Laura Freeman – “Variations on a Figure” Exhibition at River Arts
– art review by John Lorence
“Variations on a Figure” is an exhibition of sculpture and drawings. The exhibit is from November 6 to 18 with a reception for the artist on Friday, the 13th from 5 to 7 pm. You will enjoy the seriousness and playfulness of this show at the River Arts’ West Gallery at 241 US Route 1 in Damariscotta.
The artist reveals how she has explored, quite widely, the solids and shapes of the human body. Her strong drawing immediately informs you that she understands and has studied anatomy. But, she goes beyond that by suggesting her conclusions in clay and bronze. She captures the mass, gesture and animations of walking, running as well as bending and curled-up individual seated or lying on a sofa or chair. The body volume is always present in each clay or bronze study — some of which could be fetal or adult interpretations. Some figurative pieces are in repose; some have a lot of action.
Freeman’s sculptures can give you a personal experience. There is one pedestal arranged with small figures for the view to pick up and hold in your hand. As you handle this little sculpture, you get a visual close-up and the tactile feeling of her work. (Art is, of course, mental and manual) You really are participating!! That’s using your special sensory response. Enjoy!!
This show is full of humor and wit. In essence everyone will identify with what is in the River Arts’ West Gallery.
“Sheepscot Watershed” Exhibition at River Arts
Oct 9- Nov 5
Sample of the Works
River Arts in Damariscotta and the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association (SVCA) are inviting the public to view a new exhibition “Sheepscot Watershed”. The two organizations teamed up this year to highlight the arts and nature through a series of events, culminating in this exhibition portraying the flora, fauna and vistas of the Sheepscot Watershed from Boothbay Harbor to Freedom. The juror for this show is Bob Keyes, writer for the Portland Press Herald. The exhibition will hang until November 5th. A percentage of the sales will go to the SVCA.
River Arts is located at 241 US Route 1 in Damariscotta and is open Tuesday – Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 10 -2. For more information call 563-1507 or visit the website www.riverartsme.org
Axel Stohlberg – Solo Show – West Gallery Opening Reception – Oct 23 5-7
Castlebay at River Arts – November 8 – 2pm
Sunday November 8 at 2:00 at the River Arts Gallery Route 1 Damariscotta, the folk
duo Castlebay will present a concert of both traditional and contemporary songs in
celebration of Samhain, the late autumn Celtic holiday known to most people as
Halloween. This special concert will explore the many aspects of the Samhain
celebration through songs, poetry and stories of harvest and the twilight of the year. In addition, local artist Heather Elowe will unveil the image she created for Castlebay’s new recording of the music and poetry of the season. Tickets at the door $10.
Autumn is a time of harvest and preparation for the dark, lean time that is winter.
Before the industrial revolution, when the vast majority of people lived in a pastoral setting, this time of renewal was a natural part of the yearly cycle. The mythology, music and arts of the ancient Celtic people reflects their belief in cycles and that a cycle began in darkness. The day started at dusk and the New Year, or Samhain (pronounced sahwhen), occurred at the end of October when the seed falls to the earth for a time of incubation. This season called Samhain, which means “summer’s end” in Gaelic, is a time for both endings and beginnings; honoring the memory of things past and preparing for Spring’s rebirth. More than just a celebration of gathering the fruits of our physical labor, it was believed that we should show appreciation for our ancestors and reap the harvest of their wisdom and experience as we prepare for the next cycle. or “Old Crone of Winter” makes her appearance at Samhain. It was also believed that this is a time when the door to the “otherworld” is open and so we have the opportunity to see both past and future. With this door open, the normal and supernatural mingle and all is not as it seems. Disguises and charms are necessary to confound the tricky spirits and treats are necessary to assuage them. Celtic music and poetry are rich with the symbols and imagery of this potent and mysterious time.
Castlebay members Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee sing and play the music of the Celtic
lands interweaving music and lore in their personable performances. Both are
accomplished vocalists who support their singing and stories with guitar, fiddle,
tinwhistle and award-winning playing of the Celtic harp. The duo has traveled to the
British Isles and Ireland both performing and researching the origins of their music.
Come and enjoy an evening of entrancing Celtic music, myth and magic. For more
information see www.castlebay.net, phone 207-529-5438, email
Abstract Art by Mac Economy at West Gallery in River Arts Oct. 9 – 21
River Arts in Damariscotta invites the public to the opening of a solo show in the West Gallery featuring the work of Camden artist, Mac Economy on Friday, Oct 9th from 5-7 pm. Mac’s large abstract art in acrylic and mixed media is original and focuses on deep texture with strong color contrasts. The show runs from Oct 9 thru the 21st.
Mac Economy is a Mid Coast Maine native who is a Professional Musician, Guitar instructor and operates K2 Music in Camden. Over the past few years Mac has been showing his abstracts in galleries and businesses in the midcoast area and is developing a strong reputation as an abstract artist. Mac is gaining momentum among the art community creating his own “Brand” of art. Often painting in the moment with no preconceived direction Mac lets the process direct the outcome resulting in unique abstracts. For more info on Mac’s work visit www.maceconomyart.com
River Arts “Mainly Maine” Exhibition
River Arts in Damariscotta, is inviting the public to view its newest exhibition “Mainly Maine”. More than 100 works in a wide variety of media and styles are on exhibit. The exhibition runs through September 3rd.
The juror for this show is Andy Curran artist, founder and director of the former Saccarappa Art Collective in Westbrook and longtime owner of Dog Star Creations. Andy was born and raised in Westbrook, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from University of Southern Maine and currently spends his time creating new pieces in his studio in Westbrook.
Sample of the work
|Mainly Maine 2015|
Tina Ingraham – Drawing Demonstration
July 17 @ 4pm (Damariscotta/Newcastle Artwalk Day)
Portrait of Mira Koerner-Safrata 36″ x 40″ Oil on Linen
“Drawing the Portrait Head”
Working from a seated model, Tina Ingraham will demonstrate drawing a portrait from life with attention to the importance of building the drawing from measurement, and creating a spatial reference for the subject’s environment.
July 28 – 7-8pm
“Following the Light”
Tina Ingraham will be presenting selected images of her painting collections created during her travels in Italy, California and Maine. Included in her presentation will be her painting process, whether in studio or on-site, in creating the illusion of light, and the technical considerations she confronts with paint application in resolving each work of art. Reference to various master works she has studied will be referenced in her presentation.
Tina Ingraham was born in Kenton, Ohio in 1947. She received her MFA from Brooklyn College of CUNY in 1996 and Bachelor of Science in Design at the University of Cincinnati, College of DAAP in 1970. She has a broad history in a variety of teaching experiences, done independently and within educational institutions including Bowdoin College, Stephens College, Maine College of Art and Brooklyn College where she received a teaching Fellowship and the Charles G. Shaw Award for excellence. In 1999 she received a grant from The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation that funded her painting in Italy from 1999 until 2003. Other awards include a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship. Current work in progress includes a text on teaching painting, a collection of still lifes and her paintings about the evolution of Popham Beach in Phippsburg, Maine. Significant commissions include a collection of thirteen portraits of the family of Myron Edward Ullman III, CEO of JC Penney, seven portraits of the Runjan Marwah family of Hong Kong, Republic of China, and a portrait of Joshua Chamberlain commissioned by Bowdoin College. She paints and teaches from her studios in Bath, ME. Ms. Ingraham’s principle exhibition gallery is Somerville Manning Gallery in Greenville, Delaware.
Petrea Noyes Solo Show – Opening in Reception in the West Gallery June 19 – 5-7 thru- July 1
River Arts in Damariscotta is announcing the opening reception in the West Gallery for artist Petrea Noyes of Lincolnville who will have a solo show June 19-July 1. The opening reception will be held Friday, June 19 from 5-7 pm coinciding with the monthly Damariscotta/Newcastle Artwalk. The public is invited to meet Petrea, hear about her process and the works on display.
Petrea will be exhibiting some of her favorite pieces from the past 10 years. Works include mixed-media based on digitally altered vintage photos and digital collages printed on various media using a pigment archival large scale inkjet printer.
Petrea been doing this since 1962 in one fashion or another and has exhibited throughout the Northeast for over 50 years. Her work is in numerous private collections and a number or corporate collections including Marriott Corporation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
River Arts Member Show – Opening July 3 5-7
River Arts “Abstract” Exhibition – May 29 – June 25
River Arts in Damariscotta, is inviting the public to view its newest exhibition “Abstract”. The show features 88 works by Maine artists in a wide variety of media, including sculpture and fine crafts. The exhibition will hang until June 25th.
Dozier Bell, the juror for this exhibition, is a Maine native, who studied art with Neil Welliver in the University of Pennsylvania MFA program and at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She is the recipient of several awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship as artist-in-residence at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants, and the Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant. Residencies include the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, and the MacDowell Colony, among others. She received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Maine College of Art in 1997. A selection of her drawings from the Bates Museum is included in the current show at the Portland Museum of Art, “Director’s Cut: Selections from the Maine Art Museum Trail,” through Sept. 20th, 2015. She is represented by the Danese/Corey Gallery in New York City. www.dozierbell.com
Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association –
Free Lecture Series at River Arts – with Rebecca Goodale
June 9: Threatened and Endangered: An Artist’s Books
Photo of Rebecca Goodale’s book titled “Ilex laevigata”
Since 2000, book artist Rebecca Goodale has been creating a remarkable and diverse series of artist’s books depicting threatened and endangered plant and animal species in the state of Maine. Her goal is to represent every species on the state’s endangered and threatened lists, currently 173 plants and 45 animals.
Goodale’s work combines silkscreen printing with three-dimensional folding, cutting, and collage, using both handmade and commercial papers. Her work invites viewers to share her experience of wonder, and to bear in mind that the final chapters of these plants’ and animals’ stories have not been written. Rebecca Goodale’s work is in numerous public collections throughout the U.S., including the Bowdoin College Library and the Portland Museum of Art. She teaches Design and Book Arts at the University of Southern Maine.
Jazz Concert with Noah Haidu
Saturday, June 6 @4 pm
River Arts is pleased to present one of New York’s leading young jazz pianists, Noah Haidu, along with fellow musicians in an afternoon Jazz Concert at 4 o’clock on Saturday, June 6. Noah combines new rhythmic ideas, harmonic sophistication, spontaneity, soul, and swing into his own unique approach. He first gained the attention of the jazz world through live appearances and recordings with heavyweights such as Mike Stern, Jeremy Pelt, Ambrose Akinmusire, Benny Golson, Jon Irabagon, Vincent Herring, Eddie Henderson, Billy Hart, Duane Eubanks, and Winard Harper. He has played at the top venues in New York including The Blue Note and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and in numerous cities abroad from Oslo, to Istanbul, to Guayachill, Ecuador.
Pianist and composer Noah Haidu is evidence that 21st century jazz can be adventurous, fresh and swing hard, that an exciting, modern pianist can play memorable melodies and soulful grooves. Jazzwise described Noah as “Unquestionably one of the most confident and impressive of all the new pianists…an important new talent.” Downbeat called his music “beautifully wrought” and All About Jazz said simply “the cat can play his butt off.” The largest jazz website Allaboutjazz.com published a huge interview/feature article about Noah, one of four cover stories on the site which featured Noah alongside Brad Meldhau and Paul Motian.
His quintet features two important artists in today’s jazz scene: trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and saxophonist Jon Irabagon. The collaboration was described in JazzTimes: “With jazz luminaries like trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon gracing the band as part of a core quintet rising above their powerful performance is quite an accomplishment and Haidu does just that.”
Noah completed his BFA at the New School University and Master of Music degree at The State University of New York. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.
Suggested donation of $10 for the event. River Arts is located at 241 US Route 1 in Damariscotta. For more information about this and other events at River Arts call 563-1507 or visit the website www.riverartsme.org
“The Natural World” Exhibition
at River Arts – April 24 – May 21
River Arts in Damariscotta, is inviting the public to view its newest exhibition, “The Natural World” Friday, April 24 from 5-7 pm. Visitors to the gallery will see over 100 works by 100 Maine artists as they portray Maine’s “Natural World in paintings, drawings, collage, assemblage, sculpture and fine crafts, and enjoy music, refreshments, and great conversation. The exhibition was juried by Carl Little.
May 12: A History of Nature and Landscape Photography in Maine
Photo of West Branch of the Penobscot by Stodder
James “Jym” St. Pierre will present examples of nature photography in Maine from its beginnings in the 19th century to today, focusing particularly on our North Woods and wild lands. These will include some of Jym’s own “Landsc[r]apes” series, contrasting “the sublime perfection of nature” with how humans use the land, water, and sky. “Are these images beautiful, ugly, or both?”
St. Pierre has won awards for his photographs, which have been published in books and periodicals nationally and statewide. He has served professionally in Maine’s public agencies and on the boards of the Kennebec Land Trust, Friends of Baxter State Park, and other NGOs. He has been Maine Director of RESTORE: The North Woods since 1995.
April 14: The Shapes of Belief: Inuit Environment, Technology, and Art
Photograph”Courtesy of the Arctic Museum, Bowdoin College,”) Transformation, by Turataga Ragee. Soapstone, 20th century, Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada.
Harry Z. and Ruth L. Sky Collection. Peary-MacMIllan Arctic Museum, Bowdoin College. Photo by Dean Abramson.
Susan A. Kaplan, director of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center at Bowdoin College, and professor of Anthropology, will discuss Inuit views of the relationship between humans and the environment, and how objects created in the past, and contemporary Inuit art, reflect these worldviews. Contemporary Inuit sculpture and prints are renowned throughout the world for their vibrant, sophisticated, and experimental combinations of traditional and modern subjects, styles and techniques, reflecting stark and dramatic Arctic landscapes, wildlife, human inhabitants, and the spirit world.
Magical Strings – April 19 2-4
MAGICAL STRINGS centers around the Celtic harp and hammered dulcimer of Philip and Pam Boulding, at times augmented by violin, cello, pennywhistle, percussion and various instruments from around the world. Over the years their sound has drawn a large and loyal following captivated by a combination of traditional Celtic arrangements, original compositions and subtle world music influences. Their virtuosity and expressive style have been described as “warm, graceful and sonically gorgeous” by the Washington Post. Their music and stories have the effect of holding an audience and opening their hearts to a forgotten world well-veiled by the bustle and trappings of modern life. Magical Strings website
Lincoln Academy Student Art Show – Opening
Thursday, April 2nd 5-7
The Sixth Annual Lincoln Academy Student Art Exhibition opens on Thursday, April 2 from 5 – 7pm at River Arts on Route 1 in Damariscotta. This exhibition will showcase ceramic, sculptural, and two-dimensional pieces from Lincoln’s advanced and Advanced Placement art students, taught by art instructors Jonathan Mess and Nina Sylvia. The public is invited to view the works on the night of the reception or anytime during business hours between April 2 – 17.
This show reflects an ongoing partnership between River Arts and Lincoln Academy. The mission of River Arts is “to nurture appreciation, encourage participation and provide opportunity in the arts.” Showcasing student work is just one way that River Arts fulfills this mission.
Lincoln Academy offers a full array of visual art classes, including drawing, painting, screen printing, photography, 2D and 3D Design, ceramics, and sculpture. Completing pieces for this exhibition is a required component of the advanced-level art classes. Both visual art instructors at Lincoln Academy feel that exhibition is an important part of developing into a mature artist.
“As Mr. Mess and I are both practicing artists, we feel very strongly that having an audience beyond their teachers is one of the most validating experiences we can provide, says Ms. Sylvia. “While these students are developing technique, they are also finding their visual voices and can be very hard on themselves. One of the greatest parts of the art learning experience is trusting one’s ideas and process, and the exhibition plays a strong supporting role in that methodology.”
“Artists’ Choice” Exhibition at River Arts
River Arts in Damariscotta is inviting the public to view its newest exhibition “Artists’ Choice” . The show includes 90 artworks by artists from all over Maine, in a wide variety of media, including sculpture and fine crafts. The exhibition will hang until March 26.
Juror for “Artists’ Choice” Exhibition is Robert Colburn, curator and manager of the Bayview Galleries in Brunswick and Camden. From a family of professional artists, Robert Colburn grew up in Maine and decided at an early age to pursue art as a career. In addition to his busy career at Bayview Galleries, he remains active as a painter, exhibiting at Asymmetrick Arts, Cape Cottage Gallery, the Clown, Bayview Galleries and many other locations. Citing his study at Bowdoin College with artists such as Thomas Cornell, Ann Harris and Anne Lofquist as important experiences, Colburn describes his present artistic philosophy as a mixture inspired by both old and contemporary masters. In his own work, he values working on site, painting works and creating studies for paintings in the natural world www.robertcolburn.com
Sample of the Work
Brad Terry and Peter Herman
March 22- Sunday Afternoon Jazz 2-4 pm
“I have been playing this wonderful American music called ‘Jazz’ ever since my neighbor Benny Goodman convinced my mother to buy me a clarinet when I was fourteen. I’ve been lucky to have known and be challenged by, played and recorded with some of the world’s greatest Jazz players and now, at seventy seven I’m being challenged again by a brilliant twenty-five year old guitar player, Peter Herman. We play tunes I’ve known for 50-60 years that he’s hearing for the first time and he brings with him a flood of new and refreshing harmonic and melodic ideas. He has mastered a lot of amazing technique and throws musical curve balls at me, definitely keeping me on my toes. We play a variety of standard jazz tunes and spontaneously create musical conversations that take us to surprising places.” Brad Terry
He has played with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Cheatham, Buck Clayton, Red Mitchell, Buddy Tate, Elliot Zigman, Eddie Thompson, John Basile, Steve Grover and Lenny Breau. Brad has led Jazz workshops and clinics in many countries including the US and Poland. In recent years he has been active in touring and recording as a duo with Polish pianist Joachim Mencel. They can be heard together on the recordings “All About Spring” and “Live at Fort Andross”.
The most recognized album featuring Brad Terry is “The Living Room Tapes” featuring his earlier work with legendary guitarist Lenny Breau. An interesting note is that Brad Terry is an accomplished and virtuoso whistler. An example of this unique talent is featured on “Blues for Carole” from these sessions. The duo can also be seen together on the DVD “Live At The Maine Festival” from Art of Life Records.
“Black, White and Tones of Grey ” Exhibition Opening Friday, January 23 5-7 pm
River Arts in Damariscotta is inviting the public to view its newest exhibition “Black, White and Tones of Grey”. The show includes 100 artworks by artists, in a wide variety of media, including sculpture and fine crafts. The exhibition will hang until February 19. Visitors can also view the continuing exhibition in the West Galley featuring the the work of the Midcoast Printmakers of Damariscotta.
The juror for the exhibition is Tina Ingraham. Ingraham was born in Kenton, Ohio in 1947. She received her MFA from Brooklyn College of CUNY in 1996 and Bachelor of Science in Design at the University of Cincinnati, College of DAAP in 1970. She has a broad history in a variety of teaching experiences, done independently and within educational institutions including Bowdoin College, Stephens College, Maine College of Art and Brooklyn College where she received a Charles G. Shaw Award for excellence and teaching Fellowship. She is currently writing a text on teaching painting developed from her approach to teaching color theory directly on the palette and inspired by her study of master paintings relevant to her work.
As a 1999 John Simon Guggenheim Grant recipient, Ms. Ingraham painted in Italy from 1999 until 2003. She continues to paint from observation in the studio and en plein air. Current work includes a collection of small still lifes and her continued work on the evolution of Popham Beach in Phippsburg, Maine. Collected internationally, she exhibits at Somerville Manning Gallery in Greenville, Delaware, Boston Art Inc., and Sylvan Gallery in Wiscasset, Maine.
Sample of the works.River Arts is located at 241 US Route 1 in Damariscotta and is open Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 4 pm and Sunday 10-2pm. For inquiries call 207-563-1507, email email@example.com or visit the website wwwriverartsme.org
Celebrating Color Exhibition
The juror for the “Celebrating Color” exhibition is John Lorence. John Lorence is a recipient of fellowships at YADDO, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the McDowell colony. He has exhibited both his paintings and sculpture extensively in solo and group exhibitions in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. A 40-year retrospective of his work was held at the Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset, Maine. His sculpture and paintings can be found in private and public collections including the Bradley collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Lorence’s professional interests include painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, art history, conservation and archeology. His educational credentials are numerous and eclectic, from Oxford University to our own Haystack School of Art. His lifetime experience as an artist, teacher, researcher and gallerist has taken him around the globe and represents the extraordinary talents and achievements of the best of the artists of Midcoast Maine.
Sample of the WorksFelted Bowls (We are thinking…Christmas presents)
December 7 10-1pm $25 member, $30 non-member
Bowls come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. In this class, we will learn how to create felted bowls using soap, water , wool and some agitation. Starting with a small bowl, we will work our way up to creation of larger bowl forms. Embellishments will then be added to decorate our newly formed bowls. You may bring any fiber scraps you might have at home to this class to use for embellishment. Such things would be beads, scraps of yarn, buttons, natural materials, etc. In addition, please bring an old towel to class and some scissors.
Materials fee: $5.00
Learning Linocut -for Holiday Cards, Gift Tags, Wall Art – With Erica Qualey
Sunday, Dec. 7 1:30-4:30
This class will be exploring a technique of printmaking called a linocut. It is an ideal method for making holiday cards, gift tags, or an edition of prints to be used as wall art. It is a fun and easy process that requires minimal drawing skills and no prior experience with printmaking. Participants are welcome to bring ideas, photos, or drawings to the class and the instructor will help adapt them to a print-ready design.
Linocut is a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum is used for the relief surface. A design is drawn onto a linoleum block and then the negative space is removed to reveal the printing surface, similar to a rubber stamp. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller called a brayer and then impressed onto paper. Several examples of linocut blocks and their prints will be provided during the class for a visual reference and to help them better understand the process.
All supplies will be provided during the class. Participants may bring their own specialty papers to use, if they wish. However, it must have a fairly smooth surface and not be so thin that the ink will bleed through. Class fee $20 members, $25 non-members Materials fee $10
River Arts – “Artists’ Choice” Exhibition Opening Friday, November 14 5-7 pm
River Arts in Damariscotta is inviting the public to the opening reception for “Artists’ Choice” Exhibition on Friday, November 14 from 5 – 7 pm. The show includes artwork by 80 artists from all over Maine, in a wide variety of media, sculpture and fine crafts. The exhibition will hang until December 11. Visitors can also view a new solo exhibition in the West Galley featuring the encaustic work of Kendra Denny of Camden.
The juror for the “Artists’ Choice” exhibition is Mark Kelly, a founding member of Aarhus Gallery in Belfast. Born in Amityville, New York, Mark Kelly moved to Boston in 1990, and earned his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1997.
Sample of the work…..Juror’s statement belowJuror’s Statement – Mark Kelly
We often hear the term “the simple life”, which – in urban areas – refers to a supposedly quiet, rural existence. But those who actually live that life know full well that it is anything but simple. There is an intense complexity that makes up the seemingly facile workings of the everyday – and that perfectly describes what I found fascinating about the works in this show. There is no such thing as The Simple Life. Life is anything but simple, it is everything but simple. The task any artist has is to try to translate that into something that speaks to the heart, to the soul – to try to maybe makes sense of the whole complex mess; And here, in these works, it is not translated from any single source. It may be the soft curve of the human form, or a subtle shift in light as it rests on a shoreline, desktop or rooftop. It may be the fading memory of a Winter’s day spent running amok in the snow. It is as fleeting as a cast shadow and solid as stone.
As I looked through and started to choose pieces for this show it struck me that what spoke to me – to my soul – were the works that leaned towards an appreciation of the elusive “simple”.
When we see a master at work, we sometimes forget how much goes into what they are doing because they make it look easy – but it takes years, decades, lifetimes to get to that point. It takes an understanding of the complex in order to come full circle and pare things down to the profound basics. Sometimes that understanding can be expressed with a few strokes of a brush, sometimes it takes months to express – and extol – something as common as a cloud passing over a body of water. It all begins with an appreciation of the dichotomy between simple and complex, and I feel that these works – these artists – are translating and expressing that in a variety of heartfelt, soulful ways.
River Arts – “Faces & Figures” Exhibition
River Arts in Damariscotta is inviting the public to view its newest exhibition “Faces and Figures (animals included)”. The exhibition includes 100 works by 65 Maine Artists.
The juror, for the exhibition, Ed McCartan, commented on work in this exhibition which will run through November 6: “The variety of pieces, from sculpture to tapestry, assemblages to paintings, drawings and photographs make it a nice mix of creative effort. What particularly impressed me was the multiplicity of takes on the theme, from delicate washes to bold modeling in bright colors, from graceful, undulating forms to powerful staccato shapes. Whimsy and wit are on display, as well as tenderness and introspection.”
McCartan holds an MFA in painting from SUNY, Albany, as well as degrees in art education, theology and philosophy. He has taught on all levels of education, most recently at the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY and Russell Sage College in that same city. He currently teaches classes at Midcoast Senior College in Brunswick. Ed’s work hangs in the permanent collections of several museums and in corporate and private collections nationally and internationally. www.emccartan.com
Sample of the works:River Arts holds 10 themed, open, juried exhibitions per year—with some of Maine’s most prominent art community members as jurors. Over 800 different Maine artists have exhibited in these shows.
Water/Reflections Exhibition Opening Reception – Sept 5 5-7
River Arts in Damariscotta, is inviting the public to view its latest exhibition “Water/Reflection”. Over 90 pieces of art in a wide variety of media by 65 Maine artists from Lubeck to Portland will be on view. The exhibition will run until October 2nd.
The juror for the exhibition is Jacques Vesrey.
A Sample of the Works
River Arts “The Maine Story” Exhibition – through Aug 28th
Sample of the Work
River Arts Celebrates “Maine Day” – August 16 with Lobster and Art
River Arts in Damariscotta is helping to celebrate Governor LePage’s newly proclaimed “Maine Day”, August 16, as a “day to celebrate the state, its people and its food” by offering a free lobster with the purchase of any piece of artwork in their gallery. Coincidentally, River Arts is currently holding a special exhibition entitled “The Maine Story”, which is devoted to iconic images of the state of Maine and features 120 works by 80 Maine artists. “It is a perfect fit, says Executive director, Linda Morkeski, and I encourage people to stop by who may not have been to River Arts Gallery before.
River Arts, open 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday and 10 – 2 on Sundays, is located at 241 US Route 1 (north), Damariscotta. For information about the many exhibitions, classes, events and opportunities at River Arts, visit www.riverartsme.org or call 563-1507 or stop in.
(Lobster image by Hannah Ineson from Watercolor Journaling workshop)
3rd Friday Damariscotta – Newcastle Artwalk – August 15
Artist Demo at River Arts @
4:00 with Elaine Reed –
“Working wet-in-wet with watercolors, Elaine will demonstrate how she creates a sense of atmosphere and depth in her paintings.”
5:00 with Bobbi Heath
Bobbi will paint a still life of a vase of sunflowers
for more information on the artwalk and map – click here
River Arts West Gallery Opening Reception – Aug. 15 4-7 pm
Ceramic Art – “The Sweet Life” by Liz Proffetty
“The Sweet Life” a solo show of contemporary functional pottery by Newcastle potter Liz Proffetty opens Aug 15th at the River Arts West Gallery in Damariscotta during Damariscotta-Newcastle 3rd Friday Art Walk. Proffetty’s wheel thrown work is frequently cut, carved and altered to create soft forms which are then covered with thick frosting like slips and layered with candy like glazes that are evocative of watercolor landscapes. The effect on the traditional serving and functional wares such as cake stands, dessert plates, pitchers, wine cups and mugs transform everyday objects into items celebrating the sweetness of life.
Liz Proffetty received her degree in ceramics from Maine College of Art. She worked as a professional potter for 20 years and has taught at several schools throughout the state and private art centers in including the River Arts. Her work has been shown in galleries and fine craft shops both nationally and internationally. The show will be available from Aug 15-27.
River Arts is located at 241 US Route 1 (north) in Damariscotta. River Arts is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 to 4, and on Sundays from 10-2. It is closed on Mondays. For more information call 563-1507 or visit the website www.riverartsme.org
Writer’s Talk with Lea Wait – Thursday, August 7
Edgecomb author Lea Wait will be speaking about “Living and Writing in Maine” at River Arts, 241 Route One, in Damariscotta Thursday, August 7, at 7 p.m. Copies of both her mysteries and her historical fiction set in nineteenth century Wiscasset will be available for purchase and signing.
The first four of Lea’s books set in Wiscasset (Stopping to Home, Seaward Born, Wintering Well and Finest Kind) have been nationally acclaimed and placed on student choice award and recommended reading lists in 14 states.
Publisher’s Weekly called her latest book, Uncertain Glory, published in April of this year, “excellent … a fast-paced and authentic tale.” Joe Wood, Uncertain Glory’s main character, is a fourteenth-year old boy who really did publish the town newspaper in Wiscasset, Maine, in the mid-nineteenth century. During the first two week of the Civil War Joe must put his dreams on hold to help those around him find balance between patriotism and loyalty. Meanwhile, he’s worried that if he doesn’t pay his debt he’ll lose his press, his best friend wants to enlist, a girl spiritualist visiting town is ill with mysterious headaches, and Joe’s young assistant vanishes.
Lea Wait also writes the New York Times-praised and Agatha Award-nominated Shadows Antique Print Mystery series, traditional mysteries featuring antique print dealer and professor Maggie Summer, the most recent of which is 2013’s Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding. The seventh in the series (Shadows on a Maine Christmas) will be published in September of this year.
Twisted Threads, Wait’s first book in a new mystery series, the Mainely Needlepoint series, will be published in January, 2015.
Lea Wait was born in Boston and grew up in Maine and New Jersey. She did her undergraduate work at Chatham College in Pittsburgh and her graduate work at New York University. While she was raising her four daughter, all of whom she adopted as a single parent, she worked for AT&T.
She now writes and speaks full-time, is married to artist Bob Thomas, and is the grandmother of eight.
Lea Wait blogs with other Maine mystery writers at www.mainecrimewriters.com, and invites readers to friend her on Facebook and Goodreads.
Her website, www.leawait.com, teachers’ guide and questions for book groups, as well as additional information about both her life and her books.
“River Arts Members’ Show”
River Arts in Damariscotta, is inviting the public to its 8th Annual Member Show. The artwork submitted by members for this reflects the “artist choice”–free from the constraints of a themed show. The 120 works on exhibit represent a wide variety of media and styles and include ten sculptures. The exhibition runs through July 24th.
The 2nd annual fundraising art raffle with works donated by: sabella Corwin, Kerstin Engman, Petrea Noyes, Barbara Roberts and Sarah Wilde was launched at the opening. This year’s annual member celebration also includes a table with published books authored and/or illustrated by River Arts members as well as the 2014 River Arts Program book full of classes offered and the full exhibition schedule.
Karen Pettengill – Solo Exhibition “Verdigris”
West Gallery- River Arts, Damariscotta
Opens July 3-July 15, 2014 – Artist Reception July 11 5-7
The paintings of Karen Pettengill will be the featured solo exhibition called, “Verdigris”, at River Arts in the West Gallery from July 3-July 15. Karen and her husband Steve live in Pownal, Maine, and have traveled extensively throughout New England, the East Coast and the South West. Road trip experiences as well as a love of animals provide the wide variety of subjects chosen for this show. Karen specializes in pastel but also works in acrylics, casein, oil, watercolor and scratchboard. She says the distinctions of each medium challenge her to explore new approaches to using color, texture and composition in her paintings. Life experiences, dreams, and environment are also recognized as important factors in her methods and subject matter. This is evident in most paintings in which images are not so much literal translations but ideas and feelings that converge to express something about the beauty and mystery of nature.
A reception will be held on Friday, July 11, from 5-7 and all are welcome.
Karen has exhibited nationally in the Pastel Society of the West Coast 21st Annual International Open Juried Show, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine International Juried Exhibition of Animals in Art, Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod, American Academy of Equine Art-International Open Juried Show, International Museum of the Horse, Lexington Kentucky, Pastel Painters of Maine Open Juried National Shows, Union of Maine Visual Artists – Show Chair for Member Exhibition, Maine Arts Commission Grant Recipient- Group Show, Freeport, “Experiencing Our Town Through Art”, Skyline Farm and Carriage Museum Invitational National Exhibitions, Edgecomb Potters Galleries-Edgecomb and Portland.
The mission of River Arts is to nurture appreciation, encourage participation and provide opportunity in the arts. Information about exhibitions, events and art classes can be found on the website www.riverartsme.org River Arts is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 to 4, and on Sundays from 10-2. It is closed on Mondays.
3rd Friday Damariscotta – Newcastle Artwalk – July 18th –
Artist Demo at River Arts @4:00 Kris Engman
for more information on the artwalk and map – click here
”Down on the Farm” Exhibition May 30 – June 19
River Arts invites the public to the opening reception for its newest exhibition “Down on the Farm” Friday, May 30th, 5-7pm. The exhibition contains over 100 pieces of art in a wide variety of media and styles around the theme of the farm life by 50 Maine artists. The exhibition will run May 30 – June 19.
The juror for the exhibition is Kerstin Engman who exhibits at the Arden Gallery, Boston, and the Courthouse Gallery, Ellsworth, among other venues. She received her MFA from University of Pennsylvania, where she studied with Neil Welliver, and her BFA from Maine College of Art, with additional study at Rhode Island School of Design. Engman brings a rich and broad career in painting, drawing, sculpture and digital media to the juror’s role. In her work she explores varied visions, media, materials and genres. She has also worked in arts education in Maine schools and in several New England colleges, including Maine College of Art, and is presently on the faculty of University of Maine. www.kerstinengman.com
Sample of the Works and Juror’s statement below
JUROR’S STATEMENT – ‘Down on the Farm’ Kerstin Engman
The work selected for this show embodies the best of what I could see in terms of design, materials use and skill, supported by each artist’s fresh view of the world of the farm. In spite of the subjective nature of jurying, there is a framework for making decisions which celebrates the integration of these understandings. I felt it was important to have as many disciplines well-represented as possible; in this instance – painting, drawing, ﬁber arts, sculpture, ceramics, photography.
I was particularly interested in the overall visual strength of each statement; this means how the information was arranged according to observed proportion and measurement; also shape, clustering or groupings, hierarchies, harmonic and balanced use of color, range of value, depth (when indicated). The connection to the farm was the deeper, more purposeful component, that reached me.
It was an honor and a pleasure to be asked to jury this show. I enjoyed the opportunity to see the wide variety of work that is being generated within a vibrant and talented community of artists. ALL of the work was wonderful to see, whether selected or not.
My Community exhibition
River Arts invites the public to view our new exhibition “My Community” The work of over 50 Maine artists, working in a wide variety of media will be on exhibit through May 22nd.
The juror for the exhibition is Susan Danly, the Senior Curator, Portland Museum of Art (2002-2012). A specialist in American Art and the History of Photography, Susan Danly holds PhD and MA degrees from Brown University. A curator of American art with over thirty years of experience, Ms. Danly has worked at the Mead Art Museum (1993-2000), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1988-93), and the Huntington Library and Art Gallery (1984-87). Among her numerous publications are books on the photographs of Edward Weston and Thomas Eakins, and Georgia O’Keeffe and the Photograph. At the Portland Museum of Art, Susan curated numerous exhibitions devoted to the art of Maine, including three Biennial exhibitions, a series of shows dealing with historical and contemporary photography in Maine, and several exhibitions of graphics from the PMA’s permanent collection.
The gallery is located at 241 US Route 1 in Damariscotta and is open on Tuesdays – Saturdays from 10 – 4, and Sundays from 10 – 2. For more information, visit the website; www.riverartsme.org or call 563-1507. Sample of the work:
Susan Danly — Juror’s Statement
It is truly a pleasure to see how broadly Maine’s mid-coast artists interpreted River Arts call for works that define the phrase “Our Community.” This exhibition includes imagery depicting Maine’s traditional maritime communities, as well as scenes of rural farm life, urban streets, and country houses. There are portraits of people —children and adults— some serious and some humorous. There are portraits of animals—some domesticated and some wild. And there are studies of people both at work and at play.
In the rich variety of artistic media on view — paintings, watercolors, and pastels; photographs in black-and-white and in color; and sculptures made from natural materials of wood and granite and from man-made materials of steel and fiberglass — the viewer has a sense of the diversity that characterizes Maine’s contemporary art community. Today artists are less constrained by one dominant approach to the visual arts and there is a compelling diversity of styles, ranging from realism to abstraction, that reach a wide audience. Colors can be vibrant and striking—bright oranges, reds, and yellows appear in numerous works on view in this exhibition. At the same time, —subtle variations in monotones of gray tied together the selection of other paintings and photographs.
Maine artists naturally reference local concerns in their expressions of community life—the delight in small country fairs that happen each summer across the state; the picturesque but declining state of buildings on our waterfront; and the simplicity and charm of vernacular structures in our old houses and churches. But two of the boldest paintings in this show—the ragged images of the American flag painted in a powerful expressionist manner—evoke important national events. The battered cloth, depicted in sweeping gestures of paint, suggest some of the difficulties that the nation (and Mainers) have struggled with in recent years: war, economic recession, and political impasse.
As in any art exhibition certain images, more than others, resonate for each of us. For me, as a curator of contemporary art with a passion for photography, I found Petra Noyes’ photo-based paintings of particular interest, in terms of her choice of appropriated images and her inventive technique that combined to effectively recall Maine summers of the past. My grandfather once owned a dairy farm in northern Michigan, so William Stanton’s Maine farmer looking over his cows, brought back personal memories. And Kathy Weinberg’s photograph of reflections on the polished granite surface of a building set off by a series of stand pipes, perhaps facetiously titled “Family Portrait,” made me smile.
A May Garland
Music and lore celebrating the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane
In Northern Europe, the first of May has been, since ancient times, a time for revelry and celebration. The world is finally released from Winter’s grasp and Spring enlivens every living thing. A wealth of lore and music is associated with this time and on Saturday, May 17 at 7pm, the folk duo Castlebay will present joyous songs and stories in a traditional May Garland at RiverArts on Route 1 in Damariscaotta.
The evidence left us by the early inhabitants of the British Isles indicates that they viewed the calendar year as a circle or wheel with fixed points determined by solar and lunar activity. In addition to the well-known solstices and equinoxes, the ancients marked the cross quarter days or halfway points between with appropriate celebration. Beltane, also called May Day, is one of these “cross-quarter” days and is celebrated on May 1st, the midpoint between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. The music and lore of the British Isles is alive with imagery associated with the turning points of the year and our relationship to the natural world. In many areas, these traditions are still carried on. The “Queen of May” and her consort the “Green Man” preside over Beltane while denizens of the Fairy realm travel between the worlds. New life is celebrated in symbolic activities assuring the fertility of animals and crops for the rest of the year. The great fruitfulness of the earth and the exuberance of Spring are honored, beginning the night before, with a carefree sense of playful abandon. Rising to greet the dawn, celebrants sing, gather flowers, and dance in the streets and around the May Pole.
In olden times a “garland” was not only a woven chain of flowers, but also a collection of songs and music. In Castlebay’s May Garland, traditional musicians Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee will join voices and instruments to weave together songs, tunes and lore celebrating the coming of May. These fine singers support their vocals with a variety of instruments including Celtic harp, 12 string guitar, fiddle, and woodwinds.Come and join Castlebay to cast off winter’s cloak and revel in the delights of Spring.Admission is $10. River Arts phone (207) 563-1507
1 day workshop April 19 – 10-3 $75 members $90 non-members + $15 materials fee
Instructor – Camille Davidson Class size limited to 6
Encaustic painting class by Camille Davidson
Encaustic painting is the art of painting with molten bees wax mixed with pigments and resin. It is a very ancient way of painting dating back to 800 B.C.E. and recently it is finding its way back onto artists palettes.
In this workshop day we will focus on encaustic painting basics as well as how to incorporate encaustics easily into a regular studio practice. Equipment, tools, pigment options, painting supports, and safety considerations will be discussed. There will be plenty of time for hands on experience to take place. This class is for the ‘simply curious’ as well as the experienced painter with a studio practice.
You will need to bring a griddle( such as one you might make pancakes with) with a temperature gauge or you share one with a class mate you know, a light weight heat gun (from a Hardware supply store) you can also share with a classmate.
(for collage purposes) photos or photocopies( black and white) or any collage elements you might like to embed, a small roll of painters tape, small clean tin cans (such as tuna or cat food), old forks or metal combs, (You don’t want to use again) Anything to make textures! Natural bristle brushes (cheap ones, any size, 1 and 2 inches are perfect!)
The material fee will cover the pigments, medium and supports that I will provide for you on the day of the workshop.
Warning …..Encaustic painting can get pricey!
No painting or drawing experience is required for this workshop. Bring a love, a desire to create and learn something new. Bring your own lunch and beverages. Tea and chocolate break provided!
Photoshop for Artists – May 2, 3 & 4th 10-4
$250 for members – $275 non-members
Class size limited to 10
Nuno Felted Scarf Workshop with Sandi Cirillo –
Sunday, May 4th 1-4
$35 plus materials fee: $7.00
In this class students will learn how to create a nuno felted scarf using bits and pieces of wool, soap and water, agitation, and lovely silk chiffon scarves. Nuno felting does require some upper body strength but this class is open to all ages, teens to adults. Nuno felted scarves are sold in many fine gift shops…….here’s your chance to make your own……..
Sandi Cirillo, a retired art educator, currently lives in Searsport, Maine and has been a fiber artist for over 25 years. Her passion is working with natural and manmade textural materials to create one-of-a-kind mixed media pieces of art. Sandi also teaches many fiber workshops throughout the Northeast and in North Carolina. She also teaches drawing and fiber art classes at Senior College in Belfast, Maine.
She enjoys introducing adults and children to the joys of fiber art. You can see examples of her work on her website, especially-for-ewe.com as well as a listing of upcoming workshops she will be teaching. Sandi’s work is in many private collections and she exhibits locally and nationally. Influences for her drawings and fiber artwork come from her love of hiking and photographing the natural world and for her love for the beauty of coastal Maine.
Lincoln Academy – High School Art Exhibition at River Arts –
Thru April 17, 2014
We are pleased to announce a reception for the Lincoln Academy Student Art Exhibition on Thursday, April 3rd from 5 – 7pm at River Arts on Route 1 in Damariscotta. This exhibit will showcase ceramics and sculpture, complemented by two-dimensional pieces from Lincoln’s advanced and AP art students. The public is invited to view the works on the night of the reception or anytime during business hours between April 3 – 18.
This show reflects an ongoing partnership between River Arts and Lincoln Academy (Newcastle, ME) for which instructors Nina Sylvia and Jonathan Mess are very grateful. The mission of River Arts is “to nurture appreciation, encourage participation and provide opportunity in the arts.” Ms. Sylvia states “it is an uncommon event for students of this age to be able to show their work in a professionally gallery. We are extremely fortunate to have this opportunity another year.”
The art work encompasses wall tiles, functional pottery, sculptures made from unusual materials, charcoal drawings, paintings (of many media), digital images, collages, and mixed media pieces. Students do all of their own matting and framing and provide artist statements to explain their process. Come meet the artists, enjoy refreshments and help celebrate the students’ hard work and dedication.
Ukranian Pysanky Egg decorating with Erica Qualey- April 12th – 1 pm – 4pm
Pysanky egg decorating is an ancient method of dying eggs using batik techniques and rich, vivid dyes. These eggs are rich with history and tradition, originally created as charms to bring good fortune to the object symbolized in the design. For example, an egg may be decorated with bees then placed under the hive to bring good health to the hive or adorned with wheat and buried in the field to bring a bountiful harvest. The patterns and designs were also strongly influenced by Christianity and supposedly baskets of decorated eggs were brought to church by families to be blessed during Easter services.
During this class, students will learn how to use the kistky tool to layer wax and colors to create a finished pysanky egg. We will follow a traditional pattern and learn how to apply patterns to the three dimensional surface. Because a lot of the designs for traditional pysanky are very geometric it is easy for anyone, even those who don’t feel as though they have any artistic skills, to create amazing and beautifully patterned eggs. Anyone over the age of 12 is welcome to join us.
Cost $25 for members and students…..$30 for non-members
Erica Qualey is an artist and illustrator living in South Bristol, Maine. Over the past 10 years she has actively creating art and exhibiting watercolor paintings in group and solo art shows throughout Maine and New Hampshire. Her most recent show was an exhibit at Husson University in collaboration with a printmaker. Along with watercolor, Erica enjoys dabbling in many other mediums from wood block printing to Pysanky to felting. You can view a collection of her watercolors on by visiting www.ericaqualey.com.
Camille Davidson Solo Exhibition “Favorite Pieces” – In the West Gallery
March 7 – March 31
River Arts invites the public to view a solo show of vibrant encaustic work by Brunswick artist and teacher, Camille Davidson in the West Gallery. Camille will also be teaching a one-day workshop in encaustics at River Arts on April 19. The exhibition will run through March 31.
The exhibition consists of over 35 works – Camille’s “favorites” from the following three series: The Tree House series-forest through the trees from my tree house studio in Readfield, The Other Side of the Bridge series- where I move through the lily pads inmy kayak and The Stone Stories series- inspired by an artist residency in Nova Scotia on the Baie St Marie ion 2013.
Camille Davidson graduated from MECA in 1987 with the Florence Lief award as the “most promising women painter”. She has exhibited in Washington D.C. and midcoast Maine. Camille is the featured artist in Brunswick’s Summer Island Studio Gallery this April and she is currently preparing for a solo show at the Maine Jewish Museum in 2016.
Camille describes her work as ‘poetic renditions of nature’. She is moved by a place or sensation in nature where she makes quick sketches that she can later reference in her studio. Most of the paintings over the last several years have incorporated a combination of oils and encaustics. Layers of color, she scrapes away and builds up in order to achieve the effect of a specific time and place. http://www.cameedavidson.com/
River Arts, open 10am-4pm Monday-Saturday and 10 – 2 on Sundays, is located at 241 US Route 1 (north), Damariscotta. For information about the many exhibitions, classes, events and opportunities at River Arts, visit www.riverartsme.org or call 563-1507 or stop in.
RIVER ARTs “Innerscape” Exhibition
River Arts, a non- profit art center on Route 1 in Damariscotta invites the public to view the new “Innerscape” exhibition juried by Michael Komanecky, chief curator of the Farnsworth. The exhibition features over 90 works by 60 Maine artists. There is wide variety of work in oil, pastel, encaustic, watercolor, fiber and acrylic as well as several sculptures. The exhibition dates are February 28th – March 27th.
Michael K. Komanecky, specialist in both American and European art, he has held curatorial positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, Phoenix Art Museum, Currier Museum of Art, and the Dayton Art Institute. Komanecky has also served on grant review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has lectured and published widely, including exhibition catalogues with Oxford University Press, Yale University Press, and Skira Rizzoli. His recent projects at the Farnsworth include one-person shows on the work of Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, and Paul Caponigro. He is currently working on an exhibition entitled, “The Shakers: From Mount Lebanon to the World,” in partnership with The Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon and The United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc.” That exhibition is scheduled to open on June 14, 2014.
Sample of the Work
River Arts, open 10am-4pm- Tuesday through Saturday and 10-2 on Sundays, is located at 241 US Route 1 (north), Damariscotta. River Arts holds approximately 10 juried shows each year which are open to any artist who would like to enter work for jurying. The mission of River Arts is to nurture appreciation, encourage participation and provide opportunity in the arts. For information about the many classes, events and opportunities at River Arts, visit www.riverartsme.org or call 563-1507.
Black White Gray Exhibition Jan. 24 – Feb 22 – Juror, Bob Keyes
Sample of the Works
As I drove up to Damariscotta from my home in Berwick to select work for “Black, White and Gray,” I was struck by the color of the day: Freshly fallen white snow blanketed the blacktop and the sides of the road, and the sky presented itself as a hovering bed of gray. Snowflakes fell the duration of my two-plus hour drive, bleaching out nearly all other colors but black, white and gray.
As it so often does in Maine, the natural attributes of our environment served as a perfect backdrop for this exhibition. My mood was full of color, but my world was defined by black and white.
I selected works for this exhibition based almost entirely on gut instinct. I did not study art history and have never worked as a studio artist. Generally speaking, I was not, and am not, obsessed by the technical aspects and processes of art making, although I did find myself getting close to many of these pieces to glean insight into the artist’s process. But my interest in and appreciation of the visual arts is based almost entirely on my response to the finished work. Does it stir my emotions? Does it remind me of a favorite place? Does it inspire a reaction? I allowed those responses to guide my selection process.
Before I made choices, I walked through the gallery twice, taking quick and sometimes detailed looks at all the pieces, which either were hung on the wall, propped on the floor or placed on a window sill. My first impression was wonder: So much work in so many media — drawing, painting, encaustic, photographic, sculptural and fabric.
On my next pass, I placed stickers on works that I instantly responded to in a positive way. These are pieces that I would gladly place in my home if I had the opportunity.
I went back again, adding to my selections with each gander. After I made 90 or so selections, I passed through one final time, mostly to confirm my instincts. It took me about 75 minutes to make these choices.
A note about color: At first, I chose a handful of pieces that included small bits of color. As I got closer to the final cuts, I eliminated some of the works that I had included in my early rounds. There were simply too many worthy works of art that adhered to the strict interpretation of the rules to include those that did not. I allowed a little latitude for a couple of pieces whose colors could be interpreted as shades of grey.
In my business, I know I’ve done my job when I cannot use all the material I have gathered during the reporting process. I feel better about my stories when an editor asks questions or instructs me to trim my word count.
I feel good about “Black, White and Grey” because I know how much I labored over my choices.
Arts writer, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
A Celtic Concert for Brigid’s Day – Feb 2 Music and lore celebrating the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc
Sunday February 2, 2:00 at River Arts, Route 1 Damariscotta the folk duo Castlebay (Julia Lane & Fred Gosbee) presents a concert in celebration of the Celtic holiday of Imbolc, also known as St Brigid’s day. Celtic harp, guitar, fiddle, whistle and vocals interweave with Celtic lore and poetry.
Did you ever wonder why February 2 is designated as “Groundhog day” when the groundhog emerges from his burrow? This date is, in fact, an ancient Celtic holiday celebrating emergence from winter called Imbolc. The evidence left us by the early inhabitants of the British Isles indicates that they viewed the calendar year as a circle or wheel with fixed points determined by solar and lunar activity. In addition to the well-known solstices and equinoxes, the ancients marked the cross quarter days or halfway points between with appropriate celebration. Imbolc is half way between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. The name is derived from Oi-melc or “ewe’s milk” as this is the time of lactating sheep.
Each quarter has a guardian and for Imbolc the guardian is the maiden Brigid. Her realm is the hearth, emergence and creativity. Represented as a maiden, she is transformed from the Cailleach, or crone, of winter and his herself known as a healer and midwife. She was so revered she became an Irish saint with whom many miracles are associated. Brigid is the patroness of all who awaken creativity through love and nurture the fire of inspiration to birth their ideas; smiths, artists, craftspeople, poets and musicians.
The music and lore of the ancient Celtic lands is alive with imagery associated with the turning points of the year and our relationship to the natural world. Castlebay’s program presents a vivid picture of these events and their significance today through music and poetry rich with symbols of the day – gentle spring rains, warm southwinds, hearthfires, transformation, crones and milkmaids, blacksmiths, magicians and poets. Come and enjoy an evening of mystical lore and musical merriment as Castlebay celebrates the turning of the winter season. Admission is $10. RiverArts phone (207) 563-1507
River Arts welcomes the public the to view the“Abstract” juried exhibition Route 1 in Damariscotta. The exhibition of 80 pieces of art, by 60 different artists from all over Maine, includes paintings and sculpture. The exhibition will run through January 16th.
Juror for the Abstract Exhibition was Suzette McAvoy, director and curator of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport. Suzette McAvoy has served as director and curator of CMCA since September 2010. She previously served as chief curator of the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine, and has more than 30 years experience in the art field. She has lectured and written extensively on the art and artists of Maine, and has organized national traveling exhibitions of the work of Louise Nevelson, Alex Katz, Kenneth Noland, Lois Dodd, Karl Schrag, and Alan Magee. Ms. McAvoy received a B.A. in art history from William Smith College and an M.A. in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. She lives in Belfast, Maine.
Sample of the Works
“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes… Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas.”
It was a great pleasure to serve as juror for the current exhibition “Abstract,” at River Arts. From the 189 works submitted, 80 were selected for inclusion in the exhibition. Among these, there is a wide range of styles, mediums, and scale represented, illustrating the broad thematic concept of abstraction.
Abstract art is analogous to music, in that it expresses emotional power through formal means–line, shape and color. Working abstractly requires the artist to reach within, to draw upon their own responses, in order to express outwardly the internal essence of things. Strong abstraction requires a solid grounding in composition, drawing and design, to engage the eye and provoke an emotive response from the viewer.
In 1913, the Amory Show in New York City introduced the American public to European abstract art. Early Maine modernists, such as John Marin, Marsden Hartley, and Marguerite and William Zorach brought to their images of Maine the influence of the Europeans, including the fractured space of cubism and the expressive colors of the Fauves. On the 100th anniversary of that transformative exhibition, it is fitting that we celebrate abstract art in Maine today.
Director, Center for Maine Contemporary Art
Opening for “Celebrating Color” Exhibition – Fri., Nov. 15 5-7pm
River Arts welcomes the public to an evening of music, refreshments, conversation, and art at its opening reception for the “Celebrating Color” juried exhibition on Friday, November 15th 5-7 pm at its galleries on Route 1 in Damariscotta. The exhibition of over 120 pieces of art, by 90 different Maine artists includes paintings, sculpture and fiber arts. The exhibition will run through December 12th.
Gallery owner and artist, Bruce Busko, was the juror for this exhibition. He is the owner and director of the Landing Gallery in Rockland. Busko has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Pennsylvania State and Masters of Fine Arts in Painting and Print Making from the Pratt Institute. www.LandingArt.com
The exhibit’s title, “Celebrating Color”, influenced my choices in selecting artwork for this exhibit. There was an abundance of great entries in all media. The River Arts community is rich and diversified with many talented artists. I enjoyed seeing many artists’ work for the first time and I will look forward to meeting you at the opening. My final selection of the maxium number of works did leave a number of wonderful works that were not able to be accepted for this exhibit.
The works accepted into “Celebrating Color” all share the use of color to enhance the overall subject or design of each piece. Color has been used in many different ways, varying from intense primaries to subtle, tonal variations. Color is an unspoken language that instantly speaks to our emotions. Color can become the most important element in the creation of compelling art.
When you come in to see the exhibit, you will feel the power and exhilaration of colorful art. Everyone has favorite colors and they become part of our persona. With the leaves falling and losing their color during these very short Maine days, a cornucopia of color awaits to lift your spirits.
Yours in art,
Sample of the Work
Community Concert Series – 1st event for the season –
Nov. 9 at 7pm
This upcoming Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 pm., we will have a recital of musicians from ages 8 to 50.Students of Ferdinand Liva, Kirsten Monke, Lydia Forbes, Cina McLean, and Kaity Newell will perform works from early Suzuki pieces, solo Bach, through Bartok Duos, through Stravinsky. It is a great opportunity for these students to have a chance to perform the works they practice for a live audience, it is a great finish to the learning process. River Arts is pleased to announce our 3rd Community Concert Series coordinated by Ferdinand Liva, of the DaPonte String Quartet
River Arts is inviting the public to view the newest exhibition, “Autumn” . The exhibition features 95 works in a variety of media by 60 artists from Portland to Belfast. The “Autumn” Exhibition will run through November 7th. Visitors will also be able to view the new exhibition in the West Gallery featuring Stonington’s William Landmesser. (see more below).
The juror for the “Autumn” exhibition is R. Keith Rendall, anartist with over 30 years of experience as well as owner of The R. Keith Rendall Fine Art Gallery, the newest addition to Wiscasset’s art scene at the site of the former Blooms store on Main Street. Rendall is a graduate of Kenyon College and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards. www.rkeithrendall.com.
A Sample of the Work
Opening Reception Oct 4th 5-7
“Oil & Water” Exhibition
Meet artist William Landmesser and take in his solo show featuring Maine landscapes at the opening reception for his solo show at the River Arts West Gallery on Oct 4 from 5-7pm. In his show “Oil and Water” running through Oct. 16, Landmesser will be exhibiting works in graphite, charcoal, watercolor and oil, dispelling the idea that “oil and water don’t mix”. Works in this exhibit range from Landmesser’s early period with its emphasis on loose, shape oriented plein-air paintings through a transition toward indirect studio painting based on life studies, to this summer’s “time-out” watercolors, the latter revolving around the artist’s frequent extra-curricular commitments. With a little planning, the artist incorporates “stopping and smelling the roses” into life’s daily routine.
William Landmesser was born in Albany, New York, raised amid the visual beauty of the Adirondacks and New England. A 1974 graduate of Dartmouth College, the artist has pursued a career in fine art for thirty-five years. Past representation has included Hirschl & Adler Gallery (NYC), The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, Texas), Artfellows (Belfast, Maine) The Gallery at Somes Sound (Somesville, Maine) and many others. Since 1990 Mr. Landmesser and his family have lived in Stockton Springs, Maine. He maintains his own gallery in a converted garage nestled on the peacefully wooded property. To learn more about Landmesser’s paintings and to receive his e-newsletter, go to www.landmesserpaintings.com.
River Arts, open 10am-4pm- Tuesday through Saturday and 10-2 on Sundays, is located at 241 US Route 1 (north), Damariscotta. River Arts holds approximately 10 juried shows each year which are open to any artist who would like to enter work for jurying. The mission of River Arts is to nurture appreciation, encourage participation and provide opportunity in the arts. For information about the many classes, events and opportunities at River Arts, visit www.riverartsme.org or call 563-1507.
Inuit Art and Culture – Lecture by Kerry Rodriguez
Sunday, October 6 4-5:30
Who are the Inuit? What kind of art do they make? Why do you want to go to the Arctic where it is SO cold? Those are all questions posed to Kerry Rodriguez ever since 1993 when she began traveling to Baffin Island in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. Join Kerry for a talk that will include many examples of Inuit stonecut prints, carvings, drawings, fabric art and tools. How the art is made as well as the themes that are incorporated in the art will be discussed. Inuit stonecut printmaking will be of special interest to printmakers in the area, since the relief image soapstone block is inked in a manner that is quite unique.$5 fee. Offered in conjunction with CLC Adult Ed
Forum to Focus on Visual Arts in the Community
Strolling down a street in a coastal Maine town one is bound to see nearly as many art galleries as restaurants and gift shops. What role do artists play in the cultural vitality of a community? How successful have they been in generating revenue in the current economic climate? These are some of the questions to be explored in a forum on the future role of the visual arts in Lincoln County specifically, and in other Maine communities generally, to be held Tues., Oct. 8 at noon at the Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta. The program is jointly sponsored by the Lincoln Theater, River Arts and the Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary.
The three distinguished panelists to lead the discussion are: Mark Bessire, Director of the Portland Museum of Art, Christopher Brownawell, Director of the Farnsworth Museum and Suzette McAvoy, Director of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport. Questions for inclusion in this interactive discussion are encouraged, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brownawell joined the Farnsworth Art Museum as Director in 2010. He has spent the first few years strengthening the institution’s financial position guiding the museum through a $9 million dollar endowment campaign and rebranding effort. In 2013 he guided the museum through a complete reinstallation of the collection and restoration of the Homestead House.
McAvoy has served as director and curator of CMCA since 2010. She previously served as chief curator of the Farnsworth Art Museum and has more than 30 years’ experience in the art and museum field. She has lectured and written extensively on the art and artists of Maine.
The forum is timed to coincide with The Lincoln Theater showing of and HD series of event films on famous European artists. The first, on Oct. 10, is about the 17th century artist Jan Vermeer; the next, on Oct. 17 is on the French impressionist painter Edouard Manet; and the third, on Oct. 24, Edvard Munch, 20th century painter famous for his painting, “The Scream.” All will be shown at 2 and 7 p.m.
The thrust to organize the forum came from a recent Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission survey of arts and culture which revealed some startling numbers, one of which was that $15.5 million in revenue was earned by arts and cultural industries in the county in 2012. However, a majority of such businesses experienced a downturn in 2012. Another impetus is the recent push bysome in congress to drastically cut government support of the arts and humanities.
The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call John Van Siclen at 563-3254.
Ralph Hassenpflug Exhibition
at River Arts West Gallery – thru Wednesday Oct 2
Ralph Hassenpflug and River Arts invite the public to the opening reception for his solo exhibition in the River Arts West Gallery, Friday, September 20th 5-7 pm. At his show at River Arts, Hassenpflug will present groups of new work from 2013. Those will include the subjects Maine, NYC, figure, solitude and others. The exhibition will run through October 2nd.
Ralph Hassenpflug was born in West Germany during the years of the Cold War. Besides a college education in French and German literature at the Université François Rabelais in Tours, France, and at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitaet in Frankfurt, Germany, his only formal art education consists of classes and workshops at the International Center of Photography in NYC and the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine.
Ralph self-educates through the study of 20th century masters. He feels moved and inspired by the work of poetic photographers like Francesca Woodman, Susan Burnstine and Keith Carter.
Hassenpflug immigrated to the United States in 2002 and settled on the coast of Maine from where he travels extensively.
Over the past six months Ralph’s work has been shown at a dozen juried shows in Maine.
The Maine Photography Show has accepted his work into their 2013 exhibition. He has been published in Maine Art Scene Magazine and by Stone Voices Magazine. Ralph is currently under contract for a photo book about sacred places in Brittany, France A sample of his work can be found on his website www.RalphHassenpflug.com.
“Artists’ Choice” Exhibition – through Sept 26
The exhibition, which will run until September 26, consists of over 100 works by 80 Maine artists. Visitors to this opening reception will also enjoy the opening for the River Arts West Gallery Exhibition “Pug Group” featuring the works of 7 local ceramic artists.
The show being presented at the River Arts main gallery at 241 US Route 1 in Damariscotta, represents works selected by the artists and submitted for jurying. This show, without the usual theme, includes work in a wide variety of subject matter, media and styles (including photography, sculpture, collage and abstract, among others).
Critic and art historian Martica Sawin of NYC and Harpswell, Maine who was the juror for this exhibition, has been writing on contemporary art since the 1950′s when she was a contributing editor of Arts and New York correspondent for Art International. Martica chaired the department of history and criticism of art and design at Parsons School of Design for thirty years. She is the author of Surrealism in Exile and the Beginning of the New York School and of many books and museum catalog essays on contemporary art and artists.
The invitation to serve as juror for the River Arts Gallery’s August exhibition came as a welcome opportunity for me to reflect on several questions that for me are always on-going. To what extent are artistic styles disseminated from urban centers and consequently tend toward uniformity nationally and, these days, even globally? Or are similarities over a widespread geographic range more likely a reflection of the broader zeitgeist? Despite the leveling effect of the information age and universal technological change is it possible to discern regional stylistic traits? Is there art today that has its roots in a sense of place?
In the light of these questions I would make the following observations after viewing the more than 200 works set out for my scrutiny: a) while certain themes predominated, namely seascapes and pine-studded landscapes, there was a rich diversity of approaches to art-making and a willingness to experiment with media and techniques that made for a dynamic viewing process which is what one hopes for in an exhibition; b) on second and third circuits of the galleries the artists increasingly stood out as individuals—different hands moving the brush or molding the clay, different degrees of subjectivity or objectivity, different relationships to existing art, and of course a range of touches from bravura laying on of impasto to the most delicate calligraphy; c) with very few exceptions there was a lack of works with social or political implications, while a noticeable trait was the desire to push the limits of whatever medium was being used, in other words an emphasis on technique—this was especially true in the case of photography where digital printing techniques were much in vogue. As far as the question of regionalism goes: if I had arrived at the gallery blindfolded might I have thought I was in Texas or even Ohio? Pine trees aside, something about the confident individualism of each artist, the absence of herd instinct, and the avoidance of fashionable clichés, and maybe the prevailing unpretentiousness would have said to me
I was asked to divulge my criteria which is hard to do since choice comes down to a certain prickly feeling at the back of the neck, but on subsequent viewings the following might come in to play: integrity—no slick tricks; authenticity, that is, a recognizable conviction on the part of the artist; mastery of the medium including openness to its potential; and a willingness to venture where others have not trod. Martica Sawin
Black and White Photography Solo Show Opening at River Arts
Friday, Sept. 6th 5-7 pm
Vincent Frazzetta’s “Close To Home”
Vincent Frazzetta and River Arts invite the public to the opening reception for his solo exhibition in the River Arts West Gallery, Friday, September 6 5-7 pm. The exhibition will offer a wide range of black and white images: marine, interiors, Mainers, abstracts, a few documentaries, and a special corner of the gallery with several of his tender BarbaraAnne/Alzheimer’s series images. The exhibition will run through September 18.
Vincent’s photographs are made using traditional methods: film cameras and hand processing film and prints, and as he says, “ the tactile and deliberate nature of the traditional film process, and for me, black and white images cut to the essence of the subject”. His photographs creatively record their subjects in high-contrast compositions, often with ironic or complex features. His wife’s images are documents of courage and humor, as she struggled to make a good life with a terrible diagnosis.
Though late to photography, it is for Vincent both a joy and a passion. “Choices in photography abound, and I have journeyed through cameras and themes, and from color to monochrome. I am now firmly settled on the challenges of black and white film photography; processing and printing at my Damariscotta, Maine darkroom.” A prolific reader and photographer, Vincent is most influenced by the NYC work of Maine photographer Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans’ Farm Security Agency projects, and David Plowden’s splendid photographs of contemporary rural and working America.
Vincent has shown locally in Bath, Boothbay, Damariscotta, Wiscasset, Brunswick, Bowdoinham, and Bristol since 2006 and received the Ike Royer Memorial Scholarship for Traditional Black and White Photography (Maine Media Workshops) in 2009, and was published with a Juried Award, in B&W Magazine, in February 2012. www.vincentfrazzettaphotography.com
“Maine Icons and Special Places, II” Exhibition
July 19 – August 22, 2013
River Arts is inviting the public to view its new exhibition, “Maine Icons and Special Places”.The exhibition features artwork portraying the artists’ sense of place in Maine through their favorite locations and landscapes, as well as iconic images of Maine life in sculpture, painting, photography and collage. Over 130 works by 90 artists from the Midcoast and beyond will be on display with all media represented, including photography, and sculpture. The exhibition will run through August 22rd.
The juror for this exhibition was Bruce Brown. Portland native Bruce Brown has curated more than 200 exhibitions at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport from 1987-2006 and as curator emeritus continues to organize exhibitions on its behalf from time to time as well as at other venues as an independent curator. In February he joined in partnership with photographer Jon Edwards and the Maine Media Workshops and College in Rockport to open PhoPa, a non-profit gallery specializing in Maine photography and works on paper at 132 Washington Avenue in Portland. Brown is also known as a collector of contemporary American prints which have been exhibited most notably at the Portland Museum of Art, the Colby College Museum of Art and Maine photography.
River Arts holds 10 themed, open, juried exhibitions per year—with some of Maine’s most prominent art community members as jurors. Over 600 different Maine artists have exhibited in these shows. The gallery program creates opportunity for artists to have their work selected, engage in the gallery process and sell their work. Over 7,000 people visited the gallery and participated in events and workshops last year.
A Sample of the Work
Responding to iconic images of Maine as well as favorite locations whether it is a
land or seascape, or other familiar Maine experiences known to us all offers
special challenges to artists regardless of medium. To express something about
Maine that is visually fresh, thoughtfully convincing and eye-catching is no easy
The submission of 260 works for consideration speaks both to the importance of
the exhibition’s theme to artists and as well as the vitality of the visual arts in
this region by the 90 artists represented here. Originally asked to limit the
number of works to 100, I want to extend special thanks to River Arts for its
willingness to include an additional 30 works which merit the audience’s
attention. And, as is often mentioned with many juried shows, the suggestion of an
accompanying Salon de Refuse exhibition would reveal additional works of interest. I
thank River Arts for inviting me to curate this exhibition and to all 104artists
who submitted work for consideration. It was a joy.
CMCA curator emeritus
Barbara Applegate – painting demonstration – August 7 at 4 pm
“Clearing Horizon”oil 8 x 10
Barbara Applegate will be conducting an artist’s demonstration, painting for an audience as part of the Damariscotta/Newcastle 1st Wednesday Art Walk festivities, August 7 at 4pm at River Arts. This will be a great opportunity for all those who love Barbara’s artwork, to watch her paint a marine painting from start. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Crashing surf, dark water and jagged rocks are the simple elements of nature that national award winning artist Barbara Applegate brings to life in her beautifully executed marine paintings. Trained in watercolor Applegate made the transition to oils after moving to Maine in 1996. “I love the deep rich colors and creamy texture of oils……they are perfect for painting the pounding surf after a storm when all you can hear is crashing waves and the gulls overhead.”
Represented by galleries from Maine to California, Applegate’s paintings are found in hundreds of private and corporate collections. The Barbara Applegate Gallery is open daily June through October in Bristol Mills on the Pemaquid Peninsula. Examples of her paintings can be view at www.BarbaraApplegate.com.
River Arts is located at 241 US Route 1 (north) just after N.C. Hunt Building Supplies. River Arts is a non-profit art center in Damariscotta with year round art exhibitions, classes and events. For more information, visit the website or call 563-1507.