In 2013, Maine Art Shows introduced Maine. As they see it., a show comprised of artists with strong Maine connections. It was a show like no other, revealing Maine through the eyes of some of the most accomplished artists in the area. Now, after two years and a great appeal to do it again, we are happy to announce Maine. As they see it., 2015. “Each painting is a reflection of the artists’ relationship with Maine,” says Amy Lewia, Gallery Director of Maine Art Shows and Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture.
If you are from Maine, or even if you have only visited, you understand the concept of having a “relationship” with the state. It is hard not to feel a special connection, even if you are just vacationing. “It is not a show of lighthouses and lobster pots,” say John Spain, owner of the gallery. “It is very clear from this body of work that each artist has their own unique connection to the state.” It is also very clear that the inspiration Maine provides is second only to the talent that has captured it.
“We have had contact with each artist over the years. We know their work and invited them to join us. We only asked them to provide us with one quintessential piece of work,” says Spain. Of the thirty-one artists, only eighteen are Maine Art artists. There are thirteen others that were invited to participate in this unique show, even though the gallery does not currently represent them. “Some of the participants Maine Art has represented in the past, and some have participated in prior shows with us,” say Lewia.
As artists stop in to visit and drop off their respective work, the excitement builds. Each piece is a “blockbuster” piece of work. When the collection comes together at Maine Art Shows, it will be simply outstanding. Maine. As they see it. will run at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, for three weeks starting on July 18th. We welcome you to stop in and experience this work first-hand. As always, the show will also be available on-line at Maine. As they see it. starting Thursday, July 16th, and will run through August 6, the length of the show.
We also welcome you to visit Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Avenue in Kennebunk, or online at www.maine-art.com.
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When heading into Kennebunkport from Rt. 9 it is impossible to miss Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. Known for the large display of Lyman Whitaker Wind Sculptures in the front yard, Maine Art has greeted visitors and locals alike for over fifteen years now. We have always thought it was a great place to visit, but when Jeff Peterson from WGME’s Road Trippin’ called to set up a time to film and interview, we were happy to oblige and help him spread the word.
Owner John Spain met with Jeff and his cameraman, Matt, down on 14 Western Ave outside of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. The gallery wasn’t open yet and fewer people were wandering around Kennebunkport at that time. John filled him in on some of the history, what the difference is between Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture and the gallery on 10 Chase Hill Road, Maine Art Shows, what’s up and coming for art openings, and of course a little bit about those famous Wind Sculptures.
Road Trippin is a segment on WGME that focuses on northern New England tourism. Where to eat, where to play, and of course where to shop. They air on Thursday mornings on Channel 13, WGME, but their webpage keeps video of past visits in case you miss one. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture will be featured on the July 2nd show that is coming to Kennebunkport.
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Everyone sees through a different eye. Beauty, as well as art, is objective. Artists can stand before the same landscape, encapsulated by the same surroundings, yet the results captured on canvas vary in a way that is indescribable. Jeffrey T. Fitzgerald describes this well when talking about the creation of “Meeting House.” “I met with this group down by the ocean. We all had different opinions and were projecting somewhat different paths, but we stood together under the most beautiful sky.”
In Maine, the sky before us changes with a heartbeat. Trying to capture it in paint is a skill in which many find envy. To be able to witness the reproduction of these moments through the eyes of so many talented artists and friends must have been truly overwhelming. And thus, “Meeting House” was born. “With all our differences, the sky, as the big picture, became the cohesion or symbol for our friendship. It was a roof on a small town meeting room where ideas and messages are offered,” explains Fitzgerald.
So often, the story behind the work is one we, as admirers, do not have the privilege of hearing. To be part of the inner circle is a gift that helps us to engage in art at a different level other than with just our untrained eye. Now, we can stand in front of Jeffrey’s work, and bring not only our own experiences and stories to the table, but his as well. With this newfound information we see, “the colors of the piece and their colonial or primitive stoic New England sensibility” come to life.
We encourage you to come and visit with Jeffrey’s work in the Choice Show at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. The rest of his collection can be seen down the hill at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at 14 Western Avenue, also in Kennebunk. As always, you may view Jeffrey’s work on his Artist Page on the website, but we hope you come see it for yourself.
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This abstract style is new for Sandra. “It feels like ‘weaving’ with brushstrokes,” she says when talking about Hope Springs II. Sandra is incredibly modest when it comes to her work. “This painting practically painted itself, since I’d been walking around with the ‘thought’ of it in my mind for several weeks.”
“I did this piece in February of this year,” Dunn says. Inspired by the endless winter that wrapped around New England, she had to find spring underneath the cold blanket of snow. Ever the optimist, she focused on the “tiny seed buried deep in the cold, dark ground”. She had more hope than most to be able to see this scene in her mind while being buried in a winter landscape. “It was a burst of color as the sprout rose up and reached above the ground,” Dunn claims, describing the crisp and clean colors that cover this canvas.
This piece is the second in a pair. The first, Hope of Spring, can be found at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on 14 Western Ave, Kennebunk. Sandra also has two others in the Choice Art Show. Magenta Glads & White Rose and Monhegan Delphinium. The show will run until June 25th. We welcome you to stop by either gallery to see her work in person, or you can visit at www.maine-art.com.
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Set at the top of the island, the Monhegan Lifesaving Station overlooks Monhegan Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Now dormant, Janis found inspiration not only by what is, but by what was. “Turning and looking toward the Lifesaving Station, one cannot help but be moved by its intrepid stance against the elements, white and pure and resolute. History and future meet here on top of this hill, full and rich with contrasting emotions and physicalities, joy and sorrow, storms and respite, dark and light, as we walk by in a moment on a given warm summer evening, smell the salt air and continue our journey.”
What seems at first sight to be an uncomplicated display of boat and land, iconic of the coastal life, becomes more with time spent. “The strong linear shapes of the buildings and rooflines stand solid in contrast to the curves of the lifeboat itself, all illuminated by sunlight casting gently across the varied surfaces of manmade objects and rugged landscape,” says Sanders. “The shadows emphasize the simple contrast of light and dark as a physical entity itself, and as a symbol of our being in a deeper sense, of those lost at sea and of those who have survived.” Capable and experienced, but now empty, only stories still live in the Monhegan Lifesaving Station. The tales of the keeper himself, of those rescued or in need, and of course painters like Janis H. Sanders, fill the spaces time left behind. We are lucky to be able to experience one of those stories first hand here at the Choice Art Show in Kennebunk.
Monhegan is an inspiration in many of Janis’s pieces. We welcome you to come visit both Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture and Maine Art Shows to experience more of his work. You can also view his full collection on his Artist Page on our website.
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David’s work is very unique and easy to distinguish. The charm and love of the coast comes through. For those of us born and raised on the New England coast, we have seen the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” of the fishing harbor our whole life. However, if you are from away, it only takes a few minutes down on the docks to discover it.
“I wanted to paint something other than my usual fisherman. I love to watch boats tugging at their moorings on blustery days as if they’re trying to get free,” says Witbeck about how “Rock ‘n’ Roll” was born. There is no doubt that the Atlantic Ocean and the boats are in cahoots in the battle for freedom in this piece. There is also no doubt that these boats belong with David’s fisherman. Eliot, Walt, and Amos would be happy that the moorings are holding strong.
On June 13th, these whimsical lobster boats can be found on the walls at Maine Art Shows. The heart of David’s work is best seen in person. Each piece has a life of its own. If you can’t make it to the gallery, many pieces can be found on David’s Artist Page at www.maine-art.com. In the end, when it comes to judging David’s work, he sums it up best. “I know I have a good painting when it makes me smile. This one made me smile.”
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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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All of Jill Valliere’s work glows. Admittedly, it is in part to the metal leaf and glaze she uses, yet honestly, it is more the heart and soul she painstakingly places there for us to find.
When Jill talks about her work that same glow radiates from her. “My love of embarking on an adventure, coupled with my love of the water pushed me to choose “Fleeting Light”. When I sit back and look at this painting, I feel as if I am heading out to explore a new waterway and can actually imagine myself traveling into the painting. I am lost in thoughts of the beautiful sights I might see along the way.”
“Fleeting Light” is not the only one of Valliere’s pieces that gives this sense of wandering. No matter what the season, each landscape she brings to us captures the imagination, and the wanderlust begins.
You can see two more new pieces in the Choice Art Show, the Editor’s Choice, chosen by Maine Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Susan Grisanti, and the People’s Choice, chosen by this year’s online voters. Also, don’t forget to visit the rest of Jill’s collection at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture or visit her Artist Page at www.maine-art.com.
For Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture this show started months ago. For some of artists involved, it started years ago. For us, the voter, over a month ago. Phew!
Now here we are a day away, and with all that prep time everything must be all set and ready to go. Right? If you asked Amy Lewia, Maine Art’s Gallery Director…. actually, don’t ask her, she is just a little busy. She and Natalie Lane, the galleries manager, are hard at work on the first floor of Maine Art Shows. It is their job to transform the three room gallery into a work of art itself, and they have just a few hours to do it.
One of the most difficult parts of final phase of this show is the fact that the art work has been on display all over Kennebunkport this week for the Art of Dining Series. It was just yesterday that John and Patrick picked up the final pieces of shared work. Now the banging, bustling, and beautifying starts. Maine Art Shows is soon to open their first show of the season.
So, while Natalie and Amy and many other staffers are downstairs making the magic happen, Donna Speirs, the gallery’s one and only in-house chef and decorator extraordinaire, has taken over the kitchen on the second floor to begin the preparation for the spectacle of delicious wonders that will feed the starving art buyers at the opening tomorrow afternoon. Donna is an artist in her own right. At the same time, Chris and Mike, the maintenance crew, have been hard at work all week. The walls are pristine, the hardwood floors are sparkling, and the front porch is perfect.The amount of people it takes to transform Maine Art Shows gallery space is astounding.
The entire building is coming together to give you an show like no other. A show you, the voter, helped curate. The Choice Art Show. If you are wanting to experience it first, and first hand, there are still a few tickets left for the opening at five o’clock tomorrow. The show will run until June 25th, so if don’t see you on Saturday, please stop by for a visit. The Maine Art Shows gallery on 10 Chase Hill is open from 11 – 5 every day.
“There is a hardship facing those who toil on the sea,” says Craig Mooney. The beautiful blue life created in many of Craig’s pieces is not the only side of life on the coast. In “Drunken Sailor,” Craig captures a different view. Hard work, tedium, and danger are just a few of words Mooney uses to describe a fisherman’s life.
A sailor doesn’t stray far from the sea. The cloud studded blue sky, the white gull, and the rough waters are close by. Yet, the shadows are the focus of this work. “There are times when a sailor finds his salvation and comfort in a quiet, dry space,” says Mooney. “And yes, a bottle.”
The range of Craig Mooney’s work is fabulous. Whether your connection is to the water, the land surrounding it, or the people who call it home, Mooney’s work will find your eye and your heart. Come visit Maine Art Shows to see this and two more new pieces in the Choice Art Show, the Editor’s Choice, chosen by Maine Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Susan Grisanti, and the People’s Choice, chosen by this year’s online voters.
If you are too far away, but still want to check out what Craig is doing, visit his artist page at www.maine-art.com.