The Chester Gallery, located in Preston Barn in Henniker, is a focal point for visual arts in the region and is led by Visiting Professor and Gallery Director Devon Mozdierz.
Established in 1988 and renamed in 2016 to honor Chester College of New England (1965–2012) and its founder Faith Preston Wadleigh, this gallery features exhibitions of national significance and works of regionally recognized artists. Designed by alumnus G. Richard Keller ’50 and staffed by NEC students, this space showcases diverse media, large installations, traditional two- and three-dimensional offerings, and a variety of cultural events.
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 Chester Gallery is spacious and spans two floors, with a large cathedral ceiling in the main room and a mezzanine on three sides.