As I assembled this week’s Cafe des Artistes, I noticed a theme emerging among the entries. A gathering of poetic color, gently remembered landscapes and graceful vision predominates this week, beginning with the nostalgic poignancy and subtle color of Carl Sublett’s Sense & Sensibility at Mars Hall Gallery. The theme continues with a gallery talk on the Portland Museum’s ongoing exhibit, Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place by Sy Epstein on July 24. The graceful botanical renderings of Linda Heppes Funk, recipient of the coveted Award for Excellence in Botanical Art, will be hung at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens by Dowling Walsh Gallery beginning July 26.
Offering a counterpoint, of sorts, is Jonathan Mess, whose exhibit at Åarhus Gallery promises a unique perspective. Mess’s powerful sculptural pieces offer a visceral glimpse into man-made geologies, resembling landfills in the process of decay. Says Mess: “I am interested in the physicality and reality of land, the evidence of time and age in the layers of earth, in contrast with contemporary human relationships with land through usage, manipulation, ownership, and division. I am concerned with our responsibility as humans living with the land—collectively and individually.” If the masters of landscape and light are looking backward and inward to a more prosaic time, Mess seems to be looking forward with concern.
It is true that we live in a throw-a-way culture. Perhaps there is no better time to celebrate things of beauty and duration. These openings promise plenty of those.
Til next time,
Openings + Shows
Mars Hall Gallery in Martinsville will celebrate the opening of two new shows, Sense & Sensibility and Contagious Color, with a reception for both on Friday July 23 from 6 to 8 pm. Sense & Sensibility, featuring works by Carl Sublett and Russell Smith, opened at the gallery on July 14 and will continue until August 8.
Carl Sublett and Russell Smith never met each other during their careers but the works in the show demonstrate a similar aesthetic sensitivity to stroke and color. In these pieces each artist worked with a limited color palette emphasizing the layering of subtle colors. Sublett summed up his artistic philosophy as follows: “The truth is a moment and every moment seems to be different. I look . . . and see what there is to paint and what to say about [it]: The particular light that may fall over a scene represents one ‘truth’ on a clear day and another ‘truth’ on a foggy day.” Smith takes a reductive approach to the landscape and adds shapes representing impressions of man’s structures, tools and systems. He writes that “vast horizons on water and land are my references to nature. Adding the element of man-made shapes to the landscape represents the contrast between man and nature.”
Contagious Color is a group show featuring Leo Brooks and Kris Johnson and opens on Wednesday July 21 and lasts until August 15. Contagious Color features artists known for their bold use of color. The late Leo Brooks once wrote that “I want my paintings to jump of the wall with energy the frame cannot contain.” In May of 2010, Kris Johnson, internationally known for vivid imagery, had her first one woman show, “Vernissage,” at La Galerie Studio 65, in Castelnau Magnoac, France. Some of these works will hang in this show, the first to be seen in the States. The show also includes Elizabeth Allen, Bill Cook, Charles DuBack, Ronald Frontin, Alison Hill, Dick Kelly, Nat Lewis, Blanche Sefton Lutz, Edward Mackenzie, Ken Martin, Otty Merrill, Cam Noel, C.W. Oakes, Marylin Quint-Rose, Elaine Reed, Andy Rosen, and Eleanor Zuccola. FMI, 372-9996 or visit www.marshallgallery.net.
Portland Museum of Art will host a gallery talk, Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place by Sy Epstein, Saturday July 24 at 1 pm. A Docent-led Gallery Talk is an opportunity to explore more deeply the lives of artists and the artwork they produce. Months of research culminate in a 45-minute lecture. The talk is free with Museum admission or membership and will take place in the Great Hall and Galleries. FMI, 775-6148 or visit www.portlandmuseum.org.
Bayview Gallery presents New Limited Edition Prints from Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, available from the gallery and viewable online at the gallery’s website. Andrew Wyeth passed away in January of 2009, leaving behind some of the most endearing images of his life in Maine and Pennsylvania. His son, Jamie, continues this remarkable family’s artistic legacy. Throughout their careers, they and the Chadds Ford Publishing Company have released many prints of their beautiful work, always using the best available technology to reproduce their paintings.
Bayview Gallery is pleased to offer a selection of reproductions by both Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, including limited edition, signed limited edition, and signed open edition prints. Each print is elegantly framed to conservation standards, using Museum glass to enhance image clarity and greatly reduce glare and reflection.The images are produced using eight archival color inks and printed on fine German etching paper. Rendered at nearly life size, they are as close to the original works as we have yet seen. See the full selection from the Bayview Gallery here. For further information or to purchase, call Bayview Gallery at 800-244-4534.
Dowling Walsh Gallery will hang work by Linda Heppes Funk at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor, July 26 through August 15 with a reception Thursday July 29 from 5 to 7 pm. Linda Heppes Funk is an artist with 35 years’ experience in design and illustration. She renders her works from live plant specimens in pencil, drybrush watercolor, gouache and metalpointe drawing. She has taught at The New York Botanical Garden, College of the Atlantic, the Farnsworth Art Museum among other venues. FMI, 596-0084 or visit www.dowlingwalsh.com.
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth will open three exhibitions on July 29 with an artist’s reception from 5 to 7 pm. The exhibitions will run through August 25. Solo shows for David Graeme Baker and Gregory Dunham will feature new works. Baker will give a gallery talk about his work on Sunday, August 15 from 4-5pm.
Additionally, Courthouse Gallery owners, Karin and Michael Wilkes, invited Thistle Brown to bring a selection of her artists to Courthouse Gallery Fine Art for The Wingspread Legacy, a group exhibition to commemorate Ms. Brown’s contribution to the art scene in eastern Maine. Ms. Brown is the owner of the Wingspread Gallery, which burned in a Northeast Harbor fire in 2008. Participating Gallery Artists include Katherine Bell, Aurelia Brown, Ildekoe Butler, Antonietta Capecchi, Shirley Fuerst, Nicole Herz, Patricia Ingersoll, Dima Karabschevsky, Constance LaPalombara, David LaPalombara, Jill London, Eliot Markell, Andrew Newman, Robert Neuman, Mark Newton, elizabeth nields, Robert Packie, Tammy Packie, Jeanne Seronde Perkins, Mary Prince, Paul Rickert, Rebecca Rolke, Linn Sage, Adele Seronde, Ulrike Stadler, and Patricia Toogood. FMI, 667-6611 or visit www.courthousegallery.com.
Handworks Gallery presents new work by Rebekah Raye, July 29 through September 8 with an opening reception Friday August 6 from 5 to 7 pm. FMI, 374-5613 or visit www.handworksgallery.org.
Shaw Jewelry in Northeast Harbor will host Northeast Video Shorts Festival on July 29 from 4 to 11 pm. FMI, 276-5000 or visit www.shawjewelry.com.
Artists of Corea will host a studio and house tour, July 31 from 10 am to 4 pm. There is a $15 admission fee to benefit the Seaside Grange. FMI, 963-7269 or visit www.chaptertwocorea.com.
Åarhus Gallery in Belfast will exhibit works by Jonathan Mess, August 3 through 29, with an opening reception Friday, August 6, from 5 to 8. Jonathan Mess creates rupturing, geologic structures, oozing with energy. The colors in his work—bringing to mind plastics, chemical spills and pottery shards as well as earth and clay—seem to describe an uneasy and incomplete process of decomposition.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Mess studied art at the University of Toledo and received a BFA in studio art at the University of Montana, and completed a MFA at the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2008. He currently teaches art at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle. FMI, 338-0001 or visit www.aarhusgallery.com.
Barn Gallery in Ogunquit presents the famous Ogunquit Art Association (OAA) Art Auction on August 7. Doors will open at 7 pm and bidding begins at 8 pm. Come to the Barn Gallery to preview the work, pick an artist-designed bid card or leave a Silent Bid from August 3 through August 6 from 11 am to 5 pm, and Saturday, August 7, 11 am to 3 pm.
Auctioneer Hap Moore will help you bid on paintings, graphics, photographs, and sculpture by members of the Ogunquit Art Association, the area’s oldest professional artists organization. Participating OAA artists, many with national and international reputations, have created original, one-of-a-kind bid cards on sale at the Gallery for $25. A bid card purchase includes auction admission, catalog and refreshments. Plain bid cards for admission are available for $5. Some event parking is available in the Barn Gallery parking lot.
Auction attendees are encouraged to carpool or park in the Obed’s Lane parking lot behind the Dunaway Center. It is a short trolley ride or a pleasant 10-minute walk from there to the Gallery. FMI, 646-8400 or visit www.barngallery.org.
The Whitmire Gallery has open in Round Pond and features the fine art photography of Bob Whitmire in limited and open editions. The gallery is located at 1745 State Route 32, 1.5 miles north of Round Pond Village, mailing address is POB 198, Round Pond, ME 04564, tel. 207.529.2519. Bob’s work can be seen online at www.bobwhitmire.com.