Archive for exhibitions

Artemis Gallery: Work by Christopher O’Connor bridges the digital divide to the natural world

“River Reflections No.1,” by Christopher O’Connor.

Artemis Gallery will present Christopher O’Connor’s “River Reflection” series as part of its fall show, which includes other gallery artists.

O’Connor is a native of Ireland, born in the colorful town of Dingle in County Kerry. His work and life are mirroring in their examination and curiosity of the world.

His work focuses primarily on the natural world and the elements which inhabit it. His work of late, being rendered from digital images as reference points, investigates the dimension of distortion by digitization. These dimensions being the invisible building blocks, or pixels which compile like drops of paint to represent the natural world in digital form. Our eyes are only capable of absorbing the 256 colors which our computer screens deliver, and our minds fill in the blanks, though we are not aware of it.

In paintings resembling those of the pointillist and impressionist artists, O’Connor captures moments which bridge the digital divide to the natural world.

The show opens Oct. 7 and runs through the month, with an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 7.

Artemis Gallery is at 1 Old Firehouse Lane, Northeast Harbor. Call 207-276-3001 for more information.

Camden Falls Gallery presents ‘PAS DE DEUX’ featuring Aline Ordman and Tad Retz

“Acadia,” by Tad Retz.

Camden Falls Gallery presents the show “PAS DE DEUX,”  which can be enjoyed as painterly choreography between artists Aline Ordman and Tad Retz.

Pas de deux (French, noun) translates to “a dance for two people, typically a man and a woman.”

The show opened Sept. 17 and runs through Oct. 6.

Ordman and Retz both derive energy and inspiration from painting en plein air, where the visual complexities of the natural world offer up endless challenges.

“Susan’s Garden,” by Aline Ordman.

A master pastel and oil painter, Ordman stresses the analytical elements of shape, value and color saturation when she is teaching, asking her students to set aside pre conceptions of the objects or scene they are beholding and to concentrate on the negative and positive shapes and tonal planes that cause that object or scene to emerge. Ordman is an alchemist when it comes to transforming those abstract “bones” into a finished composition rich with layered pigment and movement.

Although she has held annual teaching workshops in France and Italy, she always is drawn back to a small village in Vermont called Peacham. For her it is the “Tuscany of New England.” Her work from that bucolic land of rolling hills and small farms speaks volumes of her passion for the pastoral and respect for those who work in concert with nature.

Whenever Ordman paints figures in a landscape she states, “I want to describe my vision — what hit me at the time I saw the scene. It’s all about the gesture, and body language.”

Retz is from upstate New York and has spend many hours analyzing the work of painters he admires, from master portrait artists like John Singer Sargent to the naturalist realism of Winslow Homer and George Bellows, whose genius evoked and appreciation of working class Americans and their daily struggles with the tumultuous sea and equally frenetic city life.

It is rare to find a young artist with as much self discipline as Retz. Self taught doesn’t even begin to describe the rigorous constraints, challenges and perimeters that he creates to force himself to work with fresh techniques and subject matter. Absorbing the old and new masters and learning from them enlivens his own originality and acts as a catalyst for experimentation.

“I don’t think of myself as trying to emulate anymore,” Retz says. “Sometimes it is a song or a  sculpture that ignites a creative, free and passionate emotion in me. Paintings inspire me because of the infinite routes that can be taken to get a successful image.”

Camden Falls Gallery is at 5 Public Landing in Camden. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 207-470-7027, email info@camdenfallsgallery.com, or go to www.camdenfallsgallery.com for more information.

‘Tim Greenway: Refined Resurgence’ on view at Cove Street Arts

Work by Tim Greenway.

“Refined Resurgence” explores progress and beauty in the context of two photography series, South Portland’s petroleum tanks and the expanding cityscape of the Portland peninsula over the past two years. With these photographs, my hope is to provide a new creative way to view these familiar mundane environments that many consider eyesores. Perhaps to provoke the viewer to see beauty and art in their own lives and environment. — Tim Greenway

“Tim Greenway: Refined Resurgence,” curated by Bruce Brown, is on exhibit at Cove Street Arts from Oct. 14 through Dec. 11, 2021. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 14.

Cove Street Arts is a multi-media space that celebrates Maine’s storied and out-sized place in American art history by promoting contemporary Maine art, contributing to the Maine arts economy and engaging in the vibrant and growing East Bayside community by offering workshops and art-centered educational opportunities. Learn more at CoveStreetArts.com.

Cove Street Arts is at 71 Cove St., Portland. Call 207-808-8911 or email info@covestreetarts.com for more information.

Dowling Walsh Gallery presents four new exhibits in October

“Magic,” by Tollef Runquist.

Dowling Walsh Gallery will host four exhibitions in October. The opening reception for all shows will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 1 behind the gallery. Masks are required at all times inside the gallery.

“Sunflowers,” by Joyce Tenneson.

Joyce Tenneson: “Radiant Beings”

Oct. 1 to 30

Haunting, ethereal, mystical — all of these words describe the photographic style of Joyce Tenneson. Her photos command a complex and intense emotional response from the viewer, which has made Tenneson one of the leading photographers of her generation.

Vicki Goldberg, critic and author, writes of Tenneson: “Tenneson possesses a unique vision which makes her photographs immediately recognizable.” Her work has appeared on covers for magazines such as Time, Life, Newsweek, Premiere, Esquire and The New York Times Magazine.

Tenneson is also the author of 17 books, including the best-seller “Wise Women.” “Radiant Beings: The Magical Essence of Flowers” is the third in a trilogy of books on the life cycle of flowers.            

“In Chinese philosophy, a garden is a space for understanding truths that lie beyond ordinary perception,” Joyce Tenneson explains. “When the COVID pandemic hit, I brought the garden inside, surrounding myself in my studio with a cacophony of flowers and vines, keeping them for long periods to interact with, and to observe their life cycles. The photographs in this series are records of the interactions I had with my flower subjects, the Radiant Beings, in my indoor garden. In this new series I decided to take risks. I experimented with longer exposures on my camera, giving more space to the unknown, and to serendipity. Like my human subjects before, I wanted to allow these radiant beings to connect with me magically. As these images emerged in the last 18 months, I was surprised and inspired by what I discovered.”

“Gökotta,” by Erik Weisenburger.

Erik Weisenburger: “Gökotta”

Oct. 1 to 30

Gökotta is a Swedish concept, without direct translation, referring to the act of rising at dawn to go outside and listen to birds singing. This poetic image corresponds in title to one of the paintings in the show but more broadly encompasses the allure and whimsy of this painter’s work.

Portland-based artist Erik Weisenburger paints luminous landscapes, rich with detail. His meticulous brushwork and ability to convey glowing light is reminiscent of early Northern European paintings. Weisenburger’s compositions repeat natural patterns — blades of grass, ladders of tree branches, clumps of moss — and have a satisfying balance. The density of detail makes his paintings feel precious and treasured, pulling the viewer in to study each piece of the panel. Weisenburger’s work is often narrative or allegorical, with symbolic overtones referential of outsider folk art.

He studied at the Parsons School of Design in Paris and received his BFA in sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992 and his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He spent many years working in Chicago before moving to Maine in 2005.

Tollef Runquist: “Inner Alchemy”

Sept. 3 to Oct. 30

Tollef Runquist’s exhibition, “Inner Alchemy,” presents new works from his continued exploration of fantastical landscapes, the terrain of the psyche and the actuality of everyday life. They are paintings of inquiry and affirmation, loose forms of self-prompt and examination of maker and viewer. They combine imaginary objects, human figures and the archetypal to create enigmatic worlds. Recurrent imagery of daily objects — fruit, hands, plants — ground the paintings and create a unique, symbolic language. 

Runquist received his BA in studio art from Dickinson College in 2002. Since then, he has continued his education through painting and other mediums. He lives and works in Searsport.

Work by Wood Gaver.

Wood Gaylor (1883-1957)

Aug. 21 to Oct. 31

Dowling Walsh Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Wood Gaylor. This exhibition coincides with “Art’s Ball: Wood Gaylor & American Modernism, 1913-1936,” on view at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art through Oct. 31.

Gaylor was born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1883. During the 1920s, Gaylor spent summers at the Ogunquit Art Colony, where he met and worked alongside artists including Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Marguerite and William Zorach. 

Gaylor was experimental in his early etchings and carvings, and the influence of Gauguin, Matisse, Davies and Laurent is palpable. Well-trained and completely immersed in modernist artistic styles, however, Gaylor’s mature style is uniquely his own. Flat areas of blocked color, and crowded scenes recording events and moments he witnessed, are hallmarks of his work.

Works by Gaylor are in the public collections of many major art museums, including the Whitney Museum of Art (New York), the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.), and the Portland Museum of Art (Maine).

Dowling Walsh Gallery is at 365 Main St. in Rockland. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment on Sundays and Mondays. Visit www.dowlingwalsh.com, or call 207-596-0084 for more information.

Celebrate CMCA’s fall exhibitions

“Emily in the River,” by Cig Harvey.

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockland invites the public to celebrate its fall exhibitions with a reception for the artists from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 2.

On view throughout the galleries are solo exhibitions by Ryan Adams and Hiraki Sawa and the thematic group exhibitions “Spatial Relations” and “Into Action.” The event will include an informal gallery talk by all three “Spatial Relations” artists: Elizabeth Atterbury, Gordon Hall and Anna Hepler. The event is free and open to the public.

“This is Black Art,” by Ryan Adams.

NEW EXHIBITIONS AT CMCA

Ryan Adams | “Lessons” :: Oct. 1 to Jan. 9

The focal point of Adams’ solo exhibition is a 33-foot-long mural titled “Switch the Code.” The title refers to the practice of code-switching, where individuals purposefully change their speech, behavior and/or appearance to be seen outside of stereotypical assumptions and accepted within a majority culture. The mural is accompanied by a series of recent paintings.

“Absent,” by Hiraki Sawa.

“Into Action” :: Oct. 1 to Jan. 9

“Into Action” features photographic works set in nature that document actions as they naturally occurred, actions as they were performed for the camera,  interactions created in post-production, or propose actions to be taken by viewers. The exhibition features works by Jennifer Calivas, Mark Dorf, Ray Ewing, Cig Harvey, Julie Poitros Santos and Shoshanna White.

“Negative Space Box,” by Gordon Hall,

“Spatial Relations” :: Oct. 1 to Jan. 9

The exhibition brings together a broad range of sculptures by Elizabeth Atterbury, Gordon Hall and Anna Hepler that were created to rest directly on the floor or lean on or hang from the walls. All three artists create works with strong contours and a visibly direct use of materials, including wood, ceramic, metal, concrete, cardboard and paper. In addition, each employs color as an embellishment, ranging from paint and pigment to colored pencil and stain.

Hiraki Sawa | “Absent” :: Oct. 1 to Jan. 9

Hiraki Sawa’s most recent single channel video, “Absent” (2018), presents scenes from an intimate and imaginative world, populated by surreal creatures that travel between grand and intimate landscapes. Sawa’s landscapes rest majestically within his circular projection, while his creatures (i.e., a walking tea kettle, a dancing cup, a flying spoon) emerge from the periphery, building a sense of anticipation for their arrival as the video progresses.

CMCA is located at 21 Winter St., Rockland. Summer hours are in effect through Oct. 31: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to https://cmcanow.org.

‘Golden Days’ at Jean Kigel Studio & Gallery

Work by Jean Kigel.

As summer morphs into autumn, Jean Kigel Studio & Gallery features paintings of nature’s rich transformation from green to gold with the show “Golden Days.

Kigel’s watercolors dance with flaxen fields and bronze hills, and her Asian brushwork celebrates colorful fruits and mountains.

Kigel launched the gallery at 1396 Back Cove Road in Waldoboro in June, after the sale of her Brick House Gallery, and has hosted visitors nonstop ever since. The gallery is open daily, and this time of year, it’s a good idea to call 832-5152 before arriving.

Maine native Jean Kigel is a specialist in watercolor, Asian brush painting and gyotaku monoprintings. She paints subjects from eclectic sources with energy and passion, most notably the Muscongus Bay environment of her studio/home and its perennial gardens as well as images from her travels to China, Japan, and Latvia. The artist’s interpretations of florals and landscapes possess a remarkable subtlety of color and light. Her work can be viewed at www.jeankigel.com.

‘Middle Passage’ at Shaw Jewelry

Work by Jeffery C. Becton

Work by Jeffery C. Becton is featured in the solo show “Middle Passage” from Sept. 16 to Dec. 30 at Shaw Jewelry.

Becton creates what he calls digital montage. The images fall somewhere between photography, collage and painting. The narrative that emerges contains intimate interiors and mercurial oceans. He overlaps textures including rocks and barnacles, clouds and rust. There is often a sense of decay. The results are dreamlike, memory provoking, haunting and familiar.

Shaw Jewelry is at 128 Main St., Northeast Harbor. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 207-276-5000, email info@shawjewelry.com, or go to shawjewelry.com for more information.

Zillman Art Museum announces new exhibitions

A piece by Roman Franc from the exhibition “Watch the Birdie!” Photo courtesy of Roman Franc.

The Zillman Art Museum, located at 40 Harlow St. in downtown Bangor, opened eight new exhibitions in September. ZAM’s fall shows opened to the public on Sept. 11. Admission to the Zillman Art Museum is free in 2021, thanks to the generosity of Birchbrook.

EMILY EVELETH: “FUTURE POSSESSIVE”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 30

The Zillman Art Museum is pleased to present “Future Possessive,” a solo-exhibition of works by Boston-based artist Emily Eveleth. Through the elusive nature of her compositional subjects and elegant, yet reserved palette, Eveleth opens many doors of inquiry for the viewer. Her dramatic scenes are rendered with strong directional lighting, confident manipulation of paint, and unexpected vantage points. The identities of Eveleth’s subjects are partially obscured by elements like gloved-hands, theatrical makeup, and her inventive use of cropping. As an essential element in constructing a narrative, the observer is encouraged to ponder the relationship of the figures.

The large-scale painting “Possessive Determiner,” created especially for the ZAM exhibition, is a three-paneled composition spanning over 15 feet. In this work, Eveleth has crafted a puzzling scene. A white-faced pantomime plays the role of a billiards referee and crouches down to inspect the actions of a player who is poised to forcefully send the cue ball across the table towards a mammoth globe. Are we playing an irreversible game with the state of the planet? When asked if there are plots to these paintings, Eveleth offers that “the answer lies in the idea of causality. The elements have a relationship to each other beyond simply temporal linearity.”

In the large painting, “Present Imperative,” Eveleth creates another intriguing scene that is ripe for questioning. Is the foreshortened tuxedoed figure reclining on the floor in distress, or even worse, deceased? The recumbent person brings to mind Édouard Manet’s 1864 painting, “The Dead Toreador.” The positioning of Manet’s heroic subject looks noble and staged, unlike what we would actually expect to witness in the aftermath of being gored by a bull. Like Manet’s composition, Eveleth’s model, donned in formal attire, is bathed in dramatic light as it lies on the floor with one hand placed gracefully on its torso. What role does the ominous silhouetted figure, with its gloved hand and world globe casually resting on its hip, play in this mysterious setting?

ROMAN FRANC: “WATCH THE BIRDIE!”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 30

“Watch the Birdie!” features over 40 black and white photographs by Roman Franc, who lives and works in Brno, Czech Republic. Franc explores both individual subjects in his work, such as a series of portraits of his brother at various ages, and images in which he orchestrates large groups of people.

Franc’s ability to harness the nuances of available light for his creative purposes, as well as his unwavering attention to find the perfect setting for his compositions, keep his portraits centered within the realm of fine art. His photographs of people, many of whom are personally known to the artist, range from the sensitive to the absurd, and from the humorous to the disconcerting. For instance, in “Portrait Series-Twins,” Franc has snapped an image of two young twin girls whose makeup-covered faces emerge from the darkness. The blank gazes of the girls and blackened circles around their eyes border on the macabre.

In several images, the artist enlists unclothed subjects who, when placed in the artist’s unique settings, evoke the absurd. These works bring to mind luminary Diane Arbus, whose frontally positioned subjects exude self-assurance in their nakedness. In “Memories,” Franc depicts two nude brothers with strikingly pronounced tan lines standing in what appears to be an unforgiving desert, yet they reflect a calm coolness despite their unfortunate condition of being severely sunburned.

Pictures such as these require the ability of the artist to create relationships with their subjects and garner trust at break-neck speeds. Franc’s affable nature and the passion that he exudes for his work instill a confidence in his subjects that allow them to reveal themselves with vulnerability and honesty.

SHONA MACDONALD: “tender land”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 16

The exhibition “tender land” features drawings and paintings by Massachusetts-based artist Shona Macdonald. In her “Sky on Ground” paintings, Macdonald depicts observations of nature and the built environment reflected in ground water including fragments of imagery that often lie unnoticed beneath our feet.

“Cropped by the edges of puddles, I noticed parts of the landscape were displaced creating truncated images of buildings, posts and trees looking back up at us,” she says.

In the diptych “Sky on Ground #17,” the pristineness of Macdonald’s reflected skyscapes — which seems to hover in a monochromatic gray expanse — is interrupted by the curved pattern of road markings.  

The artist’s “Ghosts” series is a group of delicately rendered drawings. In three works, including “Ghost Large #12,” the artist has used silverpoint, a transient medium whose tone changes over time, to depict an array of shrubs shrouded by transparent landscape cloth. The protective fabric obscures details of the plants and creates isolated, draped masses that seem to float on Macdonald’s polished white fields.

Sidney Russell’s exhibition “The Big Stitch” is on view at the Leonard Gallery.

SIDNEY RUSSELL: “THE BIG STITCH”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 30

“The Big Stitch” features a dramatic collection of larger-than-life creations by San Francisco-based artist Sidney Russell. Through her innovative use of materials, Russell combines hand painting with sewing to create works that are inspired by vintage designs. Russell fashions huge dresses, pants and shirts — some over nine feet tall — which challenge the viewer’s perception of scale. As visitors encounter these garments hanging from oversized hangers and hooks, they are compelled to view themselves in relation to the gargantuan objects.

According to the artist, the massive reproductions are of real articles of apparel worn by people from her past and remind her of significant events or of the individuals themselves. The replication of familiar, and sometimes secondhand clothing, evokes humor, nostalgia and bemusement.

Russell’s sewn creations bring to mind the works of Claes Oldenburg, a central artist of the pop art movement, who was known for his large replicas of everyday objects. Russell’s pieces share a similar lighthearted humor with Oldenburg’s soft sculptures which were made from materials such as vinyl and cloth. Both Russell and Oldenburg’s works are realized on a magnified scale that reverses the traditional relationship between viewer and object. Additionally, Russell’s sculptures emulate Oldenburg’s creative process in how they generate a bizarre and whimsical transformation, which can be both entertaining and imposing.

In “Hawaiian Shirt” (2016), Russell has painted bold tropical floral patterns onto large swaths of fabric and then stitched the pieces to form a colossal garment. The lifelessness of the clothing, exaggerated by the immense weight it sags under, hangs awkwardly on the wall. The artist’s attention to minute detail, captured in epic proportions, is apparent in the portrayal of scuff marks on the sleeves and hem.

Recent works “The Hiking Boot” and “Backpack” were created especially for the Zillman Art Museum exhibition and pay homage to Maine’s culture of outdoorsy adventures. “The Hiking Boot,” with its massive treads and bright red dangling laces, is a delight for viewers as they witness the radical shift in scale of a familiar utilitarian object. The functional yet sporty appearance of Backpack plays on the consumer obsession with practical, yet stylish, outdoor gear.

Throughout her career, Russell has remained dedicated to the counterculture movement that has defined San Francisco’s artistic legacy. The meticulous detail and epic proportions of her works depict personally important moments in her history. Just as memories can be layered, so too can garments spark memories of the wearer, time, and distinct places.

AMY STEIN: “DOMESTICATED”

Sept. 11 to Dec. 30

“Domesticated” features a selection of photographs by Los Angeles-based artist Amy Stein. The artist employs the contradictory nature of photography as a means to record factual evidence, as well as a medium for expressing fictional narratives. According to Stein, the images in this series are based on real stories from local newspapers, interviews, and oral histories gathered from 2005 to 2008 in and around Matamoras, Pa.

These photographs capture stories of intentional and random interactions between the residents of Matamoras, and the wildlife inhabiting neighboring state game lands. Stein’s attentively staged scenarios document these stories, presented as chance encounters that act as “modern dioramas of our new natural history.”

The scenes invite the viewer to consider the contradictions in humanity’s desire to connect with nature, alongside its resolve to tame it. The artist explores the incongruent notion that “humans choose to live on this border to experience that connection, but then practicality demands they build barriers to keep the wild away.” The expansion and construction of domestic spaces, as evidenced in Stein’s works, results in a loss of wildlife habitat.

“Struggle” (2008) captures an imposing bear seemingly wrestling to remove an opaque plastic bag from its head. The solitary creature, with its menacing teeth exposed, stands in an expansive field under overcast, dismal skies. The scene comments on the disposable nature of society and the impact of pollution on wildlife. The taxidermied bear becomes a symbol of an ecosystem in flux and on the edge of peril. Other images by Stein, including “Howl” (2007) and “New Homes” (2007), reiterate this theme in which animals are forced into a spectator’s role as the changing environment threatens their existence.

ZAM is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Learn more at https://zam.umaine.edu.

See The Barn Gallery Digital Exhibition: ‘OAA Expressions Late Summer 2021’

Once artists are juried into the Ogunquit Art Association (OAA), they may show whatever they like within their categories of painting, graphics, photography or sculpture.

The organization’s original 1928 mission statement offered lifelong memberships and the opportunity “to display that which is, in his or her own judgment, his or her finest work, free from the usual vagaries of popular opinion and fashions of taste.”

This mission statement gives the artists a chance to mount shows of breathtaking variety and vitality, as evidenced by the work represented in the “OAA Expressions Late Summer 2021” art exhibition, where you can see some of the artwork being produced by the present-day Ogunquit Art Colony.

Enjoy a virtual preview of select images from the “OAA Expressions Late Summer 2021” exhibition online, or visit Barn Gallery, located at Shore Road and Bourne Lane in Ogunquit. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 11. For more information, call 207-646-8400, email oacbarngallery@gmail.com, or go to www.barngallery.org.

New paintings by Alan Bray at Caldbeck Gallery

“Larch,” by Alan Bray.

New paintings by Alan Bray are on view at Caldbeck Gallery from Sept. 18 to Oct. 30. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 1.

In the artist’s own words:

It is among the intricate structures of phenomena that I look for an innate order of things. It is the branching pattern of trees, the drifting of snow, the meanders of flowing water, the swaying of grass in the wind, or the conjoining of ripples on the surface of a pond that imparts to a place and a time it’s particularity. To become a vital part of that particularity is to achieve familiarity, an intimacy and affection that serves to reorder the experience of a place. When I slow down and give myself up to a place or a phenomena it is to try and forget what I think I know and enter into a fresh state where all incidental details are eliminated and what appears to be chaos is organized into pattern

Caldbeck Gallery is at 12 Elm St., Rockland. Current gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, email caldbeck@midcoast.com, go to www.caldbeck.com, or call 207-594-5935.