Archive for Bangor

The Sixth Annual All Small Art Show and Artist’s Reception

The Sohns Gallery, located in The Rock & Art Shop at 36 Central Street, presents The Sixth Annual All Small art show.  Sixty local Maine artists were given three small (6”x 6”) birch wood panels and asked to create. The result is one of the most diverse gallery shows of the year. Artist’s works include a wide variety of mediums from wax encaustics, cardboard relief, prints, carved and burnt wood, to, collage, assemblage, oil and acrylic paintings. The All Small works hung together on the gallery wall provide a great viewing experience and the size of the works helps keep the prices accessible. Curator Annette Dodd say’s “this show is a great way to encourage gifts of art, with the show ending on Dec. 24th just in time for Christmas. It is traditionally one of our best received shows.” The show runs from Nov 5th – Dec. 24th and can be viewed any day between 10am and 6pm at The Rock & Art Shop. A reception will be held on Dec. 7th at 6:30. 

For more information contact the Sohns Gallery at (207) 947-2205 or at


UMaine Museum of Art announces Fall Exhibitions

Darren Emenau, “Wellsford II”

The University of Maine Museum of Art, located at 40 Harlow Street in downtown Bangor, opens four new exhibitions in September. Included are Second Nature: Shelley Reed, Olio: Darren Emenau, So Real: Selections from the Museum Collection, and Animalistic: Selections from the Museum Collection. UMMA is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. UMMA’s fall shows open to the public on September 14 and run through December 29, 2018. Admission to the Museum of Art is free in 2018 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.
September 14 – December 29, 2018Darren Emenau’s creations emerge through unharnessed and playful explorations of form and materials. As the title suggests, showcased in Olio is a miscellaneous collection of hand-made ceramic objects ranging from irregularly-shaped vessels to wall-oriented pieces. The works featured are the culmination of a fertile period of experimentation resulting in innovative leaps for the artist. New forms were developed, dramatic shifts in scale employed, and new objects conceived within the context of contemporary installation. Among the new creations are vessels of varying sizes that resemble exaggerated clubs. The stretched and slender tubes are grounded by rounded bases and, when arranged in a row, the stance of each exerts a quirky, unique confidence. Also featured is an installation in which Emenau has stripped away all references to the utilitarian. These arranged works incorporate dozens of organic forms that evoke globular organisms or otherworldly rocks. When viewed en masse the objects are like unearthed fragments from unknown terrain.Emenau’s lush surfaces are imbued with nature’s essence. Their simple elegance seems effortless and disguises the technical skill required for creating such elemental forms. Developed through intense experimentation, Emenau’s glazes are remarkable for their color saturation. Hues range from acidic yellow-green to intense blue tones, and from mossy green to pale peach-pink. As a result of his glaze application, and transformation in the kiln, the raised cracked textures bring to mind lichen, bark or the parched, cracked earth. Through these invented forms, Emenau affirms that rustic can also be delicate.Admission to the Museum of Art is FREE in 2018 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

Shelley Reed, “Rooster and Turkey”

September 14 – December 29, 2018Shelley Reed’s meticulously rendered subjects, derived from the paintings of old masters, are shrouded in beauty—but within the opulence there’s a glimmer of turmoil and peril. Reed’s paintings highlight essential dualities and are imbued with profound messages related to fragility, power and life’s uncertainties. Using black and white oil paint, Reed has stripped color of its symbolic and seductive potential, while shifting the viewer’s focus to the subtle details of the scene. The artist adds, “In this age of radical visual bombardment, maybe it takes a bit of toning down and an element of quiet and stillness to call attention to the message.”A focal point of Second Nature is the monumental work Bird that spans ten by fifteen feet. Multiple sheets of painted paper make up the image of a huge crane that hangs upside-down with a bent leg and majestic, outstretched wings. Reed poses questions for the viewer: what incident has led to this graceful creature’s treacherous state? Was this hazard caused by humans? The bird’s open eye leads the viewer to question its demise. Moral messages and lessons may be found in the historic paintings that inform these contemporary interpretations. In Bird Concert, an unlikely congregation of bird species, in all shapes and sizes, creates a disconcerting narrative. It’s as if a perilous act has forced these fowl to occupy this compressed space. Surveying the menagerie of agitated birds, it seems that the loudest screech by the biggest bird overshadows the song of others. In light of the nation’s current divisive political climate, Reed’s composition reveals a timely message. The birds are stand-ins for a chorus of humans—the individual voice drowned out by a cacophony of clamoring and opposing rants. The hand of man undoubtedly plays a fundamental role in all this animal theater. In the exhibition, Reed has included two dramatic paintings of men as a reminder that we are both members and encroachers in the natural world.


The Sohns Gallery presents, “Mixed Media Paintings by Ed Carrion”

The Sohns Gallery, located in The Rock & Art Shop at 36 Central Street, presents Mix Media Paintings by Ed Carrion. 

Influenced by Gustav Klimt, Ed’s works depict strong women in detailed brightly designed attire set in a mystical settings. His works draw on color, pattern and Nature for inspiration.  Ed Carrion’s works are a true delight to the eye and a must see in person. 

The show runs through August, 31st and can be viewed any day between 10am and 6pm in The Rock & Art Shop. A reception will be held on July 6 from 5:30 to 7:30, Artist Talk at 7. 

For more information contact the Sohns Gallery at (207) 947-2205 or at

UMaine Museum of Art announces Summer Exhibitions

The University of Maine Museum of Art, located at 40 Harlow Street in downtown Bangor, opens four new exhibitions in May. UMMA is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. UMMA’s summer shows open to the public on May 25 and run through September 1, 2018. Admission to the Museum of Art is free in 2018 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

Helen O’Leary (American, born Ireland 1961) Safe House, 2017-2018, Egg tempera and oil emulsion on constructed wood

May 25 – September 1, 2018

Safe House features the works of Irish-born artist Helen O’Leary, who lives and works in Hoboken, New Jersey. O’Leary’s constructions straddle the territories between painting and sculpture. Many of her freestanding works are arranged on tabletops, and when joined with other wall-oriented compositions, create a lively and engaging installation. Created of wooden strips, plywood, cotton duct and other materials, these works share each other’s space while asserting their own unique, yet quirky stance. “I knit with wood,” O’Leary states, “building and building the painting out of the ruin of its own making. Each piece is cobbled together from the chiseling of earlier attempts.”

O’Leary’s works are raw, yet intuitively assembled, and imbued with soul. Flat wooden cutout shapes are joined together through notched-out sections, while rough sticks are fashioned into supports like complex armatures. These re-purposed materials reveal their histories– imperfections celebrated while coming together like puzzle pieces. Some of O’Leary’s constructions incorporate expansive planes of color. In these, the artist has crafted and applied a sophisticated paint mixture to render surfaces like an almond that’s been coated with sugar to reveal a hardened, smooth shell.

Diana Schmertz (American, born 1973) Origin Stories, 2017, Oil paint on 556 2″ diameter wood tondos, Courtesy of the artist

May 25 – September 1, 2018

They Are Each Other For A While, features an array of paintings by New York City-based artist Diana Schmertz. The artist’s work balances “emotional reasoning and intellectual logic” to allow viewers to explore ‘the self’ in relation to the world, while utilizing visual systems that aim to challenge belief structures.

A focal point of the exhibition is Origin Stories, a wall installation that depicts 556 human navels painted on two-inch diameter circular wooden panels. These belly buttons represent the specific individuality of every human being—while the tondo format symbolizes mathematical order for the artist. This piece challenges the viewer to consider their own self in relation to others. Focusing on what unites, the artist has depicted various bodies and skin colors that look beyond social hierarchies—or thoughts fueled solely by history and politics.

The Uncertainty Principle, a large-scale canvas measuring 7½’ x 9’, highlights intimate moments of human interaction. Schmertz often chooses the body as a principle subject “because we filter everything we perceive through our physical senses.” Her realistically rendered images are painted in the confines of circular areas arranged in a grid. When viewed close up the sensitively rendered details of each circular moment are revealed; while from a distance the composition reads as an expansive white field populated by a grid of flesh colored dots.


Steve Bartlett (American, born 1961) Crosscut, 2017, Ash, stain, paint, varnish, Courtesy of the artist

May 25 – September 1, 2018

Maine-based artist Steve Bartlett has created a dynamic environment that features large-scale floor sculptures, wall-mounted compositions, and small objects. The exhibition also features several never-before-seen sculptures created in 2017 and 2018. Bartlett’s sculptures are crafted from ash, oak and walnut, and display the artist’s impeccable craftsmanship and inherent joy in the creative process. He utilizes steam-bent techniques for shaping and constructing the complex curves of the varied forms. Bartlett explains his sculptural process as “intuitive and evolutionary.” While the forms are enigmatic, they are also rooted in nature; their character and gestures seem to reference organic flora. A symbiotic relationship exists between the artist’s ideas and his chosen media. The work in his studio evolves in a fluid manner as the unique character of materials inform the final outcome.

Central to Bartlett’s recent works is the introduction of hard-edged painted areas, primarily in black and white. These painted elements, in the form of bands and circular notations, accentuate the curved shapes to create bold and unexpected graphic overlays. Bartlett explains “there is no direct message in his sculptures” and that he “simply hopes to engage and provoke the imagination” through organic and geometric shapes.

Eric Lindveit (American, born 1964) Installation view, Courtesy of the artist

May 25 – September 1, 2018

In Sylvan Natural History, New York City-based artist Eric Lindveit exhibits an array of dimensional works on paper in which things aren’t quite as they appear. Inspired by a series of hand-colored illustrated books published in 1842 depicting the flora and fauna of New York, Lindveit has created scaled-up versions of New York City trees. What is surprising is that these enlarged views of varied bark are constructed from pencil, acrylic, flocking, sawdust, paper, and burlap over steel box springs. Lindveit has rendered the details of these trees, and in some cases their blemishes, in striking detail. Many appear to have suffered trauma—branches cut, wounds to the bark, irregular growths, knots, and protuberances, while some serve as hosts to opportunistic fungi.

Some of the sculptures are displayed in crate-like frames that are stacked to create a monumental wall structure. Lindveit explains, “When the work is believable, it becomes somehow real, no matter how improbable. I am making greatly exaggerated composite portraits that combine my interest in surface, identity, entropy, and the skin of paint. They belong to the built environment.” These stacks occupy an entire expanse of wall like an altar, inviting the viewer to see these sculptures in relationship to architecture. We are left to ponder the artifice of a built environment in contrast to our experiences and relationship with the natural world.

Admission to the Museum of Art is FREE in 2018 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

Artists Create Public Installation for Downtown Bangor Community

The City of Bangor will offer a little more to visitors this summer. Three artists will create six large scale wheat-paste installations on selected buildings, adding an entirely new dimension to the community.
The installations are part of a project by Bangor Beautiful – part of The Downtown Bangor Partnership – and Queen Collective. The collective is made up of local museum and art educators and a gallery owner whose mission is to bring more public art to Downtown Bangor. These wheat-paste works will be installed on June 2nd, 2018. The work will remain on the buildings throughout the summer and be removed in the fall. The Rock & Art Shop and Sohns Gallery will host a talk about the installations later in the season, giving the community an opportunity to discuss the work and meet the artists.

The project is a response to the positive community reaction to wheat-paste installations that have been installed in other communities in Maine such as Waterville and Gardiner. Kerstin Gilg, who worked on both the Waterville and Gardiner projects, suggested the idea when The Downtown Bangor Partnership was looking for ways to bring art into public areas in Downtown Bangor.

“There seems to be this rejuvenated interest in public spaces downtown,” Gilg said. “This is a really nice way to show that the downtown is a place for creative people and a place that people care about.”
Wheat-paste, which is typically made from four parts water and one part wheat flour, is inexpensive and temporary. People who frequent downtown really enjoy the additions. This type of work not only creates greater access to art but also serves as a welcome to visitors, and highlights the creativity that exists in our community.

The Queen Collective built partnerships with the local merchants who are sharing their buildings, and procured the support of the City of Bangor. Like many artists and collectives, the group created parameters to generate content. The guidelines that were settled upon were that the work needed to be an original piece of art, have a focus on flora or fauna, and did not advertise any existing business, product, or service.

This large scale wheat-paste project was made possible by funds provided by The Downtown Partnership and a matching grant from the Bangor Cultural Commission.

For more information contact: Annette Dodd, 207-974-6222,

The UMaine Museum of Art’s presents SPRING ART FACTORY

SATURDAY, MAY 5th 2018 from 11 a.m. – 3p.m.
FREE and open to the public.

UMMA welcomes all ages to ring in spring with UMMA’s Annual Spring Art Factory. There will be several stations set up in the lobby and classroom of the museum. Stop by any time between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to create your own paintings, prints, and paper crafts. All supplies are included, and guided instruction is provided.

Art Factory is FREE and open to the public thanks to the generous sponsorship of WBRC Architects & Engineers.

Close to Nature, Works by Women Artist Of Midcoast Maine

The Sohns Gallery, located in The Rock & Art Shop at 36 Central Street, presents Close to Nature, works by Women Artist Of Midcoast Maine. Nine women artist painted themes of nature in their own styles. 

The show runs through May 6 and can be viewed any day between 10am and 6pm in The Rock & Art Shop. A reception will be held on April 6 from 5:00 to 7:00. 

For more information contact the Sohns Gallery at (207) 947-2205 or at

Bubbly Sweets and Shopping


The Rock & Art Shop invites you to stop by on February 13th from 5 to 7pm for an evening of Shopping, Sweets, and Bubbly! Enjoy an art opening by Bangor Art Society, delicious treats from Specialty Sweets, and music from BSO members while doing your Valentine’s Day shopping at The Rock & Art Shop! A portion of all sales will benefit the BSO. For more information visit or call 207-947-2205.


Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 9.41.45 PM
For Season 2 of BrainyArt, each of the four nights of BA Trivia (10/24/17, 12/5/17, 2/6/18, & 4/10/18) will be focusing on a different art form (visual art, music, theatre and dance, respectively).
TUESDAY, February 6th
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Ages 21 +, $5
Night Three is THEATRE NIGHT and the Museum has teamed up with Penobscot Theatre Company to co-host. The team that correctly answers the most trivia questions will win the Team Challenge, and be awarded a cash prize. An additional prize will be awarded to the participant who receives the most votes in the Individual Challenge. Light refreshments and adult beverages will be available. For more information visit
BrainyArt  is made possible by the generous support of Zach & Bailey Means and Means Wealth Management.