Whimsical Fiber Art at Maine Farmland Trust Delights Young and Old

Jill Hoy at Maine Farmland Trust Galleryoil painting by Jill Hoy

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery’s Frolicking Fiber Fiesta is a colorful holiday show with a bounty of treasures for fiber art lovers, along with paintings to match their style. The arts and crafts on display range from high-end, fanciful wall hangings to cleverly repurposed feed bags – catering to any budget and perfect for that special gift.

OneWomanStudio

recycled feed bags by Julia Ventresco

The show is a true feast for the senses: color, texture, playfulness and detail abound. The artist line-up includes local, award winning fiber artist and international exhibitor, Dianne Hire, better described as “quilter extraordinaire”; Leia Scotton, a successful young painter in MFT Gallery’s stable, now coming out as closet fiber artist; Nora Flanagan, quilted pillow queen from Belmont; Julia Ventresco, who has turned recycling into a fashion, with classy shoulder bags made from repurposed feed bags; Willy Reddick, with felted wooly animals too cute to resist; Karen Olson, jewelry maker gifted with a subtle touch; Karen Kulberg, with a fabric inspired series in encaustics; Jude Valentine, pastel artist and sublime silk painter; Sandra Covington, with do-it-yourself needlepoint canvases and Christmas ornaments; and Leslie Anderson and Jill Hoy, oil painters with a flair for color and movement. Finally, painters Christopher O’Connor and Sarah Wilde revisit MFT Gallery’s walls with one canvas each to round out the show.

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery

quilts by Dianne Hire

Says Hire about her quiltmaking: “To stretch the rules and locate fresh boundaries is my desire. I am a colorist who intuitively responds to the joyful way colors intermingle. I require vibrancy to speak out but never shout – yet boldly sing. That song is interpreted in fiber, strings, strong design and intense vitality of color.”

Scotton’s fabric collages are pieced-together strands of history. Almost every component in each of her pieces is at least a decade old; some fifty years old, some much older. Scotton says: “Just holding them, I feel connected to the people who had them before me, and I try to keep that alive by giving these scraps and odds and ends new life in my artwork.”

Leia Scotton at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery

detail from fiber collage by Leia Scotton

Frolicking Fiber Fiesta will be on display from November 21st through January 5th. Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is located at 97 Main Street and open Monday through Friday (not on holidays) from 9 – 4. In addition, the gallery will be open Friday December 5th from 5:30 – 8 p.m. Saturday December 6th the gallery will be open from 6 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. for Belfast’s Early Bird Sale (all items discounted!), and during the Art Walk and Tree Lighting later that evening, 5:30 – 8 p.m., the gallery will host a festive reception for all.
More information on MFT Gallery can be found at mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org or by contacting Gallery Coordinator Anna Abaldo at anna@mainefarmlandtrust.org .

Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide non-profit organization working to keep Maine’s farms farming. Maine Farmland Trust created its gallery to celebrate art in agriculture, and to inspire and inform the public about farming in Maine. For more information on the Trust, visit mainefarmlandtrust.org.