Archive for Portland

Maine artists donate to Maine Medical in new online exhibition ‘Sheltered in Place’

“Isolation,” by Nora Tryon.

Maine artists donate to Maine Medical in new online exhibition

Although the Union of Visual Artists (UMVA) Gallery, inside the Portland Media Center at 516 Congress St. in Portland, is not open yet, UMVA artists produced the online exhibition “Sheltered in Place.” The show’s work reflects artists’ thoughts and feelings on both the coronavirus pandemic and the pandemic of racism. A portion of any art sale from this show will be donated to Maine Medical Center for COVID-19 protective measures.

“The images and words of UMVA artists in this online exhibition surface from the isolation and compression of life in the pandemic,” said John Ripton, UMVA-Portland co-chairperson. “The works express personal and universal struggles. There are abstract and figurative pieces and a variety of media from painting and mixed media to photography and digital work. We hope you will plumb the depth of these highly personal interpretations and that one or more of the pieces will touch your spirit. Last, we believe community and society is the source of great art and we dedicate this work to first-responders everywhere.”

View the show at https://umvaportlandgallery.blogspot.com/2020/07/sheltered-in-place-pandemic-art-show.html.

John Whalley’s ‘Earth Tones’ exhibit and work by Thomas Higgins featured at Greenhut Galleries

“Summer Memory,” by John Whalley.

Greenhut Galleries presents “John Whalley: Earth Tones” from Aug. 13 through Sept. 5.

Advancing the tradition of American realists and acknowledging the Dutch masters, John Whalley’s paintings go well beyond mere technique. His work exudes tremendous warmth, luminosity and charm. He responds to what he calls “the beauty that speaks softly.” He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and currently lives in midcoast Maine. Whalley received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1976.

His work is in numerous private, national and international collections including the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia; the Otto Naumann Collection, New York City and the Alfred Bader Collection, Milwaukee, Wisconsin to name a few. His publications include John Whalley – American Realist published in 2001 and John Whalley – In New Light, a 30 year retrospective book of drawings and paintings published in 2006. In addition, he was featured on the television show Bill Green’s Maine in 2008.

“Morrison Heights; August 28th,” by J. Thomas Higgins

Work by J. Thomas Higgins in “Field of View” will be showcased in the side gallery.

View both exhibits online at https://www.greenhutgalleries.com/exhibitions-events/john-whalley-solo-exhibition.

Greenhut Galleries is at 146 Middle St., Portland. Call 207-772-2693, or email info@greenhutgalleries.com for more information.

Maine College of Art Announces Isaac Kestenbaum as director of the Salt Institute

Isaac Kestenbaum

Maine College of Art has appointed Isaac Kestenbaum as director of the Salt Institute, president Laura Freid announced. Kestenbaum begins his role at MECA on Aug. 10.

Kestenbaum is a 2008 graduate of the Salt Institute and a veteran audio producer and journalist, bringing more than 10 years of industry experience to MECA. Kestenbaum has worked with Vox, NPR, The Guardian US, The GroundTruth Project, AIR, and SIERRA Magazine and has taught and led workshops for UnionDocs, UVA, NYU and Monson Arts. Additionally, he is a former production manager at the national oral history and radio project StoryCorps.

“Isaac’s professional experiences as an audio storyteller and his own background as an alum of the Salt Institute make him a great asset and leader for Salt at MECA,” said Araminta Matthews, associate dean of graduate and professional studies. “Isaac will be a critical addition to the future of Salt Institute’s Radio and Podcasting track, as well as a support to the development of the recently updated Short Film curriculum. We are grateful to bring Isaac on board to lead the Salt Institute at such an important time for storytellers in the world.”

“Salt is an iconic institution within the journalism industry and has graduated countless legendary professionals,” said Kestenbaum. “As a native Mainer and Salt alum, I am honored to lead the Salt Institute and look forward to working with and training the next generation of storytellers.”

A native of Deer Isle, Kestenbaum is the co-founder, along with Josephine Holtzman, of the production company Future Projects, which created the best-selling true crime podcast “Midnight Son” for Audible Originals. He has reported extensively on climate change in Alaska, and his work has been funded by the Arctic Circle Foundation and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. In recognition of his work, Kestenbaum has received a Peabody Award, a duPont Award, an Online News Association award, and an Alaska Broadcasters “Goldie” Award.

“Journalism and storytelling are cornerstones of our democracy,” said president Laura Freid. “I am encouraged and confident that Isaac will ensure our Salt graduates uphold the ethics of journalism and documentary storytelling, and enter our society as podcasters, documentary journalists and filmmakers at such a critical time in our history.”

Daniel Minter solo exhibit ‘States Of?’ opens July 16 at Greenhut Galleries

Work by Daniel Minter.

Daniel Minter’s artwork is a study of memory and the many ways in which memory is embedded into our past, present and future. Using archetypes, symbols, icons and folklore steeped in the context of African-American and African diaspora culture, Minter creates a visual vocabulary. Metaphors take shape out of common objects, infusing the energy of emotion, action and place to everyday life and everyday being.

“States Of?” is Minter’s first solo exhibition at Greenhut Galleries. The show opens July 16 and runs through Aug. 8.

Minter is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage. He works in varied media, including canvas, wood, metal, paper, twine, rocks, nails and paint. This cross-fertilization strongly informs his artistic sensibility. His carvings become assemblages. His paintings are often sculptural.

His overall body of work often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home.

Minter’s work has been featured in numerous institutions and galleries including the Portland Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and the Northwest African American Art Museum, among others. A travel grant from the National Endowment for the Arts enabled him to live and work in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, where he established relationships that have continued to nurture his life and work in important ways.

Minter has illustrated over a dozen children’s books, including “Going Down Home with Daddy,” which won a 2020 Caldecott Honor, and “Ellen’s Broom,” which won a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor.

He also served on a team of artists commissioned by the City of Seattle Parks Department to create a water park in an urban Seattle neighborhood and was commissioned in 2004 and 2011 to create Kwanzaa stamps for the U.S. Postal Service.

As founding director of Maine Freedom Trails, Minter has helped highlight the history of the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in New England. For the past 15 years, Minter has raised awareness of the forced removal in 1912 of an interracial community on Maine’s Malaga Island. His formative work on the subject of Malaga emerges from Minter’s active engagement with the island, its descendants, archeologists, anthropologists and scholars. This dedication to righting history was pivotal in having the island designated a public preserve.

In 2019, Minter co-founded Indigo Arts Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating the artistic development of people of African descent.

Minter is a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from The Maine College of Art.

Greenhut Galleries is at 146 Middle St., Portland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 207-772-2693, email info@greenhutgalleries.com, or go to www.greenhutgalleries.com for more information.

Guided Makers Joins Maine Craft Association

Guided Makers

Product development and sourcing strategist Rachel Battarbee and technical designer and pattern maker Myranda Caputo combined have 50 years of industry experience on a range of product categories and came together to create Guided Makers.

Guided Makers is a new institution member of the Maine Crafts Association.

Guided Makers, located in the greater Portland area, supports and guides apparel and accessory brands through the development process. They collaborate with clients locally and nationwide.

Services offered include pre-development strategic assessment, technical design, pattern making, grading, sourcing, factory placement and project management, as well as long-term assistance in product development and strategic direction for start-up and established brands.

Learn more at guidedmakers.com.

‘Lin Lisberger: Gravity’ at Cove Street Arts

“Who’s the Victim (Banana),” by Lin Lisberger.

The word gravity comes from a Latin root meaning “weight, heaviness, pressure.” Gravity can denote seriousness or dignity. It can also refer to the weakest fundamental force in physics, yet is the force that defines the very structure of the universe. It is the attractive force between two objects or, perhaps more precisely, the impact two objects have on one another as each bends the fabric of space and time. Whichever meaning is used and whatever the underlying reality of that meaning, gravity is something we all feel.

Lin Lisberger’s solo exhibit “Gravity,” at Cove Street Arts, combines work from two of her series: Who’s the Victim? and Ladder and Bridge, each of which addresses forces that we feel but often do not understand or cannot escape. The work from Who’s the Victim? confronts the viewer with objects in opposition, often at the exact moment in time that each is impacting the other. What forces have brought the objects together, and what compels their interactions?

The pieces from Ladder and Bridge explore movement through space. They twist upwards in timeless forms, as if they are trying to escape the conflict present in Who’s the Victim? and perhaps even the binds of gravity. Yet the structure required just to extend a few feet off the ground is evident.

Predominantly a wood carver, Lisberger’s sculpture is a sketch of a moment in time and space and the life of the tree. Her work focuses on the abstraction of narrative.

The show runs June 11 through Aug. 29 at Cove Street Arts, 71 Cove St., Portland. For more information, go to www.covestreetarts.com, call 207-808-8911 or email info@covestreetarts.com.

‘Architecture’ Opens at Cove Street Arts

“Bicknell Building #2,” by Liv Kristin Robinson.

Architecture is the art of designing and constructing buildings. Perhaps due to the difficulty of that task, the term has also come to mean the complex or carefully designed structure of any object.

“Harpa Concert Hall Interior, Reykjavik, Iceland #3,” by Jean Noon.

Architecture was, therefore, the perfect, succinct title for the photography exhibition featuring David Clough, Jean Noon, Donald Peterson, Liv Kristin Robinson, Sarah Szwajkos and Brian Vanden Brink. Each artist’s photographs feature buildings as subjects, but the beauty and appeal of each photograph is not simply the subject itself. Instead, it is the carefully designed structure of each photograph bringing the architecture of the subject to life.

“Master of the Nets Moon Gate,” by David Clough.

The show runs June 11 through Aug. 15 at Cove Street Arts, 71 Cove St., Portland. Call 207-808-8911 or email info@covestreetarts.com for more information.

‘Gardenship: First Voyage’ exhibit at Cove Street Arts extended through July 4

Gardenship

A vast, empty warehouse sat in the brown fields of Kearny Point, waiting for someone with a vision to give it new life. An intrepid crew of 14 Maine artists accepted the challenge, relishing the opportunity to build a new creative community out of an old Navy yard. From little more than this notion and the space, Gardenship was created.

Just a few months into the creation of Gardenship, these artists exhibit the first works created in this reborn space. This body of work is an artifact of their voyage, a visual touchstone that provides some tangible measure of their larger and more nebulous act of cultivating a space and community in harmony with those communities already in Kearny, New Jersey. The exhibition is an exciting glimpse into how this monumental project is shaping these Maine artists and influencing their work as they react to a new space and community. Where they will take Gardenship and where it will take them remains a wonderful mystery. This is the First Voyage.

The group exhibit “Gardenship: First Voyage,” curated by John Bisbee, has been extended until July 4 at Cove Street Arts.

The art center is located at 71 Cove St., Portland. Call 207-808-8911 or email info@covestreetarts.com for more information.

Greenhut Galleries Reopens

“On Display,” watercolor, by Chris Eaton.

Greenhut Galleries is reopening its doors.

Due to the current crisis, the exhibition schedule has been adjusted and necessary restrictions will be in place. A maximum of 10 people will be permitted in the gallery at a time, and everyone must wear a face mask. Disposable masks and hand sanitizer will be available near the front door.

The 10th biennial Portland Show has been extended through June 13. It can also be viewed online.

Mary Bourke’s “Somewhere Between Water & Woods” will open June 18. The entire show is available for view online.

Rounding out the summer slate are solo exhibitions of new work by Daniel Minter and John Whalley. Minter’s show opens July 16, and Whalley’s starts Aug. 13.

Greenhut Galleries is at 146 Middle St., Portland. Call 207-772-2693 for additional information, or visit https://www.greenhutgalleries.com.

‘Floriography’ Opens at Cove Street Arts

“Oriental Poppies, Iris & Rhododendron in Picasso Vase,” by Beverly Hallam.

Originally conceived as an early-April show — as both an antidote to the cruelest month’s lingering gloom and a reminder that spring, with its florid proliferation of life, was on the horizon — the exhibit “Floriography: The Language of Flowers” feels even more timely in its new slot as the first post-lockdown exhibition at Cove Street Arts and its message more immediate, urgent and life-affirming.

This exhibition presents a conversation between the work of four stylistically diverse female artists, each in dialogue with her subject matter, with her media and the act of mark-making, and with floral painting as a historical genre.

Using a visceral painting language to describe the natural world in structural terms, and aiming to capture a moment in time, Eileen Gillespie’s vibrantly expressionistic oil paintings are joyful, and the floral subject becomes a means to further explore the medium of painting itself.

The exhibition also includes a selection of works on paper from the estate of Maine Master and nationally-known pioneering postwar female artist Beverly Hallam. These works span from 1961 to 2007, and media include pastel, acrylic, ink, oil monotype and charcoal. They beautifully display the artist’s verve and virtuosity, as well as her enduring fascination for floral still lifes.

Maret Hensick’s poignant and poetic mixed media on paper series, Flowers Past and Present, honoring her mother’s love of flowers and travel, was begun in July 2019, four months after her death. Dissatisfied with her first attempt at portraying a single white phlox from the artist’s garden as “a big white flower of impressive delicacy to express all the grief and love [she] was harboring,” Hensick began picking and painting in additional flowers as they bloomed. She then constructed graceful and intricate vases for the flowers, using materials from a box of her mother’s mementos (old letters, stamps, wine bottle labels, Chinese cutouts, cards from the ’20s and ’30s, postcards and maps). The work in this series is deeply personal, richly symbolic, and eloquently spoken in the language of flowers.

Marjorie Moskowitz is interested in the tension between manmade order imposed on the landscape and nature’s “insistence to re-assert itself.” This exhibition features striking, large-scale realist oil paintings of Maine flowers taken from her Observations and Amplifications series. For Marjorie, “activated surface, abstract surface, patterns and color are a lifelong dialogue.” These paintings capture plants “at the peak of their reproductive cycle, when they are fully asserting their seductive beauty/perfection/splendor/brilliance. The scale is an invitation for the viewer to experience the blooms and the importance of their smallest elements.”

The exhibit is on view June 1 to Aug. 1 at Cove Street Arts, 71 Cove St., Portland.

The show “Portland 2020,”curated by Bruce Brown, has been extended through June 6, and “Gardenship: First Voyage,” curated by John Bisbee, has been extended through July 4.

Call 207-808-8911 or email info@covestreetarts.com for more information.