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MIDCOAST MAINE

FOCUS ON MIDCOAST MAINE

A Maine Windjammer sits docked amid sailboats in Camden, ME. Courtesy of the Maine Office of Tourism.

M

aine has long been known as “Vacationland”—and for good reason—but things have changed. The vacationers’ Maine was singularly seen as a place of outdoor experiences while the art

world saw it as a secluded sanctuary for artists. Maine was the very image of Monhegan: breathtaking, rugged and removed. Artists went to Maine to get away from the galleries, the curators, the critics and the crowds. They

Part B&B, Part Art Gallery ~Arrive Magazine

800-356-0408 www.pomegranateinn.com

went for its beauty, but they also went there to work. And then they stayed. And when artists dig in to a place, they change it. Paris became erudite. Soho got

Prisoner of Zenda, 40" × 40" × 2", pigmented inkjet on canvas

Petrea Noyes

Digital mixed-media abstracts

petreanoyes.com • petienoyes@aol.com 78 Beach Road • Lincolnville, ME 04849

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MIDCOAST MAINE sophisticated. Brooklyn now owns cool. But Maine’s appeal to artists lay partly in its remaining outside of the voraciously everchanging vicissitudes of fashion. Ever free of affect, Midcoast Maine got comfortable. Fine old homes were fixed up and rechristened as bed & breakfasts. The nice hotels got nicer. And the quaint little towns grew ever more charming. At the same time, Maine went from a place of down home hospitality to a national leader in culinary arts. Maine was at the front of the farm-to-table and microbrewery movements. Dotted with highly-rated restaurants, Midcoast is routinely in discussions about the leading destinations for foodies. The engine for this sea change in coastal Maine culture has been art. Maine always had

the artists—just not the galleries. And as cultural tourism grew, so did the art venues. A story that epitomizes the trajectory of Midcoast is that of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. Established in 1952, the CMCA has long been housed in a large, old and well-settled wooden building overlooking Penobscot Bay. Even though the CMCA was on the financial ropes during the economic downturn, it has blossomed under director Suzette McAvoy. Now the CMCA is scheduled to open a new facility designed by Architectural Record’s top-100 architect Toshiko Mori in Rockland next year. Still, the CMCA has never looked better; the old wood galleries are flooded with natural light and the seasonopening Jon Imber and Shoshannah White shows were installed with a savvy touch and

plenty of space to breathe. Of the Maine museums with a view, however, none can compete with the Monhegan Cultural & Historical Museum housed in the keepers quarters of the 1850 lighthouse on top of Monhegan Island. While the main quarters house permanent, historical exhibitions about Monhegan, the changing seasonal art exhibitions are now held in the Assistant Keepers House Gallery. This summer marks not only 40 years of annual exhibitions, but also the centennial of the historic art event that is the subject of this year’s show: The Famous and the Forgotten: Revisiting Monhegan’s Celebrated 1914 Art Exhibition. While Maine’s artistic history is steeped in its role as host for working retreats, that role is not merely relegated to history: Midcoast

Yarmouth Frame & Gallery Keeping you connected

to fine art and picture framing

720 Route 1, Yarmouth, ME 207-846-7777 YarmouthFrameAndGallery.com

Beach Series 1, Elizabeth Newman.

Chair, c. 1850, Mount Lebanon, New York, Birch, maple, cane, pewter 42” x 18 ½” x 14 ¼” Collection of the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon, New Lebanon, New York, 1950.215.1. Photo by Michael Fredericks

The Shakers: Center for Maine Contemporary Art 162 Russell Ave, Rockport cmcanow.org Tues to Sat 10–5, Sun 1–5

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June 14, 2014—January 5, 2015 Farnsworth Art Museum > 16 Museum Street, Rockland, ME 04841 207-596-6457 • farnsworthmuseum.org Lead Exhibition Sponsors are the Henry Luce Foundation, the David Family Foundation and an Anonymous donor. Additional Exhibition Sponsors include Allen Insurance and Financial, Chilton Furniture of Maine, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, The Grasshopper Shop of Rockland and Windsor Chairmakers. Primary media sponsor is Maine Home + Design.


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MIDCOAST MAINE is still the place of seasonal inspiration for artists. One of the most accessible retreats is 26 Split Rock Cove in South Thomaston. In addition to offering art and writing workshops, the retreat features a suite of studios and a rentable fully-furnished one-bedroom apartment for writers or artists seeking a getaway with an ocean view. Midcoast is a relatively compact area. It is, after all, well under two hours by car from Portland to Belfast. For this reason, many cultural explorers choose to bunk in or near Maine’s leading city. One of Maine’s top artfriendly places to stay is the Pomegranate Inn in Portland. The eight-guest-room boutique B&B is lavishly decorated and features an extensive body of work by significant artists

GALLERY

PLATINUM PRINTS

such as Leonard Baskin and notable Mainers like painters Eric Hopkins and Fred Lynch. Just north of Portland on Route One is Yarmouth Frame and Gallery, an affably intimate gallery with an extensive range of work and an impressive understanding of the local art communities. In Maine, after all, there are plenty of talented artists, so local knowledge matters. Notable gallery artists include coastal painters Catherine Breer, Martha Baum and Lisa Dombek and technically innovative encaustic painter Rick Green. For art-interested visitors to the Midcoast region, the comfortable Inn at Brunswick Station is in the middle of everything— including a charming college town filled with galleries, excellent restaurants and one of the

BOOKS

WORKSHOPS

best college museums in America—the recently expanded Bowdoin College Museum of Art. With an excellent selection of microbrews and a tasty menu, it’s a great place to settle for the night after a long day of exploring. Many of the Midcoast art venues are studio galleries—owned and operated by the artist. Tillman Crane Photography is a singleartist gallery that is now one of the leading art venues in Camden. Crane is a large format photographer whose platinum prints offer a refreshing taste of old school refinement at a moment when photography is both ascending and losing touch with its technical roots. There are also many studio galleries along the upper edges of Midcoast. Kenny Cole’s studio is in Monroe, just north of Belfast.

PRIVATE TUTORIALS

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CYNTHIA WININGS GALLERY 2 4 PA R K E R P O I N T R O A D BLUE HILL MAINE 917 2 0 4 4 0 01 C Y N T H I A W I N I N G S G A L L E R Y. C O M

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MIDCOAST MAINE Cole is an edgy and critically-acclaimed contemporary artist whose politically explosive red-ink woodcuts, drawings and paintings are often featured in leading museums and galleries. Nearby in Brooks is the studio of Petrea Noyes, an artist with a long career who recently switched from painting with acrylics to digital painting—a transition that has earned her critical praise and jury exhibition entries from art notables such as painter Lois Dodd and former Portland Museum of Art chief curator Susan Danly. Continuing up the coast brings you to one of Maine’s leading galleries, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth. Housed in an 1838 building on the National Register of Historic Places, the spacious gallery ArtNewEngland:Layout 1 5/30/14 1:46features PM Page 1

not only major painters like Colin Page, Philip Frey and William Irvine, but also several of Maine’s leading sculptors such as Jesse Salisbury and Stephen Porter. The hillside lawn below the stately gallery provides an excellent—and picturesque—site for outdoor sculpture. The gallery also represents major estates, including those of Berenice Abbott, Stephen Pace, John Heliker and William Kienbusch. In Blue Hill, the artist-owned Cynthia Winings Gallery is dedicated to continuing the legacy of the Leighton Gallery as a venue for a blend of emerging and established artists working in a broad range of both figurative and abstract painting and sculpture. Yet by showing brainy painters like Richard

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Keen and stylistically hip artists like Shannon Rankin and Anne Buckwalter, Winings appears to be moving the gallery towards a solidly contemporary art roster. The central spot of Midcoast has settled solidly with Rockland, which is anchored by the Farnsworth Art Museum. While best known for its vast presentations of the works of the Wyeths, the museum reaches broadly from early American exhibitions through modernism in Maine even to contemporary installations and video. This year’s summer season is highlighted by an exhibition of Shaker objects mostly from the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon collection, but with a strong component focused on the Maine Shakers of Sabbathday Lake.

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26 SPLIT

Workshops, Live/Work Space for Artists and Writers, Studio Rentals

ROCK COVE ARTIST

R E T R E AT

SOUTH THOMASTON, ME

Overlooking Mussel Ridge Cove

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Summer workshops include Word & Image: Ekphrasis, a 3-Day Encaustic Retreat, and writing workshops 26splitrockcove.com


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MIDCOAST MAINE Situated next to the Farnsworth in the century-old Security Trust Building with its soaring ceiling and Palladian windows is The Harbor Square Gallery. It is an unusually wide-ranging gallery: Not only exhibiting work by jewelers and furniture artists as well as painters, printmakers (including the venerable Harold Garde) and several artists from Oaxaca, but it also has an extensive sculpture garden on its roof to showcase works by notable artists such as Cabot Lyford. One of the boldest painting shows in Rockland this summer is the work of Robin Reynolds at Carver Hill Gallery. That Reynolds was a student of the late Jon Imber is apparent in the confidence of her swirling

strokes and high key colors. While the gallery also represents artists from Europe and South America, many of the strongest painters are Mainers like low-key encaustic artist Diane Bowie Zaitlin and abstract structuralist Jaap Eduard Helder. Artspace Gallery is a seasonal artist cooperative with 18 members in the middle of downtown Rockland. The gallery primarily represents painters who work in oil, acrylic and pastel, yet it also includes photography and craft-oriented sculptural objects. Featured artists in July include photographer Charles Dufour and painter Wendy Wight. August artists include abstract landscape painter Jill Caldwell and photographer and pastel painter

Joan Wright. Nestled between Caldbeck and the Landing Gallery is CRAFT, a small yet handsome carriage house richly installed with works in clay, paper, wood, metal, fiber and more by owner Barbara Michelena. Midcoast is an excellent region for craft, and the fact that a gallery like CRAFT—geared towards sophisticated fine craft collectors—fits in amongst Maine art venues is telling. Craftsmanship, after all, is valued throughout the Midcoast art communities. As subtle as this ethic may be, it’s about respect—respect for work, skill, art and the viewer. And it’s a way of welcoming the artistic audience to Maine. —Daniel Kany

Robin Reynolds

Rose Umerlik

Daniel Anselmi

Jewels of the Sea, 18" × 18" Oil on Panel

Perception, 36" × 48" Oil & Graphite on Panel

“1958”, 28" × 28" Mixed Media

www.carverhillgallery.com

338 Main Street Rockland, Maine

ART SPACE GALLERY

342 MAIN STREET ROCKLAND, MAINE WWW.ARTSPACEMAINE.COM

MAINE ARTISTS Roger Barry Barbara Fischer Eldred Laurie Lofman Belmore Lauren Gill Elizabeth Root Blackmer Judith K. Herman Jill Caldwell Pamela Hetherly Charles Laurier Dufour Lydia Kaeyer Sandra Leinonen Dunn Penny Markley Lara Max

Hannah Nelsbach Kay Sullivan Charlene Vanderslice Janalee Welch Wendy Wight Joan Wright

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Focus On: Midcoast Maine