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home : columnists : art current
February 17, 2020 

art current: Megan Chase at Chase's Daily
Megan Chase, “White Flowers,” 2014, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 in.
Megan Chase, “White Flowers,” 2014, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 in.
Sometimes more of the same still can never be enough. That's how I feel about Megan Chase's paintings. It seems like I've seen the selection of paintings currently on view at Chase's Daily before. There are entire compositions that ring familiar. They are, of course, not the same. And, really looking at Chase's work is . . .
Thursday, July 30, 2015

art current: Jan Rosenbaum's "Wishing Wells"
There are only a few days left to see Jan Rosenbaum's excellent photographs of wishing wells at the Maine Media Gallery, and what better thing to do on July Fourth, the show's last day, than to enjoy some American vernacular culture? Rosenbaum, a longtime teacher at Maine Media Workshops and College, tends . . .
Thursday, July 2, 2015
art current: Far Up Close at Waterfall Arts
Sometimes the trite and clichéd is still the true. And Waterfall Arts' current show is heartwarming. And beautiful, stimulating, and profound as well. In conjunction with this year's statewide Maine Photo Project, Waterfall Arts has organized Far Up Close: The Photography of Lou Garbus, Harlan Crichton and Abe Goodale. . . .
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
art current: A Studio Visit with Autumn Cipala
Stepping into the Rockland garage-turned-studio of ceramic artist Autumn Cipala a sense of calm and airiness becomes immediately palpable. Yes, there's work being done, and it's a little messy too, but it is a clean mess, work is systematic, and soothing Brazilian music is playing in the background too. . . .
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
art current: Bearing Fruit at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery
Art and farming? That this can be a successful combination is proven by the current gallery show at the Maine Farmland Trust (MFT). It is a must-see - for the artists' complex relationship to agriculture, for the level of craftsmanship on display, and for the sheer beauty and thought-provoking nature of the art. . . .
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
art current: Recent Acquisitions at the Farnsworth
Looking for something new to discover, I visited the Farnsworth Art Museum's exhibition Recent Acquisitions. It turns out that "recent" can be a couple of years ago, but the selected works are still kind of new. Many of them are works on paper and therefore not always on view to preserve them. Others may lack a . . .
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
art current: The Coast & the Sea at Portland Museum of Art
When we envision a link between American history and identity on the one side and geography on the other, the West is what comes to mind most immediately. A traveling exhibition currently on view at the Portland Museum of Art explores a different front in those terms - the Atlantic Ocean and its coastline. . . .
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
art current: Richard Lee; Paper Trails
If you mention "handmade paper" anywhere in Maine, the name Richard Lee will likely come up sooner rather than later. A sampling of the late artist's paper sculptures, artist's books, travel journals, and collage reliefs is on display at the University of Southern Maine (USM) Kate Cheney Chappell '83 Center for Book . . .
Thursday, February 26, 2015
art current: A Dialogue with David Troup
I recently sat down with David Troup, not in his capacity as Communications Officer at the Farnsworth Art Museum, or karate instructor at the Penobscot Bay YMCA, or morning anchor for VStv news, but as a company member of the nonprofit Everyman Repertory Theatre. ERT is the only professional theater in the . . .
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
art current: 3D Contemporary Works from the Farnsworth
What is sculpture? What is its relationship to painting? What role do artists' minor works play within their larger oeuvre? What art is worthy of exhibit? These are just some of the questions raised but not necessarily answered by the Farnsworth Art Museum's exhibition 3D: Contemporary Works from the Farnsworth. . . .
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
art current: A Studio Visit with Warren Seelig
An underground maze of interconnected rooms may not suggest an inviting place to create art in, but it suits Warren Seelig just fine. His 2010 monofilament construction remains on view in the rotunda of the Farnsworth Art Museum, just a block away from his studio in the basement of Rockland's Syndicate Building . . .
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
art current: Bernard Langlais at the Colby College Museum
First things first: There are only a few days left to see the Bernard Langlais exhibition at the Colby College Museum of Art. In 2010, the artist's widow, Helen Friend Langlais, bequeathed her estate, which included 175 works of art, to Colby College. Most of the works in Colby's current exhibition are part of that . . .
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
art current: Joshua Cardoso at Win Wilder Hall
Drawing is usually hailed for its immediacy of translation between mind, eye and hand. It doesn't have to be that way but it can. And it doesn't have to involve the observed world but it can. The six ink or graphite-on-paper drawings on view at Win Wilder Hall seem both immediate and long-considered, totally abstract and . . .
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
art current: A Breath of Summer Air at the Caldbeck Gallery
I know, winter has only just begun, but I could already use more warmth, color and light. If you feel the same way - and if you enjoy good painting - I recommend stopping by Rockland's Caldbeck Gallery. Their current show assembles recent and older works by Cicely Aikman, Elizabeth Awalt, Lois Dodd . . .
Thursday, December 4, 2014
art current: The Dilemma of Memory
How do we reconcile the desire to forget with the need to remember? Is one gruesome example of mankind's inhumanity more memorable than another? Can individual memory become collective and vice versa? Through generations and cultures? These are some of the questions raised by the artwork in . . .

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
art current: Work by Dyan Berk at Miles
A hospital may not be the first place that comes to mind for looking at first-rate art. We've all seen those faded reproductions of masters and unfamiliar names alike. That it doesn't have to be this way has been realized by many hospital administrators, including those of Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta. . . .
Thursday, November 6, 2014
art current: Center for Maine Contemporary Art 2014 Biennial
With just over 475 artist submissions, the reach and representativeness of this year's CMCA Biennial remains fairly limited. (In 2008, at its height, 730 artists submitted.) But it's a big improvement over the last iteration. For one, it is a purely juried show and not the controversial combination of invitational and . . .
Thursday, October 23, 2014
art current: A Dialogue with Two Belfast Poets Laureate
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Belfast Poetry Festival, which seems a good occasion to talk to Jacob Fricke and Ellen Sander. Fricke, a Belfast-native, is the chair of the Festival Steering Committee and was Belfast's poet laureate from 2011 to 2012. Sander, who has been living in Belfast since 2006, is on the . . .
Thursday, October 9, 2014
art current: Daniel Anselmi at Carver Hill Gallery
Some forms of gestural abstraction and collage come dangerously close to expansive busyness with nothing to hold the eye and attention. Such unweighted and variform fields of marks or pieces of paper, without formal hierarchy or underlying governing structure or concept, may feel highly expressive but are . . .

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
art current: Julie H. Rose at Åarhus Gallery
"Exquisite" is not a word I generally use, neither in writing nor speaking, but it seems the most appropriate term to describe Julie H. Rose's creations at Belfast's Åarhus Gallery. And if another proof was needed that a distinction between art and fine craft has become meaningless, her work would be it. . . .
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
art current: Andrew White and Jared Cowan at Asymmetrick Arts
There's been a lot of buzz in the midcoast art community about Asymmetrick Arts' current show. And it is a very exciting show, one of the best sculpture shows I have seen in Maine, highlighting two different approaches to the medium. Owner Jared Cowan has thus decided to extend this showing of new . . .
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
art current: Gee's Bend Quilts at the Penobscot Marine Museum
The story of Gee's Bend quilts is a complicated, sad and happy one. Gee's Bend, a remote, historically African-American village on a peninsula formed by the Alabama River, originated in the early 1800s from slave cabins of Joseph Gee's cotton plantations. Women slaves and their emancipated descendants . . .
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
art current: Barbara Sullivan at the Caldbeck Gallery
In a recent New York Times review Roberta Smith takes note of a new "heterogeneity" in curatorial displays, combining objects made of various media and spanning different time periods and cultures, "with all kinds of surprises." Although the Caldbeck Gallery's current show . . .
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
art current: Dianna Rust at Jonathan Frost Gallery
Jonathan Frost Gallery and Frame Shop has reopened in its new location with an impressive solo show of photographs of high artistic caliber and distinctiveness. The gallery plans to continue with more solos, allowing for a deeper experience of a single artist's work, and to limit thematic shows . . .
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
art current: Monhegan, The Unfailing Muse
Somebody should do research to establish whether Monhegan Island constitutes the most painted, drawn and photographed 4.5 square miles of land and water in the United States. The Island Institute's Archipelago Fine Arts Gallery currently supplies proof, as if there were any need for it, that the spirit of discovery . . .
Thursday, July 3, 2014
art current: Hands On
The Old is New again. The cyclical nature of human interest and fascination becomes evident in many areas, including fashion and farming. But sometimes it is not a reintroduction of old ways; sometimes people just discover the quiet persistence of a practice over time. . . .
Thursday, June 19, 2014
art current: Stories of the Land and Its People
Open to a fresh, often surprising look at midcoast Maine and its communities? Leave it to children to supply us with that. The Farnsworth Art Museum and its Julia's Gallery show colorful photographs of sustainably harvested produce, of blooming flowers and the elderly ladies the photographers befriended . . .
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
art current: Greta Van Campen at the Dowling Walsh Gallery
When confronted with the beauty of Maine's coast, most painters, whether working plein-air or in the studio, respond with loaded brushes and an impressionistic style that well captures atmospheric conditions and light reflections. Not so Greta Van Campen. The young midcoast native has . . .
Thursday, May 22, 2014
art current: Print at Waterfall Arts
The pace of change around us has picked up so dramatically in the last few decades that it is sometimes striking how much some things have remained the same, not least in the art world. There is still painting with a brush on canvas, chiseling wood or stone into meaningful shapes, and pulling prints by hand. . . .
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
art current: Paper at Åarhus Gallery
Paper was invented around the first century C.E. in China, from where it spread only very slowly to the Western world. The process of making paper was not mechanized until the early 15th century. Its contents, originally rags and natural fibers, were replaced by wood pulp in the mid-19th century. . . .
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
art current: Maine Wood at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship
As we all know, wood plays an important role in Maine, not just as building material for houses and boats, but also to keep body and mind well sustained by supplying heat and recreational opportunities. Beyond that, wood can be turned into all sorts of practical and impractical things like furniture and art . . .
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
art current: The Couple Behind Rockland's Most Enduring Art Gallery
Cynthia Hyde and Jim Kinnealey, owners of the longest-operating art gallery in Rockland, the Caldbeck Gallery, seem particularly competent to comment on the development of the town's art sector. The couple bought the building on Elm Street in 1980 and opened the gallery in June of 1982. . . .
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
art current: A Greenleaf and a Gamble
Okay, it was really cold out there, and bleak to boot. Color is drained out of everything, at least anything natural, and all seems somewhere on a scale from black to white with a few brown tones in between. Not a green leaf in sight. But there's a Greenleaf. Yes, bad joke, I admit, but a good reason . . .
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Art Current: A Dialogue with Harold Garde Part 2
What follows is a continuation of a recent telephone dialogue with nonagenarian artist Harold Garde, who splits his time between Maine and Florida. The first part ran in The Free Press on December 19, 2013. This second part focuses on the artist's artistic practice and advice for artists who may just be starting out. . . .
Thursday, December 26, 2013
art current: A Dialogue with Harold Garde, Part 1
If you listen to Harold Garde speak, you'd never guess that he's 90 years old. There's vigor, humor, and a little bit of feistiness. And although he himself talks about the limitations coming with age, nothing in his poise, or artwork, betrays that. Just in recent years, he has had four solo . . .

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
art current: Michael Waterman at Harbor Square Gallery
There are a few artists in Maine who allow you to still believe in the possibility of an authentic voice and vision, unchanged by critical and financial success or lack thereof, unchanged by the art world changing around them. These individuals follow their own creative trajectory that may or may not include innovation and change.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
art current: Follow the Yellow Brick Road
By now probably everybody in midcoast Maine knows that the 75th anniversary of MGM's 1939 "The Wizard of Oz" is coming up. With the world's most comprehensive collection of Oz materials located in Camden, several public and private institutions have taken this opportunity to celebrate one of America's most beloved films. . . .
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
art current: Nature at Waterfall Arts and Åarhus Gallery
There's a lot of nature around right now. No, I don't mean out there, surrounding us and threatening with colder temperatures. I mean in art galleries along the midcoast and beyond. This October, several institutions present shows focusing on the natural environment as part of a collaborative effort termed MEAD, which stands for Maine Environmental Art & Design. . . .
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
art current: Steven Laxton at Maine Media Gallery
The black-and-white scheme of the Maine Media Workshops' gallery and store is currently enlivened by a warm splash of color and circus atmosphere. On view is a small selection of images from Steven Laxton's series "Circo El Salvador," for which he received the 2012 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture, among several other awards and . . .
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
art current: Lissa Hunter at CRAFT Gallery
Among young artists it is now relatively common to forego specific tags like "painter" or "sculptor," as they tend to engage in what medium and technique best serves their purpose; and contemporary artists in general are increasingly comfortable crossing over the traditional line into craft and combining approaches from both paths of training. . . .
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
art current: A Fresh Look at the Farnsworth Art Museum
During these difficult economic times museums all over the country have been looking for ways to cut their budgets. Staff layoffs, cutbacks in visiting hours, cancellations of exhibitions, reductions of public programs, and similar strategies have been the results. At the same time, institutions know they need to offer desirable and enjoyable experiences to prospective audiences . . .
Thursday, September 12, 2013
art current: Tillman Crane and Friends at Montpelier
Montpelier, The General Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston, is an institution built on the idea of recreation. As a replica of the mansion that belonged to Henry and Lucy Knox, razed in 1871, it is not just geographically removed to a different location than the original, but also materially and conceptually. Montpelier is a simulacrum just as a photograph is a simulacrum of a specific . . .
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
art current: Meghan Brady at Perimeter Gallery
By her own admission, artist Meghan Brady is presently at an artistic "crossroads." She continues her statement: ". . . and it's a very exciting place to be." Her current show, Suitcase in My Hand, at Chase's Daily's Perimeter Gallery in Belfast is indeed an exhilarating mix of scale and painterly focus, with a highly sophisticated sense of color as a constant. . . .
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
art current: John Goodman at Caldbeck Gallery
The Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland is currently showcasing the wide-ranging and impressive oeuvre of one of New England's most accomplished photographers, John Goodman. This is the first time the gallery has been working with Goodman and it is obvious that great care went into the selection of images, layout of the show, and electronic publication. . . .
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
art current: The New and Improved Colby College Museum of Art
You may not have felt it, but Maine's art world just experienced a seismic shift. The Colby College Museum of Art reopened this past weekend as the largest art museum in the state, with more than 38,000 square feet of exhibition space and an outstanding collection of more than 8,000 works of art. The museum's new Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion was created in . . .
Thursday, July 18, 2013
art current: Linden Frederick and Vincent Giarrano at Haynes
Among the many forms of artistic expression available today, realism remains a viable option for many artists and collectors. It can be found, as any other art form or style, in a huge range of quality. But because of realism's long history in Western art, it features an additional variance ranging from close adherence to century-old tradition to a modest level of innovation. . . .
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
art current: A Dialogue with Waterfall Arts About Community
In recent critical discourse there has been a very vocal interest in the relationship between artists and communities. Considering that community art has, in fact, been around in many forms for quite a while, I decided to approach Waterfall Arts with a few questions concerning this topic. The art center has been a vital creative institution in the communities of Belfast and . . .
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
art current: Four Shows at CMCA
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art has opened its season with four shows that run the gamut from seriously superb and engagingly smart to superficially hip. In this limited column space, I can unfortunately only make a few remarks about each show. Starting on CMCA's lower level, Dress Shop pairs paintings by Lesia Sochor with sculptural pieces by Crystal Cawley that . . .
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
art current: Susan Headley Van Campen and Scott Kelley
Rockland's Dowling Walsh Gallery currently holds solo shows of Susan Headley Van Campen and Scott Kelley. Both artists produce very strong work that is inspired by Maine's landscape and coastal life - contemporary and historical, even fictitious. It may not have been planned that way, but the two shows in adjacent galleries offer interesting contrasts as they are polar . . .
Thursday, May 23, 2013
art current: Sublime Monotony at Åarhus Gallery
Monotony is not usually associated with anything positive. "Wearisome uniformity or lack of variety" is how the dictionary defines it. In terms of art, however, monotonous repetition or sameness has the potential for beauty and surprises - possibilities explored by the current show at Belfast's Åarhus Gallery, "Sublime Monotony." . . .
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
art current: Gabriella D'Italia at Asymmetrick Arts
I have written about Gabriella D'Italia's work in this column before; but she is continually and intelligently pushing into new terrain, so it would be difficult to repeat oneself in writing about it. The work currently on view at Asymmetrick Arts at first glance does not seem to have much in common with the quilts and fabric-based sculptures she contributed to a two-person CMCA show in 2011. . . .
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
art current: Art and Politics
I took that flurry of activity as an occasion to ask the artists about their thoughts on the connection between art and politics: Whitefield-based artist Natasha Mayers who exhibited her altered postcard series, Alan Magee of Cushing who recently released his "Gun Shop" video and Monroe artist Kenny Cole who's acerbic drawings criticize a range of issues.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
art current: A Studio Visit with Jessica Stammen
If Jessica Stammen is not in her studio painting, she may be doing calligraphy. Or she may be writing for the blog The Maine of which she is the editor. Or she is out, teaching color theory to kids at the Camden-Rockport Middle School. Or she is long-distance swimming in Megunticook Lake. I'm sure there are plenty more things that keep her busy, in- and out-of-doors . . .
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
art current: Åarhus' Radius
What happens if you put out a call to artists of whatever stripe living within a certain radius of your gallery? You get a mixed bag of blessings and embarrassments. At least that's what it looks like happened at Åarhus Gallery's annual 44N 69W: Radius Belfast. As an un-juried show open to artists of all ages and accomplishments it is the most democratic form of . . .
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
art current: Decorating the Everyday at the Farnsworth Art Museum
While the title Decorating the Everyday: Popular Art from the Farnsworth may be a little awkward, it is to the point. This Farnsworth exhibition gathers well-made objects of beauty and use from the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, which are not necessarily unique and were often aimed at a wide audience of varied economic standing. It is a beautiful, thought-provoking . . .
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
art current: Astrid Bowlby's Everything
Artist Astrid Bowlby has set herself a lofty goal - to draw Everything. That is the title of her current installation at the Art Gallery at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. She started out with lists of words and small sketches compiled by students at the university, and now the general public can leave requests for things to be drawn on the large rolls of paper occupying the walls and floor of the gallery space.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
art current: Lois Dodd in Conversation
It is not often that one comes across a humble and genuinely real person in the contemporary art world. To encounter an artist of great distinction who fits that description is even rarer. Lois Dodd is both, and she has a sharp wit, to boot. On the occasion of the opening of her retrospective Lois Dodd: Catching the Light at the Portland Museum of Art, Dodd and art critic Karen . . .
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
art current: A Life Drawing Group with a Long History
Remember summer? When we were perfectly happy to wear only one layer of clothing out-of-doors? Or none at all? On a pretty hot, mosquito-plagued day in August of last year, I had the honor of being a guest at a gathering with a 60-year-long history. In the 1950s, painter Charles DuBack founded an outdoor life drawing group that has been meeting weekly during the summers ever since.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
art current: Andrew Wyeth's Drawings and Sketches at the Farnsworth
First thoughts aren't usually the best ones. The relationship between pre-paratory studies and final works of art is one of great variance. The purpose of studies, from quickly dashed off outlines to finely gradated drawings that are works of art in their own right, ranges from configuring a composition to being value studies and intricate records of close observation. . . .
Thursday, January 3, 2013
art current: Thoughtful Connections at Asymmetrick Arts
When displaying artwork in institutional settings, common practice is to give each piece enough space, avoiding distraction from others so that it can be considered on its own terms. This allows for full emotional impact and aesthetic appreciation as well as coherent projection of purpose and meaning. Unfortunately, not all institutions adhere to that principle in so-called . . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
art current: Dialogue with Roger Dell
Roger Dell, director of education at the Farnsworth Art Museum, has been a very prominent figure in the mid-coast Maine art scene since his arrival in 2007. Previously, he worked at the Fitchburg Art Museum in Massachusetts, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Dell is also a frequent lecturer and instructor . . .
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
art current: Holiday Extravaganza at Aarhus Gallery
It is never too early to start thinking of presents. Admittedly, the holidays are a month away, but wouldn't it be nice to cross a few items off the list soon? One inspiring place to begin is Åarhus Gallery in Belfast, which makes small, relatively affordable art and craft items available in its sixth annual "Holiday Extravaganza" until December 24.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
art current: The Humor and Humanity of Katherine Bradford, Part 2
This column is a continuation of a report on a talk given by painter Katherine Bradford at Bowdoin College on October 15.Bradford did not always know where she was going with her art; however, she did know that she wanted the emotional power and straightforwardness of Marsden Hartley's "Christ Held by Half-Naked Men" (1940-41; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).
Thursday, November 8, 2012
art current: The Humor and Humanity of Katherine Bradford, Part 1
Painter Katherine Bradford recently gave a highly illuminating, and entertaining, talk about her work at Bowdoin College's Art Department. She divides her time between New York and Brunswick, and has locally shown at the University of Maine Museum, the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and ICON Contemporary Art and Aucocisco Galleries. . . .

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
art current: See Touch Hear at Asymmetrick Arts
Conceptual art, which is driven by an idea rather than its making and can even be nothing but an idea, has taken many forms over the decades. More recently, it has turned from asking viewers to become intellectual participants to asking them to become physical ones as well. For one more week, visitors can experience what that means at Asymmetrick Arts in Rockland.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
art current: Holly Meade at Jonathan Frost Gallery
Whimsy, spirituality, and careful observation come together beautifully in the prints of Holly Meade. Rockland's Jonathan Frost Gallery and Frame Shop currently shows 26 woodblock and linoleum prints, many of them large. They are hung salon-style, stacked in twos or even threes, and are strikingly intricate and colorful. Beyond their surface, however, the prints are imbued with a deep conviction that we all share in a spiritual dimension.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
art current: David Graeme Baker at Dowling Walsh Gallery
David Graeme Baker's paintings project just enough self-consciousness to convince me that the artist is maintaining an informed balance between his love for and skepticism of realism. The eleven recent paintings and six preparatory drawings currently on view at the Dowling Walsh Gallery thus feel very contemporary although they harken back to masters of the style.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
art current: Harold Garde at the Harbor Square Gallery
Harold Garde has had his well-earned share of official recognition with solo exhibitions at museums and other nonprofits in Maine and in Florida, where he spends winters. Rockland's Harbor Square Gallery is now showing "Harold Garde: All the Walls" on three of the gallery's levels. The show includes 70 works of art dated 1985 to the present.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
art current: Megan Chase at Perimeter Gallery
While the hustle and bustle of Belfast's Chase's Daily may not usually be conducive to enjoying the artwork on its walls, it supplies an appropriate backdrop to Megan Chase's current show of paintings entitled This Field. I was lucky enough to visit on a day the farmers' market was happening, which I considered a special treat as the colors, textures, shapes and smells of the produce and flowers . . .
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
art current: K. Min at the Caldbeck Gallery
There is a little gem of a show waiting to be discovered in the small upstairs gallery of Rockland's Caldbeck Gallery. K. Min is of Friendship, Maine, and Seoul, South Korea, and this is her first solo show at the gallery. It includes 17 recent pastels on paper and oils on canvas or panel, which range in size from modest to diminutive.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
art current: Charles Wilder Oakes at Asymmetrick Arts
Charles Wilder Oakes has been variously described as a folk or outsider artist. When I visited him last year, we agreed on "visionary artist" if there had to be a label at all. However, he and his art challenge any easy categorization.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
art current: Jesse Gillespie at Pascal Hall
What is now called Pascal Hall used to be a Rockport church and then an art gallery. Occasionally, the space again turns into an art showcase for area artists who have included Alan Magee and Stacey Glassman. Starting July 8, visitors have the rare opportunity to see over 30 recent pieces by multimedia artist Jesse Gillespie, a young, highly gifted artist whose work does not get enough attention.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
art current: Robert Pollien at Dowling Walsh Gallery
I have admired Robert Pollien's paintings for a while now, and his current show of 18 small paintings at Rockland's Dowling Walsh Gallery confirms my assessment of him as a painter who is not averse to taking risks. June 23 is the last day to see these recent works.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
art current: Checking In with Christopher Brownawell at the Farnsworth
Chris Brownawell has been the executive director of the Farnsworth Art Museum for a little over two years now, enough time to settle in and leave a mark on the institution. Brownawell was chosen by a search committee that was chaired by Fred Kellogg, who recently became the president of the board of trustees.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
art current: Andrea Sulzer at Perimeter Gallery
Amidst the exuberant color and joy of Andrea Sulzer's works also lurks existential doubt. Her current show at Perimeter Gallery is comprised of drawings, watercolors, prints, and two installations. Compared with previous work in which Sulzer incorporated ever-so-slight and almost-accidental representational references, this show presents a shift toward organic forms and landscape while remaining within an abstract vocabulary.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
art current: Henry Isaacs at Archipelago
Light and color are the main ingredients of Henry Isaacs' paintings currently on view at the Island Institute's Archipelago Gallery in Rockland. Isaacs, who lives on Little Cranberry Island, will donate a portion of sale proceeds to benefit the Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative. Appropriately, the vast majority of works in "Henry Isaacs: Lessons from an Island" depict . . .
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
art current: Sharon Yates and Janet C. Manyan
If you are looking for some solid painting, Frost Gully Gallery in Thomaston currently has some gems to offer by Sharon Yates and Janet C. Manyan. Between the two, the artists cover a large portion of the traditional painting canon - figures, still lifes, and landscapes, or more specifically, nudes, flower still lifes, and cows in pastures.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
art current: "Corrugation Nation" at Waterfall Arts
Cardboard is probably one of the cheapest, most ubiquitous, and least awe-inspiring materials around, which made it a smart choice of material for Waterfall Arts' open call to artists of all ages. The idea was to use corrugated cardboard for at least 50 percent of the material used in artwork of all shapes and sizes.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
art current: Dialogue with the Van Campens - Part Two
If you have missed the first part of this dialogue with local artist family Susan, Tim, Molly, and Greta Van Campen, you can find it at Click on "Columnists" at the top of the bulleted list on the left side of the homepage, and then choose "art current" to find previous columns.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
art current: Dialogue with the Van Campens - Part One
The Wyeths may be the most prominent Maine artist family, but there are many more who have generated creative breeding grounds for several generations of artists. Parents Susan and Tim Van Campen and daughters Greta and Molly are highly successful artists in their respective areas.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
art current: "The Man on the Street"
I recently met over coffee with the man on the street. Yes, that Man on the Street. If you have browsed the shelves at Lacy Simons' Hello Hello bookstore in Rockland, you may have noticed an ornately shaped wall case containing a selection of Polaroid photographs.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
art current: Freddy LaFage at Perimeter Gallery
There aren't many days left to see Freddy LaFage's show at Chase's Daily in Belfast-don't miss it. His paintings speak volumes in a quiet way. They come from a deep well of joy and sadness, expressed not in a heavy-handed manner, but in incredibly beautiful, colorful compositions.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
art current: Dialogue with Dyan Berk
Most visual artists are not able to support themselves through the sale of their art alone. I have asked artist Dyan Berk, who divides her time between Monhegan Island and Lincolnville, how she deals with this dilemma.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
art current: "Gardiner Artists" at Waterfall Arts
Throughout Maine there are pockets of artistic activity that thrive on a sense of community. Within the Kennebec River Valley, Gardiner is such a center of creative life and it is fueled in large part by participants of ARTDOGS, a studio and residency . . .
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
art current: Dialogue with Thomas O'Donovan
Tom O'Donovan is the founder and owner of Harbor Square Gallery in Rockland. When one enters the magnificent former bank building it becomes immediately clear that one should not expect the usual gallery experience.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
art current: A Studio Visit with Eric Hopkins
Eric Hopkins, the man and his work, seems somewhat ubiquitous in midcoast Maine. He is often seen in downtown Rockland, his home base since 2006, and his work is not only on view at the eponymous gallery on Winter Street, but was also displayed at . . .
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
art current: Ashley Seelig at Win Wilder Hall
Sometimes a painting's recognizable subject matter serves as a pretext for exploring paint's capacity to suggest various forms of space - three-dimensional, visual, emotional, and conceptual space. Sometimes it serves as a challenge to use paint as material while still rendering.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
art current: "Gather Up the Fragments" at the Portland Museum of Art
The holiday shopping frenzy is about to begin and while the economy alone will surely put a damper on it, this may also be a good time to consider the value of material objects in our lives.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
art current: CRAFT in Rockland
In April of last year I posted on my blog an announcement that a new gallery dedicated exclusively to fine craft would open in Rockland - CRAFT on Elm Street, in the carriage house of the Caldbeck Gallery.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
art current: Four Intriguing Artists at Aucocisco Galleries
Portland's Aucocisco Galleries currently shows new work by Cassie Jones, Christopher Keister, Sage Lewis, and Mark Wethli - four artists at different points in their careers who are making very exciting art right now.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
art current: "Pieced" at CMCA
Increasingly those in the art world do not draw rigid distinctions between craft and so-called fine art. The nomenclature has become meaningless, as artists frequently draw inspiration from a variety of artistic techniques and sources.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
art current: "Beyond Rugs!" at the Farnsworth Art Museum
I don't really know anything about hooked rugs other than what I learned last year in the Farnsworth Art Museum's exhibition "Rug Hooking in Maine and Beyond."
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
art current: Devin Powers at Win Wilder Hall
Win Wilder Hall is the somewhat euphemistic name for the hallway of the Syndicate Block on Rockland's Main Street.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
art current: Graphite at ICON Contemporary
The mineral graphite has been used for artistic purposes since Neolithic times. Two artists whose work exemplifies the medium's wide range of use today are showing together at Brunswick's ICON Contemporary Art-Kate Beck and James Marshall.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
art current: Mat Thorne at Asymmetrick Arts
There is some refreshingly inquisitive work on view in Rockland right now. Mat Thorne's "Mortals" at Asymmetrick Arts is, in my opinion, the gallery's best show to date.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
art current: Five Artists at the Caldbeck Gallery
The Caldbeck Gallery's current crop of shows is colorful, lighthearted, and very much worth seeing. Writing about all five solos here does not allow for in-depth discussion, but a few comments to stir readers' curiosity may suffice.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
art current: Aidan Sofia Earle at Perimeter Gallery
There are many good reasons to stop by Chase's Daily in Belfast, tasty baked goods and really fresh vegetables being the obvious ones. But their art shows in the so-called Perimeter Gallery - basically the walls - is another good incentive.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
art current: Jan Rosenbaum at Caldbeck Gallery
Ah, yes, of course." This expression of recognition is what photographer Jan Rosenbaum hopes to elicit from viewers when they see his images of people enjoying Maine's bodies of water.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Art Current: Arthur Ganson at Waterfall Arts
Arthur Ganson's 12 kinetic sculptures on view at Waterfall Arts are sure to be enjoyed by young and old, sophisticated art appreciators and nuts-and-bolts types, pragmatists and philosophers.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
art current: Paul Caponigro at the Farnsworth Art Museum
Paul Caponigro's photographs may seem unassuming, yet they contain one man's profound vision. Caponigro (b. 1932) is being honored this year by the Farnsworth Art Museum with its Maine in America Award, to be presented on June 25 at the . . .
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
art current: Celebrating Robert Hamilton (1917-2004)
Robert Hamilton's paintings do not easily fit into any category. Their deceptively simple designs are accomplished abstractions.
Thursday, May 19, 2011

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