Historic Pemaquid Art Gallery Opens for 91st Season

Pemaquid Art Gallery exhibits work of 33 artists in its 91st year.


Members of the Pemaquid Group of Artists, now in its 91st year celebrated the season’s opening at a reception for friends, Gallery Patrons and the public on Sunday, June 9.  The gallery, in New Harbor is now open daily, 10 am to 5 pm through Columbus Day.

The Pemaquid Group of Artists’ yearly exhibit is one of the longest continuous art exhibitions in Maine.  The vision for this group began in early summer of 1928 with Frederick Detwiller, New York artist and Pemaquid summer resident.  Detwiller was impressed with the paintings of several local fishermen and believed their work should be seen by the public. The fishermen and other local residents, encouraged by his support and praise, banded together to form what would become the Pemaquid Group of Artists.

Detwiller’s idea took full form in July 1928 when the first exhibition of the fishermen and local residents was organized in a gallery established in the Hall over the Clifton Hanna Garage in New Harbor.  Five artists exhibited: Simon Blaisdell, Frederick Detwiller, Parker Gamage, Dr. William Harvey and Guy H. Thompson. Other members joining the original group were: Milfred Bowman, George Knipe and Guy Martin.

After four years at Hanna’s Garage, the exhibitions were held at various locations in the community, including the Willing Workers Hall, the Knights of Pythias Hall, a bowling alley in the Surf Casino, rooms over the New Harbor barbershop and The Mavooshen Elementary School.  From 1956-1959, the artwork was displayed at the lightkeeper’s house at Pemaquid Point.

The building that now houses the Pemaquid Art Gallery, was constructed in 1960 through the  joint support of the artists’ group and the Town of Bristol. The architects, Alfred and Priscilla Dalmas, were also artists in the group.  The prominent artist and past president of the Pemaquid Group of Artists, Gene Klebe, led the efforts for construction of the gallery so that artists of the region would have a permanent place to display their art.

The long standing tradition of exhibiting works by local Pemaquid Peninsula resident artists was altered somewhat in 2017 when the PAG Board decided to open membership to resident artists in all of Lincoln County.  Once juried in, artists become lifetime members. While all of the members are residents of Lincoln County, much of their work has been shown in some impressive national and international forums. Because the group places no restrictions on other places or galleries where artists can show, the Pemaquid Art Gallery is usually considered home to most members.

The 2019 exhibiting artists include:  Barbara Applegate, Bristol, Debra Arter, Damariscotta, Bruce Babb, Damariscotta, Julie Babb, Damariscotta, Stephen Busch, South Bristol, John Butke, Boothbay, Midge Coleman, Newcastle, Trudi Curtis, Damariscotta, William Curtis, Damariscotta, Dianne Dolan, Round Pond, Peggy Farrell, New Harbor, Sarah Fisher, Damariscotta, Bill Hallett, Nobleboro, Claire Hancock, Damariscotta, Kay Sawyer Hannah, New Harbor, Kathleen Horst, Damariscotta, Hannah Ineson, Damariscotta, Will Kefauver, Damariscotta, , Jan Kilburn, Damariscotta, Barbara Klein, Bristol, Patti Leavitt, Bristol, Sally Loughridge, South Bristol,  Marlene Loznicka, New Harbor, Judy Nixon, Bristol, Belva Ann Prycel, Damariscotta, Paul Sherman, Damariscotta, Cindy Spencer, Wiscasset, Liliana Thelander, Bristol, Kimberly Skillin Traina, Edgecomb, Barbara Vanderbilt, Whitefield, Bob Vaughan, Bristol, Steve Viega, Walpole, and Bev Walker, Chamberlain.

Each artist has an individual panel for his or her work.  In addition, there are numerous unframed artworks in the bins. There is an original painting or work of art for every taste and for every pocketbook.  New work is displayed frequently. As a nonprofit, the Pemaquid Group of Artists maintains and runs the gallery through commissions, patron donations and membership fees.  The Group also provides financial aid each year to several visual arts program as well as a museum pass to the Portland Museum of Art through the generosity of Gallery Patrons and artist donated paintings.  For more information, please call 207-677-2752 or visit www.pemaquidartgallery.com.

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