MFT Gallery’s virtual exhibition explores our connection to water

“Fathom,” by Julie Crane.

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery’s current show, “A Reflection on Water,” runs through Jan. 8 and can be viewed online at https://artcld.com/show/maine-farmland-trust-gallery-a-reflection-on-water.

The virtual exhibit explores the relationships that exist between humans and the precious resource of water. This show includes work from 17 artists that show the diverse connections to this elemental and shape-shifting substance. With evocative multi-media, this exhibit explores the relationships that exist between humans and this essential resource and considers current issues regarding water as a vital component of agriculture and every ecosystem.

A macro color photograph by Emily Candler Davis and mixed-media paintings by Kathryn Shagas capture swift-moving water to create abstract images.

Sharon Yates and Carol L. Douglas rendered scenic oil paintings of gathering fog, farm ponds and places the land meets the water, while Leslie Harris’s paintings feature dream-like figurative work of women wading in water in the moonlight.

The mixed-media paintings of Peter Walls and a monoprint by Julie Crane juxtapose beautifully in the underwater worlds of fish, while Crane’s reduction woodcut print of an otter complements Sara Gagan’s mixed-media collage of a blue heron. Jude Valentine’s digital prints are a striking interpretation of the elemental forms of water. Shana Rowe Jackson’s detailed colored pencil drawings depict shimmering morning dew on apples, blueberries and grass stems.

Andre’ Benoit Jr. fashioned water scenes of stream run-off and reflecting moon cycles with painted wooden assemblages. Wonderfully complex paper-cut and mixed-media images created by Mj Viano Crowe seem to tell mythological stories of the ocean. Mango Johnstone’s “Nature Mandala” features exquisite shells and seahorses, and Tracey Cockrell’s unique electronic speakers, fashioned of kelp, produce field recorded sounds of the shoreline. Listen to some of the recordings at https://vimeo.com/467477265.

“Upstream to Downstream: In Our Bloodstreams” is a digital video produced by ecological artist Krisanne Baker that illustrates how what we do upstream affects what happens downstream.

In addition, the full-color photographs of Bridget Besaw and Lily Piel, who have worked on documentary projects with MFT over the years, are showcased on the gallery web page to illustrate some of the many ways water is essential in agriculture, from growing crops to watering livestock.

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