Exhibits at the Library

Recent Exhibit

windows posterWindows of Portsmouth, Hand Drawn Digital Illustrations

Selections from the ongoing series of hand drawn digital illustrations of windows in and around Portsmouth by local artist and designer, Elissa Von Letkemann

 On view: September 7th - through October 7th in the Levenson Room

Artist Reception and talk: Sunday, September 17th, 2-4pm Levenson Room

Designer, teacher, branding consultant and artist, Elissa Von Letkemann, started her Windows project in 2016 to establish a regular creative practice for herself and to balance her busy professional life of designing and art directing for others. Inspired by fellow designers’ cumulative bodies of work, a lifelong obsession with windows and natural light, and nostalgic memories of her own travels through the streets of Portsmouth—which began as a young teenager in the 1980’s—the Windows of Portsmouth concept was born. 

“I love discovering interesting windows, some of which I’ve passed by a million times and never noticed. And the act of illustrating them is meditative and I can find myself in a flow state sometimes while working. But my favorite part of this project is thinking of the story behind each window. Most times, I don’t know who lives in the home I photograph, so as I’m drawing I find myself making up narratives about them. Why do they always keep the shade down? How long have they lived there? Are they happy being on the shady side of the street?”

Elissa's process begins with taking quick cellphone photos of windows that strike her as interesting for one reason or another as she goes about her day in Portsmouth: running errands, on morning walks, strolling after dinner downtown. Historic or gritty, curtains drawn or pulled wide open, snow settled in the corners or a cat dozing on a sunny sill - whatever speaks to her. Later she brings the photos into Illustrator and starts to draw them by hand, simplifying and abstracting, using creative license, omitting a trash can or making the flowers in a window box bigger, upping the saturation, adding an imagined shadow.

Elissa's Windows have been displayed at 3S ArtSpace, The Moffatt Ladd House, The Salem Witch Museum, coffee shops, distilleries, and numerous art events and markets. Prints, cards and calendars are available for purchase on Etsy at EVArtandDesign. 

Elissa Von Letkemann is the founder of Elissa Von Letkemann Art & Design and specializes in retail brand design. She attended Portsmouth High School and graduated from Berwick Academy and The University of New Hampshire. Later she received her MFA in Graphic Design from Boston University. Elissa lives on the sunny side of her street in Portsmouth and has lots of windows.

For more information please visit elissavonletkemann.com and follow the series on Instagram at @WindowsofPortsmouth.

About Library Exhibits


Exhibit and display space in the Portsmouth Public Library is used to highlight Library collections, services, and events.

As scheduling permits, the Library also makes available space for groups, organizations, or individuals to exhibit in the library. Space is provided for educational, cultural, civic, or recreational exhibits with the following goals:

  • To broaden horizons by presenting a wide range of art, collections, or displays
  • To support community educational, cultural and artistic activities
  • To nourish intellectual, aesthetic and creative growth

Visiting exhibits are on display for one month, but shorter time periods can be arranged if space permits. To discuss an educational, cultural, civic or recreational exhibit contact Nicole Cloutier at (603) 766-1725 or through our contact form.

You can download the library's exhibit policy here.

You can fill out a display application here or download the application here.