‘Art Matters’ exhibit by the Mid-Coast Salon on display at the UMaine Hutchinson Center

Harold Garde, “Tell a Story”

The Mid-Coast Salon exhibit “Art Matters” opens Aug. 4 at the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast. The show, on display through September, is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A free public reception for the show will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11.

Mid-Coast 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 artists will present 54 diverse works of drawing, painting, photography, pottery and flex-forms. Participants include nationally known Belfast painter Harold Garde, now in his 99th year. Garde’s painting “Tell a Story” is one of the few he’s done “where it felt appropriate to incorporate words.”

A significant component of the show is a collection of statements by the artists on why art matters.

“Artists are often at the forefront of progress, showing us something we otherwise wouldn’t experience,” says David Estey, painter and founder of Mid-Coast Salon.

Kerstin Engman, “Marsh Frankfort Dusk September”

Kerstin Engman, who teaches art at the University of Maine, says that most human-made 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 us their personal backgrounds and attachments. 

Several artists interpret society, like 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 us 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.

This show, which was first exhibited in July at the UMVA Gallery at Portland Media Center, will be on display in midcoast Maine at the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Gallery at the UMaine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave., in Belfast from Aug. 4 through Sept. 30.

For information or to request an accommodation, contact Abby Spooner at hutchinsoncenter@maine.edu.

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