Openings + Shows


I recently had the opportunity to see some of the gallery shows in Rockland while visiting with a friend’s family. The Blues festival filled up the streets, and I had a chance to visit some of the shows I had been most interested in: America Martin at Carver Hill Gallery, Josie Iselin at Archipelago, and of course the Wyeth exhibition at the Farnsworth Art Museum. America Martin’s talent is extraordinary, and I felt privileged to see the work of this young artist. At Archipelago, Iselin’s scanner images of beach finds are tremendously fresh and inviting.

The end of July only holds a few more openings and events for us, including the Damariscotta Fine Crafts Show on July 23 and 24, openings at Camden Falls Gallery and River Arts’ Gallery II, and an interesting film showing put on by the Farnsworth Art Museum at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, featuring two films made by teenagers–one of which is a claymation about social issues and the empowering role of art, entitled ArtWorks. The next two weeks of Cafe des Artistes will delve into the First Friday and early August openings– I’ll see you then!


Cafe des Artistes

Above: America Martin, “Tea”

Ashley Bryan + Henry Isaacs

Painting on a Maine Island – Exploring Plein Air with Henry Isaacs + Ashley Bryan, Labor Day Workshops at Islesford Dock Gallery

Islesford Dock Gallery is on Little Cranberry, a short boat ride from Northeast Harbor on Mt. Desert. In addition to being a popular restaurant and art gallery, it is also home to what owner hosts Dan and Cynthia Lief describe as “a very different type of painting workshop.”

“Painting on a Maine Island – Exploring Plein Air” is a three day workshop taking place around Labor Day. The Workshops, now in their third year, are planned to meet the needs of a range of artists, from novices through professionals. Approaches, concepts, and techniques of landscape painting are demonstrated and a series of projects suggested to participants.

All instruction takes place en plein air. Conversations within this community of painters, as well as formal critiques, are conducted with groups and individuals. Sessions emphasize loose and creative experimentation. This approach inspires beginners, and re-energizes veteran painters.

Gathering over three delicious meals each day at the Islesford Dock is an experience in itself. The restaurant becomes a relaxed setting for planning the day over breakfast and enjoying far-ranging discussions at sunset. Lunch is often served on site. Meals and island accommodations are further elements that make these workshops special.

For information contact Cynthia or Dan Lief at 207) 244-7494 or visit Islesford Dock online.

Henry Isaacs has traveled the world capturing its varied landscapes. It is Little Cranberry Island where Henry and Donna Isaacs now make their home and Maine’s shores, seas, harbors, mountains and skies that are often seen in Henry’s compositions. Isaacs received degrees in painting and printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. He has taught art in Britain, Italy, and the U.S.

Ashley Bryan, painter and illustrator, has been a neighbor on Islesford for many years. Recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King Awards for outstanding illustrations, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for substantial and lasting contributions to children’s literature, he was recently honored as a Literary Lion at the New York Public Library. Ashley Bryan is Professor Emeritus of Fine Art from Dartmouth College, and holds degrees from Cooper Union, Columbia University, University of Aix-en-Provence and Freiburg University. Ashley’s newest book, All Things Bright and Beautiful, appeared to a starred review in Publishers Weekly.

Listen to the 7/16 Café radio show and Anthony’s interview with Ashley Bryan

Openings + Shows

Adele Drake, “Blueberry Field”
Below: Drake, “Bullism”

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in Belfast will open an art exhibit by Adele Drake entitled Depth of Field on Friday July 22 during the Belfast Art Walk from 5 to 8 pm. With saturated colors and a variety of brush strokes, Adele Drake’s oil paintings depict the structures of farms, fields and orchards.

Drake sees drama and beauty in the relationship between the land and the organic farmer. In her paintings she reveals organic farming as a lifestyle, which involves fields, cows, chickens, machines, tools and manual labor. Drake is interested in the organizational systems such as rows, fences and posts and how they break up the space, creating rhythms and intervals. These structures, which are designed with a functional purpose, shape our way of seeing and experiencing the landscape. Bringing the organic farmers’ land into focus is an endeavor, which yields a bushel of paintings. All of these paintings succeed in giving us a powerful sense of presence and place.

“Maine has shaped the direction of my work in surprising ways,” comments Drake. “With my own unique voice and style, I have been content to create traditional oil paintings of what I see around me.” She has been showing her work in Maine since moving here in 2002.

Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide non-profit organization working to permanently preserve and protect Maine’s agricultural lands, and to keep Maine’s farms farming. FMI, contact or visit Maine Farmland Trust online.

Kurt Schwitters—Discovery of Art is the third film in the free “Art Videos at the Gallery” 2011 series sponsored by Ogunquit Performing Arts and Ogunquit Arts Collaborative at the Barn Gallery in Ogunquit. It will be presented on Wednesday July 20 at 7:30 pm.

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) was one of the leaders of 20th century art. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, poet and playwright, as well as a utopian romantic, subverting and transforming everything he touched into art. He is now best known for his collages and junk sculpture. He began painting as an expressionist, but in 1919 he turned to collage, incorporating into his works trash such as train tickets, bits of wire, and newspapers, which he exploited for their color, texture, and surprise value. This film includes many of Schwitters most famous creations filmed during an exhibition of is works at the George Pompidou Museum. Admission is free. FMI, call (207) 646-7055 or visit The Barn Gallery online.


Gretchen Conklin, “Errant Begonias”

River Arts’ Gallery II on Route One in Damariscotta will be displaying the work of two dozen artists from July 21 through 26, with an opening reception July 21 from 5 to 7 pm. The group of artists is comprised of both year-round and part-time Maine residents, and mediums include watercolor, pastel, acrylic and oil. Plein Air Painters-The Real Thing is a group of men and women who love painting in the outdoors, that is “plein air” (French for “in the open air). Outdoor painting became popular in the 1870s when paints and easels became more portable. The Impressionists were quick to adapt to the new approach. Plein air painting in the U.S. has seen a resurgence in the last few decades.

The Painters have gathered in the summer for fifteen years. You may see them from Pemaquid Point and the Bristol swimming hole to the Damariscotta boat landing and beyond. Meeting on location Thursdays at 9:00, the group works for two and a half hours before stopping for a critique. FMI about the show, call (207) 563-6888 or visit River Arts blog.

Todd Bonita, “Clouded Memory”
Below: Brita Holmquist, “A Cloud Like a Trumpet”

Camden Falls Gallery is pleased to be displaying the work of Todd Bonita, Janis Sanders, John Schmidtberger, Brita Holmquist and more.

Painting from her floating studio, a Duffy 26 on Penobscot Bay, Brita Holmquist (a new artist for Camden Falls Gallery) adds a uniquely contemporary style to the Gallery’s walls. Swirling seas and clouds dance in harmonic simplicity awash with ultramarine and cobalt. Pattern and movement enliven her aerial views.

Subtle glazing gives depth and tranquility to Todd Bonita’s timeless small boat works. Floating amidst turquoise and amber shimmering reflections, his quiet, almost invisible brushwork allows the subject matter to radiate a calm gravity and secret life of its own.

The prolifically talented young artist, Daniel Corey, continues to amaze viewers with his plein air work, transforming the mundane into the transcendent. His vigorous brushwork charged full of turquoise and aqua shades often contrasts with rosy under painting, setting up a lively tension between cool and warm layers. FMI, visit Camden Falls Gallery online or call 207-470-7027.

Jennifer Nielsen, Palladium and Beach Pebble Ring

The Maine Crafts Guild’s Damariscotta Fine Crafts Show will kick off Saturday July 23. The show will be open July 23 from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday July 24 from 10 am to 4 pm.

The Maine Crafts Guild, a professional membership organization, has been exhibiting the finest in high-quality Maine craftsmanship for 35 years. The Round Top Farmhouse gallery and lawn is home to their newest show, where dozens of professional craftspeople will display their work in wood, metal, glass, fiber, clay and lots more! A new tradition is beginning. Come see what excellence in craft really means, meet the makers of tomorrow’s heirlooms, and enjoy the beauty of handmade work today.

Participants include Tandem Glass, Spiralworks Fiber Studio, Maggie’s Farm, Arrowsic Island Pottery, Heirloom Bowls and many more. Admission is $5/adult; children enter free. FMI, visit Maine Crafts Guild online or call 207 350-0935.

Portland Museum of Art will present a talk entitled Bob Keyes: Living with History, Saturday July 23 from 11 am to noon. John Marin’s relationship with Maine began with a small studio on the rocky coast. Bob Keyes experienced Marin’s first Maine studio when Keyes’ grandparents purchased it. Visiting as a boy and hearing the many local stories that surrounded the site, Keyes formed a particular bond with the artist and his inspiration. Bob Keyes is the arts writer for The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. The talk will take place in the Bernard Osher Foundation Auditorium and is free with museum admission. FMI, visit Portland Museum of Art online.

The Farnsworth presents a double bill: The Roaring Twenties and ArtWorks — two films made by teenagers, showing Tuesday, July 26 at 5 pm at the Strand Theatre in Rockland. ArtWorks is a stop-motion animation film created by local middle and high school students, and The Roaring 20s is a youth- produced music video featuring local singer-songwriter Alexis Pastuhov. The presentation will be accompanied by documentaries on the making of each film.
This event will be free of charge, and no reservations are necessary.

In the film ArtWorks, the students from the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists took real-life issues, such as homelessness and school dropout, and, using lively colors and inventive techniques, imaginatively recast them in miniature with hand-crafted sets, including a Lego village, shadow puppets, and claymation figures. In a layered and poignant narrative, teens anonymously recount how art—dance, music, theater, the written word, or the visual arts—helped them through particularly challenging times in their lives. Students in the Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists program creatively visualized these narratives in ways that are both sensitive and magical, demonstrating how “art works” as a form of solace and inspiration.

The Roaring Twenties is a joint collaboration between The Strand and the Farnsworth Art Museum. Over a two-month period, participants were involved in pre-production, directing, screenwriting, acting, camera work, set photography, sound and post- production, working under the guidance of director Nicole Marie Fuller and production designer Virginia Hastings. Together, they created a music video, shot entirely on the iPhone, entitled The Roaring Twenties. The 1920s themed video features fantastical montages and vintage zombies. FMI, visit Farnsworth Museum online.

Selected Ongoing Exhibitions

Carver Hill Gallery in Rockland is currently showing America Martin in an exclusive Northeast Solo Exhibition through July 27. FMI, call (207) 594-7745 or email For more details on the show and images, please visit Carver Hill Gallery online.

Edward Hopper’s Maine at Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick runs through October 16. FMI, visit Bowdoin College Museum of Art online or listen to the 7/9 Cafe des Artistes interview with museum director Kevin Salatino.

Blue Hill Bay Gallery presents Six Maine Painters to Watch, a talented and diverse group of landscape artists, on exhibit through August 1. FMI call 374-5773 or visit Blue Hill Bay Gallery online.

The second show of the 2011 Turtle Gallery season, including encaustic paintings by Pat Wheeler, mixed media pieces by J. Fred Woell, oils by Jeff Loxterkamp, and photographs of Katmandu by Letson Douglass, runs through July 23. FMI please call 348-9977, or visit Turtle Gallery online.

For the month of July the Harlow Gallery will proudly present The Artists of Hallowell an exhibition of work by the amazingly diverse and talented artists who live in Hallowell. The show is on view through July 29. FMI, visit Harlow Gallery online or call (207) 622-3813.

Courthouse Gallery will host a retrospective exhibition for Stephen Pace (1918-2010) through August 7. FMI call 667-6611 or visit Courthouse Gallery online.

COCO VIVO Fine Art in Boothbay Harbor presents Thirteen, a series of new watercolors by Tony van Hasselt on display through July 29. FMI, contact the gallery at 207-633-0671 or email

Gleason Fine Art is proud to present an outstanding series of oil paintings of Monhegan Island by Rockland, Delaware realist Peter Sculthorpe, through August 3. FMI, call 207-699-5599, or visit Gleason Fine Art online.

Every Friday through July, the Harlow Gallery will be hosting a Performing Arts Showcase evenings featuring Hallowell talent. Friday, July 22 features Ed DesJardins and July 29 will feature The Colwell Brothers. Each evening of performance lasts from 5 to 8 pm. FMI, visit Harlow Gallery online or call (207) 622-3813.

Galerie Dufour in Belfast presents Clothed Nudes, a photography exhibition of fine art natural nudes through August 11. FMI call 338-6448 or email, or visit Charles Laurier Dufour’s website.

New Era Gallery of Vinalhaven will feature prints and sculpture by Alison Hildreth, drawings by Marguerite White, and watercolors by John Wulp in their Midsummer 2011 show, which will run through August 3. FMI visit New Era Gallery online or call (207) 863-9351

The Stadler Gallerie in Kingfield continues its summer exhibitions with works by Richard Allen and Saskia Haugen-Reinholt. The exhibitions will be on view through August 5. FMI, visit Stadler Gallerie online.

Greenhut Galleries in Portland is currently exhibiting the work of THE NEW YORKER magazine cover artist Charles E. Martin through July 30. FMI visit Greenhut Galleries online.

Landing Gallery, Rockland, is pleased to announce the exhibit PORTALS, a solo show of new mixed media work by Dorothy Simpson Krause through July 31. FMI, call 207 594-4544 or visit Landing Art Gallery online.

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth will highlight new work by painters Judy Belasco and Philip Frey, and furniture designer and sculptor Vivian Beer in solo exhibitions through August 7. There will be an Artist’s Reception on Wednesday, July 13, 5 to 7 pm. FMI, visit Courthouse Gallery online or call (207) 667–6611.

Åarhus Gallery in Belfast will have the graceful, sculptural work of ceramic artist Simon van der Ven of Lincolnville and the ethereal landscapes of painter Susan Metzger of Washington, Maine on exhibit through July 31. FMI and a slideshow of the current exhibit visit Aarhus Gallery online or call 338-0001.

CRAFT gallery will exhibit Bird Watching through August 4. FMI call 207-594-0167 or visit CRAFT Gallery online.

The UMaine Museum of Art in Bangor will host NEW DAWN FADES: Photographs by Thomas Hager and Photo National 2011: A Survey of Contemporary Photography through September 24. FMI call (207) 561-3350, email or visit UMMA online.

The Portland Museum of Art presents Maine Moderns: Art in Seguinland, 1900-1940, on exhibit now through September 11. FMI, call 207-775-6148 or visit Portland Museum of Art online.

The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland will exhibit Andrew Wyeth: The Road to Olsons through October 30. FMI call 207-596-6457 or visit Farnsworth Museum online.