Archive for Vinalhaven

Vibrant glass jewelry inspired by Maine

Glass jewelry artist Alison Thibault is inspired by Vinalhaven.


Inspired by the colors of the sea, stone, forest and sky, Alison Thibault has combined sheets of glass to form stunning jewelry for more than 20 years. Using dichroic glass, Thibault has created hundreds of color combinations inspired by Vinalhaven.

Generally, dichroic glass has two very distinct colors: transmitted and reflected. Transmitted color is the color we see when we gaze through a clear piece of dichroic glass. Reflected color is the color we see in a clear or opaque piece of dichroic glass when light bounces off of the surface of the glass. It is in the rich combinations that her jewelry becomes vibrant and gorgeous.

Through her one-woman business WindHorse Arts in Vinalhaven, Thibault attracts customers from near and far and connects them to the Maine island. Thibault runs the retail shop while simultaneously working in her studio at the rear of the space. Living in a small, island community, the open shop invites customers and community members alike. Her new styles and colors are also available for purchase at Archipelago in Rockland.

Thibault came to making fused glass jewelry rather serendipitously. Over 20 years ago, an earring gifted from her mother went missing and Thibault was faced with a choice: buy a new pair or try and replicate the missing earring. Thibault chose the latter, setting off the chain of events which led to her taking on jewelry making full-time.

“Inspired to make a match for the remaining favorite earring, I learned to fuse glass at a moment when I was seeking a new way to live and work I wouldn’t want to retire from,” Thibault said. “When people started asking to buy the jewelry right off my body, I listened.”

Alison Thibault’s vibrant colored-glass jewelry hangs on the wall in her shop.

Learning how to make fused-glass jewelry at the turn of the millennia was challenging. Without the digital wealth of knowledge now available at our fingertips, Thibault largely learned through books and experimentation. Some of those experiments included learning how to keep the cut glass stacked neatly as it is placed in the kiln, what color and texture combinations work or do not, and a variety of kiln successes and mishaps. A systems person, Thibault started making earrings with either black or clear backgrounds.

Her earrings are three layers, and with three layers of assorted colors and qualities of glass — smooth, textured, dichromatic, etc. — the possibilities are endless. As her color combinations grow, so does her record-keeping. Each glass color receives a number, so that the final fused glass combination has a unique number of its own, allowing Thibault to recreate color and texture combinations by knowing which glass was the bottom, middle and top layers.

With endless combinations, Thibault experiments with new ones each year, while keeping a steady supply of earrings, pendants and bracelets in her core collection of colors. The core of her creation is not about the color, however, but the energetics and interaction of light through glass.

Thibault is a strong advocate for finding the path that feeds you, a path where you can wake up every day and delight in your work. She shares that there hasn’t been a single day is the past 20 years where she’s woken up and bemoaned going to work. That isn’t to say the work has been easy, especially through the pandemic, however, the fulfillment is worth the trials along the way.

New Era opens first show of the season on May 29

“Lifting Fog,” by Scott Moore.

The irresistible light of spring has returned, the lilacs are blooming, and hope is in the air. This month marks the beginning of New Era Gallery’s 20th season.

New Era Gallery in Vinalhaven marks its first show of the 2021 season opens May 29 with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m.

New Era will take things slowly. For its first opening, people are asked to mask when indoors. The gallery provides plenty of outdoor space for socializing and sipping wine.

The opening show will include new works by favorite artists. The Main Street gallery, sculpture garden and Windy Way barn will all be in full operation this season.

The gallery is included in Decor Maine’s June arts issue, in their story titled “The best galleries from Kennebunk to Bethel to Bar Harbor.” The magazine is on newsstands, and you can read the story at

Group show ‘Home’ at New Era Gallery

Glen Renell, “September Island.”

“Home,” a group show featuring work by many of your favorite gallery artists, rounds out New Era Gallery’s season of Art in the Time of Pandemic. The show opened Sept. 5 and focuses on the changing palette of the approaching autumn season.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you are unable to visit in person, a virtual tour of the exhibition will be available online at If you see something you’re interested in purchasing, contact the gallery for details. Support for the arts and artists is much needed during this challenging tine.

The gallery continues to observe safe practices, with gallery occupancy limited to five people at any time and with masks required at all times.

New Era Gallery is at 60 Main St., Vinalhaven.

New Era Gallery’s ‘Midsummer’ exhibit features work by Elaine Austin Crossman and Cristy West

“Indian Yellow 2,” by Cristy West.

“Midsummer 2020,” featuring paintings and prints by Elaine Austin Crossman and mixed-media works by Cristy West, opened July 11 and runs through Aug. 4 at New Era Gallery.

A maximum of five people may be in the gallery at any time, and face masks and social distancing are required. Hand sanitizer will be available onsite.

“Following the Rain, New Mexico,” by Elaine Crossman.

If you are unable to visit in person, a virtual tour of the exhibition is available at through the link on the Exhibitions page.

Regular hours in July are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and by appointment. New Era Gallery is at 60 Main St, Vinalhaven. Call 207-863-9351 for more information.

New Era Gallery Opens ‘Spring!’

“First Poppies” by Joan Freiman.

New Era Gallery opened its first show of the season on May 23 featuring new work by several artists.

“Spring! Art in the Time of Pandemic, Volume I” is a spring-themed group show.

A maximum of five people are permitted in the gallery at one time during gallery hours, and face masks and social distancing are required. Disposable gloves and hand sanitizer is available.

Those unable to visit in person can view the virtual exhibition at, including images of the work and a virtual walk-through tour of the exhibit in the gallery.

New Era Gallery is at 60 Main St. in Vinalhaven.

Commercial Currents Podcast: Business in Uncertain Times

WindHorse Arts in downtown Vinalhaven.












To better understand how our local small businesses are doing during this time of change, Island Institute Small Business Team is making a series of short, pre-recorded interviews with some of Maine’s island and coastal small businesses. These conversations are designed to check in with businesses, understand their concerns, and hear what’s working well.

Episode 3 comes in two parts. The first part is a conversation with Craig Olson, senior community development officer and head of the Small Business team at the Island Institute, that grounds us in the nuts and bolts of the CARES Act.

The second part is a conversation with Alison Thibault, owner of WindHorse Arts in downtown Vinalhaven. A jeweler with more than 20 years of experience, Thibault has been working diligently to stay on top of the Small Business Association’s various disaster relief programs, and recently applied to the Paycheck Protection Program through the CARES Act. She takes us through her application process, shares her concerns for the future of brick-and-mortar shopping, and gives us a lovely example of how social media can bring joy.

The Island Institute’s Small Business Team provides business and financial planning to help entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business. To find archived editions, go to

New Era Gallery’s opens Midsummer Show

“Lupines” by William Trevaskis.

“Lupines” by William Trevaskis.

New Era Gallery’s Midsummer Show opens July 14 with an artist’s talk at 4:30pm followed by a reception from 5:00-7:00pm. The show features landscapes addressing the frequently asked question – ”What is Vinalhaven like in winter?” in a variety of media by Elaine Austin Crossman. Sculptor Carl Swidorski’s “Quarryman’ series, carved in Vinalhaven granite, reflects his interest in the relationship between industry and social justice. William Trevaskis’ work features a combination of his passion for landscape and street photography in analog and digital print form. His photographic style is simple, geometric, and includes an element of storytelling.

The exhibition will run through August 1. Summer gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm. For more information call 863-2734 or visit

New Era Gallery Opens “Home”

Evening Reflection, oil on canvas, by Susan Day Philbrook

Evening Reflection, oil on canvas, by Susan Day Philbrook

New Era Gallery in Vinalhaven will open the last show of the summer season on Saturday September 2, with a reception from 5:00-7:00pm.  The show is open to all gallery artists, with a theme based on the concept of “home”.  Works will include paintings by Susan Day Philbrook and Elaine Austin Crossman, hand-hooked rugs by Kathleen Bird, and sculpture and prints by Kitty Wales.    

Labor Day weekend hours are Saturday 10:00am to 7:00pm, Sunday 11:00am to 2:00pm, and Monday 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Late summer hours following the weekend are Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm.  For more information call 207-863-9351 or visit

August Opening at New Era Gallery

“Isabel at Guisando” by William Lasansky, Vinalhaven Black Granite and pigments, 27”x17”x6”

“Isabel at Guisando” by William Lasansky, Vinalhaven Black Granite and pigments, 27”x17”x6”

New Era Gallery’s late summer show is entitled “Land and Legend” and will feature the work of sculptor William Lasansky and photographers Andrew Crane and Ron Rosenstock.
William Lasansky was born in Argentina, but has been a part of the Vinalhaven community for seventy years. His intense observations of the natural world led to a love of Vinalhaven stone, particularly the gabbro that is known locally as black granite. His sculpture references his broad exposure to many world cultures.

Ron Rosenstock leads photographic workshops in many parts of the world, including Vinalhaven. He has worked and taught here for many years, developing an extraordinary body of images of iconic island landscapes. Andrew Crane is making his first appearance at New Era Gallery, with a group of tintype photos of the island. Crane has traveled extensively, creating small, powerful images that are at once contemporary and yet lost in time.

The show opens on August 5 with an artist’s talk at 4:30pm followed by a reception from 5:00–7:00pm, and runs through August 30. Summer gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 2:00pm. Please visit for a complete schedule of shows and events.

“Island Boats Homes and Harbors” at New Era Gallery

“From Blueberry Hill” by Esther Garcia Eder, oil on canvas, 24 x 24

“From Blueberry Hill” by Esther Garcia Eder, oil on canvas, 24 x 24

The mid-summer show at New Era Gallery is entitled “Island Boats Homes and Harbors” and will feature the work of painter Esther Garcia Eder and ceramic sculptor David Riley Peterson. Eder’s colorful and joyous oils and watercolors of familiar island locales, often seen from atop the hill where she maintains her studio, speak of her love and deep appreciation for the island.  Peterson, who has spent summers on the island since childhood, shows his lifelong love of boats and the water in his ceramic sculpture, a range including representational dories, shipwrecks, and fantastical mythological vessels.

The show will open on July 15, and run through August 2.  The gallery will host an artists’ talk and reception on July 15 beginning at 4:30. Summer gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00 – 5:00, and Sunday 11:00 – 2:00. Please visit our website for a complete schedule of shows and events.