Eric Gold’s “Growing Up Portsmouth” – a captivating celebration of Portsmouth’s cultural evolution – is on display following three years of community collaboration. Over 1,000 individuals contributed painting segments to the vibrant exhibit, which features 12 oversized portraits of key figures that indelibly shaped Portsmouth’s cultural landscape. Among the individuals featured are JerriAnne Boggis (The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, The Harriet Wilson Project), TJ Wheeler (Portsmouth Blues Festival), Bruce Pingree (The Press Room), Russ Grazier (Portsmouth Music and Arts Center), Scott Weintraub (Theatre By The Sea, Prescott Park Arts Festival), and Marguerite Mathews (Pontine Theatre), who also contribute audio stories to the exhibit.

Through the skilled lens of artist Eric Gold, whose work delves into shared consciousness, the resulting collection serves as an experiential time capsule, brilliantly illuminating the creative spirit woven into the fabric of the Portsmouth community.

In addition to general gallery hours, PMAC will host two exhibit-related community events: 

  • A West End Master Series artist discussion on Friday, March 22 offers an intimate insight into Gold’s community-focused artistic process and the role of “Growing Up Portsmouth” in fostering dialogue and connection within the community. (March 22, 5:30-6:30pm, PMAC)
  • The following day, Saturday March 23, people of all backgrounds and abilities are invited to a community painting project. Participants will collectively contribute to the exhibit’s next portrait: a painting of Katie Grazier, Co-Founder and COO of PMAC. (March 23, 9:30-11am, PMAC). 
  • Haas Family Gallery Hours: Mondays 12-5pm, Tuesday-Thursday by appointment, Fridays 12:30-7pm, Saturdays 9am-3pm. 

About Growing Up Portsmouth 

Eric Gold’s “Growing Up Portsmouth” stands as a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage, celebrating its transformation over the past 50 years into a vibrant cultural destination. Artist Eric Gold took inspiration from his own personal connection to the city. “I grew up in Portsmouth at a very special time that had a very strong impact on my life,” Gold shares. He elaborates, “In the ‘70s and ‘80s the cultural markers we cherish today were being created from just an idea: the theater, the music venues, the fashion shops, and restaurants. It was exciting! Anything seemed possible and people were just doing it in what was then a gritty Seacoast town.” Today, the portraits in “Growing Up Portsmouth” pay homage to those same people–the ones whose creativity and vision helped elevate arts and culture in Portsmouth. 

Over the past several years, Gold organized community painting parties in a variety of locations, asking 100 people to contribute to each portrait. Groups gathered to collaborate at 3S Artspace, UNH, the Press Room, and Creek Farm, turning small segments into larger images while telling stories and building connections. “Watching these pieces come together is often like watching a polaroid picture develop, it feels very much like magic,” says Gold. All told, “Growing Up Portsmouth” features the combined contributions of over 1,000 individuals. 

The culminating exhibit is a one-of-a-kind art experience—a reflection of connection, collaboration and community. Each portrait weaves together a mosaic of artistic expression and shared history, and each part contributes to the greater whole, creating a singular experience. 

Portraits: Trevor Bartlett, JerriAnne Boggis, Penny Brewster, Marjan Frank, Russ Grazier, Marguerite Mathews, Bruce Pingree, Laura Pope, J. Dennis Robinson, Virginia Rusell, TJ Wheeler, and Scott Wintraub. 

Event 1: West End Master Series Artist Discussion

Friday March 22, 5:30-6:30pm | PMAC, Haas Family Gallery

Join artist Eric Gold for a West End Master Series discussion about his current exhibit, “Growing Up Portsmouth.” Eric will delve into his community-focused artistic process and what it means to foster dialogue and connection by creating a shared reflective space for people to create art together. Wine and cheese reception to follow.

West End Master Series Sponsor: Service Credit Union.

Event 2: Community Painting Project 

Saturday March 23, 9:30-11am | PMAC, Haas Family Gallery

Community members are invited to help collectively paint a new portrait of Katie Grazier, Co-Founder and COO of PMAC. Each small segment takes 30-60 minutes to complete. Participants will sit in groups to make art while enjoying conversations and a unique experience of community, layered with themes and stories of Portsmouth (which recently celebrated its 400th anniversary) and the subject they are painting. 

People of all abilities and backgrounds are welcome! This event is geared for adults, but all ages are invited to participate. Join us: let’s make art together.

About Artist Eric Gold

Eric Gold is an Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker (2022) and artist whose work explores community and connection through the co-creation of art. Eric has led collaborative paintings with thousands of people across the US and Canada. He has done large commissions for organizations, municipalities, and private collectors. 

Gold’s work addresses complex societal issues by painting the subject as a community in a highly accessible way. Painting together fosters dialogue and connection by creating a shared reflective space. A space where participants are able to express themselves individually while maintaining a place in the collective, all under a common theme of awareness. For examples of his work, visit

Media Contact and Questions

For questions about PMAC’s exhibit of Eric Gold’s “Growing Up Portsmouth” and related events, please contact:

Melissa Schultz, PMAC Director of Marketing |