Openings + Shows: Happy Holidays!

The nights are getting frigid, the fires and furnaces are most decidedly on for the season, and galleries around Maine are serving up eclectic shows rich in handmade, functional items, crafts and art. This roundup of Maine art and craft openings in Maine is also a useful and fun gift-giving guide for those of you who want to shop one-of-a-kind items made here in Maine.

Avoid the harried crowds and traffic at the local mall and shop locally for items made by your neighbors and fellow artisans. We know the best places to be on a cold winter night in Maine– at lively art openings in a cozy galleries, especially if they’re complete with holiday refreshments, live music, and– especially– handmade Maine chocolates!

To our readers and art-lovers everywhere from all of us, we wish you a wonderful holiday.

Anthony and Suzanne Anderson, Stan Israel and Zeraph Moore
Maine Gallery + Studio Guide

Here’s a little treat you might be interested in at Åarhus Gallery in Belfast: an evening of chocolate tasting and browsing music, Dean’s Sweets of Portland and the hip solo piano of Tom Luther, December 3 from 5-8pm. What a line up! But that’s not all– you can also peruse the Extravaganza of small artworks and gifts for friends and loved ones. Or pick up that perfect thing for yourself that no-one else is sharp enough to know that you really, really need. All the while, (except for a break here and there) Tom’s jazz keyboard is spicing up the nooks and crannies with original compositions and other urbane razzamatazz. Then tantalize your taste buds and take the tour of the tasting table for a tiny taste or two of dark chocolate truffle and try, Tequila, Sea Salt, Cayenne… They’re great. They’re extraordinary. And available in boxes of four and eight. Wow!

This jam-packed show features smaller artworks and a wide range of smaller works of art and a wide range of creative crafts priced with gift giving in mind. Over 70 talented Maine artists from throughout the mid-coast and beyond are represented in a dazzling variety of mediums, including: pottery, poetry and painting, collage, etching and photography, woodblock prints, turned wood, fiber, assemblage, cards, calendars, ornaments, new Glass Plate images, jewelry, music and more! Åarhus Gallery will maintain generous open hours through December: daily hours from 10 to 6 and open ‘til 8 pm on Fridays. FMI, call 207-338-0001 or visit Aarhus Gallery online.

Openings + Shows

Jan Owen, “Devouring Time”

CRAFT gallery in Rockland opened the holiday season with new work by the gallery’s favorite contemporary craft artists. Holiday hours from December 2 through December 5 will allow you to pop in and pick out beautiful handmade gifts for your loved ones; after the 5th hours are by appointment. In a world dominated by mass production, giving a gift made by hand is a thoughtful and special way to recognize and support these Maine artists. CRAFT offers tree ornaments in glass and paper, shawls and scarves by Cynthia McGuirl, Susan Atwater and Beryl Schmid, jewelry by four Maine master jewelers, handmade books by Laurie Adams and Alison Kuller, pottery by George Pearlman and Simon van der Ven, and bird sculptures by Riv Pyne.

Joining them is calligraphy artist Jan Owen. Her work is an example of everything CRAFT gallery represents: the intersection of design, fine art and craft. Owen writes with pens and brushes in an age of computer technology. CRAFT is honored to offer her work to collectors and admirers of her calligraphy, poetry and books. Her new accordion fold “banners” that combine words and poetry by old and new masters make very special gifts for the holidays. FMI, call 594-0167 or visit CRAFT gallery online.

Kenny Cole, “Tent on Ice” (Campmoor Series)

Perimeter Gallery in Belfast opens its annual small works show on Thursday, December 2, featuring paintings and mixed media works by seventeen artists from both Maine and away. There will be a reception from 6 to 8 pm on December 2 for the public to meet some of the artists. The small works show completes Perimeter Gallery’s tenth year of bringing contemporary art to the public within the space of Chase’s Daily. The artists featured in this year’s small works show are Ethan Andrews, Gideon Bok, Meghan Brady, Margot Carpenter, Meg Chase, Alan Crichton, Jobie Cole, Kenny Cole, Danielle Dimston, Karen Gelardi, Freddy Lafage, Karen MacDonald, Paul Oberst, Ben Potter, Ben Pritchard, Peter Voshefski, and Jeffrey Whittle.

The small works show will run through mid-January. Perimeter Gallery is located in Chase’s Daily at 96 Main Street in Belfast. FMI, visit

You are invited to Harlow Gallery’s 8x10x80 Gala Preview and Presale! Harlow Gallery in Hallowell will open its doors to the first sixty people to make reservations on Thursday, December 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm for a special preview gala of the 8x10x10 show. As a guest you’ll have an opportunity to preview and purchase work while enjoying music, fine hors d’oeuvres and beverages. One door prize will be awarded of a guest’s choice of the art from the show. Tickets cost just $35. Reserve yours by calling the gallery or visit Harlow Gallery online to purchase.

The 8x10x10 exhibition’s regular opening night is Friday, December 3 from 5 to 8 pm. This event is free and open to the public. The show will be on display through December 12. 8x10x80 is one of the most popular shows the gallery presents; all the works of art are 8”x10” in size and cost just $80 each! Half of that goes to the artist, and half supports exhibitions and programs at the non-profit Harlow Gallery. Bring your holiday gift list and support local artists this holiday season! FMI and gallery hours call 207-622-3813 or visit Harlow Gallery online.

Sheep Jones, “Snowflake”

High Street Studio & Gallery in Belfast will host their 2010 Holiday Show beginning December 3, with an opening from 5 to 8 pm. The Holiday Show features a rich lineup. Included are the paintings of Susan Tobey White, Julie Cyr and Sheep Jones.

Additionally, the show features fine crafts from local artisans: Jackie Haines, Gail Savitz, Jamie Oates, Laura Balombini, Sister Bette Edl, Emi Ito, Maureen O’Keefe, Bonnie Peirce, Debra Thuss, Chris McLarty, Mike Tracy and Laura Pierce. Holiday hours are 11-5 Monday; Wednesday-Friday 10-4; Saturday and Sunday 11-2. FMI, call 207-338-8990 or visit High Street Gallery online.

Rebecca Daugherty: “George Head From Steves”

Isalos Fine Art in Stonington featured a show of new work for the post-Thanksgiving weekend. The show featured new work from Sarah Doremus, Jennifer Lee Morrow, Eugene Koch, Carolyn Caldwell, Suzanne Siegel, and Rebecca Daugherty, as well as other gallery artists. The gallery will be open by chance or appointment through December. FMI or to stop in, call 207-367-2700, email or visit Isalos Fine Art online.

Charles Dufour, “How Did I Get Here?”

Galerie Dufour in Belfast will host an opening reception for the 2010 Retrospective exhibit on Friday, December 3, beginning at 5:30 pm. There were five themed exhibitions of new works in 2010 at Galerie Dufour, and each of them will be represented in this end-of-year showcase and sale.

The sometimes lush, sometimes stark landscapes and seascapes that define Maine were underscored in Coastal Curves, From Limb to Limb, and Field of Dreams. Charles Dufour took his cameras and models indoors for A Room With A View, and he toyed with perspective and figure-ground relationships in Sticks and Stones. Dufour explains, “I find the challenge of creating new works that fit within a single, unifying conceptual framework to be energizing, which is vital during our extended off season. I began shooting for a few of next year’s exhibitions this past summer and will continue through spring. With the help of willing souls to brave the elements, the pursuit of creating art inches forward!”

In addition to the fine art natural nude photography for which Galerie Dufour is recognized, visitors will also find exceptional captures of ferns, beach stones, and tiny critters. And, of course, there are numerous photographs of Belfast city and harbor, nearby lighthouses, Sears Island, and our very own national treasure, Acadia National Park. Galerie Dufour’s color and black and white photographs are presented in a variety of sizes to meet anyone’s space requirements. FMI and open hours, call 207-338-6448, or email

Betts Gallery in Belfast is once again is hosting a Holiday Gala Exhibition, and a reception with the artists will be held on Friday, December 3 from 5 to 8 pm. This exhibit showcases paintings, prints, sculpture, wood, photography, jewelry, and mixed media work of over 30 artists from Maine and beyond. The show will be on view through the month of December. Original, limited edition prints, custom framing and archival photo frames are just a few more reasons to stop into The Belfast Framer and Betts Gallery. FMI, call 207-338-6465 or visit The Belfast Framer online.

running with scissors art studios & gallery in Portland presents TRANSPORT, photographs by Robert Moran, opening December 3 from 5 to 8 pm. TRANSPORT explores classic cars in ideal landscapes. Enjoy drinks and tapas and take in the show. On display until December 31. FMI, call 207-479-5679 or email

Portland Museum of Art will present Illuminations in the Sculpture Garden, Friday, December 3 from 6 to 7 pm. Admission is free. Gather outside and delight in the twinkling illuminated prints and the lovely sounds of holiday choral music. Visit the Museum‘s website to learn more.

There will be an Artwalk on Gardiner’s historic downtown Water Street, Friday December 3 from 5:30 to 9 pm. Enjoy original local art, music, food and friendship!

Portland Museum of Art continues the tradition of The Movies on Exchange Street with Live-In Maid, shown December 4 at 2 pm and December 5 at 2 pm. Dora is the maid of Mrs. Beba and has worked and lived with her for 35 years. Beba used to be a well-to-do socialite but successive economic and personal crises have worn her out, reducing her to a purveyor of decadence. Nowadays she finds herself forced to sell door-to-door beauty products. NR. Tickets are $7 and are sold beginning at 10 am on the day of the show at the Museum‘s Admission Desk. FMI, visit the Museum’s website.

The Portland Museum of Art presents a one-night-only Special Lecture & Light Projection by Artist Jenny Holzer on December 7 at 6 pm. The lecture will occur at Holiday Inn by the Bay and admission is free. The light projection commences at 7 pm on the front of the museum. Holzer has used light projections, paintings, and text to question contemporary culture for more than 30 years. Join us for a very special lecture and a one-time-only site-specific projection created by this world-renowned artist for the Portland Museum of Art. Visit the Museum’s website to learn more.

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth will host a Holiday Open House for its Small Works 2010 Show on December 9 from 5-7pm. The event is free and open to the public. Twenty-five artists will participate, and artwork from the estates of Patrick McArdle, Emily Muir, and Stephen Pace will be included in the show. The show will be on display until December 23.

Courthouse Gallery was recently selected to represent the estate of Patrick James McArdle (1915-1997). McArdle, who was born in Nottingham, England, spent his formative years studying with the renowned French painter Amadee Ozenfant. At his first exhibition, his work was considered “…tres orignale et remarquablement fraiche de couleur,” by France Amerique. Upon emigrating from Ireland to the United States, McArdle received his formal education at the Art Student’s League in New York City where he was a pupil of Hans Hoffmann. He spent summers in Maine, studying with marine painter Jay Hall Connaway. Often compared to Matisse, McArdle’s figures exhibit a similar feeling of movement and presence, or as one critic for Art News put it, they are …”whimsical comments on equilibrium…and human manners.” He exhibited exclusively in New York City and his paintings are represented in the private collections of eminent collectors. In his later years, McArdle lived in Harpswell and used the scenes around him as his subject. McArdle’s paintings are included in the permanent collections at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine, and the Art Museum at Indiana University in Bloomington. FMI, contact Courthouse Gallery at (207) 667-6611, or visit Courthouse Gallery online.

Participating Artists:
David Graeme Baker, Judy Belasco, Antonietta Capecchi, Ellen Church, Gregory Dunham, Philip Frey, Tom Hennessey, Liddy Hubbell, William Irvine, John Knight, Beth Lambert, David Little, Patrick McArdle, Holly Meade, Emily Muir, Ed Nadeau, Andrew Newman, John Neville, Stephen Pace, Colin Page, Robert Shillady, Jessica Stammen, Cynthia Stroud, Michael Vermette, John David Wissler. Above left: Patrick McArdle, from “Skaters on a Sunny Day.”

University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor will host ART@NOON, featuring an informal gallery talk with artist Ilya Askinazi, on Thursday, December 9 at 12 pm. Askinazi will comment on the photographs in his UMMA exhibition A Pointed View as well as his creative process. Additionally, Education Coordinator Gina Platt will discuss several works currently on display in the Permanent Collection Gallery. FMI on the ART@NOON series of discussions, visit UMMA online.

UMMA Announces Creation of Photo National 2011, Invites Submissions

University of Maine Museum of Art is pleased to announce the creation of the Photo National 2011 exhibition to run June 23 through September 17, 2011. UMMA will begin accepting submissions for this exhibit beginning Friday, December 10, 2010. This highly competitive exhibition will feature a survey of contemporary photography from throughout the United States. The exhibition will be juried by George Kinghorn, Director and Curator of the University of Maine Museum of Art & Brian Paul Clamp, Director of CLAMPART Gallery, NYC. Entry materials must be received by January 7, 2011. For complete exhibition guidelines and entry forms please visit the UMMA website. FMI, contact Stephen Ringle, Museum Registrar at (207) 561-3366 or email

Maine Arts Commission Offers Grants

As in years previous, the Maine Arts Commission offers a variety of grants to individual artists, arts organizations, and organizations interested in undertaking artistic community projects. The Arts Visibility grant provides funds for marketing to individual artists and organizations. It has a deadline of January 7, 2011. The Innovative Production grant supports artistic innovation in the production and presentation of media and/or performance work of artists and organizations; the deadline is January 13, 2011. The Jane Morrison Film Scholarship provides funds to support educational opportunities for filmmakers in the early stages of their career development; the deadline is January 13, 2011. The Good Idea grant, which fosters the growth of Maine’s artists, is available throughout the year, as are the Arts and Humanities grant and Celebrating Traditional Arts grant. Learn more about all of the Maine Arts Commission’s grants on their website.

Puffin Foundation Offers Artists’ Grants for Progressive Social Change

The Puffin Foundation will provide Artist Grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 to encourage emerging artists in the fields of fine arts, video, and dance. Artistic, educational, and environmental public interest projects will also be considered. The Foundation is particularly interested in supporting innovative initiatives that will advance progressive social change. Prospective applicants must request funding guidelines and forms by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Foundation’s office by December 1, 2010. Apply by December 30, 2010. Learn more >

Henry Isaacs, “Mt. Desert from Islesford”

“Greetings from icy seas and wind-blown Maine islands!” says Henry Isaacs, American landscape painter of Isleford, who is tucked inside his studio finishing an array of commissions that he started in the field. You can read about these adventures by going to the Current Events section of Henry’s website. You can certainly find a the perfect painting for a spectacular holiday gift from Henry’s inventory. You can choose from Henry’s website or request further images by contacting Dan and Cynthia Lief of the Islesford Dock Gallery at FMI, visit Henry Isaacs online.

Ongoing Shows

Portland Museum of Art is currently exhibiting False Documents & Other Illusions through January 2. The exhibition features 32 works by 13 contemporary artists showcasing a spectrum of approaches to illusion and the trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye”) style. This exhibition runs in conjunction with John Haberle: American Master of Illusion, an exhibition of traditional 19th-century trompe l’oeil paintings on view through December 12.

On display now at UMaine Museum of Art (UMMA) in Bangor are three un-missable exhibitions: Pablo Picasso: The Passionate Print, String Too Short to Use: Recent Works by Todd Watts and A Pointed View: Photographs by Ilya Askinazi. Each will be on display through December 30.

The Belfast Fine Craft Show, at the Phoenix Gallery in Belfast, will have a variety of work for sale through December 31. FMI and to see some of what is available, visit

Gleason Fine Art in Portland presents WINTER WORKS and EYE CATCHERS, on display through January 29, with a second opening reception on December 3 from 5 to 8 pm. Winter Works is a gathering of paintings and sculptures of winter by Tom Curry, Ralf Feyl, and other Gallery Artists. Eye Catchers features small works for holiday giving. FMI, visit Gleason Fine Art online.

Kenny Cole is exhibiting at Space Gallery in Portland’s arts district through December 9. This is the story of the Hellfire Missile system as told in a series of drawings by artist Kenny Cole. Visit the SPACE Gallery online or for more information, or contact SPACE Gallery at (207)828-5600.

Camden Falls Gallery is holding a special seasonal art show and silent auction, Giving Thanks, to benefit local non-profit charities in Knox and Waldo counties in partnership with United Mid-Coast Charities. Giving Thanks will run until December 5 with a portion of all gallery sales donated to UMCC. Bidding will be open for the silent auction until December 20 on four paintings donated by Camden Falls Gallery and house artists Aline Ordman, Judith Schuppien, Janis Sanders, and John Schmidtberger. The four silent auction paintings will be on display in the lobby of Camden National Bank, Elm Street, Camden, weekdays for the month of December and at C.F.G. weekends. There will be a sign up sheet at both locations, and an updated tally available on Camden Falls Gallery’s website. All of the proceeds from the winning auction bids will help UMCC continue in their efforts to support our communities.

Clip art in this post is courtesy of