“Here’s to History!”

“Bold & Brash,” the highly anticipated exhibit at one of Portsmouth’s hottest new “old” spots, was an excellent opportunity to ask one of its sponsors some history-tinged questions.

Jennifer Ramsey, architect, of SOMMA Studios, in Portsmouth, was excited to share information about “Bold & Brash: The Art of John Haley Bellamy,” which opens April 3 at the Discover Portsmouth Center.

First, the nitty-gritty, for your date books:

WHAT: “Bold & Brash: The Art of John Haley Bellamy” art exhibit

WHEN: Thursday, April 3, 5:30 to 8 p.m., VIP doors open 4:30 p.m.; RSVP by March 31

WHERE: Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle St., Portsmouth

COST: VIP Reservation with limited edition: Don’t Give Up the Ship tote and signed copy of James Craig’s “American Eagle: The Bold Art and Brash Life of John Haley Bellamy.” $150; Reservation for members without book and tote, $50; Reservation for non-members, without book and tote, $75

CONTACT: www.portsmouthhistory.org/bellamy, 436-8433

Now on to the questions!

BOLDWERKS: SOMMA is one of the “Bold & Brash” exhibit’s sponsors at the Discover Portsmouth Center. Why is it important for you to do this?

JENNIFER RAMSEY: All of the Center’s exhibits are important because they bring history and art to the forefront, making it available for all. What Discover Portsmouth does provides another layer of information about what this area is all about. With history and the educational process, like most other things — the more mediums you can use to explore and educate the more people you will reach. I spent some time with Maryellen Burke, the Center’s executive director, last year learning about their goals and objectives. I really enjoyed her energy and enthusiasm and thought this was something we could easily get behind and help build.

BOLDWERKS: Exhibit literature states: “At his death the Portsmouth Herald predicted John Haley Bellamy’s ‘name and his carvings will probably be known longer to the outside world than that of any other native born man from his town.’ Who would you be able to say that about in today’s architecture scene?

RAMSEY: Oh that’s a tricky one-forecasting someone’s future fame? There are many fantastic designers working today, assessing common practices, recognizing present day needs and building on those ideas. I really enjoy what I see coming from Kaplan Thompson in Portland http://www.kaplanthompson.com/ . Specifically, I love their Net-Zero business http://brightbuilthome.com/ I think they are well designed, size appropriate for what is becoming more main stream, again,(smaller homes and strong details), and overall very comprehensive, which really is key in architectural design.

BOLDWERKS: The exhibit is entitled “Bold & Brash.” What adjectives describe SOMMA? How about some of the other sponsors Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe? Moxy? Northeast Auctions? White Heron? Kennebunk Savings? Hotel Portsmouth?


  • SOMMA is High Energy & Creative,
  • Jumpin’ Jay’s is Upbeat & With Exceptional Seafood Offerings,
  • Moxy is Simple yet Surprising,
  • Northeast Auctions is Well Curated & Reputable. (They’ve been around for some time!),
  • White Heron is New (for Space in Portsmouth)& Noteworthy (great ‘All Day Breakfast Wrap!),
  • Kennebunk Savings is Helpful & Hardworking (they really go the extra mile for their customers)
  • Hotel Portsmouth is Flirty (love their eclectic old /new vibe) & Forward Thinking (from their in-room bath amenities, Malin+Goetz! -to their in-room iPads. This isn’t your grandmother’s Victorian!)

Jennifer Ramsey is not only a staunch supporter of Portsmouth history, she’s also an impressive architect of the city’s future. Visit her at SOMMA Studios LLC, 117 Bow St., Portsmouth, 766-3760, www.SOMMAstudios.com.