“Hoofs, Roots and Wings” at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery

grow 24x24 oil-wood $1750.s“Grow,” Sheep Jones, oil on wood, 24 x 24”

“Hoofs, Roots and Wings” will be on display at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery through Friday, June 19.

On the ground floor, Sheep Jones takes center stage with her playfully executed oil paintings. Her rich pictorial language, as the title of the show suggests, speaks of roots and wings, blossoms and soil. While her subject matter is earthy and often references our connection to nature, Jones does not shy away from using decorative, imaginary elements: plant forms evocative of indigenous tribal masks; views underground which suggest a cohabitation of soil, bugs, roots.

Christopher O’Connor’s blossom paintings – light petals against a bright blue sky traversed by two imposing dark branches – immediately elicit a flashback to Van Gogh (how could they not?). Yet O’Connor’s daring composition, contrasting the delicate blossoms with their almost oriental sensibility against the branches’ stark, bold marks, conveys a mature, modernist eye.

Jones’ oils and O’Connor’s acrylics are paired with work by three other Maine artists: Jimmy Creighton, Susan Camp and Elizabeth Ostrander.

On the second floor viewers will discover the “Hoofs” of the exhibit: a collection of horse paintings by Kathryn Shagas, new to the Trust’s Gallery, and new to the art scene in Maine. The first thing one might notice about Shagas’ work is an exciting sense of rhythm – one can practically hear the horses as they gallop across the plane of the painting.

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