Hello Everyone and Season’s Greetings!
I submitted an op-ed to the Bangor Daily News a week or so ago entitled “Giving the Gift of Art”. I was really hoping it would have been published by now so I could just put the link to it here. Who knows? Maybe it will appear shortly. In the meantime, here is the piece.
Giving the Gift of Art
Last Christmas my wife gave me a painting she had commissioned of my dog Angus. Angus was a big handsome Airedale Terrier that loved to ride in Saab convertibles. I lost him two years ago and miss him terribly. The painting of him standing on the back deck of the Saab allows him to always be with me and I see him everyday. I was overjoyed by the gift and will treasure it always. It is also a testament of how thoughtful my wife is.
Christmas shoppers are all alike in one thing: we all want our gifts to please, to show our love and regard, and maybe, our good taste. Often we wait too long and fret and struggle over purchase decisions while the perfect gift eludes us. I have a suggestion.
I suggest giving a gift that shows thoughtfulness and love, a gift that is unique and artistic, a gift that embodies intelligence and integrity, and touches and benefits many. I am talking about giving the gift of Maine art. Maine art and fine crafts are the real thing. Maine is a Mecca for fine visual arts with a national and international reputation. Maine artists and fine crafts people create products that add beauty, joy and value to our homes and lives. Why not give their creations as Christmas gifts from the heart?
Consider this: when you purchase art by a local artist, you are supporting that artist, their family, and the local community. Your purchase is making it possible for future art to be made. You also now have the opportunity to become a collector of their work, a modest patron and supporter of their career. The more knowledge and involvement you have with a piece, the more you will value it.
Speaking of value, you’ll find there’s lots of it in giving the gift of art. First of all, the gift of a personally selected piece of art demonstrates your value and high regard for the recipient. Secondly, the recipient gets a gift that can proudly be on display for years, a memento of the gift giving and the occasion. Most art and fine crafts sold in Maine are in the $150 – $500 price range, often less and often more. They come in an unending assortment and variety of paintings, sculptures and fine crafts.
Paintings and photographs can give inspiration, wonder, and maybe something different every time you look at them. Fine crafts are often utilitarian, (vases, bowls, jewelry, clothing) while also being works of art that beautify and elevate our living and work interiors. Two places to find perfect Maine art gifts are galleries and artist studios. Galleries offer a selection of work, most often by local artists, that have been carefully vetted and chosen for their quality, beauty, and integrity. Artist studios are where the artist creates and sells their work. It is a chance to meet the artist and if you purchase a work, it puts you on the ground floor of the “story” of the piece. And the story always adds to the value.
There are many excellent fine art and crafts shows and many wonderful local galleries and art studios. There is an art gallery in Ellsworth that sells nature art by the BDN’s own Tom Hennessey that would look great in any office or den. And it is affordable. There is a colony of excellent galleries in Belfast and also in Stonington, Blue Hill, Bar Harbor, Camden and down the coast. Rockland has emerged as the art Mecca of Maine with over 24 galleries and a famous museum.
Every where there are galleries there are studios too, more numerous and usually less visible. If you give a gift of Maine art this Christmas, you will be making it much more merrier for the giver, the givee, and the artist and their family. If not, don’t forget birthdays, graduations and special occasions in the future. Also, a gift of art to your spouse or child becomes a gift to the whole household. I attended an opening last month in which many ladies where wearing artist-made jewelry, scarves and clothing that made them as artistic and elegant as the works on display. Fine visual art can elevate and beautify a home or office. And apparently, even ourselves.
So consider giving the gift of art. It will be a gift of conscious, helping a local Maine artist and the local community It will be a gift of lasting beauty and value. It will be a gift that shows where your heart and priorities are. And it will be a gift that will be cherished long after the wrappings are cleared away.
The painting of Angus was by Elizabeth Fraser of Portland, www.paintsquared.com
If you like the article, pass it along. I hope the piece runs in the BDN soon!
Best wishes for the Holiday Season!
Anthony, Suzanne and Stan
Openings + Shows
Bayview Gallery, Maine Street, Brunswick is hosting a Holiday Exhibit Opening Reception Dec. 4th, 5:00 – 7:30 pm. Celebrate the arts and community among friends, while enjoying stunning paintings of popular gallery artists. Join Bayview Gallery for their annual celebration of the holidays in conjunction with Arts Downtown and All Around, December 4th from 5:00 – 7:30 pm. The exhibit includes a broad array of paintings in various dimensions, mediums and styles. The Alcove, the latest addition to the gallery, features fine crafts including Mark Irving’s wood turned bowls, Patricia Boissevain’s jewelry and Allison Shuts one-of-a-kind ceramics. FMI, www.bayviewgallery.com
Fore River Gallery is Supporting The Arts This Holiday Season
Fore River Gallery in Portland want consumers to think differently about their shopping habits this holiday season. Opening Friday November 27th, is an art show titled “The Gift of Art.” Ten artists are being represented during the show and all pieces are priced at $250 and under. “We would like people to support the arts community and buy locally,” says Anna Russo, co-owner of the gallery. “There are so many talented people in this city; we are displaying only small percentage of them for this show.” There will be a variety of work in the gallery ranging from blown glass to fiber art to jewelry. More traditional gallery work will be shown as well including paintings, ceramics and mixed media. “Searching for high quality art in this city is not difficult, the challenge is to have customers think locally. We have extremely affordable pieces of art that you will not find at stores in the mall,” states co-owner Elizabeth Marks. “Since the show opens on Black Friday, if we can reach just a small fraction of people that would typically shop at large national chain stores for gifts, we would be very pleased.” The show runs from November 27th and closes on December 28th. FMI, contact Mike Marks at Mike@forerivergallery.com
Suzanne Anderson, “Autumn Necklace” at Saturday Holiday Artisan Market
Saturday Holiday Artisan Market at the Maine Grind in Ellsworth features a select group of local artisans and is open in Ellsworth from 9am-2pm. Show dates are Dec. 5th, 12th, and 19th.
3rd Annual Extravaganza in Belfast
70+ Maine Artists, Musicians, Poets, and Craftsmen Featured in Aarhus Gallery 3rd Annual Holiday Extravaganza, through December 24, with an Opening Reception Friday Dec. 4, 5-8pm with Live Music and Cider The EXTRAVAGANZA features creative small works and gifts with a wide range of prices from over 70 talented Maine Artists from Portland to Stonington in a dazzling variety of mediums, including: pottery, poetry and painting, collage, etching and photography, woodblock prints, turned wood, fiber, stone and assemblage, cards, calendars and chocolates, ornaments, new Glass Plate images, jewelry, music and more! Artists who have shown at Aarhus over the past year will be featured, along with some newcomers and the usual Aarhus partners. Artists include: Suzanne Anderson, Daniel Anselmi, Jes Anthonis, Bernice Arthur, Jonathan Bailey, Dan Beckman, Steve Bradford, Susan Brady, Phyllis Buchanan, Linda Buckmaster, Megan Cafferata, Jill Caldwell, Kate Chapin, Kenny Cole, Anne-Claude Cotty, Heidi Daub, James Dean, Liz Deane, Gabriella D’Italia, Dan Dowd, Charles DuBack, Ingrid Ellison, Carole Ann Fer, Stephen Florimbi, Free Seedlings Band, David Estey, Sallie Findlay, Annadeene K. Fowler, George Fowler, Elizabeth Garber, Carol Gater, Jay Gibson, Ellen Goldsmith, David Jacobson, Jeffrey Jelenfy, Kevin Johnson, Jody Johnstone, Judd Jones, Susan Jones, Mia Kanazawa, Mark Kelly, Michelle Kelly, A. C. Kulik, Valerie Lawson, Marc Leavitt, Betsy Levine, Joel Lipman, Richard Mann, Barbara Maria, David McLaughlin, Kate McLeod, Holly Meade, Cathy Melio, Metaphor Bronze, The Montville Project, Georges Nashan, Toki Oshima, .Eben Ostby, Leila Ostby, Dina Petrillo, Pat Plourde, Rebekah Raye, Abbie Read, Wesley Reddick, Willy Reddick, Dan Rocha, Antje Roitzsch, Dianna Rust, Jay Sawyer, Erin Seegers, Antonia Small, Lesia Sochor, Karin Spitfire, Scott Stoughton, Norman Tinker, Mary Trotochaud, Troy Howard Middle School Garden Project, Larry Unger, Simon van der Ven, Glen Veevaert, Dayle Tognoni Ward, Seth Whited, Ellen Wieske, Seth & Tyler Yentes Video preview of Extravaganza 09 by Al Arthur, Music by Boom Ting with Wesley Reddick, Willy Reddick, Mark Kelly, and Derek DeJoy or click to View Slideshow
New Era Gallery Holiday Show 2009
The annual New Era Gallery Holiday Show features smaller works by gallery artists. Please take a moment to visit our freshly redesigned website. FMI, www.neweragallery.com
Edith de Chiara’s mixed media at The Mulford Gallery
The Mulford Gallery in Rockland will host a series of receptions for the shoppers this December. Every weekend there will be refreshments and wonderful ideas for holiday gifts. Not only is art an exciting and long lasting present, but there will be one of a kind jewelry, ceramics, artistic cards, and all the art will be $1000 or less. In some cases, the artists have reduced their prices for this seasonal shopping. All medias are featured – oils, watercolors, mixed medias, incaustic, acrylic, bronze, sculpture, and precious and semi-precious gems. It is truly a visual treat to see the offerings. The gallery will be open late on Saturday the 12th. Come and enjoy! FMI, www.mulfordgallery.com
Sheep Jones “Blue Moon” at High Street Studio Gallery
High Street Studio Gallery in Belfast is hosting a Holiday Show Opening Celebration Dec. 4th 5-8, featuring work by Julie Cyr, Sheep Jones and Susan Tobey White, plus fine crafts from local artisans. The Annual Ladies Night will be held Thurs. Dec 10 from 5 to 8. FMI, www.highstreetgallery
International art exchange chain art
The Art Exchange is a one-time way to expand your art networks while actually getting GOOD stuff in the mail.To participate please make one work of art piece and send it to the person whose name is listed in the #1 position below. It can be anything – a drawing, a print, a zine, painting, an ATC, a collage, a photo…. whatever – drop in the mail within a week. Copy and paste this note into a new email, add whatever personal commentary you desire.
Delete the current #1 name. Move the second name to the #1 position. Add your name and address in the vacant #2 position. Only your info and recipient should appear in this list when you send out your emails. Finally, send this to 6 artist-friends. You should receive 36 works of art! The turn-around is fast. Best of luck!
#1 Kenny Cole 41 West Main Street Monroe, Maine U.S.A.
#2 Peter BUOTTE 379 First Ave #8 New York, NY 10010 USA
Jeff Bye, “Aerial,” at Greenhut Galleries
Greenhut Galleries in Portland for the Opening Reception for Above and Below, Thurs., Dec. 3, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Often our view of the world is formed by a series of horizontal relationships, as in how we relate to other people, how we respond to our environment and how we feel about ourselves. This December’s theme show of “Above and Below” provides a vehicle for looking at our relationships with the world around us and within us from a vertical perspective. Visual artists from around the state of Maine have been invited to draw, paint, sculpt, and install works representing their interpretation of this vertical theme. Please join us in experiencing a different perspective!
Gregory Dunham, “Swim Beach Skiffs, Monhegan,” private collection
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art is celebrating with a Holiday Open House on Thursday, December 3, from 5-7pm. A selection of small paintings and sculptures will be exhibited. Visitors are invited to enjoy the artwork, hot cider, and holiday treats. A selection of the works can be viewed at www.courthousegallery.com. Gregory Dunham, who is represented by Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, recently received attention from several notable sources for a body of work, which he created for his one-man show at Courthouse Gallery in 2008. Dunham received three awards from the Rockport Art Association in Massachusetts, one in each of its first three 2009 summer exhibitions. “Swim Beach Skiffs, Monhegan” was awarded the Lydia & Chester Roberts Award for an outstanding Traditional Work of Art in the first Rockport Art Association exhibition, “Up for Repairs, Gloucester Marine Railway” won the Amee B. Davis Memorial Award in the second exhibition, and “Fish Beach, Monhegan” received the John F. & Margaret Kieran Award for Landscape Painting in the third exhibition.
Charlie Dufour, “Splash” at Galerie Dufour
Galerie Dufour in downtown Belfast presents a new Red Wall Exhibition featuring small works for December. A retrospective collection, this show features small framed and matted photographs that originally appeared as larger works in each of the 2009 Red Wall Exhibitions. The First Friday Gallery Walk on December 4th will be the debut of the new show. “There was an interesting variety of shows at the gallery this year, and this is a smart way to bundle it up,” Dufour points out. This time of year and especially with this economy, this exhibit of smaller pieces is timely. Selected popular works from the following exhibits will hang complementarily: Sticks and Stones – featuring mooring pylons and granite boulders Hovering Dreamers – capturing dreamscapes of flying nudes A Nod to Whimsy – a collection of photos with fanciful overtones Coastal Curves I and II – interweaving Maine’s magnificent coast with nudes The Haunting – photographs exploring ethereal beauty Refreshments will be served both on opening night, December 4th, from 5 to 8 pm, and on Saturday December 5th, coinciding with Belfast merchant’s Early Bird Event. Galerie Dufour will have expanded open hours on Thursday and Friday evenings for the month of December, with additional hours being added as the holidays approach. For more information, call Galerie Dufour at 338 – 6448, or email email@example.com.
UMaine Museum of Art’s 2nd annual art-making event invites the whole family. Drop by the museum anytime between 11am and 4pm Sat., Dec. 5, where different stations will be set up, each offering the chance to participate in various art projects. Take the results home and give them as holiday presents! All the supplies are FREE and instruction will be given throughout the day. FMI, www.umma.umaine.edu
Roland Mayer, “Dialogue” Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium
The first of the sculptures from the 2009 Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium was installed November 11 at the Lamoine State Park in Lamoine, Maine. Roland Mayer, from Germany, worked at Schoodic Point for six weeks this summer to make this large granite piece of art. Actually, the sculpture is made up of three large pieces of granite put together. It now becomes a part of the collection of public art that was started in 2007 in Downeast Maine. The name of this sculpture is “Dialogue”. The next of the 2009 sculptures to be installed will be “The Islands of Maine” which was made by Jhon Gogaberishvili from the Republic of Georgia. It will be installed on the campus of the University of Maine at Machias. For more information about the symposium visit our website a www.schoodicsculpture.org.
The Davistown Museum announces completion of its Hand Tools in History publication series. The Classic Period of American Toolmakers 1827 – 1930, the final volume in the five book series, includes essays on the social and historical milieu of 19th century American toolmaking, its roots in earlier steel- and toolmaking traditions, extensive bibliographies, and a directory of the most important New England edge and other hand toolmakers. Earlier publications include: Steel- and Toolmaking Strategies and Techniques Before 1870; Art of the Edge Tool: The Ferrous Metallurgy of New England Shipsmiths and Toolmakers; Registry of Maine Toolmakers, now in its 5th edition; and Handbook for Ironmongers: A Glossary of Ferrous Metallurgy Terms 2000 BC-1950. Copies of these and other museum publications are available at Amazon.com, the museum website www.davistownmuseum.org, local bookstores (Sherman’s, Left Bank Books, Lippincott Books), the Maine State Museum, Maine Maritime Museum, and Maine Historical Society. The Hand Tools in History series is also being distributed to selected Maine and New England town libraries.
The University of New England’s Art Gallery will feature “Going Forward, Looking Back – Practicing Historic Photographic Processes in the 21st Century,” on UNE’s Portland Campus through January 31, 2010. In this exhibition, the general public, photographers, scholars and technicians, and the just plain curious are invited to explore over 150 works by 24 contemporary artists from the New England states – all of whom are committed to exploring 19th century photographic processes and techniques to make images. The results, as curated by Stephen Halpert, are an extraordinary array and breadth of visual experiences, not to mention surprises. Today, many fine art photographers all over New England are making beautiful photographs using historic processes dating back to the earliest days of this artform in 1839. Photographs capturing the realities of our lives – portraits, travels, landscapes can be made using tintypes, cyanotypes, palladiums, pinhole, ambrotypes, argyrotype and photogravure, to mention just a few of these techniques.
The following events are scheduled:
December 5, 2009, 3:00-5:00 p.m. – Artists will demonstrate their historic photographic processes in the UNE Art Gallery. A corner will be set up where artists will take pictures of attendees, and in many cases process the photographs, as well.
January 30, 2009 – Lecture by Brenton Hamilton on 19th Century Photographic Processes and their Practitioners, 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the CHP Lecture Hall. Tickets are $10 at the door, followed by an Opening Reception in the Art Gallery from 4:00-6:00 p.m., with demonstrations of historic photographic processes by participating artists.
David C. Driskell at Portland Museum of Art
Portland Museum of Art is showing Evolution: Five Decades of Printmaking by David C. Driskell through Jan. 17, 2010 This exhibition highlights for the first time the prints of David C. Driskell, artist, art historian, collector, educator, and one of the most respected names in the world of African American art and culture. With 75 prints, as well as several works on paper, Evolution provides insight into Driskell’s artistic process and development, as well as the influence of African art on American modernism. He has been a practicing artist since the 1950s and his works are in major museums throughout the world, including the Portland Museum of Art. Since 1977 Driskell has also served as the cultural advisor to Camille and Bill Cosby and is the curator of their collection. In 2000, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton. Driskell maintains a deep connection to Maine, as he has summered here for decades and is active at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. FMI, www.portlandmuseum.org
UMMA in Bangor is exhibiting three shows: Roadside Ghosts Photographs by Dave Anderson; Evergreen Installation by Wendy Wischer; and Abstract New England Six Perspectives, throug Dec. 31. Abstract New England Six Perspectives features works by six painters who reside in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and reveals diverse approaches to materials and abstraction. Compositions range from dynamic, shaped-canvases to works arranged in a large-scale, rhythmic grid. Some paintings incorporate expanses of fluid colors and subtle bleeds that evoke the meditative, while others pulse with energetic brush strokes and complex layering of forms that draw associations to graffiti art. Featured artists are Jennifer Amadeo-Holl, Meg Brown Payson, Jon Petro, Louis Risoli, Terry Rose and Dudley Zopp. FMI, www.umma.umaine.edu