This week’s Cafe des Artistes blog brings us a wide selection of exciting First Friday openings! Rockland is the place to be this July 2nd with exciting openings at Archipelago Fine Art, The Landing Gallery, Dowling Walsh Gallery and Asymmetrick Arts. Boothbay, Wiscasset and Portland will be alive with art as well this coming weekend. And while we are at it,I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself– my name is Zeraph, and I’ve been working on bringing you Maine’s best art news through the Cafe des Artistes blog and newsletter for a few weeks now (from behind the scenes, til now). Feel free to leave a comment and say hello!
Best wishes for a spectacular First Friday weekend,
Russell D’Alessio and MG+SG publisher Anthony Anderson at the opening of the D’Alessio Gallery
The Island Institute’s Archipelago Fine Art in Rockland will feature Ashley Bryan in this years’ major summer show, Singing with Truth, from July 2 through September 15 with an opening reception July 2 from 5 to 8 pm. Bryan is an American treasure who forged a path for African-American artists and illustrators and whose work has delighted children all over the world. An acclaimed children’s book author, illustrator and Islesford resident, Brian’s work is infused with joy and vibrant color. The author or illustrator of more than 30 books, Bryan became, in 1962, the first African-American to publish a book as both author and illustrator. After a lengthy college-teaching career, Bryan retired as emeritus professor of art at Dartmouth College in 1988 and came to live year-round on Islesford, an island he’d first visited four decades earlier and had returned to at every opportunity.
Bryan is a “plein air” painter, who has worked in oils but now paints primarily in acrylics. According to author and art critic Carl Little, whose article on Bryan and an accompanying folio of his work can be found in the 2010 edition of Island Journal, Bryan is “searching for essential rhythms in the landscape.” As Bryan himself explains in the article, “The eye is always on some kind of voyage of adventure to try and understand the relationships of how the areas work.”
Echoing award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye’s comment that Bryan is “a luminous force of nature,” Peter Ralston, executive vice-president and co-founder of the Island Institute, is especially thrilled and honored to welcome him to Archipelago. “Ashley’s work so perfectly mirrors the man. I don’t use the word “reveals,’ for to meet Ashley, however briefly, is to stand in the presence of a perfectly open, glowing and loving spirit. The world would be a better place with more Ashleys in it.” FMI, 594-9209, ext. 133 or visit www.thearchipelago.net.
Ocean Point Studio in East Boothbay presents Visions of Maine, Paintings and Pottery by Corinne and Fred McIntyre with an opening First Friday reception July 2 from 4 to 7 pm. FMI, 633-3990 or visit www.oceanpointstudio.com.
Richard Hasenfus, “Schooner Heading Out,” at Coco Vivo Fine Art and Design
Coco Vivo Fine Art and Design in Boothbay Harbor presents On the Waterfront, featured work by Richard Hasenfus and Greg Laderer with a reception July 2 from 5-8 pm. The show will run through August 5. FMI, 633-0671 or visit www.cocovivofineart.com
High Street Studio & Gallery in Belfast presents The Color of Summer: 3 Visions with an opening reception on July 2 from 5-8 pm, featuring gallery artists Susan Tobey White, Sheep Jones and Julie Cyr. FMI, 338-8990 or visit www.highstreetgallery.com.
Landing Gallery in Rockland will display Inspiring Downeast, photographs by Michael Kahn, July 2 through August 3, with an artists’ reception July 2 from 5 to 8 pm. This exhibit includes 15 years of Michael¹s photographs taken exclusively from Downeast Maine. All of the 33 photographs in the exhibit are hand made by the photographer in a toned silver gelatin process. His warm sepia-toned images have become his trademark and capture an unrivaled nostalgic grace. The exhibit features many of the Midcoast¹s well known windjammers, vintage wooden sail boats and work boats. FMI, 594-4544 or visit www.landingart.com.
The Harlow Gallery in Hallowell presents a Members’ Exhibition July 2 through July 25, with an opening reception Friday July 2 from 5 to 8 pm. Original artwork by members of the Kennebec Valley Art Association, including paintings in oils, acrylics and watercolor, plus drawings, prints, collage, photographs, sculpture and more. FMI, 622-3813 or visit www.harlowgallery.org.
Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay Harbor will host a catered opening reception for Kevin Beers: Summer and Winter on Monhegan Island, on Friday July 2 from 5 to 7 pm. This highly anticipated show will begin on July 1 and run through August 3. Kevin Beers has received increasing attention for his work, including features in Maine Home + Design, DownEast, American Art Collector, and American Artist. Avid collector and actor Remak Ramsay says of Beers: “Unlike so many contemporary artists, Kevin Beers is well trained in the basics. Combine that with a genuine affection for the people and places he paints and his love of slanting light and you get a rare magic that, eschewing trendy gimmicks, is as honest and sincere as it is beautiful.” FMI, 633-6849 or e-mail at email@example.com.
Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset is pleased to have Jennifer Litchfield as Artist in Residence on Monday July 5 from 10 am to 4 pm. Litchfield will work on an oil painting at the gallery, as well as show many examples of her finished artworks. She will also answer questions about her work. Originally from Australia, Litchfield moved to the United States in 1994 and now resides in Maine, on Barters Island. Much of her work is a celebration of her life in Maine, her summer travels along the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia with her husband and her love for her adopted country. Of endless inspiration are the rocky shorelines, lush summer and fall vegetation and the changing waters of this particularly beautiful part of the world. FMI, 882-7511 or visit www.maineartgallery.org.
Joy to the Wind Studio, Gallery & Custom Picture Framing in Boothbay Harbor presents new work exhibited by Lynne and John M.T. Seitzer during the First Friday Art Tour, July 2 from 7 to 9 pm. FMI, 633-7025 or visit www.joytothewind.com.
Bayview Gallery in Camden and Brunswick is pleased to share beautiful new works by Scott Moore and John Roush. Moore and Roush share an affinity for architecture in the landscape and the effects of changing light on their subject. While Moore travels the length and breadth of Maine to find his subjects, Roush focuses on Monhegan Island and the nearby coastal villages he travels through to get there on his annual trips to Maine. FMI, 800-244-4534 or visit www.bayviewgallery.com to view the works.
The Boothbay Region Arts Foundation invites the public to join Boothbay Harbor’s galleries and studio artists for a self-guided First Friday Arts Tour this Friday, July 2 and each first Friday through October. FMI, 633-2703 or visit www.boothbayartists.org.
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth presents John Neville: New Work, on display until July 25. John Neville’s work chronicles the daily activities of the local fishermen, as well as their stories about the past. A native of Nova Scotia, Neville grew up Hall’s Harbor among a family of boat builders and fishermen. He draws on this experience and his imagination rather than photography or any other external, perceived reality. Neville’s work is instantly recognizable because of his drawing style and his use of bold color. He says he has always drawn in the same style- a studied simplicity that has become his trademark for its beauty and consistency. His paintings depict daily life in Hall’s Harbor: a boy rescued from drowning; women taking revenge on a man who sells their husbands bootlegged liquor; or a man burning a boat that brought nothing but bad luck. Neville’s paintings and etchings record a vanishing way of life. Without Neville to tell these tales, they will soon be forgotten.
Also on display at Courthouse Gallery Fine Art until July 25 is Stephen Porter: Basic Form, Polished Elegance. Stephen Porter’s stainless steel sculptures are meant to be outdoors-in fields, parks, or gardens-where his highly polished surfaces can reflect the atmospheric moods of the environment. Here, the mirrored surface takes advantage of the changing light, turning cold, sterile stainless steel into a vehicle for personal reflection. FMI, 667-6611 or visit www.courthousegallery.com.
Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland presents celebrated contemporary realist Bo Bartlett from July 2 through July 31, with a reception on Friday July 2 from 5-8 pm and an artist talk and social following on Saturday July 31 from 4-7 pm. Bartlett creates distinctive, hauntingly beautiful paintings that reflect his deep appreciation for living close to nature, and his fascination with discovering the mysterious in the everyday. FMI, 596-0084 or visit www.dowlingwalsh.com.
Asymmetrick Arts in Rockland will host PROJECT TANDEM on July 2 from 5 to 8 pm. Project Tandem is an 11,000 mile bicycle ride to collect and publish overlooked stories of everyday Americans and their opinions and actions regarding the environment. July 2 will be a day of bicycles, art and the environment in downtown Rockland, with a 6 or 12 mile (your choice) fun ride earlier in the day to benefit the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation and the work they are doing on the Gulf Coast in the wake of the oil spill. Then head over to Asymmetrick Arts from 5 to 8 pm for photographs and audio recordings of Americans talking about the environment by photographers Alan Winslow and Morrigan McCarthy taken during their 11,000 mile bicycle ride around the United States. FMI, 594.2020 or visit www.projecttandem.org or www.asymmetrickarts.com.
Portland Museum of Art will present a film showing of Art of the Steal, Friday July 2 at 6:30 pm, July 3 at 2 pm, and July 4 and 2 pm. The Art of the Steal is an un-missable look at one of the art world’s most fascinating controversies and a celebrated selection of the Toronto, New York, and AFI Film Festivals. Don Argott’s gripping documentary The Art of the Steal chronicles the long and dramatic struggle for control of the Barnes Foundation, a private collection of art valued at more than $25 billion. In 1922, Dr. Albert C. Barnes formed a remarkable educational institution around his priceless collection of art, located just five miles outside of Philadelphia. Now, more than 50 years after Barnes’ death, a powerful group of moneyed interests have gone to court for control of the art, and intend to bring it to a new museum in Philadelphia. Standing in their way is a group of Barnes’ former students and his will, which contains strict instructions stating the Foundation should always be an educational institution, and that the paintings may never be removed. Will they succeed or will a man’s will be broken and one of America’s greatest cultural monuments be destroyed? Tickets are $7 and are sold beginning at 10 am on the day of the show at the admissions desk. FMI, 775-6148 or visit www.portlandmuseum.org.
Wiscasset Bay Gallery presents From Realism to Modernism in American Art, July 3 through August 6 with a gala and opening reception Saturday July 3 from 5-7 pm. Treats of Wiscasset is catering the event, and there will be a wondrous array of food, art and conversation to enjoy. FMI, 882-7682 or www.wiscassetbaygallery.com.
Mahoosuc Arts Council in Bethel announces the Bethel Art Fair, held July 3, 9AM – 5 PM in the Bethel Commons and featuring fine artists and artisans, musical and theatrical performances and fine local fare, in Maine’s most beautiful mountain range. FMI, 824-3575 or visit www.mahoosucarts.org
The Center for Maine Craft hosts A Day of Clay with the central Maine clay artists, Saturday July 3rd beginning at 10 am. Meet the artists, watch demonstrations and perhaps take something home! FMI, 588-0021 or visit www.mainecrafts.org
Blue Hill Fine Crafts Show will be open for business July 10 and July 11 at the Blue Hill Consolidated School. The BHFCS is an invitational showcase of 40+ of Maine’s best craftsmen, many of whom have won national awards and show at the most prestigious venues in the country. The show will be open Saturday July 10, from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday July 11, 10 am to 5 pm. FMI, visit www.bluehillfinecraftshow.com.
Western Maine Art Group will co-sponsor the Norway Arts Festival, July 9 and 10. The festival will feature more than 100 fine artists at the 43rd Annual Norway Sidewalk Art Show and myriad events and performances held along Norway’s historic Main Street. This lively weekend will include the Norway Triathlon, Poets on the Porch VIII, and the annual Library Used Book Sale, along with musicians, jugglers, dancers, children’s activities, drummers, and giant puppets. Every event is free to the public! FMI, visit www.thewmag.org or www.norwayartsfestival.org.
Judith Leighton Gallery in Blue Hill will show work by Stephen Burt, William Irvine, Libby Mitchell, Rosie Moore and Russell Smith from July 11 through August 12 with an opening reception Sunday July 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. FMI, 374-5001 or visit leightongallery.com.
Portland Museum of Art is currently displaying American Moderns: Masterworks on Paper from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art through September 12. American Moderns showcases 90 works on paper from the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, by nationally recognized artists such as Edward Hopper, John Marin, Andrew Wyeth, and Georgia O’Keeffe. FMI, 775-6148 or visit www.portlandmuseum.org.