Meet the Team
Richard Riese, President:
Rich moved to Wiscasset in 2020 after retiring from a law and public policy career that started in Pittsburgh, PA, as a private practice litigator and labor relations attorney and then moved on to Washington, DC, as an enforcement counsel and compliance policy director within the U.S. Treasury Department, before concluding as an advocate for the American Bankers Association.
During his stint in Pittsburgh, Rich served as a member and President on the boards of two non-profit organizations: the Dance Alloy, a modern dance repertory company; and the AC-ACLD, a local association operating a State accredited and publicly funded private school for children with learning disabilities.
Along with his spouse, Patricia Embrey, Rich appreciates the range of artistic expression and the diversity of activities that the mid-coast area provides and welcomes becoming part of a community that nurtures them.
John Sawyer, Vice President and Treasurer:
John and his wife Margie moved back to Maine in August 2021 to be close to family after his retirement. They live on Hodge Street in Wiscasset.
He has a BA in Art History and Philosophy from Colby College. After working at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, he received his MBA in Finance and Accounting at Northeastern University.
John worked as a manufacturing plant controller for large publicly held companies, as well as non-profits and privately held organizations. Some of the companies John supported include Kimberly-Clark, Nestle, Eaton Corporation, and Lennox (Heatcraft Commercial Refrigeration). John is a former vestry member of St. Philip’s Episcopal church in Wiscasset.
Painting oil landscapes has been his passion for over 50 years. Painting for John is a way of slowing down the passage of life, to be fully in the now of a beautiful place. He loves to share the awesome strength of art with his family, friends, and whomever he meets. John’s paintings can be seen at facebook.com/johnsawyerstudio.
Celia Ludwig, Secretary:
Since 2006, Celia has been following her lifelong love of art. She likes to use bold colors to depict subjects of personal interest at home and during travels with my husband. Celia is a painter known to paint from her heart as well as her eyes.
She has received several Art awards including a Best in Show at the Dover Art League. Celia has written and illustrated a children's Christmas book and illustrated a book of memoirs for my aunt, retired Lt Col. Elizabeth Kruger entitled "First in my Life." She is a member of the Plein Air Painters of Maine and on the Board of Trustees of the Maine Art Gallery.
David lives with his wife Linda on Federal Street in Wiscasset. In addition to the Maine Art Gallery, David serves on the Museum and Old Jail Committee of the Lincoln County Historical Association and is a past president of The Morris Farm Trust, all in Wiscasset.
After teaching science at Lincoln Academy for twenty years, he and Linda rehabbed a series of old houses and now live in one of their last projects. To continue his life long interest in geology, David teaches an adult ed course about the geology of the mid-coast area. A life long skier, he also dabbles in tennis, sailing, canoeing, hiking and plays a variety of folk instruments.
Elizabeth Campbell graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in fine art. After gaining experience in a variety of administrative positions, she is cultivating her career as a web and digital designer, and photographer; helping those in the visual arts, small businesses and mission-driven folks represent themselves authentically and positively online. She also works part time at a growing auction house in mid-coast Maine.
Elizabeth is an artist at heart. She has shown in a couple of galleries, and continues to build her artistic practice. She is inspired by nature, inclusive community, and exploration.
Mark Coates is a painter living in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he taught art in the Howard County Public School System (Maryland) at Oakland Mills Middle, Mount Hebron High, and River Hill High before becoming the district Coordinator of Fine Arts. Coates also taught on weekends at the National Gallery of Art in Washington as well as the Maryland Institute College of Art. Retiring after 36 years in the school system, Coates taught art education and painting at Notre Dame University in Baltimore and worked as a fine arts consultant for the Maryland State Department of Education. Having painted in Mid Coast Maine in the summers for the past 28 years, Coates moved to Boothbay Harbor in 2015 to pursue making art full time.
In addition to Coates’ teaching, he has extensive leadership experience with non-profit organizations including Maryland Art Education Association, National Art Education Association, Howard County Arts Council, Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, and Boothbay Region Art Foundation.
Sarah summered on Orr’s Island and graduated from Oak Grove School in Vassalboro. She went on to study art at Pratt Institute and graduated from the University of Vermont. In 1981, she returned to Maine to live and worked as a Graphic Artist and Art Director at Bath Iron Works. In 1995, Sarah began painting and exhibiting at local galleries and outdoor shows throughout Maine and New England, where she won many awards.
In 2006, Sarah & her husband, Tom opened the Greenier Studio/Gallery next to their home in Bath, where she paints, shows her work and teaches oil painting. She and Tom have taken numerous outdoor painting workshops and have enjoyed plein air painting along the coast of Maine together on Monhegan, in Bar Harbor and Stonington, as well as in Provence, France.
Sarah has shown at the Small Wonder Gallery In Camden, Centre Arts Street Gallery, River Arts and Boothbay Region Art Foundation. She is past president of the Kennebac Art Club In Bath and a member of the Plein Air Painters of Maine.
Jimena Guzmán was trained as an architect in her native country of Colombia. After completing her undergraduate studies she started an independent practice as a residential designer in Bogota for a few years. In 2011 she was eager to expand her artistic horizons and focused on film and architectural design during her graduate studies in the US. After completing her masters she moved to New York City and continued her architectural practice between Bogota and New York.
In 2020, soon after her son was born, she moved to Maine and fell in love with the Old Academy Building where she rediscovered the powerful impact of art when building community. Jimena is currently cultivating an artistic practice and you might see her taking pictures of old houses, finding rocks at the beach or writing stories of life in Coastal Maine at the waterfront. She lives in Bath with her husband, little son and two cats.
Christine moved to Maine from California in 2009 after retiring from a career in print production, publishing, editing, and media relations — experience that she is happy to apply to the management of the Maine Art Gallery as a member of the board of trustees. She joined the Maine Art Gallery in 2012 because she believes in supporting local artists and art education.
Christine now runs a business called Asian Accents and her creations are for sale at asianaccentsonline.com, and through Markings Gallery in Bath. She is drawn to all things Japanese. The fabrics and designs she employs in her textile work have an Asian feel. Travel to the Far East in recent years has given her the opportunity to collect fabrics and other materials to incorporate into her art.
Fabric collage has always intrigued Christine. She loves putting together bits and pieces of fabric based on color, design, or even theme. The resulting fashion accessories such as vests, jackets, scarves, and even Covid masks employ basic quilting techniques as well as intricate collages of fabrics and embellishments cobbled together with appliqué and top-stitching.
Kay Tobler Liss has had a life-long interest in art, beginning with working in the summers in a gallery her mother owned on Cape Cod. After graduating with a degree in English from Bard College, Kay went on to study painting and drawing at the California College of Art in Oakland. Soon after this, she lived in Oaxaca, Mexico for a year, where she pursued art and writing and had a one-person show at an area gallery.
Her career has been primarily as a writer, editor and managing editor for newspapers and magazines. Her favorite job was as managing editor of an art magazine, Sunstorm Fine Art, a monthly New York metropolitan area publication. She interviewed some of the most interesting artists of the late 1980s, reviewed art shows at museums and galleries in NYC, edited articles of contributing writers, and helped design the pages. Moving to Maine in 2002, she wrote about artists and gallery shows in the midcoast area for local newspapers, was a publicist for Yvette Torres Fine Art in Rockland and was on the board of the former Round Top Center for the Arts in Damariscotta. She is currently pursuing a career as a novelist. Her first book was published in 2020 and her next will be coming out soon. Her website is kaytoblerliss.com.
Kerry and her husband Craig gradually made their way north to Maine after meeting at Harper & Row Publishers in New York City 41 years ago. After time spent in Portsmouth NH as Executive Director of the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, Kerry’s latest and largest project was as Manager of the Camden Opera House for 16 years. Over her career, Kerry’s goal has always been to enrich and cultivate community, at the same time helping grow the nonprofits she is involved with. She loves the visual and performing arts and is thrilled to be joining such an accomplished and dedicated board of directors and beautiful gallery.
She lives in Owls Head with her husband Craig, one rescue dog and one Llewellyn Setter. They have two grown sons and two incredible daughters in-law all pursuing professional careers in NYC.
Patty Pendergast is an award-winning artist who began her art career later in life, when she gave full reign to her artistic gift. She has honed her craft into her own style of realism. Patty’s specialty is built on her life-long love affair of animals. Her rich use of realistic detail, focusing on the eyes and spirit of the animals, brings her subjects to life.
Patty moved to Maine three years ago after living in Texas for 12 years. While in Texas she managed a gallery and frame shop. Her work continues to be sold through galleries in Texas, Maine, and Virginia. A large part of her work is commissions of animals for private collectors.