I have a morning ritual that includes making a double machiato with Lavaza coffee and then reading the Bangor Daily News cover to cover. Things I like to keep tabs on are the economy, tourism in Maine, and the weather.
Remember how dire the economy looked in December/January? I am so happy to read almost daily reports of indicators pointing up instead of down. And it seems this administration has been a world leader in averting a world-wide financial meltdown. Yikes!
Consumer confidence is almost a prerequisite for good art sales. While badly shaken, US confidence is returning and showing unexpected effects: People are sensibly saving their stimulus monies instead of spending it all. We all need to encourage confidence in buying art.
We may never return to the glory days of the dot-com run up in the nineties but it is good to know we can still be successful. With hard work, smart marketing and good customer relationships, we can still keep our businesses going forward. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a strong season for all.
Memorial Day Weekend, Bar Harbor was jammed with every parking spot taken. Since then, rainy weather has taken a toll on numbers coming to Maine. Scrimshander Chris Cambridge owns The Scrimshaw Workshop, has been in business for 20 years in Bar Harbor and says numbers are down for June, but the big Hotels say bookings are strong for the rest of the season. : ). Chris says a saving grace is the cruise ships. Currently, about one ship a week comes. By September, it will be one a day.
Howard Gallager, owner of Camden Falls Gallery says numbers are down but sales are still good. Let me know how it is going in your neck of the woods and I will try to make reports.
There is a seven day forecast on the back of the BDN’s State section. Today is always a raincloud. The box with the sun shining is always 2-3 days ahead. When we get there, its a raincloud again, and the sun is now 2-3 days ahead. : (
On the negative side, rain keeps some people from coming to Maine. On the positive side, a rainy day is better than a sunny day for sales: Instead of being outside doing all sorts of things, tourists will come into town and go shopping.
People forget just how slow things can be in June and how much rain we can get. In the early seventies I talked my family into buying a building in Bar Harbor to open a sidewalk cafe on Cottage Street. We called it “Il Giardino” – the garden. Our first summer saw maybe six sunny days all season! It was a disaster for weather but it did not stop us, or new clients like photographer George Daniels and sculptor Rudy Condon from being regulars. We had a great run at Il Giardino (even if the locals could never get the name right) for the next ten years as it became a Northern Italian restaurant and fabled night spot.
So the moral of the story? Hang in there baby.
Good luck for a great week & have a happy & safe Fourth of July!
Small Wonder Gallery celebrates 25th Anniversary in Camden
“We’re thrilled to be celebrating 25 years! While we strive to bring in new local artists each year, we’ve carried many favorites for 20-plus of the 25 years. We’ve offered custom framing all 25 years as well. The celebration is for ourselves, our artists, and of course, our customers,” says Elizabeth Valente. The appropriately named Small Wonder Gallery sits next to the Camden Chamber Info Center on the Harbor parking lot. For more information, visit www.smallwondergallery.com/
Listen to the 6/27 Cafe des Artistes program and interview with Elizabeth Valente.
Openings + Shows
Dauf Akhreiv “Catching the Light”
Archipelago Fine Arts Gallery in Rockland presents Russian artist Dauf Akhreiv “Catching the Light” – the Frenchboro paintings” through Sept. 20. FMI, www.thearchipelago.net/
Kevin Beers, images of Monhegan
Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay Harbor will also host an opening reception on Thursday, July 2nd, from 5 to 7 pm for their July exhibits: New Paintings by Ralf Feyl and images of Monhegan by Kevin Beers. FMI, www.gleasonfineart.com/
Greenhut Galleries in Portland will be holding an opening reception on Thursday, July 2nd, from 5 to 7 p.m. for an exhibit of New Paintings by Julyan Davis. The exhibit runs through August 1st. FMI, www.greenhutgalleries.com/
Portland Museum of Art “Call of the Coast:
Art Colonies of New England” through October 12, 2009
The art colonies of New England played a key role in the creation of an American national identity in the early 20th century. Art colonies in Old Lyme and Cos Cob, Connecticut and Ogunquit and Monhegan, Maine were inspiration for nationally recognized artists including Edward Hopper, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, and George Bellows, among others. The exhibition will chronicle the development of impressionist Connecticut and modernist Maine and will feature 74 works drawn from the collections of the Portland Museum of Art and the Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut. The display runs to October 12th. FMI, www.portlandmuseumofart.org/
Aarhus Gallery starts off their 2009 Guest Artist Series with a seamlessly paired double billing of the stellar local artists Kate Chapin and Lesia Sochor in an exhibit entitled ‘Homage.’ Their work centers around the issues of family, story, memory, work, women, and history. The show will be on view June 30-July 19 and the public is invited to meet the artists at the Opening Reception Friday July 3, 5-8pm as part of Belfast’s Friday Night Art Walk. FMI, www.aarhusgallery.com
New Era Gallery on Vinalhaven is hosting an Early Summer Group Show through July 15 featuring Emily Dean, Alison Hildreth, Shirley Nisbet, Gail Savitz , and Kitty Wales. FMI, www.neweragallery.com.
Frances Kornbluth, of Lobster Cover Studio on Monhegan will be exhibiting her work at the Island Inn on Monhegan through October 12.
Mars Hall Gallery in Tenants Harbor opens it’s 2009 season with two exciting shows – a one-woman show titled “Body & Soul”, will feature the works of Monhegan Artist Alison Hill, and “Chapter 6”, a group show to celebrate their 6th anniversary with 6 new artists and artisans. Both shows run thru Sun, July 19. The Gallery is located at 621 Port Clyde Rd., Tenants Harbor and is open 10-5, Wed. thru Sun. FMI, 372-9996 or www.marshallgallery.net.
14th Annual Arts in the Park, Belfast July 11 10-5, July 12 10-4. A juried show with 80 fine artists and artisans, live music and food. FMI, www.friendsofbelfastparks.org
The Center For Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport is showing “Brenda Bettinson: Arcadia and Archetype.” Bettinson’s paintings and drawings combine realism and abstraction with a sound basis in observation and a deep immersion in ancient mythology. You can see this exhibit through September 12th. FMI www.cmcanow.org
Barn Gallery in Ogunquit will be exhibiting an open, Juried Show featuring Regional Artists, through July 26th.
Emily Brown’s Paper Holds Water at Isalos
Paper Holds Water, an exhibition of recent work by Emily Brown, will hang at Isalos Fine Art, Stonington from July 3rd through July 16th, with an artist’s reception on July 3rd from 4 to 7 p.m., coinciding with Stonington Galleries First Friday Open Gallery Night. FMI, www.isalosfineart.com.
Mark your calendars for another great evening of live music at Carver Hill Gallery in Rockport. Sometymes Why will be performing on Wednesday, July 1 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12. Seats are limited, so please call the gallery at 236-0745 to reserve. (Last week’s Mike and Ruthy concert sold out early, so call soon!) FMI, http://carverhillgallery.com/
Tom Curry “Coming to Light”
George Marshall Store Gallery in York is showing Tom Curry “Coming to Light”, Charles Ramsburg “Still Points” with Maureen Mills and Victoria Elbroch, through July 12. FMI, www.georgemarshallstoregallery.com/
University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor will be opening three new shows on Friday, June 26. Highway of Thought: Photographs by David Hilliard; Elegant Darkness: Photographs by Connie Imboden; and Recent Sculptures by Christopher Frost. Catch it before September 19th. FMI, www.umma.umaine.edu/
Don’t forget the Biddeford Art Walk on Friday, June 26th, from 5 – 8. Enjoy an evening of art and entertainment and friends in downtown Biddeford. Most venues will be serving light refreshments. For details go to www.biddefordartwalk.com.
Jonathan Frost Gallery & Frame Shop in Rockland presents “The Land and Its Inhabitants”. The show runs through July 11. FMI, http://jonathanfrostgallery.com
Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland is showing “Precise Light,” new work from artists Colin Page and David Vickery. The show will be open through July 8th, 2009. FMI, www.dowlingwalsh.com or 596-0084.
The Stadler Gallery In Kingfield is opening its summer season with two exhibitions of work by Stephanie Knowlton of Oakland, Maine, and Barbara Stewart of Kingfield, Maine. There will be a reception for the artists on Sunday, June 28, from 2-4 pm. The exhibition will be on view through July 17. The second summer exhibition: Mary Allen Chaisson, Harpswell, “Abstract Journeys”, and Christine Higgins, Readfield, “Nature Abstracted” will be on view from July 18 through August 7 daily from 12 noon to 4 pm, or by appointment. . FMI, www.stadlergallery.com
The Mulford Gallery in Rockland has a new exhibition, “Water Colors of Maine,” a multi media show displaying the fascinating colors, textures and interpretations of the water which surround us. The exhibition will run through July 12th. This exhibition will feature watercolors, photography, oils, mixed media, all interpreting the artists’ vision and meaning of water. FMI, www.mulfordgallery.com/
Kenny Cole is having a one man show called “Improbabilities” at Perimeters Gallery at Chase’s Daily in Belfast, through mid July. FMI, www.kennycole.com
The first annual Blue Hill Fine Craft Show takes place July 18th and 19th at the Blue Hill Consolidated School, featuring the works of 40 accomplished fine Maine craftsmen, demonstrations and locally harvested food creations. See pictures and more information at www.bluehillfinecraftshow.com.
Call for Artists
The new Bar Harbor Fine Arts Festival is calling for artists interested in being in the 3 day show August 14-17 at the Bar Harbor Inn. Artists should apply at www.zapplication.com.
First Person Arts is looking for short memoirs and essays, documentary films, and photographs that depict Americans from all walks of life. Finalists in each category (writing, film, and photography) will be featured on the First Person Arts website and at the First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art, November 4 to 8, 2009. Deadline is June 30th. For more information, go to firstpersonarts.org.
(please let me know if these need updating)
First Friday Artwalks
Portland – download a map at www.firstfridayartwalk.com/
Second Friday Artwalk
Brunswick /Topsham – May – Dec. with 20 studios and galleries open
Third Friday Artwalk
Bath – June- Oct. with 20 studios & galleries open with free van shuttle from the Chocolate Church.
Belfast (high summer)
Downtown Bangor Artwalk
Arts in Rockland is sponsoring another art walk on Wednesday, June 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. You can see a list of participating galleries and download a map at www.artsinrockland.com/.