As the owner of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, John Spain is the first to admit to all the work and hours that go into making a gallery a success. However, he is also the first to point out that the business would not be where it is today without the dedication and talent two women put in year-round. Amy Lewia, Gallery Director, and Natalie Lane, Gallery Manager are an integral part of Maine Art.
Nine chances out of ten when walking into Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on Western Ave. or Maine Art Shows on Chase Hill, one or both of these women are there. Not only do they make the behind the scenes run smoothly, they are continuously on hand to help the rest of the staff provide excellent service and knowledge to the customer. Both women are well acquainted with the artists, their work and their stories. Both woman offer insights and details before anyone makes a purchase. Customers comment frequently on what a “happy place” Maine Art is, saying that it was such a “fun experience.” These two women continuously go above and beyond and are responsible for the welcoming atmosphere and fabulous service found here.
Amy Lewia has been with Maine Art the longest. Last winter she celebrated ten years at the gallery. John often says she is the daughter he never had who has come in and learned the family business from square one. She is the marketing exec, the curator, the staff coordinator and the talent agent all rolled into one. If you have a question, she has an answer. If you have a problem, she will help you fix it. If you just need a great eye and an honest opinion, she is the one to go to. She does it all. However, as much as she loves the business side of the gallery, her heart belongs to the customer. “I love the different feelings, memories and senses that are triggered by art,” says Lewia. “In any one piece, the reactions tend to vary from one viewer to the next. It’s wonderful to hear stories from our clients who are inspired by a painting, sculpture or artist that grabbed their attention and pulled them in.” Amy has a personal connection to the business and the artists, and customers immediately feel this when dealing with her.
If Amy is the daughter of this “family” business, Natalie Lane is the sister. She is the organizer, the calm head, and the voice of reason. She is going into her tenth year at Maine Art, and as in any small business, a manager must be a jack of all trades. “I have worked with color and textiles all my life,” says Lane. With over twenty-two years in frame design, Natalie is the guru of the frame shop. She knows which pieces should be in which frames, which frames compliment a room or a space and can turn family photos into heirloom pieces. “I love to frame old family photographs and memorabilia. The idea that the relatives of long past will be part of and appreciated by the present or future generations is one of the reasons I enjoy what I do.” Natalie is also the ring master on the gallery floor. With a staff of a dozen employees, she makes the day to day smooth and easy. With over thirty-five years of sales experience, she is a natural. “It is always my goal to welcome and engage each customer in a manner that will have them coming back to the gallery year after year. Their experience during a visit, to either gallery, will have them feeling as comfortable as they are in their own home.” Natalie has a loyal client following that seek her out for those “special projects” or want her help finding the next piece to add to their collection. Yet, new clients are just as rewarding for her. “I enjoy welcoming a new customer to the gallery. Bringing a collector and artist together at a reception and hearing the artist share their inspiration or technique is a favorite part of my job.”
We know when you walk into Maine Art it is the paintings and sculptures that draw you in. But it is our knowledgeable, warm and friendly staff that keep you with us for years to come. Come see for yourself and become part of our family.