Courthouse Gallery in Ellsworth exhibits two new shows August 20 – September 14 with an Artists’ Reception 5 – 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 20.
“In the Moment” by Philip Frey
Whether in the studio or outside painting en plein air, Philip Frey has always appreciated the challenge of capturing change. For “In the Moment,” Frey turns his focus toward movement by using intense color and variegated brushwork. Light falls over planes and forms, animating objects and figures—water sparkles, rocks are no longer inert, old cars come alive. In Summer, Frey’s composition imbues the happenstance of Degas, who boldly organized his pictorial space like a photographer, previously an unheard of concept. Like Degas, Frey contrast wide unencumbered areas with figures pushing them toward the periphery even cropping some on the edge. This leaves Frey plenty of room to work his magic when he tones large areas devoid of detail with bold color and shimmering hues.
“Cascade Falls” by Ed Nadeau
Ed Nadeau joins Paul Hannon in a two-person show that brings attention to the power and intrigue of ordinary moments and illuminates common place scenes with an extraordinary richness and depth. Ed Nadeau thrives on everyday life—whether it’s the remnant of a cigarette in the road or two crows perched on a power line high above a neighborhood street. Known for his paintings of a life lived “near the edge,” Nadeau has an uncanny ability to bring his unique narrative vision to the landscape. In Cascade Falls everything is wet—water rips its way through a narrow gorge, sliding over rocks made smooth by years of erosion and spilling out of the canvas into the viewer’s space. The forest is dense, the air heavy, and one can smell the dampness of a summer rain. Nadeau intensifies the excitement by deliberately placing a branch at the edge of the frontal plane, as if offering a lifeline to a capsized rafter.
“The Immigrant” by Paul Hannon
Paul Hannon, who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, uses this quaint maritime city as inspiration for his captivating urban scenes. Here, Hannon’s rich imagery recalls mid-century America, a wistful era of simpler times—before big-box stores, shopping malls, and the Internet—when mom and pop stores occupied every corner, in every neighborhood. Hannon prefers evening scenes, using the light from street lamps and neon signs to make subtle distinctions in expression—rainy streets shimmer with colorful hues, weathered facades are beautifully shadowed, and windows glow from within. Yet, paintings like The Immigrant suggest another layer of meaning hovering beneath the innocence and nostalgia.