Caldbeck Gallery to open 37th season with 3 solo shows

BURNOUTS, DOUBLE YELLOW LINE 2015 oil on panel 17 x 20 inches Jeff Epstein

On June 1, the Caldbeck Gallery, 12 Elm Street in Rockland, will open its 37th year with 3 solo shows, featuring paintings in oil by Jeff Epstein of Cushing ME and Brookly NY, paintings in oil and in watercolor by Frederic Kellogg of Thomaston ME and Washington DC, and sculpture in alabaster and soapstone by Anne Kamila Alexander of Windham ME. A reception for the artists will take place on First Friday, June 1, from 5- 8 pm. These shows will run through July 7.

In “Wires, Poles, Tire Tracks and Weather”, Epstein will exhibit 30 recent paintings in oil on wood panel, ranging in size from 12 x 14 inches to 17 x 20 inches. All painted in his Cushing neighborhood, the various seasons are represented. The artist says of his work, “My paintings explore where the natural and made landscapes overlap. Although the spaces are unpeopled and speak of solitude, there is usually evidence of human activity. A bird feeder is a friendly incursion into the natural landscape, while tire marks on pavement suggest less gentle intentions. But each is a record of someone’s interaction with the world.” And often these objects define the spatial aspects of a painting, as when Epstein includes telephone wires dipping through space toward a vanishing point, or the “road graffiti” tire marks snaking off down the road. Light and color and atmosphere are prevalent in the work, as these moments of natural beauty are interrupted by the human intrusions. Disruption and harmony coexist, sometimes uneasily. Epstein received his MFA in painting from Brooklyn College, where he studied with Lennart Anderson, Lois Dodd, and John Walker. His work is exhibited in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maine, and he has shown with the Caldbeck since 2003. This is his third solo show with the gallery.

SEPTEMBER, DUNN STREET oil on canvas 54 x 54 inches Frederic Kellogg

Kellogg’s exhibit of paintings in oil and in watercolor will include 2 large canvases (“September, Dunn St.” and “Rte 1 Elogy”) measuring 54 x 54 inches, as well as a selection of smaller paintings ranging in size from 6 x 16 inches to 24 x 36 inches. The subject matter in a number of the works in watercolor on paper are iconic Maine. “Fernald Farmhouse” is a portrait of one of the last of the grand farmhouses of Thomaston. “Dappled Woods” strikes that chord of delightful excitement when we walk through a favorite spruce forest where the moss is electric green, struck by the sun breaking through the canopy. Two 5 x 7 inch watercolors, “Inland Island” and “Night Watch”, define serenity. Engaged in the search for what can be called a “Contemporary Realism”, Kellogg is deeply influenced by the work of American realists Edward Hopper and Fairfield Porter. Even with the additional influences that photography and Abstract Expressionism have had on this contemporary realism, Kellogg feels that the art of painting still plays an essential role in helping people see the world around them. His work is in the permanent collections of the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, and numerous corporate and private collections in Maine, Boston, and Washington, D.C. In the summer of 2017, a major exhibit of his work was mounted at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington D.C. This is Kellogg’s 4th solo show with the Caldbeck, where he has shown since 2007.

VOLANDO 2018 translucent alabaster 2 x 2 x 2 1/2 inches Anne Alexander

Alexander’s new work in alabaster and soapstone includes 20 recent carvings, all based on the natural seed forms she encountered last fall at the ”Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm”, an Artist in Residency program in Jefferson, run by Maine Farmland Trust. “Little Flower” measures 3 x 4 x 2 inches, and is made of translucent orange alabaster, while “Ochre Cotyledon”, measuring 4 ½ x 3 x 4 inches, is made of opaque yellow- ochre soapstone. “Sprout”, “Stamen”, “Ovule”, and “Volando” also capture the marvelous shapes within our botanical world. Alexander received her BA from Bard College and an MFA in sculpture from Alfred University, followed by studies at Maine College of Art. Solo exhibits include the University of Maine in Farmington, The National Theater in the Dominican Republic, Ithaca House Gallery in New York, and the Caldbeck Gallery. Grants and awards include a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship, with which she studied in the Dominican Republic, 2 Pollack/Krasner Foundation Grants, and a full fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center. Her work explores the form and function of natural shapes, often using seed and pod forms to explain her interests. Her artist residencies in the Dominican Republic introduced her to the ancient work of the Taino Indians, leading her to further explore the symbols of earth and fertility. She has been represented by the Caldbeck since 1990.

Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday 11-4 and Sunday 1-4. For more information, call 207 594 5935 or email caldbeck@midcoast.com.

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