Courthouse Gallery Fine Art presents two new exhibitions — “Downeast Narratives: Philip Barter and Matt Barter” and “Clarity of Vision: Sally Ladd Cole and B Millner” — available for viewing online at www.courthousegallery.com and at the gallery through July 10.
“Downeast Narratives: Philip Barter and Matt Barter” highlights recent work by Philip Barter and Matt Barter, a father-and-son duo of self-taught artists who were both born and raised in Maine. Their motifs focus on narratives of Maine’s working waterfronts and the earthy beauty of her landscape.
Philip, who was born and raised in Boothbay Harbor, has painted Maine for over five decades. In the early years, Philip worked in all manner of traditional Maine jobs to support his family of seven. He dug clams and worms, was the sternman on a lobster boat, did carpentry, and dragged for mussels. By the 1990s, Philip was able to paint full-time after the Bates College Museum of Art acquired his work for their permanent collection and mounted a retrospective of his work in 1992. Philip’s work was subsequently highlighted in Downeast magazine and acquired by the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art.
Matt, who was raised in Franklin, learned to paint under the guidance of his father. He sold his first painting at age 10 and by his teens was learning the mechanics of oil painting and making his own wood reliefs. His carved fishermen and wood reliefs are fast becoming a signature motif. Made from reclaimed wood beam and oil paint, his rough-cut figures capture the brawn of these weathered men laden with lobster traps, hoes, buckets and buoys.
Both Barters share an eye for composition, shape, and color and a deep-rooted connection to Maine that makes their work authentic.
“Clarity of Vision: Sally Ladd Cole and B Millner” highlights recent work by realist painters Sally Ladd Cole and B Millner, both of whom are new to Courthouse Gallery.
Cole is a realist marine and landscape painter who depicts the rural gems she encounters near her homes in Maine and New Hampshire. Many of Cole’s paintings highlight the Atlantic shoreline, where she finds an abundance of inspiration in the natural grace of the endangered vistas. Cole’s work has been included in numerous solo, juried, and groups exhibitions throughout New England and been highlighted in several publications and books.
B Millner’s oil paintings approach photorealism and include interiors, landscapes, waterscapes and cityscapes, frequently nocturnal. Millner favors character over beauty and likes to convey a certain grittiness in his paintings.
A native of North Carolina, Millner participated in studio classes at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School for more than 20 years and took foundry courses at Virginia Commonwealth University. His work, which has been exhibited in galleries from Maine to Louisiana and in Anguilla, can be found in numerous collections. Millner has been coming to Maine since 1995, and splits his time between Bailey Island and Virginia.
Courthouse Gallery is located at 6 Court St. in Ellsworth. For more information on upcoming shows, call 667-6611, or visit www.courthousegallery.com.