Openings + Shows: Brrrr!

Hello artists and art lovers!

I am beginning to think that I live in a snow globe that simply gets shaken when I’m not looking. Some people hate snow, but I can’t help but love it, even when I’m waist deep with a shovel. And while we are blessed with an abundance of sparkly whiteness outside, some of us might want to see a few other colors sometimes! Luckily, there are many galleries and studios across Maine that are still putting on shows and hosting fun events and openings throughout the Winter.

Our leading feature, The Feathered Hand, looks to be an unmissable and extraordinary art experience. Hildreth, the artist behind the drawings and installation featured in that show, offers a dreamscape of puppets, prints and hanging vessels. The Portland Museum of Art is offering a full calendar of interesting events, including a free college night this Thursday with food, prizes and artmaking. Åarhus Gallery celebrates that color we have all been seeing quite a bit of with their exhibition WHITE, opening February 4. There are plenty more, too, but I’ll leave you with this vibrant splash of color, a staff pick from Greenhut Galleries by Phil Barter entitled “Falling Leaves.”

All the best,

Café des Artistes

Anne Zill & Alison Derby Hildreth

The Feathered Hand: Installation, Drawings, Prints by Alison Derby Hildreth on Display at University of New England Art Gallery

The University of New England Art Gallery in Portland is hosting Alison Derby Hildreth’s latest creative body of work which includes prints and drawings, as well as a powerful installation, The Feathered Hand. Together these works transform the UNE Gallery in the most unique manner of any works of art in its history, since Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises.

Hildreth has been working on this exhibition over the past two years. She thinks of the drawings and prints as walks through a changing landscape of associative ideas, each carrying something from the previous image but moving on to a new interpretation.

The installation is based on an interest Hildreth had for a long time: puppets. The puppets are seen hanging through groups of lenses that surround vessels of differing sizes. They are not presented as marionettes so much as inanimate objects that she remembers investing much imagination in as a child. The time in our lives when the real and the imaginary are so intertwined. As Camus elegantly puts it, “A person’s work is nothing but this long slow trek to rediscover, through the detour of art, those two or three great but simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”

This show runs through April 3, 2011 and is free and open to the public. An artist lecture is scheduled for March 9, 2011 at the Art Gallery from 5-6:30 pm. FMI, call Anne Zill at 207-221-4499, email or visit UNE online.

The Portland Museum of Art hosts College Night on Thursday February 3 from 7 to 10 pm. The event features lives music by Phantom Buffalo and Theodore Treehouse, but best of all it is free with a university ID. Enjoy free food and drink provided by Siano’s Old Port Pizzeria, Wild Burrito, El Rayo Taqueria, Leonardo’s Pizza and Capt’n Eli’s Soda. Explore the gallery after-hours, participate in art projects sponsored by Artist and Craftsman Supply and enter to win gift certificates to Rogues Gallery, The Maine Mall, Bull Feeney’s, Mexicali Blues, and more! FMI visit PMA online.

The Portland Museum of Art will host “What Do You Think? Les Baux by Marguerite Zorach,” Thursday February 3 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. “What Do You Think?” is a monthly study group that meets to study and discuss one piece in the Museum’s collection. FMI, visit Portland Museum of Art online.

Ragna Bruno, “Composition with Orange”

Åarhus Gallery in Belfast embraces the color white this February with a show on view from February 4 through 27 with an opening February 4 from 5 to 8 pm. The show, aptly titled “WHITE,” explores the color in all of its varied meaning and complexity.

A widely held view of the color white is that it’s what’s left after all color has been removed. Not to worry, because technically speaking, white is the color of objects that reflect nearly all light of all visible wavelengths. White is, in fact, what we see as the response to the maximum stimulation of the retina.

In other words, white is the whole shebang, baby, the universe in an eggshell, a rainbow in a saucer of milk. To some, white has symbolized purity and goodness, but white can also mean reactionary or intensely heated, impassioned, or ‘with milk added’. Whatever white is, the perception of white appears to most often depend on… contrast.

Featured artists include Ragna Bruno, Maryjean Crowe, Gabriella D’Italia, Ingrid Ellison, Kevin Johnson, Mark Kelly, Freddy LaFage, Marc Leavitt, Richard Mann, Karen MacDonald, Petrea Noyes, Abbie Read, Wesley Reddick, Willy Reddick, Mike Rich, Lesia Sochor, Prairie Stuart-Wolff, Simon van der Ven, and Richard Whittier. Aarhus Gallery, operating under winter hours, is open February-May, Thursday-Sunday 11am-4pm. For more information call 338-0001 or visit Aarhus Gallery online.

Bjorn Runquist, “Is that Herring?”

Gleason Fine Art in Portland presents A Conference of Birds II, on display February 4 through March 26 with an opening reception First Friday, February 4 from 5 to 8 pm. Peaks Island watercolorist Scott Kelley, Monroe Folk Artist Jeff Barrett, Woolich sculptor Andreas von Huene, and Edgecomb fiber artists Gail Fraas and Duncan Slade, join a dozen other painters and sculptors for the Gleasons’ second invitational focusing on birds. FMI call 207-699-5599 or email

Kingfield‘s galleries, museums and artists’ studios invite you to join them for a walking tour in the Village of Kingfield each First Friday this Spring. The first date is February 4, and doors will be open from 3 pm to 8 pm. FMI, visit Kingfield’s website.

The Kennebec Valley Art Association’s annual Silent Art Auction returns February 9-12, 2011. Sweet deals on original art by local artists in time for Valentines Day! You’ll find paintings, pastels, sculpture, prints, photographs, crafts and more. Budding art collectors love this event! FMI, visit Harlow Gallery online.

Jon Kolkin, “Draped Over the Night Sky”

Carver Hill Gallery in Rockland is pleased to present JON KOLKIN: A Dreamscape Evening and discussion of his work on Thursday, February 10 at 5 pm. Refreshments and hors d’ oeuvres will be served. Please call to confirm a seat. Says Kolkin: “I visualize these Dreamscapes in vivid, rich colors, often situated in a lush and sensual environment. The object’s surface possesses incredible texture and depth. I am able to glide through these landscapes, surveying this world from unique macro and micro vantage points.” FMI, visit Carver Hill Gallery online, or call 207-594-7745.

Portland Museum of Art will host Jazz Breakfasts at the Museum Sundays through April 3 from 10:30am to noon. Get your Sundays off to a jazzy start with great art, entertaining music, and delicious food! Jazz Breakfasts are a longstanding and popular tradition at the Museum and offer a blend of traditional favorites, new trends, and everything in between. The Museum is proud to showcase Maine musicians. The Jazz Breakfasts are free with Museum admission, and breakfast items are available for purchase. Next in the lineup is Tom Snow on Sunday, February 6, followed by zing!, Port City Jazz and Bob Charest Quartet in subsequent weeks.

Tonee Harbert, “Logger Glen Norton”

Maine Museum of Photographic Arts in Portland is currently showing Logging in the Maine Woods Today from the artist Tonee Harbert. Maine has a logging tradition that reaches back 300 years. Historical photographs remain of groups of mustached woodsmen posing for portraits at logging camps in northern Maine, or driving booms of logs downriver, and breaking logjams.

In Logging in the Maine Woods Today, the artist has created a series of historical documents depicting logging as it exists in 2010, in Maine. Harbert has explored an interest in Maine culture through photography over a period of twenty years, photographing fishermen, shepherds, migrant farm workers, island people and city people.

From the small operators cutting firewood, to the large operation delivering many truckloads of logs per day to the paper mill, Harbert photographed a cross section of the logging industry in Maine at this time in history. Today much of the logging is done by harvesting machines that can cut, de-limb, and chop trees into shorter lengths, clearing acres of forest in a day. A timber operation that took months to complete 90 years ago will now take days to complete. Harbert’s photographs show men operating the enormous machines that now complete those same tasks in a small fraction of the time. FMI call (207) 899-1485 or visit the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts online.

Portland Museum of Art will host Maine Poets Read: Beyond Leaves of Grass, Saturday, February 12 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.

To celebrate poetry and the exhibition Weston: Leaves of Grass, join these four distinctly different poets in the galleries as they read their favorite Whitman poem from Leaves of Grass, paired with their own contemporary poems.

Portland’s Poet Laureate Steve Lutrell, along with Russ Sargent, Megan Grumbling, and Michael MacKlin, will each read from this epic celebration of American life. Free with museum admission.

Livy Glaubitz

River Arts is now displaying the Works on Paper exhibition through February 18. This is a fascinating, colorful and diverse show. Juror Suzette McAvoy states that she aimed to include “a broad range of work, from purely formal abstraction to more traditional representational images. I looked for work that exhibited a personal, unique vision.” FMI, call 207-563-1507 or visit River Arts online.

Spindleworks will be displaying artwork at Harlow Gallery February 16 through 26, with an opening reception February 18, 5 to 8 pm. Spindleworks is a non-profit art center for adults with disabilities and a program of the Independence Association of Brunswick Maine, whose mission is to help children and adults with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives in their chosen community. Artists in the Spindleworks program come from surrounding communities including Bath, Topsham, Bowdoinham, Portland, Westbrook, Auburn, Lisbon Falls, Richmond, and Freeport. FMI, visit Spindleworks or Harlow Gallery online or call 207-622-3813.


Beginning Oil Class at River Arts Studio

Learn to paint with oils in this fun and informative class for beginners held at River Arts Route 1 Studio in Damariscotta Feb. 19 9am-12 AND 1-4 pm. Martha Baum will introduce students to composition and paint application basics, as well as some exciting techniques that make a painting “pop”. Have a great time working from a variety of sources to complete several paintings. No experience necessary – just bring a desire to grow and learn as an artist! Intermediate students in need of a good review also welcome.

River Arts Route 1 Studio offers a wide variety of exciting ceramics classes throughout February. Learn more >

The UMaine Museum of Art Offers Digital Photography Workshop

On March 8 & 15, 2011 from 6 to 9 pm, the Museum will offer a workshop in digital photography in the UMMA classroom on 40 Harlow Street in Bangor. The cost is $100 for non-members and $90 for members or UMaine students with ID.Instructor Gina Platt will help you figure out your camera, learn more about printing art-quality photos, and take better pictures. In two easy sessions learn how to use, or better utilize, your digital camera, optimize image quality on your computer, save your pictures, and print any size. This workshop is for the novice and the intermediate digital photographer. To learn more please view the Workshops page in the Education section of the Museum’s website or call Gina Platt at 207-561-3360.

Learn More about A Percent for Art

Maine Arts Commission will hold a Percent for Art Informational Session Wednesday February 9 at 6 pm at River Arts. Greg Parker, Public Art Contractor with Maine Arts Commission will be on hand to describe the process and resources available for community members and artists to file applications to create public art. Several projects around the state require the hiring of artists to design, create and install art such as new school buildings. This informational session is open to all artists or groups of artists who would like to learn first-hand about these interesting, well paying, high profile projects.

The Percent for Art law in Maine reserves one percent of the construction funds for all state-funded building projects to provide art work for the public areas of these buildings and /or their exterior renovations and additions. Please make reservations for this presentation by email: or phone 207-563-1507. This presentation is free and open to the public. Donations welcome – but reservations are necessary!

Henry Isaacs Studio will host their Third Annual Labor Day Plein-Aire Workshops: Painting on a Maine Island with Henry Isaacs and Ashley Bryan, September 2, 3 and 4 (session one) and September 6, 7, and 8 (session two). Early registrations are encouraged. For information please contact Cynthia or Dan Lief at the Islesford Dock Gallery: (207) 244-7494 or

State Arts Grant Sends Paul Bunyun on Tour with Student Performers

Thanks to a $10,000 grant through the Maine Arts Commission’s SMART grant, adventurous audiences in Freeport, Portland, Westbrook, and Peaks Island will soon be treated to some wild and wooly chronicles of Maine’s own Paul Bunyan, Mighty Woodsman, Inventor of Logging, and Hero-Leader of the best band of jim-crackin’ rip-snortin’ rogues that ever tramped the Maine woods.

The Maine Arts Commission recently awarded over $90,000 in grants for education programs throughout the state to provide rich learning experiences for K-12 students. One recipient of this funding is the Figures of Speech Student Ensemble (FOSSE), an after-school program for students from Freeport High School, which is currently in its fourth year. The ensemble, led by a group of professional artist-mentors, has previously developed and performed productions inspired by material as diverse as the Greek myth of Perseus the Gorgon Slayer, Alice in Wonderland, and H.C. Andersen’s story of The Snow Queen.

Rather than start with a script, auditions, and roles, FOSSE begins with an idea. Then material is explored by the students through improvisation, and this material finally leads to the development of the script.

This time FOSSE has taken on the Maine-based tall tale of Paul Bunyan. The 12-member ensemble will use a variety of media including shadow puppets, projections and dozens of tiny lumberjack figurines, to play with human-to-superhuman scale and generally cram all the fun that can be had into a 45-minute-long performance for all ages. This year, for the first time, the production will go on the road. The “Paul Bunyan” tour will open on Friday, January 28 at 7:30 pm at the Mast Landing School in Freeport. Admission is $7 students, $10 adults. The run continues on Sunday, January 30 at 7:30 pm at Lucid Stage in Portland; on Friday, February 4 at 7:30 pm at the Warren Library in Westbrook, and on Sunday, February 6 at 1 pm at the Peaks Island School. For more detailed information on locations, tickets, etc., go to or call Figures of Speech Theatre, 865-6355.

The Maine Arts Commission’s SMART grant has a deadline of April 4, 2011; you can find more information about this grant by visiting

Calls to Artists

MCA Solicits Proposals for Art at New Jefferson Village School

The Maine Arts Commission is making a call to all artists living in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, with a preference given to Maine artists, to submit proposals to design, create and install artwork at the New Jefferson Village School. The total project budget is $50,000 and the submission deadline is Wednesday, February 16, 2011.

River Arts announces a call to artists for the upcoming Black and White exhibition. Drop off dates are February 18 and 19, 2011. Juror will be Dan Kany, art critic for the Portland Press Herald. FMI and an entry form, visit River Arts online.

River Arts Gallery II, the exhibition and studio space acquired by River Arts on Route 1 in Damariscotta, is now booking artists for Spring 2012. Deposit of of the rental required. For further information and photos of the location visit River Arts online. FMI, email or call 563-1507 to make reservations.

A Boston Excursion with River Arts

River Arts offers an opportunity to view some incredible exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Art and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on Saturday March 12. (Interested art-lovers must reserve their place by February 4– see below.) The bus departs from Damariscotta for a day’s adventure in Boston at 7:00 am., arriving at approx. 10:00 at the prestigious Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Passengers have the day to spend as they wish, departing from the museum lot at 5:00 P.M.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a short walk from the MFA. Housed in the great patron of the arts’ reproduction 15th century-Italian palazzo with a courtyard garden, the Gardner offers 3 floors of galleries with works by Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael, Cellini, Rembrandt, Degas, Matisse, Sargent, Whistler, and others, in an ambiance full of period furniture, tapestries and sculpture. Over 25 influential Newbery Street art galleries are only a short MBTA ride away.

The cost of the bus trip is $55 for River Arts members and $65 for non-members. Please note that admission to the MFA or Gardner Museum is not included. To sign up for the excursion, call 563-1507 or email: to reserve a place. Full amount is required by February 4. Reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis.

UMaine Museum in Bangor Announces Free Admission in 2011

The University of Maine Museum of Art announces a wonderful gift to the community and region — another year of free admission. Through the generosity of Machias Savings Bank the Museum of Art will continue to open its doors for all individuals and groups to enjoy the Museum in 2011 without charge. FMI, visit UMMA online or call 207-561-3350.

Maine Arts Commission Announces Grant Program for Student Travel

The Maine Arts Commission today announced the launch of a new grant program that provides critical funding for schools seeking to transport students to arts venues and events in Maine in support of their education.The Ticket to Ride grant program will provide funding to defray the cost of travel for Maine K-12 schools wishing to attend arts venues and events as a part of a well rounded curriculum. FMI, contact Arts in Education Associate John Holdridge, at

Clip art images courtesy of