Archive for York

Three New Shows at George Marshall Store Gallery

Julee Holcombe “American Babylon” archival digital print, 36” x 37”

The formal exhibition schedule continues at Old York’s George Marshall Store Gallery with three complete and intriguing shows featuring ceramics, embroideries and photography.

From functional to sculptural, the work of twenty-one accomplished New England ceramic artists is showcased. Working with techniques as varied as sgraffito, slip trailing, and combining clay with found objects, these New England artists represent the vibrant, contemporary ceramics being created today. The show is titled “A Community of Potters.”

Courtney Sanborn (detail) “The Wedding” Embroidery on linen whitework, 44” x 14”

At first glance Julee Holcombe’s photographs seem to depict real places and landscapes. One quickly realizes that if these images depicted reality you might not want to go there. Using computer programs she seamlessly combines images of buildings and places from around the country and the world. In “American Babylon” one can recognize some of our local landmarks such as the Portsmouth Naval Prison, waterfronts and mill sites. Much like Sanborn’s embroideries, Holcombe’s photographs suggest a narrative which encourage the viewer to stop and contemplate what is myth and what is reality.

The exhibitions continue through November 10. Gallery hours are 10-5 Thursday through Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. The gallery is a program and property of the Old York Historical Society.

New Exhibitions at George Marshall Store Gallery

Daniel Anselmi “Untitled (3-12)”, mixed media, 30” x 40”

The summer light is beginning to soften along the York River as Autumn begins to take hold. With Labor Day weekend over and the hustle and bustle beginning to ease, now is the perfect time to stop by the George Marshall Store Gallery to see the newly installed exhibitions. 

Included are works by three artists who use materials that are reclaimed. Each appreciates the beauty in these salvaged objects and transform them into something new. Daniel Anselmi, from Belfast Maine, integrates, among other things, blueprints, old ledgers and used drop cloths, into his painted abstractions. Though sourced materials are not intended to be recognizable in these abstractions, sometimes surface traces remain that become a moment of discovery for the discriminating viewer.

Philip Frey “Indigo Avenue”, oil on canvas, 30” x 30”

Paul Bowen incorporates wood that has a history, creating three dimensional sculptures. The artist merges his current environment in southern Vermont with Provincetown by creating sculptures that combine salvaged wood from the beaches with beaver chewed wood from a nearby dam. His pieces are rustic and raw and simultaneously elegant. A native of Wales, he has spent the majority of his adult life in the United States and has been a key figure in the Provincetown arts community.

Duncan Johnson “Passage”, reclaimed wood, 21” x 20”

Duncan Johnson’s wall mounted assemblages are created out of that which has been salvaged. Working with reclaimed wood from landfills and construction sites in Vermont, he creates wall sculptures by reassembling the found wood. The pieces that he uses tell a story with their fading paint, nail holes and weathered surfaces. His work contains aspects of sculpture, drawing and painting, and reflect his many interests which range from quilting to architecture.

 Showing alongside these three artists is Sachiko Akiyama, a faculty member at the University of New Hampshire. Akiyama masterfully carves exquisite figures that draw the viewer in, allowing one to bring their own personal interpretation to her work. She is inspired by a wide range of influences ranging from medieval Christian wood carvings to contemporary sculpture. Her figures are based on herself and her family including relatives who have passed away. Although her work is very personal and is a combination of memories, family history, dreams and cultural symbols, the sculptures allow for multiple interpretations.

Scott Schnepf “Yellow Wall”, oil on wood, 12” x 12”

Scott Schnepf showcases both paintings in gouache and oil as well as several woodcut prints. Schnepf’s mastery of these mediums is apparent in his beautifully rendered still lifes of everyday objects and landscapes from personal travels. Schnepf recently retired from teaching at the University of New Hampshire and is enjoying working almost full time in his studio in the Salmon Falls Mill in Rollinsford. His work has been exhibited throughout the country and is in the permanent collection at the Library of Congress, the Currier Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art.

With a pop of vibrant color, Philip Frey’s work is featured in the dock level gallery. Frey lives and maintains a studio in Sullivan Maine and his local environment is reflected in his work. With an interest in the working harbors of Maine, he paints from direct observation, focusing on color and light. “Experimentation with unexpected color, assertive shape and multifarious and fearless brushstroke has always been the aspiration of my work” explains Frey. His work straddles the line between representational and abstract. Frey will give a gallery talk and book signing on Friday, September 20 th at 6 pm.

The exhibitions run through September 29 th . Gallery hours are Tuesdays – Saturdays 10-5 and Sundays 1-5. 140 Lindsay Road, York Maine. www.georgemarshallstoregallery.com

George Marshall Store Gallery: “A trio of shows and Woodturnings”

Lincoln Perry “Is Paris Burning” oil on canvas, 48” x 50

The three separate gallery spaces in the George Marshall Store Gallery are the venues for three distinct exhibitions, on view through August 18th.

The front gallery space, entered at the street level, is dedicated to paintings by Lincoln Perry and Craig Hood and wood turned sculptures by Derrick Te Paske. The small gallery which looks out upon the John Hancock Wharf and the York River, holds a solo exhibition for Portland artist Noriko Sakanishi . The lower level gallery, which can also be entered from the dock level, presents the work of three followers of master watercolor artist DeWitt Hardy: Bill Paarlberg, Ken Fellows and Russel Whitten.

 

Derrick Te Paske “Brissle” walnut and escutcheon pins, 17” x 8”

 

Perry and Hood share a jewel like palette and both are interested in landscape and the figure. Perry who lives part of the year in York, is also a respected muralist. His mural at the University of Virginia decorates the stairwells and hallway of Old Cabell Hall, a building designed by McKim, Mead and White. Here he depicts the life of a student at the University in a sweeping colorful narrative. The artist’s interest in the figure and the narrative is apparent in the six large canvases on exhibit. Almost life size figures pose as the four elements: Water, Earth, Fire and Air. “Is Paris Burning” completed in 2017, is a dramatic classical composition of broken store mannequins in front of the profile of Notre Dame and a firestorm sky

By comparison, the figures in Craig Hood’s paintings are diminutive, only inches high, and partially obscured by a fog-like haze.  Despite their scale and obscurity within a vast and moody environment, they are central to the narrative. Titles such as “World Away,” “Penumbra,” and “Long Black Veil” suggest an ominous or foreboding place. In his statement he compares his figures to migrants or refugees whose “underlying condition and motivating factors are fear and concern.In these places of solitude they hope not to draw attention to themselves but to find freedom and peace.

Hood’s smaller landscape depict sparkling blue skies and waves of fresh green grass and fields. The sapphire blues and emerald greens in these paintings are fresh and inviting – landscapes where you would like to stay awhile and breath the clear air and appreciate nature.

Complementing the paintings are wood-turned sculptures by Boston area artist Derrick Te Paske. His elegant simple forms take advantage of natural grains and are often embellished with markings and studded with brass or copper pins.

Noriko Sakanishi “In Another Dream” acrylic and mixed media, 33” x 14” x 5”

Noriko Sakanishi has been working abstractly since the 1970’s. There seems to be no limit to the combinations that she can make while restricting her shapes to simple squares, rectangles and spheres. Her wall-hung constructions give the illusion of weight, either stone or metal, when in fact they are made of light weight foam materials, meticulously painted in earth tones and applied  texture.

DeWitt Hardy was a mainstay of the Ogunquit art community until is sudden death in the Autumn of 2018. He is being recognized this summer at Bates College in the exhibition “DeWitt Hardy: A Master of Watercolor.” Besides his own painting he is remembered and revered as a teacher. Ken Fellows, Bill Paarlberg and Russel Whitten all studied with him for many years. Hardy was more than a teacher to these men, but a pivotal mentor. His legacy is carried forward by these artists who learned from the best and now share what they have learned through their own teaching and exhibiting.

The exhibitions continue through August 18th. Gallery hours are 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. The gallery is a program and property of the Old York Historical Society.  www.georgemarshallstoregallery.comphone: 207-351-1083

 

 

First of the Season Exhibitions at George Marshall Store Gallery

Jessica Straus “Sin cerebrum” wood, paint found object, 6” x 5” x 3”

 

Old York’s George Marshall Store Gallery opens the exhibition season with five artists, each with a perspective influenced by their experiences and surroundings.

Boston artist Steve Imrich and Maine artist Richard Keen paint the landscape from opposite points of view. Imrich’s aerial vantage point comes from his love of flying. He learned to fly at the age of ten when his father tied blocks of woods to his son’s feet so he could reach the pedals. Throughout his career as an architect he flew across the country many times and always preferred the window seat to see and photograph the landscape below. Seven large canvases in the show include views of approaching Boston, Los Angeles, Huston and Chicago. A breathtaking aerial view of the Newburyport Joppa Flats dominates the front gallery wall. On the opposite gallery walls are abstracted “landscapes” by Richard Keen. When not painting, Keen is often underwater setting and maintaining moorings along the Maine coast. The keels of boats and the fractured geometry of filtered light are a source of his inspiration. He often simplifies his views into line, shape, color and texture.

 

Michael Palmer “Old Intracoastal Bridge” Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 30”

 

The painters’ perspectives of above and below are complemented by the abstract and architectural forms by ceramic artist Don Williams. William’s is a frequent exhibitor at the gallery and well known for his functional wares. This exhibition features his sculptural forms which combine metals, found materials with hand-built ceramic forms. The shapes and colored glazes are a perfect pairing with many of the paintings, almost as if the three artists were responding to the same assignment.

 

Steve Imrich “Clear 16 Bos” Oil on linen, 36” x 30”

 

The smaller back gallery room that overlooks the York River is an installation of fifty small sculptures by Boston based artist Jessica Straus. Hand carved, three-inch-high figures are combined with found objects creating humorous vignettes.  Working primarily in carved and painted wood and incorporating found objects, she explores the poetry of unexpected juxtapositions between recognizable and invented forms. Alternating between narrative and abstraction, Straus’s well-crafted sculptures are infused with a quirky, yet subtle, humor and a finely tuned sense of aesthetics.

The lower level of the gallery, referred to as “the dock level” is primarily used for one person shows and for the opening of the season, the space is filled with work by Ogunquit artist Michael Palmer. Palmer has been a central figure in the Ogunquit art scene since the 1960’s always painting as well as running the successful PS Galleries. He currently splits his time between Ogunquit and Key West. Both places are the inspirations for his imaginary bird’s eye views of towns, country and people going about their everyday lives. He also is interested in abstracted views emphasizing form and design and less on content and narrative. His work has been collected both locally and across the country by individuals and institutions.

The exhibitions continue through July 7 th . Gallery hours are 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. The gallery is a program and property of the Old York Historical Society. www.georgemarshallstoregallery.com phone: 207-351-1083

Curator’s Selection at George Marshall Store Gallery

Necklace by Lauren Pollaro, Ceramic by David Ernster

By tradition the final exhibition for the year at Old York’s George Marshall Store Gallery is called Curator’s Selection. The show includes work by 20 regional artists, many exhibiting for the first time at the gallery.
Jewelry by Lauren Pollaro and ceramics by David Ernster are also featured. Pollaro is well known for her one-of-a-kind pieces that have a harmonious interplay of dynamic color, texture, materials and technique. Ernster’s ceramics finished with red and yellow glazes pair perfectly with Pollaro’s display. The exhibits continue through December 16. Hours are 10-4 Thursday – Saturday, 1-4 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York.

Current Exhibitions at Old York’s George Marshall Store Gallery

Nathaniel Meyer, “Great Pyramid (Schoodic clouds II)” oil on canvas, 41” x 49”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current exhibitions at Old York’s George Marshall Store Gallery are well suited to the season as the local trees turn from from summer greens to autumnal yellows and reds.  “Taproot” is an exhibition inspired by the book “The Hidden Life of Trees, What they Feel and How they Communicate,” by Peter Wohlleben. Whereas a common theme connects the work in “Taproot,” it is the coincident of national origin that inspired the show “Maine Dutch Masters,” featuring painters Jaap Eduard Helder and Jan ter Weele and ceramic artist Simon van der Ven. Both exhibitions continue through November 11th.

In “Taproot” curator Mary Harding has combined the work of 30 regional artists, representing a wide variety of medium, into a thoughtful and visually rich installation. “I thoroughly enjoyed Wohlleben’s book about trees and heard several interviews with the writer on the radio. I could immediately think of a number of artists who regularly paint or are inspired by trees and thought it would make an interesting theme-based exhibition.”

The image chosen for the invitation announcing the show is an etching by Kittery artist Victoria Elbroch. Titled “Layered Understanding,” the image of her tree has an equal number of roots spread underground as upper branches reaching towards the sky.  The title of the piece is also fitting with Wohlleben’s descriptions on how trees communicate with one another and their environment.

Some artists created work specifically in response to the theme. Portsmouth artist Michael Stasiuk, known for his found object sculptures, made five pieces for the show.  A six- foot tall tree, made from tool handles, clothes hangers, and assorted fragments, supports nine small birds with spring loaded wings and golf tee beaks. A Bunny figure swings happily from one of the lower branches.

 

Frank Gregory “Green Screens” oil on canvas, 16” x 16”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portland artist Judith Allen-Efstathiou exhibits several of her wall pieces fabricated from copper sheets removed from the dome of the Maine Capital Building in Augusta. The State offered the copper to several artists who were commissioned to create new work from the material.  Her “Prouts Neck Pine” measures 48 inches high, 15” wide and because of its depth, multiple shadows are projected onto the wall.

Portsmouth photographer Carl Austin Hyatt exhibits three of his black and white prints. A layer of snow covers the trees in “Winter Woods” like a lace veil and in tones that are a reminder of the cold yet to come.  “Entangled 4” by Bangor artist Nina Jerome is a large painting of Virginia wild grape vine enveloping a tree. Its strong color, movement and placement pull the viewer into the room. Once there, one can not help to notice a tree line boarder near the ceiling that wraps completely around the room and then cascades to the floor in one corner. Portsmouth artist, Lucinda Clark hand-cut, 70 feet of landscaping tree-wrap paper to create this tree line. Her choice of material, designed to protect trees from insects and abrasions, in an interesting metaphor.

Portland ceramic artist Sharon Townshend’s small ceramic “Walking Houses,” are in response to the plight of refugees who literally have to “pull up their roots” and move away. “Firestorm One and Firestorm Two” by New York artist Charles Ramsburg are 14” x 12” panels that look like charred bark and represent the artist’s comment on the increasing number of destructive wildfires in the west.

There are numerous fine paintings by local artists depicting trees and their environments including Tom Glover, Michael Walek, Todd Bezold. From further down east are Sam Cady, K. Min and MaJo Keleshian. Exhibiting for the first time in the Gallery are William Gotha (Andover MA), Frank Gregory (Greenfield MA), Mathew and Nathanial Meyer (Portland ME), Roy Perkinson (Wellesley, MA) and Margery Thomas-Mueller (Alton, NH). From furthest away are artists Charles Ramsburg (New York City) Julia Zanes, Donald Saaf and Kate Emlen from Vermont, and Susan Lyman from Provincetown, MA. Most visitors have been intrigued by the theme and spend considerable time viewing the work.

There is plenty of color in “Taproot” but almost pale in comparison to the brilliant color found in Maine Dutch Master’s paintings.  The three artists share a Dutch heritage and are Maine based artists. Perhaps it is in their genes that color plays such a significant role– the long dark winters give a craving for color. Jan ter Weele paints a stylized version of the landscape. Trees are not green and the sky is not blue. He disassembles the landscape into unexpected colorful shapes, paring pinks with orange, and yellows with blues resulting in a view of the landscape which is both beautiful and surprising.

Jaap Helder’s painting at first seem like pure abstraction however through his use of color, line and texture they hover between abstraction and representation. He explains that that his work has always been influence by the land and the ocean. “The boats of the shipping and fishing industries find their way into my paintings with their industrial colors and weather-beaten hulls.”

Paired with the two painters are ceramics by Simon van der Ven from Lincolnville, Maine, where he works as a full-time studio artist and part-time educator. He continuously explores different clays and techniques. The show includes both wood and gas fired pieces, and several of his signature pierced forms. A pattern of holes are drilled into the forms during the bisque stage and then glazed and fired.  Three pieces are collaborations with ceramic artist Mark Bell.

Simon van der Ven “Pierced Dimpled Egg Vase” 9” x 7”

The exhibitions continue through November 11th. Gallery hours are 10-4 Wednesday through Saturday, 1-4 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. The gallery is a program and property of the Old York Historical Society.  www.gerorgemarshallstoregallery.com  phone: 207-351-1083

Late-summer exhibitions | George Marshall Store Gallery

Lisa Noonis, Abstract #8, mixed media on panel, 36” x 12”

Lisa Noonis, Abstract #8, mixed media on panel, 36” x 12”

Walking into the George Marshall Store Gallery from the heat and glare of the late summer sun one is struck by the calm monochromatic tones and simple shapes of Ernest Montanegro’s, Lisa Noonis’ and Dan Dowd’s work. The first glance belies the complexity of these three artist’s sculptures, collage-paintings, and found object instillations. Most of the pieces are untitled, ambiguous in name and form, leaving room for the viewer to discover their own interpretation and connection.

The late summer light in the river view gallery draws you into Carter Wentworth’s world of colorful garden inspired paintings. The vibrant water color and gouache images emulate the ease and flow of leaves, trailing vines, flowers budding, and exploding seed heads with layers of color that spread effortlessly throughout his paintings.

“Driveway, 71 Ranch, Deeth, Nevada,” archival pigment print, 36” x 45”

“Driveway, 71 Ranch, Deeth, Nevada,” archival pigment print, 36” x 45”

The dock level gallery features the work of international photographer Lucas Foglia. His show “Frontcountry” is an unbiased look at the contradictions of the American West, a region mythically famous for being wild, which is being radically transformed by the new boom in mining. Lucas’ photographic narrative has captured these vast wild territories and the people who live on the boundaries between small towns and wild road-less areas caught in the middle of two seemingly opposite lifestyles: ranching and mining.

The combination of the three exhibitions have much to offer. Curator Mary Harding had done studio visits with Montenegro, Noonis, and Dowd over the past winter. She chose to combine the their work in one exhibition as she sensed a visual connection although the medium couldn’t be more diverse: Dowd’s found fragments of clothing and rubber inner tubes, Montenegro’s cast bronze and steel and Noonis’ mixed media collage. In reading the individual statements about their current work, a common theme of impermanence, fragments of forms and figures, and a way of questioning how we view and value art runs through their work.

Harding has done numerous studio visits with Wentworth over the years, seeing work in progress as well as touring the artist’s garden. Wentworth’s earliest memories of the garden are the catalyst for his recent series Plant Life Dialogue. Observing nature and noticing its ability to create groupings and patterns over time in a garden, the artist strives to allow the layers of color and form to spread effortlessly in his paintings. Quoting one admirer of the work “Carter’s work is emotive – connected and vibrates – the colors and forms talk – engage and satisfy – new things emerge, old feelings reappear – Carter puts the solace of nature on my walls.”

Carter Wentworth “World Frame of Space” watercolor and gouache on Arches hot press paper, 52” x 32”

Carter Wentworth “World Frame of Space” watercolor and gouache on Arches hot press paper, 52” x 32”

Between 2006 and 2013, photographer Lucas Foglia traveled throughout rural Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming, some of the least populated regions in the United States. Frontcountry is a photographic account of the mining and cattle industries in the American West, and how people use land that is famous for being wild. Besides the photographs on exhibit, visitors are encouraged to spend time looking through Foglia’s three books of photographs related to some of his other projects.

The exhibitions continue through September 30. Gallery hours are 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday, 1-5 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. The gallery is a program and property of the Old York Historical Society. www.gerorgemarshallstoregallery.com phone: 207-351-1083

A Trio of exhibitions for mid-summer at George Marshall Store Gallery

Domingue Growing Up acrylic on canvas 24x24

Domingue Growing Up acrylic on canvas 24×24

Stepping into the George Marshall Store Gallery one is immediately “at ease” amongst Barbara Sullivan’s shaped fresco chairs and select works by nine other regional artists. The tile and theme of the current exhibition, “At Ease” is inspired by Sullivan’s creations. She learned the fresco technique while she was the head cook at The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1989, She embraced the medium and is well known for her shaped frescoes of ordinary household objects and animals. Her nine “chairs” hang like paintings throughout the gallery and are complemented by Grant Drumheller’s oil on linen interiors that capture the light and mood of a Maine summer cottage and Boston based artist, Carole Rabe’s interiors using collaged colored paper.

The bold greens and cool blues of Amy Brnger’s large-scale paintings, “Birthday Picnic” and “Dog Day Afternoon” visually tie in with the decorative patterns on Sullivan’s Chairs, and one cannot help but be charmed by the humor in Gordon Carlisle’s collages that use vintage magazine clippings. Always popular, are the wall and stand-alone sculptures by Portsmouth artist Michael Stasiuk, who is the master of “the found object assemblage”. Also included is a series by Tom Glover, Michael Walek’s reclining figures in gouache, and Stuart Ober’s illuminated interiors.

“Time and Again, Paintings and Drawings” by Maine artist George Lloyd, is on display in the river view Gallery. Spanning from the early 1970’s through his career in New England and Maine, these are energetic works that combine bold mark-making strokes with large washes of color. Several paintings are being exhibited for the first time. Others have been included in past exhibitions, however they have endured the test of time and seem as fresh and relevant as the day they were made.

The dock level gallery features the work of New Hampshire artist Ann Trainor Domingue. She intentionally works in an un­expected manner to develop her colorful, graphic and narrative paintings. These qualities indeed come “Shining Through” in this new body of work inspired by her long­standing curiosity and attraction of waterfront life. A life­long resident of New England, she appreciates and cares for the visual and spiritual beauty of the place she calls home.

The exhibitions continue through August 19. Gallery hours are 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday, 1-5 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. The gallery is a program and property of the Old York Historical Society. www.gerorgemarshallstoregallery.com phone: 207-351-1083

Fiber Artist Sarah Haskell’s project, “Well Used, Well Loved,” currently on view

York fiber artist Sarah Haskell project, “Well Used, Well Loved,” is currently on view at  George Marshall Store Gallery.

Sarah will explained how this community based art project came about in a talk last week. It involved forty-six households across the country over a two year period. Participants “adopted” a hand-woven towel and made the commitment to write in a journal in response to prompts given by the artist. Some participants wrote elaborate and insightful entries in the journals, while others wrote their responses on kozo paper, which was then spun into Shifu thread and woven into the large four panel piece measuring six feet high and twelve feet long. “Well Used, Well Loved,” explores age, beauty, impermanence and attachment through the culmination of journal entries and fiber work.

Sarah Haskell is an award-winning artist/educator who has been weaving and teaching for over forty years. Since her graduation from Rhode Island School of Design in 1976, she has traveled as far away as Japan to learn and teach about her love of weaving.

George Marshall Store Gallery
207-351-1083 cell: 207-752-0205
mhardinart@gmail.com

Paintings, Embroidery and Folklore at York Gallery

Grant Drumheller “Long Sands” Oil on linen 30” x 30”

Grant Drumheller “Long Sands” Oil on linen 30” x 30”

The fall exhibitions on view at Old York’s George Marshall Store Gallery present the work of four New England artists, each who have a personal point of view and perspective. Grant Drumheller, a professor of art at the University of New Hampshire, is exhibiting two dozen paintings, most of which have been completed in the last year. He has titled his show “New Perspectives,” a title that can also apply to the work by the other artists currently showing. Courtney Sanborn completed a masters in painting at the University, however she is exhibiting ten small embroideries, a medium where she can apply her knowledge of composition, color, and gesture, using cotton threads instead of paint. Vermont artists Donald Saaf and Julia Zanes share the dock level gallery space for their exhibition titled “Folklore.” The exhibitions continue through November 12th.

Drumheller has been a frequent exhibitor at the river front gallery. He continues his interest in overhead compositions in these recent paintings. “There is a new looseness in these paintings,” comments curator Mary Harding. “With less detail, there is even more information.” He is attracted to landscape views that are ‘peopled’ by folks going about their business, whether working, strolling, walking their dogs, digging for clams, sledding in a city park or enjoying a day at the beach.

His “Piazza, End of Day”, a 60” x 48” acrylic on canvas, shows a crowd of people making their way across a stone paved piazza. With just a few quick brush strokes one can make out the gesture of an adult pulling a reluctant child through the late afternoon raking light. One can make out a figure looking at a cell phone, another two figures holding hands. These distinctive bird-eye views, are about the balancing of elements, i.e., spaces to figures, color to tone and warm areas to cool. Whether real or imagined places, they are always lively and inviting.

Courtney Sanborn “ He Doesn’t Care” Cotton embroidery, 9.75” x 8.5”

Courtney Sanborn “ He Doesn’t Care” Cotton embroidery, 9.75” x 8.5”

Courtney Sandborn’s embroideries are about personal moments, conversations and somewhat humorous events. The settings and characters are metaphorical in nature, and exist in a space born from direct observation and memory. The small nude figures are often surrounded with colorful exotic plants and small animals: dogs, cats, and strange little monsters that are all rendered in both traditional embroidery and free form stiches.

Bright color, bold composition and pattern are the founders of her process. For these narrative scenes she uses imagery from a wide variety of sources ranging from medieval illuminated manuscripts, to the rug designs of Marguerite Zorach. Her compositions are influenced by a rich history of Americana and folk art including hooked rugs, early American needlepoint samplers and vernacular paintings.

Donald Saaf “Every Human a Flower” 24” x 48”

Donald Saaf “Every Human a Flower” 24” x 48”

The word “Folklore” applies equally well to the work of Donald Saaf and Julia Zanes, who are married to one another and share an artistic life in rural Vermont. Their work explores the intersection of fine art and folk art. The subject matter of their colorful paintings – often using mix media and collage – reference their local community, family and immediate surroundings but with a sprinkling of fairy dust. They embrace the idea that folktales are a microcosmic mirror of our lives and our bigger stories, which might otherwise by impossible to sum up.

Saaf’s uses walnut ink to draw simple improvisations of organic forms . He slowly adds various elements: old Italian papers, maps, ephemera, inks, gouache and Japanese watercolors. His studio overlooks Brattleboro’s main street where there is a steady flow of people walking by. Although at first a distraction, he soon became fascinated and started to think of the parade of people as something like a moving garden. As the paintings evolved the figures became more and more plantlike and eventually bloomed with flowers.

Julia Zanes “House at Night” mixed media, 20” x 18”

Julia Zanes “House at Night” mixed media, 20” x 18”

Zanes often works in large series based on books or stories that have captured her imagination. Several small paintings from these series are included however the show features her newest abstract panel paintings. Layers of transparent circles and undulating ribbons of color suggest meditation and abstract dream like sequences. Saaf’s and Zane’s work are interspersed in the space and collectively create a magical environment.

The exhibitions continue through November 12. Gallery hours are 10-5 Wednesday through Saturday, 1-5 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. The gallery is a program and property of the Old York Historical Society. For more information please visit www.gerorgemarshallstoregallery.com or call 207-351-1083.