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Local artist creates map of area businesses

On the banks of the Newfound River, Charlie "The Cosmic Moose" Kuzinas and his wife Alison recently displayed his fun and "magical" depiction of the Newfound Lake Area that is now available in signed limited edition prints along with paper copies that will help familiarize people with the some of the wonders of the Newfound Region. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
June 27, 2020
BRISTOL – Charlie Kuzinas, known to many locals as the "Cosmic Moose," has brought his talent for whimsical art to the Newfound Region once again with what he calls his "magical" map of many of the great businesses available to residents and visitors in the area.

For several years Cosmic Moose signboards, greeting cards and other items have been popping up all over the area, but with the assistance of his wife Alison, this year Kuzinas decided to take his creativity to a different level.

"Alison's my muse. She gives me advice and keeps me grounded. We worked hard on this project, and she did all the marketing for me," Kuzinas said.

The whimsical map they came up with for this summer is certainly not geographically correct but it is absolutely fun to behold. It points out locations from Coppertoppe Inn and Retreat Center in Hebron all the way down to the Purple Pit Coffee Lounge in Bristol's Central Square. In all, nearly 50 area businesses supported him in the project that brings wonderfully creative attention to all that the Newfound Region has to offer.

Hair salons, realtors, breweries, clothing boutiques, rotary groups, and even saw mills jumped on board when Kuzinas approached them with his idea.

"This was all designed to showcase the hidden businesses," he said. "The map itself is actually an adventure, not a true map of the area. Five towns is an enormous area to cover, so nothing is to scale. It's just a map about happiness!"

Kuzinas, who resides in Alexandria, said the Newfound Region is a paradise of treasures that many don't often hear about, whether they are on vacation or live here year round. Artists, gift shops, wineries and more, are tucked away in many corners of the area and he hopes this map will not only entertain, but encourage everyone to visit some of the locations.

Alison said that another part of the concept was to help bring the Newfound area towns and businesses together through the creativity of her husband's art.

"There's been a surge of businesses, crafters, musicians and artists making things here in all five communities that many don't even know about," said Alison. "This was a fun way for him to make people aware of some of them."

Kuzinas started his map project by driving around last October to really study what the buildings and landmarks actually look like.

"I got very familiar with Google Earth during that time, too, as I examined each building," he said.

Whimsical depictions of those storefronts, roads, rivers and parks were then incorporated into his painting of the map.

Kuzinas map included not only the businesses that sponsored the project but several other fun and sometimes-mythical characters pop up in it as well. Gnomes, Sasquatch, bears on rafts, and moose hiking or tubing on the lake are just a few of the magical characters that can be discovered hiding in the map. Hearts, like one for Tapply-Thompson Community Center, the "heart of Bristol" as he called it, are also prominent in the piece.

"This map is really an adventure for people as they look at it," Kuzinas said. "There is so much to be seen throughout it all."

One other nice touch is the addition of yellow "lights on" in the windows of his sponsors.

There are no masks on his nature characters, no signs at all of the pandemic, only the great features and creatures that attract so many to live, work and play in the Newfound Region.

"There's no negativity here. This has been a difficult time right now but I want people to remember this for the goodness that I know will come out of it all," said Kuzinas.

While the Cosmic Moose artist does have an original painting of his map, signed and matted limited edition prints are now available at Newfound Country Store, where his greeting cards and colorful beach towels can also be found.

The Hebron Village Store, Basic Ingredients, Crazy Cat Winery, Granite Group Realty, The Purple Pit, Imagine and many other locations offer free paper copies of the map as well for people visiting, shopping or doing business in the Newfound region.

"Art has been with me through good times and bad. It's my outlet, my therapy, my meditation. This piece is mostly all about my love for this community," Kuzinas said.

For more information about the Newfound Lake New Hampshire Area Map and other fun-filled artwork and products available from the "Cosmic Moose," visit his Web site, cosmicmooseart.com.

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