Not a Normal Wednesday – Kennebunkport Festival 2015

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.

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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.

Dinner Time.

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.

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Topside Galley – William B. Hoyt

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William B. Hoyt  captures the heart of the sea and the sail like no other. The water moves along his brush strokes and carries you away. Even for a land lover the lure of the ocean is hard to resist when visiting with William’s work.

In “Topside Galley” the details transport you to Maine. Fresh strawberries. The lobster pot. The tiny coastal town in the distance. The artist himself tells it best.  “’Topside Galley’ celebrates and contemplates a moment from last summer on a friend’s converted lobster boat just as the sun is going down, and we are anchored for the night. The water’s on the boil for dinner and for this moment all is right in this simple world. If only I could paint the susurration of water lapping at the hull; so peaceful.”

To be able to recreate, not only the image contained inside a memory, but the emotion tangled around it is a skill.  Attaining it takes a love for the place and the time, and of course, a love of the art.

Come in to Maine Art Shows and see all three of Hoyt’s Choice Art Show pieces. The show opens on June 13. You can also find his work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture and on his Artist Page at www.maine-art.com.

And So It Begins….Kennebunkport Festival 2015

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.

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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!

Phew!

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.

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Easier Said – Ellen Welch Granter

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As you peruse through Ellen Welch Granter’s work, it quickly becomes obvious how much she loves nature, especially the beautiful winged creature that calls Maine it’s home, the chickadee. Her use of a thick layer of color next to the bright gold creates a lovely contrast. The oak leaves appear to be in motion, giving the feeling of a summer breeze and the calm reassuring presence of Maine. For Ellen, this piece has all the elements she tries to bring into a painting. This is the main reason she chose it for this show. “I want it to find a good home where chickadees are welcome.”

As you walk into Maine Art Shows, you will find this piece, as well as two others. One chosen by you, the voters, and one chosen by Maine Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Susan Grisanti. Check out the final selections for the Choice Show after the opening on June 13th, as well as more of Ellen’s work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture at www.maine-art.com.

Mother Load – Trip Park

A self-proclaimed work in progress, Trip Park focuses on the happy side of things. “There are enough negatives in daily life, art should help with that,” Trip says. This happy side is obvious in all of his work, and especially in this particular piece. “Mother Load,” his first in a series of bike florals, has a sense of nostalgia mingled with the anticipation of summer. That is the bike we all want to meander around Kennebunkport on!

Trip claims, “…this was a challenge to myself, really. I had no idea whether I’d like it or not.” Lucky for us, he loves it. It is now hanging on the walls of Maine Art Shows ready for the opening of the Choice Art Show this Saturday, June 13th.

You can also see two more new pieces of Trip’s in the Choice Art Show. The Editor’s Choice is chosen by Maine Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Susan Grisanti, and the People’s Choice, chosen by this year’s online voters. Trip just joined the gallery in 2014 and has an impressive collection at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. If you are interested stop in, or visit on-line at www.maine-art.com.

Keeping It Local

All of our staff were up bright and early on Thursday morning.  This week, part of their staff meeting was a trolley ride around and through Kennebunkport.  Ed from Intown Trolley was our tour guide, and he was one in a million.  Not only did our new staff members gain an understanding of where everything is and what Kennebunkport has to offer; our veteran staff had a few wonderful reminders of just how fabulous this town is.  In turn, of course, Ed received a crash course on Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, as well as Maine Art Shows. We may have to hire him now that he is trained.

All kidding aside, the trip was a way to educate the entire staff on all that is available in the surrounding area.  Now not only can they sell the amazing work at the gallery, they can help make a customer’s stay a little easier and sell Kennebunkport, as well.

Stop by and visit us and find out what we learned, or enjoy a virtual visit at www.maine-art.com

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A Little History

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Way back in 1991, John Spain, owner of Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, decided to take a little vacation to Kennebunkport for the first time.  His grandmother had fond memories of the area, and he thought he would check it out for himself. At the time he was working at a small gallery in New York City and was interested in the oceanside artwork Kennebunkport had to offer.

He wandered into Kennedy Studios and immediately noted the “Sell to the Walls” and “Going out of Business” signs prominently displayed around the gallery.  This is when his mind started to spin.

After a lengthy discussion with Jane Ross and a quick question about what she thought the value of the gallery was, John said goodbye and crawled into his rental car to head down the highway. He had a job and a life to get back to in New York.  However, his mind and a bit of his heart was still in Kennebunkport.

Over the course of the five hour drive back to the city, John made a deal with himself.  When he returned home he’d call the gallery and offer up his life savings to this woman and her little coastal town.  If she took it, it was meant to be. If she didn’t…then she didn’t, and his world would go on as normal.

Life from then on has been far from normal.  In 1996, after five years of ownership, John changed the name to Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. Four years after that, on Memorial Day of 2000, the gallery moved across the street to the newly designed building on 14 Western Ave, which has been its home for the last fifteen years.

It is here you will find John and his amazing staff.  It is here you will find over thirty-five artists with strong inspirations from, and connections to, Maine. It is here you will find a perfect place to a leave a little piece of your own heart.

See for yourself at www.maine-art.com

 

Introduction

Falling in love with a sculpture or painting requires insight and story. Falling in love with an artist requires understanding and history. Falling in love with a gallery requires trust and comfort.

Over the years we have worked hard to create a comfortable place to enjoy the beauty that is art in Maine. All of our artists give their heart and soul creating the work here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture. Every day is blessed with unique and interesting people and experiences. These “behind the scenes”  happenings are celebrated and what make our work a joy.

It is these stories that we want to share with you here. On these pages you will find personal insights into artist work, pictures and videos of art in the making, and peeks ”backstage” of a successful gallery. So much of art is felt rather than seen. We want to help you make that connection to our work, our artists, and our gallery.

It is time we welcomed you into a more personal part of our galleries.

Please consider this your invitation.

Enjoy.

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