Through Oct. 10, in an exhibit titled “A Place on the Water: Paintings from Maine 1968-1975,” the Caldbeck Gallery celebrates the early Maine paintings of Nancy Wissemann-Widrig.
Also on exhibit at the gallery is “Do Not Fear,” a body of work of small paintings in oil on panel by Janice Kasper.
The “Evolving Group Show” features, at this time, work by artists Alan Bray, David Dewey, Marsha Donahue, Jeff Epstein, New York, Nancy Glassman, Frederic Kellogg, Jeanne Goodman, K. Min, Barbara Sullivan and Elizabeth Osborne.
Early in the summer of 1968, Wissemann-Widrig moved into the Cushing cottage depicted in the 15 paintings in this show. She and her husband, the painter John Wissemann, soon spent every summer there, painting and, along with their three children, submersing themselves in the community along the St. George River. The artist found a delight in painting the old-world charm of the cottage’s well-loved rooms, which were occupied by rocking chairs, farm tables, original plumbing and the collection of memorabilia left there by several generations of the families that preceded them. It was the late 1960s. The artist found solace in the cottage. The release from the nation’s political upheaval is captured in the quiet, familiar homeyness of these paintings.
In Maine, Wissemann-Widrig’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Farnsworth Art Museum and in the Portland Museum of Art, while in New York, galleries included Tibor de Nagy Gallery and the Tatischeff Gallery. She has shown with the Caldbeck since 1985 and, with her husband, still summers in the cottage, where her work continues to evolve with the times.
Janice Kasper’s solo show is about wildlife, a topic that has been her passion from the beginning. She explains that the paintings in this exhibit are “a series of portraits of animals that people tend to fear or dislike. Although some may pose a danger to humans, we need to understand the importance of their essential role in the cycles of life on our shared planet.”
Various fur-bearing predators, which throughout history have mostly been painted in brutal hunting scenes, are carefully rendered, as if portraying the faces of loved ones. Insects and snakes and leeches are beautifully painted as if they were treasures, which to the artist, they are.
Kasper first showed with the gallery in 1985. Numerous solo shows followed, and her work is in the collections of the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the University of Connecticut Archives.
Caldbeck Gallery is at 12 Elm St., Rockland. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and by appointment. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, go to www.caldbeck.com, or call 207-594-5935.