Bearing Fruit: Art at the intersection of human and vegetable

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery heralds the arrival of spring with a group exhibition, Bearing Fruit, showcasing four artists in whose work the “organic” image plays a central role. The show runs from April 3 – May 8, with an opening reception on Friday, April 3, from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Anne Alexander Sculptor

Strawberries sculpture by Anne Alexander

Sculptor Anne Alexander’s ceramic forms are about nature and its connection to life stages, growth cycles and the human body. Unique vegetables and fruits are sought out at farmers markets or in her own garden to model in clay. Vibrant reds enhance the voluptuousness of the larger-than-life fruits.

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“2457049.062500” by Leah Gauthier

Leah Gauthier’s sculptural work incorporates food, foraged natural materials, live plants and handmade objects. Her pieces are at once deep meditations on the present moment and imaginings related to quickly shifting landscapes, new juxtapositions of flora and fauna, and emerging and endangered life forms.

Jacinda Martinez is a young artist from the garment district in Brooklyn, NY, who has spent her last six years farming. She fashions elaborate dresses from otherwise discarded vegetable matter: broccoli stalks, bean vines, bolted lettuce. Her final product, much like a fashion shoot, is a series of elegant photographs of models clad in vegetables.

Julie H. Rose describes her intricate fiber art as “always about nature, or more clearly, of nature.” Her work mimics nature’s process and her experience of being in and observing nature. The materials she chooses feel organic and most of them—sheep’s wool, silk, cotton, linen—are. Says Rose: “I have the illusion that they whisper to me what they want to become.”

Bearing Fruit plays at the intersection of human form and plant forms, the interdependence of species, or better yet, inseparable-ness – as reflected in the physical sensuality of Alexander’s vegetables or the vulnerability of Martinez’ models wrapped in their vegetable-fiber dresses. On the most basic level, the imagery suggests that we all stem from the same source.

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is located at 97 Main Street in Belfast and open Monday through Friday (not on holidays) from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. More information about the MFT Gallery can be found at mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org.

Maine Farmland Trust is a member-powered statewide nonprofit working to protect farmland, support farmers, and advance the future of farming. Maine Farmland Trust created its gallery to celebrate agriculture through art, and to inspire and inform the public about farming in Maine.