy, a biologist with New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Non-game and Endangered Wildlife Program, as we discover these special animals and their habitat needs. We will learn about the challenges our turtles face and what we can do to help. This program, designed for elementary school age children through adults, will include a presentation in the John Hay Classroom in The Fells Gatehouse, followed by an easy hike to turtle habitat on the grounds of The Fells. Waterproof boots may be helpful! Members: free, non-members: included with regular admission fee. Advanced registration is requested, though walk-ins are welcome. To reserve call 603-763-4789 x3.
Now open Saturday, Sunday and Monday Holidays, 10am-4pm, May 26 through June 17. Discover what life was like on an early 20th century New Hampshire summer estate. See new exhibits in history, ecology and art. Take an historic guided tour of the 22-room Colonial Revival Main House, explore the renowned gardens, build a fairy house in the children’s Fairy Village and experience the natural world on an easy hike along one of our scenic trails. Our self serve on your honor Plant Stand is open daily, 10am-4pm, in the Gatehouse Courtyard.
Bringing Light to Life is an exhibit of oil paintings by Frances Weston Hoyt (1908-2005.) Originally from Elizabeth, NJ, Hoyt attended the Art Students League in New York and studied with the renowned painter and teacher, Frank Vincent DuMond. Among DuMond’s students in New York were Norman Rockwell, Georgia O’Keefe, and John Marin. Hoyt’s approach to landscape painting was inspired by DuMond’s development of the “prismatic palette,” a system for the artist to really understand and control value and color. Hoyt’s growth and development as an artist can be seen in the vast number of exhibitions and many awards and honors she has received. But it is the power and beauty of her artwork that speaks for itself. It is our hope that this exhibition will allow Frances Weston Hoyt’s paintings to continue to teach us how to perceive, how to really see, and how to capture light and bring it to life. The exhibit runs from May 26th-October 8th and is displayed on the 2nd floor of the Main House. We are grateful for the generosity of the Hoyt family for the loan of these paintings and artifacts.
Throughout her life, the intrepid Mrs. Hoyt was ready to grab her paint box and easel and head into the natural world, knowing she would find inspiration in the ephemeral quality of light. She shared her experience and wisdom with many students over the years, often calling one of them early in the morning saying, “Quick, grab your paints! The light this morning will be perfect!”
The Distant View is an exhibition of artists who frequently answered that early morning call. Some were private students of Hoyt, others were simply friends and colleagues who enjoyed painting with Fran. Each of these artists has his or her own story to tell, but they are also eager to share their relationship with Frances Weston Hoyt with us. Discover how these painters use light and shadow, and a prismatic color palette to capture the beauty of nature. The artists participating in this show include: Debbie Campbell, Rob Caputo, Mary Jane Q. Cross, Lisa Jelleme, Bruce Jennings, Vicki Koran, Susan Parmenter, Gil Perry, Sarah Pike, and John Traynor. These paintings will be exhibited from May 26th- October 8th in the 1st floor gallery of the Main House. These works may be purchased through The Fells. In addition, we are planning a day in late August or early September to Come Paint at the Fells with John Traynor. Bring your paint box and easel and spend the day painting at The Fells. John Traynor will be here painting and will also be happy to give you some encouragement and advice. This is not a formal art class but a gathering of fokls who love to paint plein air. All levels of experience welcome! Stay tuned!
May bursts forth with the colors and sounds of Spring! We will investigate the best of the Spring Season. Join Lake Sunapee Protective Association’s education staff in this program for pre-school age children and their caregivers. Children will love the hands on learning and sensory experiences; guided exploration; creative play; and art and music. Free. No reservations necessary. Meets at The Fells Gatehouse. Co-sponsored by The Fells and Lake Sunapee Protective Association.
A three-part series of evening programs and hikes led by Forest Society Naturalist and Director of Education, Dave Anderson held on May 31 and June 14 and 21. (See specific calendar dates for more information.) Attend one or all three programs. Co-sponsored by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests and The Fells. Members: $10, nonmembers:$15 per program. All programs meet at the Gatehouse Kiosk. Advance registration required, please register early. To register, or for more information contact 603-763-4789 x3.
John Hay had written in several of his books about childhood summers spent at The Fells; his parents Clarence and Alice Hay; and the special places he fondly remembers exploring. This late afternoon program on the Veranda of the Main House will share readings from John Hay’s works—The Immortal Wilderness, A Beginner’s Faith in Things Unseen and In The Company of Light. Join Dave Anderson as he reads several passages from John Hay’s writings—each inspired by John Hay’s boyhood rambles at The Fells, Lake Sunapee and his own summertime explorations of the former farms which now comprise The Fells and the Forest Society’s Hay Forest Reservation. No hiking, this program takes place on the Veranda of The Main House. Co-sponsored by Society for the Protection of NH Forests and The Fells. Members: $10, nonmembers: $15 per program. Advance registration required, please register early. To register, or for more information contact 603-763-4789 x3.
Beech Brook rises near the summit of Sunset Hill and tumbles through the Forest Society’s Hay Forest Reservation and the John Hay National Wildlife Refuge, both adjacent to The Fells, until it reaches Lake Sunapee. Throughout its course, native Eastern Brook Trout inhabit this pristine water. John Magee, a Fisheries Biologist and Fish Habitat Program Leader with New Hampshire Fish and Game, will lead us as we explore the brookie, its history and habitat. We begin in the John Hay classroom in the Gatehouse for a visual presentation, followed by a walk to stream side where we will use electrofishing techniques to survey the trout population. Members: free, non-members: included with regular admission fee. Advanced registration is requested, though walk-ins are welcome. To reserve call 603-763-4789 x3.
Members, this is your evening! Join us for light refreshments and early bird shopping at our Annual Plant Sale. Receive 10% off all Fells plants and get advice from our expert landscape staff. We have an array of outstanding plants, including specialty alpines and rock garden plants, as well some sought after signature plants. Visit our white elephant table that is overflowing with gently used and well loved clay pots and garden and landscape tools. Not a member? JOIN or RENEW your Fells Membership at our Information Table! Held at the Main House Pebble Court rain or shine.
Buy quality, well established plants and shrubs propagated and field dug from The Fells very own gardens, as well as from the region’s finest nurseries. We also have a terrific selection of Fells signature, specialty alpine, and rock garden plants. There will be professional landscape designers/architects on site to speak with you about your landscaping project, and you’ll find unique garden art and a white elephant table overflowing with gently used clay pots and landscape tools. Tours of our Main House and gardens will be offered free of charge beginning at 8:30 am to all shoppers. Members, bring your membership cards and save 10% on all Fells plant purchases! Not a member? JOIN or RENEW your Fells Membership at our Information Table! Drive or walk to the Main House, where there is parking available.
Lynn Clark and Rebecca Courser will present their research on rural free-black settlement in post-Revolutionary New Hampshire, documenting the stories of many African American inhabitants in five towns in the Kearsarge-Lake Sunapee region. While the histories of these individuals are important in their own right, what they reveal about the attitudes and prejudices of the early local historians is perhaps more relevant. This program challenges us to acknowledge the relevance of African-American history throughout New Hampshire and to start to compensate for the many years that the state’s black heritage has been misunderstood or forgotten altogether.
The presentation will explore various themes, rather than a more formal chronological approach. Clark and Courser will explore questions using families and individual stories as evidence. The theme of relevance will be central to the program, as the presenters lead us through documentation such as black soldiers’ war records and published local town histories. We will be paying particular attention to how African Americans were perceived and how they are written about in the historic record and drawing important connections to how these attitudes and assumptions are still present in our contemporary society. We hope that the bulk of this program is a conversation among the presenters and audience about race, local history, and social equity.
This event is generously supported by a grant from New Hampshire Humanities. Event is free and open to the public. Meets in the classroom of the Gatehouse. Advance registration requested. To register, call 603-763-4789 x3.
Get off the trail for a moderate hike with Dave Anderson to explore some of the less well known features of The Fells. We’ll find evidence of the Great Hurricane of 1938, which devastated much of New England. So many trees were blown down that mills were still processing the salvaged lumber in 1947. Here at The Fells, we can still see signs of the salvage corridor and the lakeside log landing. We will also search for a small, hidden spring of water. Like an oracle of sorts, John Hay once said, “this is where my father Clarence Hay had kept a tin cup ‘for the thirsty’ and whose waters C.L. Hay proclaimed to be ‘the finest in the State.’” We’ll visit the spring, clear away the fallen leaves and perhaps reinstall the tin cup. This is a moderate guided walk of about 1.50 miles along The Gatehouse Link and Beech Brook trails at The Fells, with off-trail explorations along the shore of Lake Sunapee, returning uphill from the Main House to the Gate House via the driveway. Includes off-trail exploration and easy walking along trails and woods roads. Co-sponsored by Society for the Protection of NH Forests and The Fells. Members: $10, nonmembers: $15 per program. Meet at the Gatehouse Kiosk. Advance registration required, please register early. To register, or for more information call 603-763-4789 x3.
The Fells Main House is now open Wednesdays through Sundays through Labor Day.
A note about payment for programs and events.
We ask that payment be made in advance for all programs and events. If the class or event is cancelled by The Fells for any reason, registration fees will be refunded. Students may withdraw and receive a full refund or apply payment toward another class up to five days prior to the class date. Unless special circumstances warrant, no refund will occur when withdrawal is within five days. Payment for Special Event tickets may not be refunded after the headcount has been made to the caterer, or beyond the “reserve-by” date. Requests for refunds prior to this date will be honored. Thank you for your understanding.