Archive for Jefferson

Joseph A. Fiore Art Center Open Studio Day

Hannah, Oil on Panel, 18×24












Jefferson. On Sunday, July 29th from 12-3pm, join Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) and the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center for an Open Studio Day at Rolling Acres Farm. The studios are currently occupied by this summer’s July artists-in-residence. There will be live music on the lawn by the guitarist and cellist duo, Marsh and Lane. Free coffee, tea and local ice cream will be also be served.

Thu Vu, is an international resident from Vietnam. Thu graduated from Hanoi Fine Arts College and was an exchange student at Maine College of Art in Portland. She creates light sculptures made out of paper and natural materials. Her work has been exhibited throughout Asia, Europe and the USA.

Thu Kim Vu, No.2










Maxwell Nolin, a young emerging portrait painter, most recently made a living as an organic vegetable farmer. His portraits have often featured fellow farmers; however, he writes, “I have yet to fully immerse my subjects in the natural landscape. This seems to be where my interest lies and where my work is heading.”

Jodi Paloni, the writer-in-residence, is currently working on her second book: a novel-in-stories, which takes place in the sixties and seventies on a farm similar to the Center’s Rolling Acres. The story tracks three Maine women from their girlhood to contemporary midlife.

Marsh and Lane, photo by Susan Metzger













Rachel Alexandrou, whose organic gardening experience spans a decade, is this year’s seasonal resident gardener. She lives on the grounds and grows produce for the residents. She is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in sustainable horticulture at UMaine, Orono, with a minor in studio art.

The Gallery at Rolling Acres will also be open and is currently showing Nature Observed: The Landscapes of Joseph Fiore, featuring oil paintings and pastel drawings of the late artist and environmentalist. The mission of the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm is to actively connect the fertile worlds of farming and art creation. The Center’s purpose is to continue and evolve the dialogue between human and environment within the context of our current culture and time. The Fiore Art Center is a program of MFT.

Located right on Damariscotta Lake at 152 Punk Point Road in Jefferson, the Fiore Art Center is a perfect place for a fun family outing – bring a picnic and enjoy the Center’s grounds for the day.

Future Open Studio Days with new artists-in-residence will be August 26th and September 30th.

For more information please visit

Susan Bickford presents 4th annual outdoor performance (stillness)18 at Joseph A. Fiore Art Center

Drawing by Susan Bickford

Saturday June 16, at 4pm, a gathering of artists across disciplines will present a participatory outdoor performance, celebrating connection to nature and invoking a deepening sense of place. Movers, vocalists, musicians, writers, visual artists, foragers, an astrologer and a cook are among the players who were part of the retreat at the Fiore Art Center for four days preparing the celebration. The public is invited to share an afternoon “in gratitude for the season of summer, of light, land, water and all of the beings inhabiting this place,” says artist Susan Bickford, who staged the first multidisciplinary performance of this kind at the reversing falls by her home in Newcastle, in 2015.

“The new location is a meditation on stillness in and of itself. In contrast to the reversing falls on the Sheepscot River (where the current comes to a standstill only for a moment), these fields and lake are often still,” says Bickford. “Here there is less waiting for stillness to arrive and more intentionally slowing ourselves down to match the pace of a caterpillar, the rhythm of a walnut tree. If we are lucky, we catch a glimpse of the slow train in our peripheral vision, take a deep breath and slide into a window seat. When we synch ourselves to the pulse of this place it expands our ability to notice whole worlds of wonder. If it sounds magical, it’s because simply, it is.”

Photo by Susan Bickford

Bickford has gathered twenty collaborators, including Andrea Goodman and Anna Dembska (vocalists), Susan Osberg (dancer) and Susan Smith (visual art), each of whom has participated in the event in previous years.

Participants include: Susan Bickford, Andrea Goodman, Anna Dembska, Susan Osberg, Zoe Mason, Rachel Alexandrou, Annabel O’Neill, Susan Smith, Kristin Dillon, Stan Levitsky, Cody Maroon, Luke Myers, Brianna Daley, Dakota Douglass, Matea Mills-Andruk, Fletcher Boote, Heather Lyon, Mary Jean Crowe, Robin Lane, and Anna Witholt Abaldo.

Public participation includes a slow walk across the land, a lakeside performance, a seasonal feast, and a fire. Tickets can be purchased online (Eventbrite link: ) or on the day of the event, at 152 Punk Point Road, Jefferson, ME.

(stillness) 18 is generously supported by Maine Farmland Trust’s Joseph A. Fiore Art Center, The Power Company, Damariscotta River Association, The Midcoast Conservancy and the Sheepscot General Store.


Bickford is a lecturer at the University of Maine at Augusta as well as Director of the Danforth Gallery. Bickfords’ approach to art is a deep ecological one. A Certified Nature Therapy Guide, Susan Bickford also holds an MFA from Maine College of Art and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Winner of the 2017 Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Media and Performance, Susan Bickford has been making interdisciplinary collaborative retreats/performances in nature since 2001. These performances also result in a video installation which is shown in traditional art spaces. The (stillness) project is an annual event that first began in 2015, migrating through sites along the waterways of Midcoast Maine.

Open Studio Day at Joseph A. Fiore Art Center Sept. 30



Open Studio Day Saturday September 30, 11-3 at the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center, 152 Punk Point Rd, Jefferson

Join Maine Farmland Trust on Saturday, September 30th, from 11am-3pm, at our Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm for a family-friendly Open Studio Day. Come meet and view the work of September’s artists Anne Alexander, a sculptor from Windham who creates nature-based work (MFA in Sculpture from Alfred University, NY, 1989) and Jude Valentine, a printmaker and pastel artist hailing from East Machias, (MFA in Visual Art  with a concentration in multi-disciplinary media, Vermont College of Fine Art, Montpelier, VT.)  Resident gardener and artist Nellie Sweet will be on site to share the beautiful kitchen garden she has created this year; Center co-directors David Dewey and Anna Witholt Abaldo will be available to offer tours of the residency center and gallery. There will be live music on the lawn by Marsh & Lane – a young guitar/cello duo associated with the Midcoast Music Academy – and free coffee, tea and ice cream. Located right on Damariscotta Lake the public is invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the Center’s grounds for the day.


Conversations: Studio and Table at Fiore Art Center

Susan Van Campen: Sunset with White Pines, watercolor, 13.5 x 16.5”

Susan Van Campen: Sunset with White Pines, watercolor, 13.5 x 16.5”

The Joseph A. Fiore Art Center will host its first ever gallery exhibit, opening on July 8th, with a public reception from 4-6pm. Conversations: Studio and Table is curated by David Dewey, co-director of the Fiore Art Center, curator of the estate of Joseph A. Fiore with the Falcon Foundation, and an esteemed watercolorist represented in Maine and New York. The exhibit features the work of sixteen prominent artists, most of whom live or spend summers in Maine: Richard Abbott, Sam Cady, Kimberly Callas, Lois Dodd, Nancy Glassman, Cynthia Hyde, Frances Hynes, Jim Kinnealey, Dennis Pinette, Carol Rowan, Susan Stephenson, Susan Van Campen, Tim Van Campen, Mary Jean Viano Crowe and Patricia Wheeler. All of these artists were invited to be a guest at the Fiore Art Center’s 2016 residency farm-to-table dinners and studio visits.

MJ Viano Crowe: Weight Of The World, mixed media on board (drawing, painting, collage), 18 x 15 x 5”

MJ Viano Crowe: Weight Of The World, mixed media on board (drawing, painting, collage), 18 x 15 x 5”

“2016 was a very exciting first step for our artist residency program at Rolling Ares Farm,” says Dewey. “Having distinguished artists join us for weekly studio visits and delightful farm-to-table dinners was a valuable experience for our artists-in-residence, as well as an important contribution to the Fiore Art Center’s residency program,” he explains. The exhibit, Conversations: Studio and Table was a natural outcome, as conversations begun in the studios turned into lively discussions around the table, touching on art, agriculture, the relationship between humans and environment, observation, intention, how art can be a voice for awareness, and so on.

As a program of Maine Farmland Trust, the Fiore Art Center aims to attract artists for whom the relationship between human and environment is an important element in their work. Naturally, many of the artists invited to the table resonate with that theme, and often, this resonance is apparent in the art they create. Take Kimberly Callas’ sculpture Honey-eyed, for instance: a digitally constructed, 3D-printed mask made from PLA filament (a corn-based plastic), coated with yellow and black iron oxide pigments in a solution of acrylic and beeswax

Kimberly Callas: Honey-eyed, 3D printed mask - PLA filament, yellow and black iron oxide, acrylic and wax, 10 x 7 x 3.5”

Kimberly Callas: Honey-eyed, 3D printed mask – PLA filament, yellow and black iron oxide, acrylic and wax, 10 x 7 x 3.5”

Callas, who teaches sculpture at Monmouth University in New Jersey, explained that she wanted to explore working with 3D printing and train herself in that medium, as it is gaining ground in the arts, sciences and construction. “Creating masks gives me a way to integrate patterns of nature with the human form,” says Callas. “I ask myself: ‘Where is our ecological self, and how can we express that part of ourselves more?’ Sometimes when you speak from behind a mask, you can speak more truthfully and open up that ecological voice.

Lois Dodd: Will’s Cabin, 2011, oil on panel, 12 x 16” 

Lois Dodd: Will’s Cabin, 2011, oil on panel, 12 x 16”

Lois Dodd’s work, in contrast, is a small landscape titled Will’s Cabin. “It’s a modest piece,” observes Dewey. “It shows the little white building artist Will Barnet would stay in when he would come up to be with his daughter, Ona Barnet, at the Rock Gardens Inn near Bath – a place of great natural beauty.” Barnet spent his summers “on retreat” there, while Dodd would be teaching painting workshops. Dewey chose this particular piece “because it marks the long relationship between Lois and Will: they became good friends, ever since she was a student of his at Cooper Union (NYC).”

Frances Hynes: Evergreens, oil on linen, 30 x 24”

Frances Hynes: Evergreens, oil on linen, 30 x 24”

The work by the sixteen veteran artists in Conversations: Studio and Table represents a high water mark of the mission of the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm: excellence in ideas, creative vision and environmental awareness. Conversations: Studio and Table will be on exhibit from July 8 through September 4, 2017. The Gallery at Rolling Acres is located at 152 Punk Point Road in Jefferson and is open on Saturdays throughout the summer, from 12-4, or by appointment. In addition to the exhibit, there will be Open Studio Days at the Center on the last Saturday of each month, showcasing the work of each month’s artists-in-residence. July’s Open Studio Day will take place on the 29th, from 11-3. For more information please visit