Courthouse Gallery Goings On in July


Wendy Turner’s “Sparkling Light,” oil on linen, 24 x 30 inches

A variety of mediums are on display at Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth through Sunday, July 12. An opening reception takes place on  Wednesday, July 1 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The gallery is pleased to present recent work  by five contemporary painters, including R. Scott Baltz, Joseph Keiffer, Philip Koch, John Neville, and Wendy Turner. A new series of abstract aluminum sculptures in an array of bold primary colors by sculptor Stephen Porter is also be on view, as well as “Four Photographers,” which highlights the work of Judy Belasco, Tom Blagden, Michael Grillo, and Lilian Day Thorpe.

This will be the first of three photography exhibitions occurring at the gallery this summer along with “Border World: Photographs” by Jeffery Becton and “Then and Now: Historical Processes” by Lisa Tyson Ennis and Alan Vlach. The photography exhibitions will run in conjunction with The Maine Photo Project, a 2015 statewide photography collaboration among museums, art galleries, historical societies, artists, collectors, and other arts organizations across Maine.

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Philip Koch’s, After Sunset II, oil on linen, 20 x 40 inches

New to Courthouse Gallery this year are painters Philip Koch and Wendy Turner. Koch is widely known for his vividly colored paintings of the natural world. He was inspired to work in a realist direction by the paintings of Edward Hopper, and beginning in 1983, Koch has been granted unprecedented access to Hopper’s private studio on Cape Cod through fifteen residencies, the most recent in 2014.

The work of Turner is distinguished by light, color, and clarity. She embraces the chaos and beauty in nature using both subtle and dramatic shifts of light and color to express a range of moods. Her recent work, large intricate close-ups of light on rocks and water, reflects her early love of the ocean and the coast of Maine.

“Four Photographers” painter Judy Belasco, who began her career as a photographer, presents “Transformation Process,” a series of six photomontages suggesting the transformation from embodiment to transcendence. These one-of-a-kind prints were made before the digital age and Photoshop. Belasco executed this tedious process in a darkroom set up for analog printing by creating a palette of colors using color filtration in the enlarger and cardboard masks with removable pieces.

At the other end of the spectrum is emerging photographer Lilian Day Thorpe who combines her original film and digital photography in Photoshop to create montages of fictional landscapes that appear more painterly than photographic. In 2014, Thorpe was awarded an artist’s residency for the Gullkistan Residency for Creative People in Laugarvatn, Iceland.

Nature photographer Tom Blagden shoots primarily in Maine, South Carolina, and Costa Rica. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions and magazines. In 2016, Blagden’s photographs will be highlighted in a solo show at the Courthouse Gallery and will be the subject of a major book celebrating the centennial for Acadia National Park.

Photographer and mediaeval art historian Michael Grillo incorporates a variety of historical visions with an inquisitive approach to our everyday world using film, which he prints digitally from his negatives.

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