Archive for Portland

Greenhut Galleries Presents “Color Notes”

Behind Fish Beach, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches

Greenhut, on September 5-28th is pleased to present Color Notes, an exhibition of new oil paintings by one of Maine’s most masterful, and most popular, plein air artists, Colin Page. Greenhut is located in Portland and an opening reception will be held on September 5 from 5-7pm and an Artist Talk on September 21 at 1pm. As Press Herald art critic, Daniel Kany puts it, “Page is a leading light of what is called ‘Maine painting’ — that striking, quick and largely improvisational style of observational painting that ranges from Winslow Homer to Don Stone; Maine painting blends a bold brush with atmospheric light and an ever-present sense of place.” Colin shares a bit about his personal process and inspiration in his artist statement below: 

The spark of an interesting color or light sensation inspires me to start a painting. A color relationship can create a mood, describe a time of day, give depth to a flat canvas, and emulate a vibration or glow. With this series, I begin each painting with a specific color idea: a harmonious color key or a discordant contrasting key. The paintings are not exact replicas of a scene, but instead are driven by the mood and story I can tell with color and brushwork.

This creative use of color is sometimes described in musical terms. Color notes are individual moments that sing when placed in relation to one another. When there is an overall color scheme to a painting, it forms a harmony that can be felt in a way similar to a musical key in a song. A color can be read as discordant but still be the right note. Colors can work together to create the equivalent uplift of a major chord, or the slight sad turn of a minor. A painting is not a copy of nature, but a composition that describes a feeling.  

Color is just one tool of communication that I use, but the power and depth of this expression directs my decisions when I consider what to paint, and why.

Colin Page was raised in Baltimore, Maryland and studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Whether working on location or in the studio, Colin strives to capture the atmosphere and light of a scene. Colin currently lives in Maine, where he focuses on painting the landscape, and scenes that show his life as a father of two young girls. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions and group shows nationally and abroad

2 Blue, painted wooden construction, 11×15 inches

Our September side gallery show will feature new work by artist, Zen master, and former Monhegan Island resident Mike Stiler. Stiler’s love of working with recycled material is a sort of meditation for the artist that brings humor and light to the world, a direct reflection of his search for inner Zen and his background teaching Buddhism. He describes himself as “basically a cartoonist who works with wood, copper, paint, nails, steel, aluminum, leather, rubber, plastic, stone, graphite, watercolor, charcoal, ink, linoleum block, glitter, silicone, found objects, junk, photographs, ball point pen, words, ideas and empty space.” Mike describes his practice and his inspiration as follows: 

Everything I do and everything I make comes out of the question, ‘Who am I?’ This question is fundamental to the realization of anything that deserves to be called art. It is my deepest longing to make art that is funny, serious, scary, humble, confused, light, heavy, deep, shallow, clumsy, elegant, common, colossal, abstract, figurative, narrative and enlivening. I wish to, in any way I can, carry on the tradition of my heroes, Louis Armstrong, Agnes Martin, Vincent VanGogh, Pierre Bonnard, Walt Whitman, Bob Dylan, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, J.S. Bach, Alice Neel, Blackie Langlais, Huang Po,Ta Hui, Dogen, Joshu, Bankei, Beethoven, Robert Crumb and anyone else committed to finding the smallest in the biggest and the biggest in the smallest.

Mike Stiler attended Syracuse University School of Fine Arts for sculpture and Rochester Institute of Technology for painting. His work is in collections at the School of American Craftsman in Rochester and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York.

Cove Street Arts Presents “Exquisite Beauty”

Cove Street Arts, in Portland presents an opening reception of: Exquisite Beauty,  the enduring legacy of grace.  The reception will be held on Thursday September 19, 5:00-7:00.  The exhibition showcases the international photography of two Maine-based artists, David Caras and Meredith Kennedy. This striking show was curated by Marcia Minter, co-founder of Indigo Arts Alliance.

For more information, visit www.covestreetarts.com/events-1/exquisite-beauty-opening.

Cove Street Art Opens for “Ian Trask: Strange Histories”

Cove Street Arts in Portland presents works by Ian Trask with an opening reception on September 6 from 5-6:00.  Using vintage slides depicting others’ lived experiences, Ian Trask invents his own stories. Combining found 35 mm slide photography, analog collage, and assemblage sculpture, Trask creates imaginative double-exposures that transcend the boundaries of time and experience resulting in “strange histories.”

Trask finds “that without prompting, people share how the collages sparked their imagination. And oftentimes the narratives and perspectives conjured in their heads differed significantly from my own experience of the work – in the best possible way.” Like any great story or history, the narrative is shaped by and understood through personal experience.

Since moving to mid-coast Maine in 2015, Ian Trask’s work has been exhibited nationally, including at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Maine Historical Society, Frank Brockman Gallery, Harlow Gallery, Elizabeth Moss Gallery, Merrymeeting Arts Center, and the Lucie Foundation (Los Angeles). Recent press includes features in Hyperallergic, CNN Style, the Maine Sunday Times and the Coastal Journal.

5th Annual Portland Fine Craft Show

Visual Identity Project Design elements by Brooke Hoerner/AP Curiosities in collaboration with Amanda Mitchell of Delany Arts.

 

Join us Saturday, August 24 from 9am-5pm for the 5th Annual Portland Fine Craft Show on Congress Street (between State and High Streets). The Show is free and open to the public, and features 100+ juried exhibitors from Maine and the Northeast exhibiting baskets, ceramics, fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, stone and wood, as well as outreach booths for New England arts organizations, international artists new to Maine, and schools and guilds by special invitation. 

NEW: FREE Portland Fine Craft Show TOTES featuring the anniversary show poster design… while supplies last… get there early!

The 2019 Exhibitor Directory is published online and updated frequently, click below to preview the exhibitors! The West End News has published a dedicated Show Guide and show map included as in insert in the August edition of the newspaper – pick one up today or grab a copy at the show.

Spotlight Artists at Cove Street Arts

Cove Street Arts in Portland present works by:

Harold Garde

Described by former LACMA curator Dr. Edward Robinson as “the greatest living American painter you’ve never heard of,” Harold Garde’s career spans seven decades, and his work is included in many important museum collections. A New York Abstract Expressionist in the 1950’s and ‘60’s, Garde turned increasingly toward gestural abstraction into the figurative, mythic possibilities of Neo-Expressionism in the 1980s-1990’s, and remains vitally inventive to this day. This exhibition spotlights work from Garde’s Neo-Expressionist period.

 

Thomas Flanagan

Thomas Flanagan’s paintings have been referred to as “jumpy, pointy, sly and deceitfully clever complex hard-edge abstractions that go deep into modernist logic.” Emphasizing shape, both geometric and organic, Flanagan combines pure line mixed with saturated colors, middle tones, and grays into mesmerizing works that have been described as the physical representation of sound and movement.

 

Miklos Pogany

Hungarian-born Maine resident, Miklos Pogany, is a prolific artist with an impressive exhibition history and work in the permanent collections of many major museums. A master of multiple media, Pogany creates vivid works based on nature and the built environment, exploring and pushing the parameters of each medium. The artist describes his motivation as follows: “I react to wonder, desires, conflicts, meanings, memories, revenge, sexuality, love and death. I gather all these fragments and make some personal sense of it all.”

Greenhut Galleries Presents Rising Fog: Maurice Freedman in Maine

Scrub Pine Still Life (1947), oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

 

From August 8-31, Greenhut Galleries in Portland is proud and honored to present Rising Fog: Maurice Freedman in Maine, with an opening reception on August 8 5-7.  This is the gallery’s fifth solo exhibition of the work of American Modernist painter Maurice Freedman. This survey spans 45 years of the artist’s distinguished and prolific career. Included are twenty-two seascapes and still lifes painted between 1932 and 1977 and inspired by the artist’s numerous excursions to Maine.

Freedman’s 1977 painting, Rising Fog, is a panoramic vista of the foggy New England coast. Far from the somber, ominous shroud ingrained in the popular imagination, the fog is captured as ephemera, a joyful expression, both atmospheric and energetic in a soft and cheerful palette. As such, it was chosen as the titular painting for this retrospective, which celebrates the vitality of the artist’s work as well as his love and abiding fascination for the New England landscape. That of Maine in particular.

As the art critic Stephen May observed in his December 2009 ARTnews review of Freedman’s work:  

Like Winslow Homer, Freedman memorialized the endless battle between restless sea and obdurate rock in forceful depictions. In “Inlet Wave, Ogunquit” (1963), spectacular waves slam relentlessly against the rockbound shoreline.

The powerful painting referenced in May’s review is included in our exhibition.

Maurice Freedman was equally attuned to the magic and mystery of Maine’s inland scenery. His moonlit 1940 stunner, Thistles in the Night, perhaps the most glamorous treatment Mt. Katahdin has ever received, seduces the viewer to a spellbound silence. The painting’s preponderance of blues and purples sets the mood at deepest midnight. Kohl black lines define the shape of the mountain and the leaves of the thistle plants, intoxicating the eye with their angles and curves. The mid- and foreground palette is rich and sumptuous, it’s aquas, pinks and touches of white almost shimmer among maroons, reds, shades of peach, salmon and green. These lighter colors create the illusion of illumination under the moon and the stars, which “twinkle” in their loose treatment. The thistle flowers seem regal, like tassels on a gown, and all the painting’s lines and patterns aspire upward, toward the night sky and the strong silhouette of the mountain.

 Scrub Pine Still Life (1947) is another gorgeous example of the artist’s skill in staging a scene.

As in many of Freedman’s still lifes and interiors, and as we see also in this exhibition’s Summer Still Life and Wellfleet Studio (1977), the doors are flung wide open. This invites a heavy whiff of salt air into the room and into the viewer’s imagination. It also creates a playful and pervading sense of mystery — underscoring, perhaps, the artist’s reverence for nature, his affinity for unbounded spaces, and his intuitive sense of the interconnectedness of all things.

This retrospective is organized around a central theme as a subset within the wider and more varied subject matter painted across the artist’s productive career. But the viewer gets a sense of how Freedman’s style developed, though not always linearly, over 45 years. While certain compositional elements change a bit over time, the vivid imagination and coursing vitality that are hallmarks of this masterful painter’s style remain constant. Through his flair for the dramatic and the complete command of medium shown in his assertive brushstrokes and his bold use of color and patterning, Freedman’s sui generis synthesis of abstraction and figuration are apparent throughout. As are this artist’s joie de vivre, his attunement to scene, his love of beauty, and his lifelong love affair with the act of painting.

 Maurice Freedman was born in Dorchester, a suburb of Boston, and educated at the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts College of Art, and the Art Students League of New York. Perhaps more important was his study in 1920’s France with Andre Lhote and Ferdinand Leger.  His work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Whitney Museum of American Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Art institute of Chicago, Corcoran Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Walker Art Center, and Toledo Museum. His work is in the collections of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Denver Art Museum, Butler Institute of American Art, City Art Museum of St. Louis, Milwaukee Art Institute, Los Angeles Art Museum, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

 

Dusk Engine, Oil on linen, 36 x 64 inches

Our August side gallery exhibition offers an additional slice of Americana, via Alison Rector’s brand new body of work, Train Journey. In these paintings, the artist has created a beautiful document of the sights, and as always in Rector’s work, the light observed during a trip recently taken via Amtrak. We’ve shared Alison’s first person account of her exciting project and her journey below:

In 2018, work responsibilities required me to travel from my home in mid-coast Maine to Rochester New York.Air travel options were inconvenient and expensive. I didn’t want to drive. Instead, I decided to make mytransportation choice into a visual adventure on the train. 

I knew that Amtrak granted writers access to train travel as inspiration for writing, and that residency program had long been on my radar. (This program has now been replaced by Amtrak’s Social Media Residency.)What if I took the train from Maine to Rochester? Could I create my own visual arts residency on the train? 

Trains have facilitated transitions for me in the past, reliably pairing transportation with time for deep thought. When I moved as a young adult from the East Coast to California, I arrived in Oakland by rail after a three-day coach journey from Chicago.The rocking motion and the meditative rush outside the window mesmerized me. Since then, I’ve sought train travel in many parts of the world: with my husband traversing the width of China from Shanghai to Xinjiang, dissecting southern India, and between many European cities as well. Countless trips up and down Amtrak’s Eastern Corridor have transported me since childhood.

“There is absolutely no reason to take the train across the United States”, writer Caity Weaver “but I did it anyway.”  Her March 2019 story about cross-country train travel, titled “We’re all in This Together” appeared as I was deep in studio work for this show. Trains provide “a chance to look behind the American scrim” writesWeaver, “to learn where the nation makes and stores the hidden parts that run it, to find new places you wish you had been born, to spy on backyards and high school football fields whose possible existence had never occurred to you.” 

Train fare from Boston South Station to Rochester’s Union Station cost $46. A bargain. I expected the Lake Shore Limited route would be visually rich. And, having just finished work on a long-term painting project inspired by 19th century industrialist Andrew Carnegie’s legacy of public library building, train travel through New England’s industrial past seemed like a logical next step. The journey out of Boston across the width of Massachusetts into New York winds over rivers, through forests and farmland, and pierces small city centers. We passed empty warehouses, tangled backyards, bridge underpasses, and old manufacturing sites, all interspersed with recent changes to the landscape, such as solar farms. The train journey fueled me as I’d hoped; the15 paintings in this show are inspired by that trip on the Lake Shore Limited and beyond. 

In addition and as a complement to Alison’s visual work, musicians Bennett Konesni and Edith Gawler will present a program of train songs in the gallery on Wednesday evening, August 14th from 6 to 8 p.m. Alison and all of us at Greenhut hope to see you at this fun event!

Alison Rector Rector earned an undergraduate degree from Brown University in Providence RI, including courses at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work was included in the CMCA’s 2018 Biennial, and, in 2017, her Carnegie Library paintings were featured in a solo exhibition at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, entitled The Value of Thought. Her work is also included private collections across the country. Train Journeys is Rector’s fourth solo exhibition at Greenhut.

Cove Street Arts Presents ‘Charlie Hewitt: Left of the Turnpike’

 

Cove Street Arts, located in Portland Presents ‘Charlie Hewitt: Left of the Turnpike ‘  an exhibition of Hewitt’s dynamic, imaginative paintings, sculpture, prints, and neon constructions. There will be an opening reception on August 1 from 5-7. Living in Yarmouth and working in Portland, nationally renowned artist Charlie Hewitt grew up in Lewiston, ME. This biography is the inspiration for the exhibition’s title and highlights the influence of the mill-working community on Hewitt’s work, which often indirectly references the community’s values and a culture centered on the church, family, and work.

 

 

Hewitt’s work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress, Portland Museum of Art, and Bastes College Museum of Art, among others. Lately, Hewitt has created public art, installing his “Urban Rattle” series of sculpture along the High Line in New York City, as well as In Portland and Lewiston. Most recently, he unveiled his “Hopeful” sign in Portland at Speedwell Projects.

Cove Street Arts is located at 71 Cove Street Portland, ME  Contact 207-808-8911

 

Cove St. Arts Presents ‘Strange Histories’ by Ian Trask

‘Reforestation’ Ian Trask

 

Join us at the Opening Reception on July 18th from 5-7 for Ian Trask’s Strange Histories. The reception will be a great opportunity to talk to Trask about his process and narratives.  Strange Histories will be showing through September 13th.

 

 

Using vintage slides, Ian Trask creates his own stories. By combining found 35 mm slide photography, analog collage, and assemblage sculpture, Trask creates imaginative double-exposures that transcend the boundaries of time and experience resulting in “strange histories” – Michelangelo’s David presiding over a smorgasbord of Twinkies and other junk food; the Mona Lisa meeting the iconic Campbell’s soup can.

Trask has found “that without prompting, people would share how the collages sparked their imagination. And oftentimes the narratives and perspectives conjured in their heads differed significantly from my own experience of the work – in the best possible way.” Like any great story or history, the narrative is shaped by and understood through personal experience.

 

 

Come experience the show and conjure your own strange histories from Trask’s stunning images. Cove St. Arts is located at 71 Cove Street in Portland.

Cove Street Arts Presents “Strange Histories”

 

Opening reception for Ian Trask, Strange Histories, July 18th 5-7PM at Cove Street Arts in Portland. Using vintage slides, Ian Trask creates his own stories. By combining found 35 mm slide photography, analog collage, and assemblage sculpture, Trask creates imaginative double-exposures that transcend the boundaries of time and experience resulting in “strange histories” – Michelangelo’s “David presiding over a smorgasbord of Twinkies and other junk food; the Mona Lisa meeting the iconic Campbell’s soup can.

Exhibition dates: July 18th – September 13th.

Greenhut Galleries Presents Joel Babbs’ “To the Green Woods and Crystal Waters”

Crystal Pool, oil on linen, 63×52 inches

Greenhut Galleries in Portland is proud to present Joel Babb’s To the Green Woods and Crystal Waters on view from July 5 – August 3, an opening reception will be held on July 11 from 5-7 and an artist talk on Saturday July 20 at 1:00 pm.  Joel has been very busy of late, and not only with the creation of work for this exhibition! Earlier this year, he was one of three 1969 alumni chosen to exhibit work and participate in a panel at Princeton’s Lewis Arts Complex. His work is also included in Bates College Museum of Art’s current exhibition, Uncovered, Selected Works From the Collection. In the fall of 2018, Joel had a solo exhibition and presented a well-attended talk at Bowdoin College. And also in the fall of 2018, the Boston Museum of Fine Art’s acquisition of one of his major cityscapes, Copley Plunge, was covered both in Bob Keyes’ Portland Press Herald profile of the artist and in an American Art Collectorspread. Joel’s beautiful and deeply philosophical statement on his stunning new body of work appears in its entirety below:   

We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.   

We get it rough enough at homes in towns and cities, in shops, offices, stores, banks….

  ~ George W. Sears, from Woodcraft, 1884

 The curator and writer John Arthur took the title Green Woods and Crystal Waters: the American Landscape Tradition, for a traveling exhibition he organized in 2000. One of my paintings was included in the show. The title of my current solo exhibition, my second at Greenhut Galleries, alludes to Arthur’s exhibition, but embodies the sentiment of Sears’ statement more directly.

I have been inspired by the tradition of earlier American landscape painters, including American Pre-Raphaelites and later comers, such as Homer, Hopper and Richard Estes, as well.  My career has been divided between painting complex cityscapes and Maine landscapes. My oldest guides have been Canaletto for the cityscapes, and Ruisdael for the pastoral landscapes.  I’ve tried to envision their works in contemporary terms-to become the Canaletto of Boston and the Ruisdael of Maine.

But I chose to live in the Maine woods.  Reflecting on the Sears quote, I find the woods a refuge. In our time, the experience of nature is always in balance, or in contrast, to the contemporary urban environment.  On “the pavements grey,” indifferent architecture, cars in traffic, transport by air, computers and our phones, truly a world wide web inhabits our consciousness. And now Google Earth 3-D suggests there is a digital facsimile of the world which can be traveled in and explored like the real world. Entangled in this web, it is ever harder to escape and get a sense of the natural world.  But there remains in us a deep yearning for simplicity and harmony with the natural world.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

 

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

 

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

                                                   

  ~ W. B. Yeats

While my first show at Greenhut focused on Mount Desert and the confrontation of land and sea, my current show is mostly forests and brooks in the Maine mountains.  The motion of water, its waves and ripples, and its translucency, with rocky streambeds seen through flickering reflections, is still — along with light filtering down through the trees — the chief action of the paintings.  The interaction of these elements creates the visual fascination of mountain brooks.

While exploring in dense woods, a stream provides sight lines for a more distant view.  It emerges uphill, rushes past, and then disappears into the woods below. Working on these large paintings, I realized the streams have developed into an extended meditation on time. They are like sundials which have the inscription Ex hoc momento pendet aeternitas (“On this moment hangs eternity”).  A razor thin present divides the vastness of the past from the infinity of the future. The water tumbling down is present at your feet for an instant before rushing off downstream; the flow of time, the flow of the stream.  The future is becoming the present, the present becoming the past — the present seems the most fugitive of all time…. Perhaps a painting can arrest for a time a fleeting present, sadly, if not forever, at least for a while.

 Joel Babb is a graduate of Princeton and the Boston Museum School, where he taught for several years. He has also taught at Tufts and Harvard universities. His paintings have been exhibited in many museums and galleries throughout the Northeast and are in numerous prestigious corporate collections and in several museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Fogg Museum of Harvard University, and the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts.