Openings + Shows: First Fridays in June

Hello Everyone and Happy Memorial Day!

What a beautiful day and a lovely start to the summer of 2011. The new guides are pretty much delivered to all those who are open – please let me know if you have not received yours yet.

The new printer did a wonderful job. The color reproduction is fat and juicy. I love the compliments it gets!

I helped Stan deliver earlier this month. I always enjoy driving the windy roads from Blue Hill to just about anywhere down the peninsula. It was a chance to catch up with some clients that I don’t get to see often, like Elena Kubler, who is celebrating her 29th year at Turtle Gallery in Deer Isle.

Our Café des Artistes radio show aired this weekend on its regular schedule of WERU Blue Hill Saturday at 8:30 am and on WMPG Portland on Sunday at 11 am. Victor Hathaway, my co-host and engineer for the past six years moved away, which left me alone to figure out how to produce and record the show myself. It was a pretty steep learning curve using Garageband on my Mac, but I got on top of it just in time for the first airing this weekend. You can listen to it here. Café Memorial Day Weekend show

The Center for Maine Craft has opened a new store and marketing collaboration in Portland. Listen to my interview with Sadie Bliss, director of Center for Maine Craft.

Enjoy the sunshine and the unique new smell and feel of Maine in earliest summer. See you next week.

Anthony Anderson


A Creative Common at the Maine Mall


Center for Maine Craft at the Maine Mall
Below right:
Tracy Stutzman, MCA executive director; Susan Horowitz, MCA board member; and Sadie Bliss, Center for Maine Craft Director

Maine Crafts Association has collaborated with Maine College of Art, Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, and the Maine Mall to inaugurate a new concept: the Creative Common at Maine Mall, South Portland. Making art accessible in unlikely places is becoming an MCA specialty! Now you can shop for fine craft made by Maine artisans, as well as see arts demonstrations, find out about higher education in the arts, learn about traditional Native American crafts heritage, hear live music by Maine musicians, and taste Maine artisan foods ­ at the MALL!

The Creative Common at Maine Mall provides an enormous public presence (3 million visitors in the summer) for our craft artists and a number of Maine¹s premier craft and cultural institutions. MCA will be both managing the Creative Common area and opening its new seasonal Center for Maine Craft, Portland. The Creative Common (and Center for Maine Craft, Portland) will be open all regular mall hours (10-9; Sundays 11-6) from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. FMI, call (207) 588-0021 or visit Maine Crafts Association online.



Brita Holmquist, “Clouds Like Escaping Birds” Below left, Judith Leighton, “Untitled #22” (Not in show)

Join Leighton Gallery in Blue Hill for their first show of the season, now through July 7. It is with great sadness that Leighton Gallery opens without Judith Leighton, but they are proud to show the artists she chose for this show before she passed away. Featured artists are Brita Holmquist, Monica Kelly, Judith Leighton, Gayle Lewis, Julie Metz and Michael Rich.

Much of Brita Holmquist‘s work originates aboard her boat and her lively colors and exuberant execution make her oil paintings a Maine experience. Monica Kelly lives in Camden, Maine. In this year’s collection of oil paintings Kelly continues her exploration of the relationship between her life in the visual arts and her life in music.

Judith Leighton was tireless in her efforts to keep challenging herself creatively, and in her new and final works succeeded in pushing pastels, the medium of her choice for over 30 years, to a new level of visual fluidity and impact. Gayle Lewis will be showing watercolors from her new series “Walking to Giverny”. Julie Metz is presenting a series of mixed media works from her sketchbook of the movement of water against rock. Michael Rich‘s new body of work is a continuation of his inquiry into essence and absence. The show focuses on his signature houses in a variety of media, from encaustic to embossing.

Leighton Gallery also features an ongoing Group Show in the garden-level Gallery III and a wide variety of work in the outdoor Sculpture Garden. FMI visit Leighton Gallery online or call (207) 374-5001.


Andrew Wyeth, “Geraniums”

The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland has launched a new exhibition in the Wyeth Study Center entitled Andrew Wyeth: The Road to Olsons. The exhibition will run through October 30, 2011.

This intimate exhibition features works by Andrew Wyeth that depict people and places the artist knew on the road from the village of Cushing, along the Georges River, to the Olson House on Hathorne Point Road, where Christina and Alvaro Olson lived.

This show is in conjunction with the major exhibition Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World and the Olson House, opening at the Farnsworth’s Wyeth Center on June 11, which will feature watercolors and drawings depicting Alvaro and Christina Olson and the Cushing, Maine house in which they lived. That exhibition’s works not only will include interior and exterior views of the house and the surrounding site but also preparatory drawings for Wyeth’s iconic painting, Christina’s World. Thirty-eight of the featured watercolors and drawings are on loan from the collection of the prestigious Marunuma Art Park in Asaka, Japan. FMI call 207-596-6457 or visit Farnsworth Museum online.


Lissa Hunter, “Past Time Gardening”

CRAFT gallery in Rockland opens its second season with Telling Stories, on show through July 1. Three Maine craft artists tell stories in various craft materials, using metaphors and the beauty of calligraphy in their narratives.

Belfast calligrapher Jan Owen layers the textures of language, line, patterns and colors, using brush, pen and ink to create sumptuous panels and scrolls reminiscent of medieval manuscripts and Asian calligraphy. Potter Laurel MacDuffie creates stoneware containers made of clay, wood and metal. They are architectural forms with historic meaning, metaphors for the passage of time, recalling the past with inscriptions, graphic images and crackled glazes. Portland artist Lissa Hunter’s artmaking is a narrative for the stories she wants to tell and for us to reinterpret with our own experiences. Her coiled basketry, which is the foundation for her art, and assemblages bring together various materials to form a 3-dimensional collage of visual stimulation and interpretation. FMI call 207-594-0167 or visit CRAFT gallery online.


William Lasansky, “Auroch’s Dream”

New Era Gallery
of Vinalhaven opens the summer season with Winter Works—a first look at what’s been going on this winter in the studios of your favorite artists. The show will on display through June 22.

“Winter Works” will include works by gallery artists in several media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, pottery, photography and fiber arts. In celebration of New Era Gallery’s tenth season, the gallery will also host a series of installations and events in the Windy Way Barn adjacent to the gallery. The inaugural installation will feature paintings and drawings of seasonal changes in the restored Vinal Cove Marsh by Gallery Director, Elaine Austin Crossman. FMI, call 863-9351, or visit New Era Gallery online.


Matt Barter, “Sternman.”
Below left: Helen St. Clair, “Fish Seller”
Below right: Matt Barter, “Three Fishermen”

Gleason Galleries in Boothbay Harbor presents HELEN ST. CLAIR: The Figure and PHILIP BARTER and MATT BARTER: Father and Son through June 28.

In her ninth one-woman show, Boothbay Harbor artist Helen St. Clair focuses on the figure. “Through my painting, I strive to reveal the essence of the subject by means of simplification and abstraction,” says St. Clair. With her latest show, St Clair turns her attention to the figure, a subject perfectly suited to her muted, painterly realism.

When St. Clair begins one of her paintings, she lets the painting process itself inspire her. “As I am painting, as I do one stroke or just one thing that I really like, it is that moment that inspires,” says St. Clair. This spontaneity and clarity of vision are what give a St. Clair painting its incredible freshness. It’s something that viewers, including artists, frequently comment on.

With “Father and Son,” Gleason Fine Art brings together for only the second time the paintings and wood reliefs of two of Maine’s most recognizable artists: Philip Barter and his son Matt Barter. From the beginning, Philip Barter’s brilliantly colored, modernist-influenced paintings and wood relief’s stood out from the myriad landscapes more traditional artists were creating. With his father Philip as his instructor, Matt began painting at a very early age. I n fact, he sold his first painting, a still-life based on Matisse, before the age of 10. In addition to his paintings and wall reliefs, Matt Barter carves marvelous, folky figures of fishermen. Whether laden down with buoys (painted in the blue and brown shades of the Barter brothers own lobster buoys), lobster crates, or fish, Matt’s fishermen are both expressive and fun. FMI, call 207-633-6849 or visit Gleason Fine Art online.


Photo by Richard Norton, untitled, from 1988

Former members of Belfast’s Artfellows Gallery will exhibit work at Betts Gallery in Belfast, June 2 through June 25, with an opening reception Friday, June 3 from 5:30 to 8 pm.

In 1980, as part of the first Church Street Festival, the newly formed Artfellows Cooperative Gallery held their first exhibit in three rooms on the second floor of the Odd Fellows building on Main Street. This space became home to the gallery for several years and inspired its name.
The organization grew quickly, its members mostly from Waldo and Knox counties. The late Richard Norton, staff photographer for The Republican Journal and later The Waldo Independent, was the group’s most visible member and first president. Artfellows shows were well attended and their invitational, showcasing the work of area artists who summered in Maine, drew much attention to the gallery and helped to give it a state-wide reputation.

In 1985, the group had approximately 40 members and decided to move to a space downstairs, now occupied by The Belfast Framer and Betts Gallery. In 1987, Norton stepped down as president. Feeling that Artfellows had served it’s purpose, most members voted to end the gallery’s seven year run on a high note. A few members opposed this motion, reorganized and the gallery continued for another several years.

Proprietor Vicki McDaniel has long wanted to honor those early-to-mid Artfellows years with a show of current work from members from 1980-87. “Many of these artists I’ve known for years and I have followed their careers after they left Artfellows. It just seemed natural to one day celebrate them, here where they had their formative years.”

Exhibiting artists include Lois Anne, Margot Balboni, Dan Clarke, Alan Crichton, Lorna Crichton, Squidge Liljeblad Davis, Randy Fein, Jerri Finch, Jane Gilbert, Stew Henderson, David Hurley, Michael Hurley, Candace Hutchinson, Cynthia Hyde, Janice Kasper, Jim Kinnealey, Marika Kuzma, Bill Landmesser, Peggy McKenna, Cathy Melio, Richard Norton, Mat O’Donnell, Chris Osgood, Dennis Pinette, Megan Pinette, Tom Prescott, Phil Prince, Michael Reece, Scott Reed, Denise Remy, Liv Kristin Robinson and Lesia Sochor. FMI, call (207) 338-6465 or visit The Belfast Framer online.


Maurice Freedman, “Stonington Lily Pond”

Greenhut Galleries in Portland will present Maine Light, June 2 through 25, with an opening reception Thursday June 2 from 5 to 7 pm. Responding to Maine’s northeastern light, each Greenhut artist will be showing a new work that acknowledges the beauty and quality of light we live with and enjoy here in Maine. FMI, call 207-772-2693 or visit Greenhut Galleries online.



BelfastARTS First Friday
Art Walk kicks off the summer season on June 3, and you’re cordially invited join the downtown celebration of the arts.

Over a dozen art galleries, studios, and other art venues make Belfast their home and participate in the art walks. Galleries and studios hosting receptions on June 3 include: Aarhus Gallery, celebrating their 4th anniversary; High Street Studio and Gallery, featuring new works by Susan Tobey White, Sheep Jones, and Julie Cyr; Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, also featuring a new exhibit; Clifford Gallery at Waterfall Arts, featuring the work of Arthur Ganson; and Betts Gallery, exhibiting the works of former members of the 1980’s downtown art post, Artfellows Gallery. The balance of Belfast’s studios and galleries will also welcome you to their art spaces.

As has become tradition in Belfast, street performances are an integral part of the celebration. On June 3, art walkers will get to enjoy folk music and original songs by guitarist and mandolin player Craig Hensley. Top that off with sultry sax sounds of Lincoln Blake and you know the streets will be abuzz. As art walkers go from one venue to the next, their eyes will feast upon modern dance performances by Alexandra Pitre. See you in Belfast on Friday evening, June 3, from 5:30 to 8 pm. Bring a friend! And don’t forget: In July and August, the Belfast art walks are every Friday evening! FMI, visit www.belfastartwalk.com.


Dianne Schelble, “Maples over Turquoise”

Carver Hill Gallery
, Rockland, kicks off June with first a Friday Art Walk featuring Ukrainian Artist Mikhail Mikora and Maine Artist Dianne Schelble, June 3 until 8 pm. The artwork will be on display until June 27.

Mikora‘s music series features Jazz artists such as Cecil Taylor playing in night clubs in Europe, and classical musicians in string trios. Mikora’s work reflects the relationship between musicians and their audience, drawing inspiration from the energy. Mikhail Mikora insists on being present – with the music- in small, intimate environments. He sketches and paints “live” finishing paper pieces in ink and acrylic on site. He frequently will use these plein-club paintings as studies for larger pieces in oil later.

Dianne Schelble‘s new body of work reflects the colors that she “feels” and senses in her environment. The gorgeous, moody red interior of a cafe instantly warms you and hides its occupants until the viewer moves in closer. A vibrant umbrella of maple leaves over turquoise houses in the fall invites you in to see something different every time. Instead of exaggerating the colors, she translates them as we absorb the combination of hues holistically. The work is rich and deep, in opaque watercolor on paper. Carver Hill Gallery has a new Rockland location at 338 Main Street. FMI, visit Carver Hill Gallery online or call (207)594-7745.


Lauren Gillette, leather jacket

Portland Museum of Art presents Refashioned Opening Celebration and
Museum Store product launch on June 3 from 5 to 8 pm. Join PMA for the Opening Celebration of the exhibition Refashioned and meet artist Lauren Gillette and Assistant Curator Sage Lewis.

Inherent in the structure of a garment is the story of its purpose, time, and place. Contemporary artists, Lauren Gillette (York, Maine), Anne Lemanski (Spruce Pine, North Carolina), and Angelika Werth (Nelson, British Columbia), use the configuration of an article of clothing or hairstyle as an armature for historical narratives. The exhibition features 21 objects lent by the artists.

Of the Gillette’s contribution to the exhibition, Portland Press Herald writes: “[Lauren] Gillette takes worn leather jackets and creates biographical sketches of sometimes famous people by stitching and affixing accumulated imagery and text. She reworks the jackets, adorning the lining, cuffs, zippers, collars and buttons with words, images and objects that tell stories about the subject. Her subjects are public — Patty Hearst, Sammy Davis Jr. — and private.”

Visit the Museum Store for the product launch of Beaux & Arrow, a collaboration between local artists/designers Hannah Tarkinson and Kris Johnsen, who have transformed screen-printed leather into timeless jewelry, belts, and bags. FMI, call (207) 775-6148 or visit the Portland Museum of Art online.

Gleason Fine Art in Portland will present OF ISLANDS AND OCEANS: Barrett, Beers, Betts, Billis, Curry, Isaacs, Neville, and Witbeck, June 3 through July 30 with an opening reception during First Friday Art Walk, June 3, 5 to 8 pm. Gleason artists Jeff Barrett, Kevin Beers, Brad Betts, Mitch Billis, Tom Curry, Henry Isaacs, John Neville, and David Witbeck show off their favorite subject matter–the islands where they live and the oceans that they look at.
FMI, call 207-699-5599 or visit Gleason Fine Art online.

The Farnsworth Art Museum is proud to announce that for the second consecutive year, The First, N.A., an independent community bank, will sponsor First Fridays at the Farnsworth. During First Fridays, the museum will open its galleries free of charge to the public from 5 to 8 pm. The First Friday dates, which are part of the Arts in Rockland First Friday art walks, will be June 3, July 1, August 5, September 2 and October 7.

“We are delighted to once again have The First as sponsors of this event,” said
Farnsworth Director Christopher J. Brownawell. “This partnership allows us to make the museum galleries accessible to the entire community free of charge. It is thanks to this kind of support that the Farnsworth can continue anchoring the midcoast’s creative economy.”

The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates Maine’s ongoing role in American art. It offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists, with 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 10,000 works in the collection. FMI, call 207-596-6457 or visit Farnsworth Art Museum online.

Portland Museum of Art will present My Perestroika as part of the Movies at the Museum programming. Showings are on Friday, June 3 at 6:30 pm, Saturday June 4 at 2 pm, and Sunday June 5 at 2 pm.

My Perestroika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times—from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. At the center of the film is a family. The film interweaves their contemporary world with rare home movie footage from the 1970s and ’80s in the USSR, along with official Soviet propaganda films that surrounded them at the time. NR. FMI, call 207-775-6148 or visit Portland Museum of Arts’s movie listings online.


Gary Akers, “Island Cat” Below right: “A Moment of Reflection”

Haynes Galleries
in Thomaston will exhibit Gary Akers: Maine Mornings from June 4 til June 29, with an opening on Saturday morning, June 4, from 9 am until noon. A selection of the artist’s most recent egg tempera, drybrush and watercolor paintings will be on exhibit. Join Haynes Galleries for strong coffee, tasty morsels and exquisite art!

There is nothing quite like a Maine morning. The sun rises earlier here than anywhere else in the nation, and for a few quiet moments, you feel as though you’re the only person awake, anywhere. For the artist Gary Akers, there’s no better time to capture the romance of this place. “It’s a beautiful time,” Akers says. “The morning makes it a little more special.” FMI, call (207)354-0605 or visit Haynes Galleries online.

River Arts announces a Call to Artists for its upcoming Abstract exhibition to be held June 17 through July 15 at its Main Street gallery in downtown Damariscotta. Artists in all media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing and other art forms, are encouraged to enter their work.

Drop off dates for submissions to the “Abstract” show are Friday and Saturday, June 10th and 11th from 10-4 at the River Arts Gallery at 170 Main Street in Damariscotta. Three works may be submitted by each artist for the entry fee of $15 for members, $20 for non-members. All works chosen for the show must be for sale at the exhibition.

The juror for this show is Laurie E. Hicks, curator of the Lord Hall Galleries and Professor of Art at the University of Maine, Orono. A curator of numerous exhibitions and senior editor of the journal Studies in Art Education, Dr. Hicks has been an exhibiting artist, organizer of several arts conferences and symposia, a recipient of many grants and awards, and an accomplished author in the arts. FMI, call River Arts at (207) 563-1507.

Portland Museum of Art will present Blank City as part of the Movies at the Museum programming. Showings are on Friday, June 10 at 6:30 pm, Saturday June 11 at 2 pm, and Sunday June 12 at 2 pm.

Before there was HD there was Super 8. Before Independent film there was Underground Cinema. Once upon a pre-Facebook time, before creative communities became virtual and viral, cultural movements were firmly grounded in geography. And the undisputed center of American art and film—some would say international—was New York City.

In particular, downtown Manhattan in the late 1970s and ’80s was the anchor of vanguard filmmaking. Blank City tells the long overdue tale of the motley crew of renegade filmmakers that emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous period of New York history. It’s a fascinating look at the way this misfit cinema used the deserted, bombed-out Lower East Side landscapes to craft daring works that would go on to profoundly influence Independent Film today. NR. FMI, call 207-775-6148 or visit Portland Museum of Arts’s movie listings online.

Gallery at Widgeon Cove in Harpswell is hosting a fundraising event for an International Hand Papermaking Journal on June 11 from 4 to 7 pm.There will be a famous historical papermaker on hand to demonstrate papermaking skills, in addition to allowing guests to make their own papers. There will be a buffet served, and tours of the gallery, collections and gardens beside a beautiful cove in Harpswell. To learn more or to sign up for this unusual reservation-only event, please visit HandPapermaking.com. FMI on Gallery at Widgeon Cove, visit their website, email gallery@widgeoncove.com or call (207) 833-6081.

Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset will present a workshop entitled Self Marketing for Artists: The Smart Fox Wins! on Saturday June 11 from 11 am to 1:30 pm at the Gallery.

Most artists realize they need maximum exposure for their art if they want the “name recognition” which creates sales. This interactive workshop will motivate artists to recognize their strongest talent, then develop a sustainable marketing plan. We will discuss tried and true methods of achieving success, along with an explanation of the latest social media available for the working artist, all without breaking the bank.

As one artist commented: “ Suddenly I realized what I should be focusing on – it was a breakthrough!” Space is limited. Cost is $35 nonmembers, $25 MAG members. Lunch is included. FMI and to register, call 207-882-7511 or email michele@maineartgallery.org.


Call for Maine Artists and Craftsmen for a Sidewalk Art Sale

This is a one-day busy sidewalk art sale held in the same neighborhood as the popular yearly Strawberry Festival. The festival and sidewalk art sale are held Saturday, June 25, 10 am to 2 pm in beautiful historic Wiscasset village. This is the third year that Maine Art Gallery will hold the sidewalk art sale, and they are seeking Maine artists and craftsmen with only their own original works. Entry is $30 for nonmembers, $20 for members; artists are assigned a ten foot wide space, and there is no commission on sales. Deadline June 17. The location is the Maine Art Gallery, 15 Warren Street. FMI, call 207-882-7511.

Photoshop Workshops Offered at L/A Arts Gallery 5

L/A Arts Gallery 5 is again offering Adobe PhotoShop Elements for Photographers
There are two classes remaining in the four week series is taught by Gallery 5 curator, Tammie Grieshaber. June 4 is “Photo Collage,” and June 11 class is entitled “More Creative Fixes.”

Adobe PhotoShop Elements™ is the baby sister of Adobe PhotoShop™. It costs $99 instead of $600; has a MUCH flatter learning curve; and meets the needs and creative desires of most photographers and digital scrapbookers. Each class will include homework assignments that will be reviewed the next week to help reinforce your new skills. Handouts and reference materials are included.

All workshops will be at 9AM-11:30AM Saturday morning in L/A Arts Gallery 5, 49 Lisbon Street, Lewiston. The fee $45 per session or $150 for the series. Call LA Arts at (207) 782-7228 or go online at www.laarts.org to register.


Call for Artists: Juried Exhibit at the Maine Art Gallery

Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset is calling for artists to exhibit in an upcoming show running from June 9 through July 10 entitled Illustrated Passages: Artworks Illustrating Paragraphs and Poems. This is an unusual “literary” art exhibit where the viewer will see the poem or paragraph which provided the inspiration for each artwork. Visit Maine Art Gallery online www.maineartgallery.org for exhibiting details or call 207-882-7511.