To say the opening of the Choice Art Show was a success is an understatement, if we do say so ourselves. The hard work and dedication the staff put into making this event happen was certainly rewarded. Even Mother Nature took her role seriously yesterday. By five o’clock the sky was clear and the sun was out. She even provided a slight breeze to carry the musical stylings of Max Garcia Conover from the front porch through the open door of Maine Art Shows.
Many of the artists were on hand to give a personal invitation into each piece. It was a joy to hear visitors engage in conversation regarding the artists’ process and style, their influence and approach, and even their life and family. To hear the passion and inspiration behind their work is something beautiful and extraordinary. Very few buyers have this opportunity to make a connection with the work they choose to hang in their homes.
If additional questions needed answering, John Spain, owner of the gallery, was on hand. Ever the dapper host, he embraced the Kennebunkport Festival in style, all the way from his blue plaid cap to his matching Chuck Taylors. It certainly made him easy to find when information was needed or introductions wanted. The knowledge John has of his gallery and artists, as well as a memory for guests and buyers is amazing. He is invested in making Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture a place where people feel comfortable and welcome.
On the lines of comfortable and welcome, Donna Speirs, our in-house caterer, complimented the paintings well with her own culinary artistry. Stuffed mushrooms, tenderloin bruschetta, and chocolate covered strawberries were just a few of her specialties. The only thing better than spending an afternoon surrounded by exquisite art is accompanying it with exquisite food. In the past, Maine Art Shows has always held memorable openings, but yesterday’s Choice Art Show was an event inspired by the true spirit of the Kennebunkport Festival.
If you were not able to attend the opening, know that the show runs until June 25th, and we’d love to have you experience it for yourself. Maine Art Shows is open from 11-5 daily, so stop by 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. Remember to visit www.maine-art.com for a virtual tour. A collection for each artist is available on their Artist Page.
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Before we start in on what today brings, we have to give a huge Thank You! to a few folks for last night. First off, One Dock Prime rocked it! What a perfect way to start of this week. After cocktails we were lucky enough to spend the evening in Jay and Erica Knudsen’s home with a crazy group of wonderful people. Artist Jill Valliere, Sponsor Tom LaPierre from LaPierre Stone, Maine Media Collective’s Emily McConnell, and of course the fabulous Chef Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan, thank you so much. Kudos to everyone involved in the Kennebunkport Festival, last night was amazing.
Today’s calendar of events is just as crazy and just as wonderful as yesterday’s. And, of course, Maine Art Painting and Sculpture will be celebrating the best of it. Our artists, David Witbeck, Ellen Welch Granter, Henry Isaacs, Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald, and Philip Frey are all having artwork delivered as we speak to the homes hosting dinners tonight and they will be in on the festivities tonight, as well.
Everything begins at the Colony Resort at 140 Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport for cocktails around 5pm. John and the artists will be milling around enjoying all the wonderful treats the Colony has to offer, and listening to the wonders of Dominic Lavoie, a Portland area musician. It is sure to be a perfect way to kick off the second night of the Art of Dining. There are still a few tickets available at the Kennebunkport Festival website.
Tonight you will find David Witbeck and his collection of fun and interesting Maine characters at the home of the Raffaellis, whom have graciously opened their home yet again this year. Chef Harding Lee Smith from The Rooms will be joining them. The Rooms, refers to several of Smith’s Portland restaurants. All of which are worth a visit if you are in Portland. This is sure to be a dinner to remember.
Ellen Welch Granter and some of her new work will be found at the Turner/Bull residence tonight. Chef Jeff Buerhaus of Walters will be wooing the guests with his Asian, Mediterranean and Caribbean inspired menu. This is a lucky crowd to be feasting on such fabulous artwork and food all in one beautiful place.
Dinner at the Hurlbutts’ is sure to be one of the highlights of the Festival again this year. They were gracious enough to open their home to both artist Henry Isaacs and Chef Guy Hernandez of Lolita. Henry will be sharing some of his best and newest pieces from the Choice Art Show and Guy will be offering up the flavors, traditions, and simplicity of the Mediterranean cuisine from his restaurant on Munjoy Hill in Portland. Everyone will be very well taken care of at the Hurlbutts’ tonight.
The stunning artwork of Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald graces the walls of the Taranto/Ellms home this evening. Fitzgerald will be joined by Chef Chris Wilcox of the Velveteen Habit in Cape Neddick. The Velveteen Habit is said to be a place that invokes, “…memories of family gatherings where food was made for comfort and nourishment and families gather together to share stories and make memories.” A few more memories will be made tonight thanks to all involved with making this dinner happen.
Even though Philip Frey isn’t a Choice Art Show artist, he is one of Maine Arts Paintings and Scultpure’s featured artists this summer. He also loves a good time for a great cause and is happy to be a part of the Art of Dining party at the Rice home. Chef Emil Rivera of Sur Lie on Free Street in Portland is the second half of the talent joining this gathering. While Frey will be sharing pieces from his extensive collection, Chef Rivera will be sharing the progressive and delectable plates and snacks from the cool new restaurant that is rocking Portland.
The Philip Frey Show, New Works, will start June 27th at Maine Art Shows and run to July 16th.
Well…that is what we are eating tonight.
Then its on to the After Party!
Stripers at 133 Ocean Ave., right here in Kennebunk, is hosting this complimentary event starting at 9pm. It will be a great way to work off some of this food! Todd the Rocket will be our DJ and Maine Art will be there to celebrate the end of another successful day of the Kennebunkport Festival. Come wrap up the night with us – you can sleep next week!
Remember to stop in at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture as you wander around Kennebunkport, or visit us on line at maine-art.com.
The Kennebunkport Festival is in full swing starting today, and Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is thrilled to be in the center of it all. Literally and figuratively!
Historically, Tuesday and Wednesday nights during the festival are all about The Art of Dining. This year is no different. Gracious hosts from around the Kennebunkport area open their beautiful homes to the best chefs in the state and talented artists from local galleries. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is honored to provide five of the ten artist for tonight’s dinners. Craig Mooney, Janis H. Sanders, Jill Valliere, Susan Wahlrab, and Abbie Williams will be sharing dinner, conversation, and of course their art, all around Kennebunkport tonight.
However, its not all play and no work. John, the gallery owner, and Patrick, one of our newest staff, will be earning their keep today. This afternoon is a full schedule of visiting homes, meeting with the hosts, and filling their walls with original artwork. Yes, really! Having the owner of the gallery show up at your house to hang stunning pieces of art throughout is certainly a perk to hosting one of these dinners.
Once the work is done, the play begins.
Starting at One Dock around 5pm, John and his artists will be on hand to mingle and meet with anyone who will lift a glass to toast the beginning of this crazy, fun-filled week we call the Kennebunkport Festival. We also are lucky enough to have Chris Ross entertaining us with his acoustic guitar. Fingers crossed, the rain holds off, and we are able to enjoy the beautiful deck at One Dock.
Then on to dinner.
Craig Mooney will be headed to the Lord House, where he will join Chefs Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez of Piccolo. Piccolo is a wonderful Italian restaurant at 111 Middle Street in Portland. The menu is a secret, as it is for all the dinners, but judging by the success of the restaurant, no one will leave disappointed or hungry.
Janis H. Sanders has reservations at the Captain Fairfield Inn. He will be sharing dinner with a table full of guests and the amazing Chef Sam Talbot of the Pig + Poet. Sam comes all the way from Camden to join the festival this year. His restaurant is known for its finest and freshest, and he is sure to be sharing it all tonight.
The Williams/Hogan residence will be hosting artist Susan Wahlrab and Chef Larry Matthews of the Back Bay Grill. While guests are enjoying each others company, the chef will be wowing them with his favorites from his menu. Back Bay Grill is at 65 Portland Street, Portland, and is known for its inviting ambiance and mouthwatering choices. This should be a night full of fabulous food.
Abbie Williams will be joining the Molloys and welcoming Chef David Levi of Vinland. “What could be better than the gift of delicious, comforting, sustainable food that nurtures our local community and the land in which we live,” a quote from Vinland’s website. Combining it with a beautiful home and the artwork of Abbie Williams? We think so.
Lastly, Jill Valliere will be entertaining at the Knudsen home. Chef Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan, in Brunswick, will be infusing fresh ingredients that are available locally, with Asian flavors and a mixture of modern cooking techniques. Lucky for us, we will be experiencing this one first hand. There will definitely be details of this dinner in tomorrow’s blog. Yum!
But wait…we’re not done!
After feasting and festivaling all evening, John and his artists will be headed off to Abbondante, located at 27 Western Avenue in Kennebunk. This is a do-not-miss event, and its free! Amy and the Machines will be finishing off the night in true festival style. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Amy Allen live, don’t miss your chance.
Holy moly! What a night! We hope you have a chance to catchup with us sometime during the evening. If not, there is always tomorrow.
Check out the artists and all their work for the Choice Art Show at 10 Chase Hill Road, Kennebunk or at www.maine-art.com. It opens Saturday and runs through the 25th . Tickets for the opening are available on the Kennebunkport Festival site.
If you are in town for the festival please also stop by Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Avenue, Kennebunk.