Maine Art Gallery News

August, 2022: Gallery Mid-Season Update

THREE MONTHS TO GO until the end of our 2022 Exhibition Season. You still have time to see “Surroundings,” the four-person show interpreting what our Maine artists see in the world around them. The paintings of Liz Hoag, Justine Lasdin-Springer, and Paige Taylor are complemented by the sculptures of Lin Lisberger. “Surroundings” is available for viewing during regular gallery hours, Wednesday – Saturday from 11am – 4pm, until it closes on Saturday, August 13th, to make way for our fifth exhibition.

 

“COLLECTIVE IMAGINATION” features SEVEN, an artists’ collective. Its members, Emily Blaschke, Jenny Campbell, Alicia Sampson Ethridge, Celeste June Henriquez, Doreen Nardone, Brenda Overstrom, Donald M. Peterson, and their mentor Michel Droge, explore the perceptions that abstraction affords them. The title COLLECTIVE IMAGINATION gives a nod to the Jungian creative unconscious that informs abstract interpretations. An opening reception on Saturday, August 20th, from 4pm – 7 pm during Wiscasset’s Schoonerfest weekend features refreshments and music by the Simons and Goodwin duo. The exhibit will run during regular gallery hours through September 17th.

 

TALK THE WALK on Thursday, August 25th, when SEVEN presents an Artist Talk at 4pm at the Gallery just prior to Wiscasset’s Art Walk. Kick-off your Art Walk evening with MAG’s first “Perspectives and Prosecco” presentation by our featured artists. You may gain new insights on what does, or does not, go on in the mind and messaging of an abstract painter. 

 

WATCH FOR ART NEW ENGLAND review of COLLECTIVE IMAGINATION by Carl Little in the September/October issue.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR for our season’s final exhibit when Maine Art Gallery members strut their stuff for Made in Maine, our annual members show, with an opening reception Saturday, September 24th, from 4pm – 7pm, accompanied by guitar soloist Lisa Redfern. There will be an encore reception during Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, September 29th. This show runs during regular gallery hours, Wed to Sat, 11am to 4pm, through October 22nd.

 

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THOSE WERE THE WEEKS THAT WERE. May, June, and July saw MAG’s first three exhibits, Spindleworks, Juried Members Show, and Paint Wiscasset display scores of Maine art. Spindleworks artists exhibited the special talents of its uniquely-abled creators in all forms of media. The energized opening struck a vibe that lasted through the following weeks of the show.

 

MARK COATES ORGANIZED AND SAM CADY evaluated entries in our revived annual Juried Members Show. More than 50 Maine Art Gallery members demonstrated once again that talented Maine artists continue to find voice and vision in our state.

 

PAINT WISCASSET, organized by MAG’s own Celia Ludwig, included three days of outdoor activity by 23 talented painters whose abilities to capture shadow, light, and color around the Prettiest Village in Maine. We are in awe of the way they deftly meld impression and dexterity to express their artistry with immediacy and individuality.

 

Roberta Goschke’s Storybook Corner, the People’s Choice winner, was also cited as our juror’s top selection. Mark Coates pointed out the ways in which she mastered those elusive whites that often characterize Wiscasset architecture. Anthony Watkins and Michael Vermette received special mention for their ability to bring vibrancy to classic Maine views with distinctly different approaches.

 

MANY THANKS TO SEASON SPONSORS Sherri Dunbar of Tim Dunham Realty, Les Fossel Restoration Resources, and the Maine Arts Commission, whose support assures us that we can weather the challenges of mounting our full Season.

 

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MAG SPONSORED CLASSES SOLD OUT. Each of our five sponsored art classes have been fully booked. Many thanks to the excellent programming and instruction of our teaching artists: Diane Dubreuil, Deborah Chapin, Deena Ball, Karen Jelenfy, and Olga Merrill. A shout-out also goes to our Classes Season Sponsor, Cromwell Coastal Properties, and the Maine Arts Commission for their support.

 

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APRIL’S BIG DIG around the Old Academy Building, the gallery's home since 1958, nearly scuttled season opening plans, but the professional efforts of contractor, Justin Leeman and Son, of Palermo, ME, brought the project in on time. Furthermore, it saved the 1807 building’s foundation from additional water damage and set up MAG’s new 20-year lease with the town for future renovation and improvements literally from the ground up! MAG sends a big THANK YOU to the Davis Foundation for their generous grant of $15,000 for the undertaking, which was further funded by your donations to MAG’s annual appeal. Wiscasset Public Works has also been a steadfast supporter of gallery improvements.

 

WISCASSET SELECT BOARD APPROVAL of a new 20-year lease of the Old Academy Building to MAG on May 3rd concluded an almost yearlong effort by the town and the MAG board to assure the gallery a dedicated residency which will preserve this early 19th century school as a 21st century venue for artistic expression and education.

 

RECENT ADDITIONS to the MAG Board of Trustees are John Sawyer and Maria Jimena Guzman. John is a former Colby College art history and philosophy major who has returned to Wiscasset to pursue his art after a career as a controller at several manufacturing companies in South Carolina and Georgia. Maria, a professional architect whose graduate studies focused on film and architectural design, was raised in Bogota, Colombia. She practiced architecture in New York City before moving to Bath, ME, in 2020.

April 12, 2022: Davis Family Foundation awards Maine Art Gallery $15K Grant

We are happy to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the Davis Family Foundation for restorative work on the 1807 “Old Academy Building” at 15 Warren St. in Wiscasset that houses the non-profit gallery.

This grant is one of several applications for funding that will be made to address the important ongoing restoration needs of the building, which has been named on the National Register of Historic Places. Because the building is owned by the town, a Wiscasset town vote to allow enactment of a 20-year lease with the gallery, instead of the 5-year lease that had been renewed for the last 67 years, proved to be an important consideration by the Davis Foundation. Grantors of capital funds require that the building be either owned by the grantee or that the grantee has a long-term lease in place. 


The goal of the current project is to remediate water infiltration into the building’s basement, thereby greatly reducing humidity levels and dampness. This will preserve the structure and continue to provide a healthy space for both people and artwork within the building. Gallery trustee David Pope, chair of the building committee will oversee the work.


A perimeter drain to direct water away from the building will be installed by Justin Leeman and Sons of Palermo Maine followed by

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The Maine Art Gallery has been successful in obtaining a second grant in 2022. This one will deal with water seepage into the foundation of the 215 year-old structure. Photo by Bob Bond.

masonry work to seal the foundation by Ed Sheridan, a masonry specialist from Belfast. Once all exterior work is completed, the gallery will install a commercial grade Energy Star dehumidifier. Restoration specialist Les Fossel is providing consultation services. Additional assistance is being provided by the Public Works Dept of the Town of Wiscasset.

January 25, 2022: Maine Art Gallery Receives Art Jobs Grant

The Maine Arts Commission has awarded Wiscasset’s Maine Art Gallery $8700 in support of the Commission’s goal of strengthening the state’s creative workforce. The matching grant will enable the gallery to fund more time for the organization’s part time gallery manager from December through June as well as fees for class instructors and honorariums for exhibit jurors and curators.

“We are thrilled with this grant,” said Wendy Ross, president of Maine Art Gallery’s board of trustees. “It’s a validation of the hard work by our board, staff, and volunteers in creating exciting exhibits and programs that increased outreach and visits in 2021. The grant helps us move toward our vision of making the Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset again a premier center for the arts in midcoast Maine.”

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The stated goal of the Art Jobs Grant is to support public projects that develop opportunities and encourage employee retention. The Arts Jobs Grant is made possible through funding by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Gallery director Kerry Hadley stated that notification of the award included a video copy of the commission’s grant review session that she found extremely helpful and educational. She was gratified by some of their comments. “They said that the Maine Art Gallery is a ‘meaningful gallery’ and that ‘they obviously have set themselves up for success’ and they have ‘well-articulated plans’.”

Hadley also noted that the Maine Arts Commission Executive Director David Greenham lauded the changes that Wiscasset has undergone and that the community is still transforming and growing.

July 4, 2021: Art review: ‘Acquired Symbols’ celebrates a teacher’s far-reaching effects

Jorge S. Arango writes up an excellent review of our Acquired Symbols show!

 

"The important role of catalysts in the development of art in Maine is currently on colorful display at the Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset, embodied by the exhibition “Acquired Symbols” (through July 17). By catalysts I mean people whose enthusiasm, influence, willpower and talent set changes in motion that reverberate in ways perhaps not immediately apparent in the larger art world. 

In the case of the Maine Art Gallery itself, which is located in a circa 1807 schoolhouse considerably far removed from the commercial thoroughfare of Route 1, the catalyst was Mildred Burrage, an artist well known in her day for her mica collages, who had previously experimented with impressionism and Jackson Pollock-influenced abstraction. It was thanks to her and a handful of others that the gallery came into existence in the mid-1950s and became an incalculably important stimulus for modernist art in the state. The venue she created has exhibited, among other seminal Maine painters, Dahlov Ipcar, William Thon, Andrew Wyeth and William Zorach.

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"Chiribiquete I." By Jorge Pena.

The current show honors another catalyst: the 92-year-old painter John Lorence, who taught art and design around the country. From 1970-77, his primary educational venue was the Portland School of Art (now Maine College of Art). He also had stints at University of Maine in Augusta and the Haystack School in Deer Isle and, from 1990-92, served as the Maine Art Gallery’s director.

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You can read the full article here: https://www.pressherald.com/2021/07/04/art-review-acquired-symbols-shows-a-teachers-far-reaching-effect/

July 3, 2021: "'Acquired Symbols' Stirs the Soul"

Lisa Kristoff writes a lovely review of our Acquired Symbols show in the Boothbay Register.

"Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset should definitely be on your list of galleries to visit – and by July 17. Yes, there is a deadline. The current show,  'Acquired Symbols,' is an experience. The show features paintings by John Lorence, and some of the artist’s friends and former students.

The former students in the show are Patrick Plourde, Jorge Pena, Peter Haller and Ellen Gutenkunst; the friends are Clara Cohan, Elliott Barowitz, Fellice Boucher, Camille Cole, Sara Cox and Teresa Sullivan.

 

The 50 works in this show, be it a painting, fiber art, sculpture, collage, pottery, or mixed media, depict either spiritual or cultural ideas and beliefs in symbolic form. From ancient civilizations to modern times, symbolism is an evolving language all its own."

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Clara Cohan and stands beside her sculpture, “Arms Around It.” Photo by: Lisa Kristoff/Boothbay Register

April 25, 2021: We Are Hosting an Online Art Auction to Benefit the Gallery

The Maine Art Gallery has gathered a number of noteworthy, yet affordable, works of art for an online auction that will be open for bidding from May 1 to June 15. The pieces, donated by artists and collectors, offer the buyer an opportunity to obtain fine art while helping to support the gallery.

The art can be viewed online prior to the opening of the auction here. The pieces will be available for in-person viewing at the gallery on Friday, May 7 and Saturday, May 8, 11AM-4PM.

Once bidders register for the auction, they will find pieces from well-known artists such as Howard Chandler Christy, John Lorence, and Jane Dahmen, as well as a number of very talented artists with a strong connection to Maine. The auction is sponsored by Cromwell Coastal Properties.

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“Cloth Work #4” by Peter Haller

Auction committee chair Cynthia Pappas, who recently moved to Maine after a career in which she curated auctions in New York City, is enthusiastic about the offerings. She stated, “I’m really excited about this opportunity to bring to an international audience this lovely collection of art that represents midcoast Maine and so much more.”

March 28th, 2021: Welcoming Our New Gallery Manager, Kerry Hadley

We are pleased to announce our new part time Gallery Manager, Kerry Hadley! The Maine Art Gallery is excited to welcome her to a new role at the gallery, and we look forward to growing our mission with Kerry's years of experience in management and enthusiasm for the arts.

 

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.

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Kerry Hadley

April 2020: Remembering Consuelo Joerns

We mourn the loss of Consuelo (known to us as Connie) Joerns, who passed away on April 14, 2020 at Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, Maine. She was 94. Connie was raised in Chicago where she attended the progressive Francis Parker School. She attended Mills College in California and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Early in her career, while working for a New York book publisher, Connie attended the School of Visual Arts and Columbia University. An avid traveler, she subsequently lived and painted in Central America and Europe, showing paintings in Nice and Cagnes-Sur-Mer, Chicago and New York.

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(L to R) Consuelo Joerns with Daisy Greene and Jane Dahmen at opening reception for Three Women on Board. Photo by: Bob Bond

Connie maintained a studio on Martha's Vineyard and had solo shows at galleries including the G.E. Hilliard Gallery and Alan-Mayhew Ltd.. She also wrote and illustrated children's books and developed filmstrips for New York publishers.

Connie moved to Wiscasset in 2000. During the next decade she was particularly intrigued by the arts of Japan, and she lived there for months at a time. In August/September of 2018 the Maine Art Gallery was pleased to include her paintings in a show entitled Three Women on Board with Jane Dahmen and Daisy Greene. A visitor to that show noted that “Consuelo’s semi abstract work reminds one of perhaps Matisse in its quietude. The lyrical sense of space and the washes of colors bring an inner peace and joy to the viewer.”

Works by Consuelo Joerns

painting by Consuelo Joerns
painting by Consuelo Joerns

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Harbor Hull
Harbor Hull

acrylic on board

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Still Life
Still Life

acrylic and pastel on board

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painting by Consuelo Joerns
painting by Consuelo Joerns

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Samples of children's books illustrated by and, or written by Consuelo Joerns

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"The Everywhere Cat," illustrated by Consuelo Joerns

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"The Green Machine," illustrated by Consuelo Joerns

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"The Midnight Castle," written and illustrated by Consuelo Joerns

Portland Press Herald Q&A with Artist Buzz Masters

Slated for August of 2020, the Maine Art Gallery had a show titled "Lost and Found" featuring Buzz Masters, Katy Helman and Jennifer Lee Morrow. We hope to have the show in 2021. In the meantime, Masters was interviewed about her work as an artist and EMT by the Portland Press Herald. You can view the article here.