Mid-Coast Salon will present the exhibit “Art Matters” at Portland Media Center. The Salon is a monthly discussion group of two dozen accomplished artists brought together by their love for and commitment to art. In this exhibit, 16 of them will present 60 diverse works of drawing, painting, photography, pottery and even flexforms. Participants include nationally-known painter Harold Garde.
A significant component of the show is a collection of statements by the artists on why “Art Matters.” David Estey, painter and founder of Mid-Coast Salon, says, “Artists are often at the forefront of progress, showing us something we otherwise wouldn’t experience.”
Kerstin Engman, who teaches art at UMaine, says that most manmade things exist because of a skilled, trained artist or artisan. With his mixed-media pieces, Greg Mason Burns makes the point that artists matter, in bringing their personal backgrounds and attachments.
Several artists interpret society through their work, such as Lesia Sochor’s “repair” series, Leslie Woods’ Black-history paintings and Liv Kristin Robinson’s landscape photographs, where stillness is a metaphor for the pandemic. Carol Sloane’s figure drawings tremble uncertainly around fragile spaces. Jack Silverio, Bob Richardson, Frederick Kuhn and Michael Corden mesmerize with paradox through seeming simplicity. Kenny Cole offers three new political works, and former Camden-Rockport teacher Russell Kahn adds sgraffito pottery. The paintings of UMaine professor Ed Nadeau and New York’s Andrea Assael encourage us to contemplate and interpret their open narratives.
Union of Maine Visual Artists Gallery at Portland Media Center is at 516 Congress St., Portland. The show runs June 29 to July 30. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. July 2. After the reception, exhibit hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 1 to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. See https://www.theumva.org/umva-gallery-exhibitions for more information.