Ken N. Gidge

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Ken Gidge is an American state representative born on May 26, 1946, in Nashua, New Hampshire. Both his uncle, Lester Gidge, and his grandfather were inventors. Ken Gidge also became well known for both his inventions and his art.[1]


Gidge was born deaf in one ear, which caused his early elementary teacher to believe he was lazy or a slow learner. As a result, he had to repeat both the first and second grade. His partial deafness was not discovered until he reached third grade. Unfortunately, his disability could not be improved with a hearing aid, so his teachers taught him to read lips. This skill helped him finish elementary school and complete his high school studies.

In the 1960s, Gidge moved to Boston to study acting and art. He supported himself by working as a bartender. He eventually quit his studies and moved back to Nashua.[2]

In 1978, Gidge invented two energy saving devices, "Le Door" and "Le Frigidoor". These inventions were marketed nationally and internationally. During this period he became aware that inventions were regularly stolen and decided to try and stop this from happening, so he created a committee called the National Inventors Award Committee to honor inventors and inventions.[3] He hosted then Vice President, George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush to come to Nashua for the National Inventors Award Committee's event. The mayor of Nashua, NH, Mo Aurel, was also invited. The 1982 National Inventors Award was given to two young adopted brothers, Lewis Barton (age 14) and Curtis Lawson (age 10).[4][5][6]

Gidge 3D[edit]

Three-dimensional art using a still image is generally considered to be one of the following: computer-generated imagery (which can be used to create sculptural art, as in 3D printing); trompe l'oeil, also known as "fool the eye" street art (sometimes executed in chalk); or stereo-optic visuals that require special glasses with a double image. Distinctive from the above types of 3D work, Ken Gidge, developed a new form of three-dimensional art: an abstract fine art treatment referred to as "Gidge 3D Spectral Illusions", which gives the viewer the impression that shapes on the flat surface of the painting are projecting outward, floating in space or receding into the surface.[7][8] The viewer needs to look through special 3D glasses that have bifocal vision for the optical illusion to be perceived. This treatment was first shown at the Chimera Gallery in Nashua, NH by Nancy Ferrier on October 29, 2011.[9] David Tiller, an early collector of Gidge 3D art is credited for describing the work as "Spectral Illusions".[10]

This innovation is not so much concerned with style elements or subject matter, but rather by combining variables that generate the optical illusion of depth or projection from the surface of the canvas creating an exceptional image. Unlike other forms of three-dimensional art, where the illusion of depth is created by manipulating perspective or the layering of numerous images, Gidge 3D Spectral Illusions are produced solely by the confluence of color, chromatic glasses, and the viewer's interpretation of what they are observing. The critical factor is that the illusion of depth is created on a flat surface.[11][12]

Ken Gidge considers himself primarily an inventor, and incidentally, an artist.[13] His work is considered by fellow artist Susan Marie Stevens to be energetic and insightful. She stated in her review, "Most pieces being abstract in nature, one can see Gidge's use of design and texture, even if some of the textural qualities are subtle until revealed by the 3D viewing, creating a distinctly different flow of forms and a delightful play of color." There are occasional excursions into figurative art, with images of fanciful fish or flowers that possess a stained glass appearance.[14][15]

There is an impressive use of various techniques that call to mind any number of contemporary styles. When considering Gidge 3D Spectral Illusions as an innovative art form or a unique school of art, one calls to mind the birth of Impressionism, Pointillism, Cubism, and Action and Splatter painting. Gidge believes that when the secret to its execution is revealed, it will become a popular new art style, with innumerable developments to be discovered.[16]


  1. ^ Sherman, Steve. "Gidge's Gagets." New Hampshire Profiles Feb. 1987: p61,62, 63. Print
  2. ^ Gidge, K. (2011, February 20) Profile. Fine Art America. Retrieved December 30, 2012 from
  3. ^ "Flight of the Gizmo." Nashua Telegraph 27 Dec. 1985, VOL 117, No.224 ed.: 1. Web. 1 July 2012.
  4. ^ Staff Writers. (1983, June 20, Vol. 19, No. 24). Foster Brothers Curtis Lawson and Lewis Barton Funnel Their Energy into Award-Winning Inventions. Retrieved December 30, 2012 from,,20085320,00.html
  5. ^ "Nashua's youthful Inventors featured on national TV ." The Telegraph Video Showcase Friday - TV Chatter 26 Dec. 1983, local ed.: 1,2.Print.
  6. ^ Smith, Robert G. "They're Award Winning Inventors- at ages 10 and 14." The National Enquirer 5 Apr. 1983: 38. hard copy. Web. 1 July 2012.
  7. ^ Robbidoux, Carol, and Carol Robidoux. "Gidge 3-D !!!" Nashua Patch. Patch on line news, 29 October 2011. Web. 14 June 2012.
  8. ^ Burnett III James H. . "N.H. legislator turns to 3-D Painting. " The Boston Globe", 5 January 2013
  9. ^ Robidoux, Carol. "Art Walk Shines Light on Local Art Community." Nashua Patch., 6 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 June 2012.
  10. ^ Rios, Simon, "Only in Print: Nashua artist thinks his work will set art ... - ", The Union Leader, 6 March 2012.
  11. ^ Robbidoux, Carol, and Carol Robidoux. "Gidge 3-D !!!" Nashua Patch. Patch on line news , 29 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 June 2012
  12. ^ Robidoux, Carol. "Art Walk Shines Light on Local Art Community." Nashua Patch., 6 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 June 2012
  13. ^ Sherman, Steve. "Gidge's Gagets." New Hampshire Profiles Feb. 1987: p. 61, 62, 63. Print.
  14. ^ Robidoux, Carol. "Art Walk Shines Light on Local Art Community." Nashua Patch., 6 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 June 2012.
  15. ^ Taormina, Barbra. "Nashua shows off its artsy side at rain-dampened ArtWalk Celebration ."Union Leader , 30 September 2012.
  16. ^ Clemons, Joel. "Confessions of a Flagpole Sitter." Salem Times 13 Oct. 1971: 6. Salem times archive. Web. 1 July 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bluementhal, Joel, " Water Winds, Wing Wheel Latest Invention In World of Nashua's Former Flagole siterr. June 28, 1985, 35th Annual State of New Hampshire Edition line news, 29 October 2011. Web. 14 June 2012.
  • Jones, Cynthia, Flagpole Champ, Restaurateur Adds Poetry to Latest Pursuits, Dec 23, 1976