The New England College Art Gallery, located in Preston Barn on the Henniker campus, is a focal point for visual arts in the region. Established in 1988, the Gallery was the realization of a vision shared by then president William R. O’Connell, Jr., and noted author, photographer, and curator Robert R. “Mac” Doty. Both men wanted to create a professional gallery in central New Hampshire that would showcase the region’s emerging talent. In keeping with the college’s mission, the gallery would be accessible, welcoming, and free to the community at large. Mac Doty’s expertise and love of the arts was evident as he led the renovation of the barn and design of the gallery space.
The Art Gallery is spacious and spans two floors, with a large cathedral ceiling in the main room and a mezzanine on three sides. It offers ample space for expanded exhibitions and secondary shows and often features exhibitions of national significance and works of regionally recognized artists. Exhibits have included diverse media, large site-specific installations, and traditional two- and three-dimensional offerings, and contribute a historical, social, political or cultural significance not usually found outside of major urban centers.
The Art Gallery was designed by NEC alumni G. Richard Keller, P.E. ʼ50, and its first director was renowned photography scholar Robert M. Doty. Today the Art Gallery is led by esteemed director, Darryl Furtkamp.