An Arts Boom Sweeps Coastal Maine - Forbes - Canadanewsmedia
Connect with us

Arts

An Arts Boom Sweeps Coastal Maine – Forbes

Published

on


(Dave Clough)

Heads Up on Art in Mid-coast Maine

On my first morning in Camden, a charming town in Maine’s mid-coast region, I awoke at the Camden Harbour Inn to a colorful painting hanging before me with Surrealist style tribal patterns in hues of red, black, purple and teal. An Argentine artist, Ricardo Cony Etchart, had painted the bold piece, and when my husband, Mahir, and I had spotted it the day before at Carver Hill Gallery, in the nearby town of Rockland, it had instant appeal. Now, we were sleeping- literally- with the art.

We had booked our hotel’s “A Date Night with Art” package, where guests pick a piece of art from one of two galleries in Rockland and have it installed in their room. If they still like the work when they wake up, they can buy it. If not, the inn returns it to the gallery. “Giving our guests the chance to sleep with art they like is one of the ways we support the contemporary arts here,” said Oscar Verest, the hotel’s co-proprietor. “It’s a scene that’s growing by the day.”

(Courtesy of CMCA)

In fact, this mid-coast area, between Portland and Acadia National Park, has long been an enclave for prolific artists, including the renowned American realist painter Andrew Wyeth and the notable American sculptor Louise Nevelson. Perhaps they were inspired by the small villages, photogenic sea, rocky beaches, peninsulas and sprawling fields, which continue to be untouched by time.

On our trip, we witnessed firsthand the most recent arts movement, which Mr. Verest had spoken of with much gusto: it includes an increasing number of contemporary art galleries, new street art, an expanded contemporary arts center and a new cadre of artists who call the area home.

Much of the action is happening in Rockland. We spent the day there with multi-media artist Jonathan Laurence, who grew up in Rockport, a village next to Camden, and currently lives in Camden. Locals, he told us, used to frequently toss around the expression “Camden by the sea, Rockland by the smell.”

“The town had a smelly sardine plant and was generally considered to be not so nice,” he said. “Now, thanks to art, everyone wants to be Rockland.”

(Courtesy of CMCA)

The splashy Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) is a big draw. Founded in 1952, the center moved from Rockport in mid-2016 to a striking 11,500 square-foot space here. The acclaimed New York City-based architect Toshiko Mori designed the Instagrammable glass-enclosed building with a saw-tooth roofline and courtyard. Plenty of natural light floods in, and the rotating exhibits feature works by contemporary artists with a connection to Maine.

CMCA celebrated its one-year anniversary in the new building with the twofold exhibit, “Night Stories.” Visitors first saw 15 paintings by the Maine-based painter Linden Frederick, known for his depictions of rural America, and then, for each, read the accompanying short story written by one of a group of prominent American authors such as Ann Patchett. This summer and into the fall, the museum will feature the work of American painter Ann Craven, known for her paintings of moons, flowers and animals, particularly birds; it will be Ms. Craven’s first exhibition in Maine.

According to director Suzette McAvoy, the CMCA had 40,000 visitors in its first two years in Rockland. The old space, in comparison, struggled to hit 10,000 visitors annually. “We’ve had people visit us from all over the world,” said Ms. McAvoy.

Rockland’s First Friday Art Walks are another driver in the flourishing arts. Founded by Arts in Rockland, a group of local artists and gallery owners, the event takes place on the first Friday of every month from May to October and has the more than 20 galleries, the CMCA and the Farnsworth Art Museum staying open after hours.

The walks started in 2006 with a handful of participating galleries and meager turnout, said Jared Cowan, one of the event’s co-founders and the owner of Landing Gallery. That’s hardly the case today when the primary thoroughfare, Main Street, is thick with pedestrians on a first Friday walk, who move from gallery to gallery.

(Courtesy of CMCA)

When Mahir and I were in Rockland, Mr. Laurence took us to the bi-level Dowling Walsh Gallery, where his photography is on display on the second floor. He had taken the shots with his iPhone’s camera while on early morning runs through the woods and then had manipulated the images of landscapes and trees by hand and with various apps. They resembled paintings more than pictures and were incredibly creative.

Another stop was Carver Hill Gallery, where we were spotted Mr. Etchart’s painting which would hang in our room later that night.

Rockland’s art world old guard, the Farnsworth Art Museum, is also helping to bolster the newfound attention on art. Around since 1948, the museum has a world-class collection of 15,000 works; most of the artists, such as Robert Indiana and Edward Hopper, have either lived or worked in Maine.

In 2015, the museum began collaborating with local artists and students to bring street art to Rockland. The project has since led to the fruition of two murals, each spanning a downtown block. The second mural, painted together by both experienced artists and budding ones, debuted this August and is a maritime-themed work with buoys and sea creatures.

“We’ve been around a while, but working with the burgeoning art community in Rockland is definitely a priority for us,” said David Troup, the spokesman for the museum.

(Courtesy of CMCA)

Farnsworth has an extensive collection of works by Andrew Wyeth and his son, Jamie Wyeth, who has established his own name as a prominent realist painter. The younger Mr. Wyeth grew up in the area with his father but also lived and worked in New York City. In the last several years, however, he has settled primarily into his home on Southern Island, an island off the coast of Rockland.

My. Wyeth is an integral part of the newer community of artists in mid-coast Maine, a group that’s growing each year. The fine arts photographer Joyce Tenneson, for example, moved from Manhattan to Rockport several years ago. “I came here to teach photography and fell in love with what I saw,” she said.

As for Mahir and I, we were as taken with Mr. Etchart’s painting when we woke up looking at it as we had been the night before. We contemplated buying it but didn’t. Who knows? On our next trip here, there may just be a piece of art that we like even more.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Arts

Ice sheets, pool, arts centre identified in Kamloops draft master rec plan – Kamloops This Week

Published

on

By


The City of Kamloops should consider building a performing-arts centre, a new pool facility and a trio of ice rinks in the future.

On Tuesday, city council was given an update on its new recreation master plan being drafted by consultant RC Strategies.

article continues below

A non-profit society is working with arts groups and the community to advance the arts centre project, with tasks identified: developing a new business case, communications strategy, enlisting community support through a membership drive, providing input into design of the project and fundraising.

Consultant Stephen Slawuta of RC Strategies said the city should continue to explore the viability of an arts centre.

“See where it leads and move forward based on the directive of that business case initiative,” he said.

An arts centre was identified as a top priority following community input in the draft plan, Slawuta said.

He added that visits to city pools has been increasing over the past four years.

While RC found the city does a good job providing most aquatic services, leisure aquatic activities was identified as a gap area.

The master plan suggests exploring adding another indoor aquatics facility with leisure activities as the focus and taking a deeper dive into details of such a development such as whether the pool should be a standalone or multi-use facility, costs, impacts on other city pools and a location in an area of the city where this type of service is lacking.

When it comes to ice rinks in Kamloops, Slawuta said RC’s investigation into usage suggests their are some challenges.

“In this case, your facilities are at or over capacity and that would suggest there is a need to increase the provision of ice,” he said, noting the city will need to invest in upgrading its existing ice rinks over time.

Slawuta said RC’s analysis shows bringing the city’s prime time ice usage — evening and weekend hours between September and March — down to 85 per cent from the current 100 per cent would require at least three more sheets.

“And 85 per cent prime time utilization is still a very high level of utilization, but we think that is a reasonable target,” he said.

The master plan suggests adding one or two new ice rinks in the next three to seven years, and another one or two sheets in seven to 12 years.

In the medium term, the plan suggests exploring adding more indoor dry floor field space when considering building any arenas or aquatics facilities, Slawuta said.

In the short term, the plan recommends continued engagement with the school district to ensure community access to those facilities.

Slawuta said the city should continue to monitor usage at spirts fields and ball diamonds and focus on quality over quantity of those spaces.

On a case-by-case basis, the city should explore its opportunities to make improvements and enhancements to those facilities such as adding washroom, seating and improving playing surfaces.

As for the city’s two curling rinks, Slawuta suggested the city continue to support those operations as long as they are viable.

“At some point, it’s likely something is going to call viability into question,” Slawuta said, noting possibilities such as a drop in participation or a major repair of one of the city’s curling facilities.

If and when this happens, Slawuta said, it would be prudent to discuss consolidating the clubs and retrofit one of the two facilities for a different, dry floor surface sport.

The master plan recommends the city more closely monitor its court spaces to determine if sports like tennis and pickle ball are in high demand and require further study, Slawuta said.

Indoor play spaces were also looked at, Slawuta said, noting those spaces should be considered when exploring future development and multi-use facilities.

The city should consider ensuring its existing recreational infrastructure is sustained before contemplating new development, Slawuta said.

Multi-use spaces should be prioritized along with inclusion and access, he said.

Feedback collected on the draft plan will be incorporated into the plan and brought before council for adoption at a later date.

The public will have a chance to give its input on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at Sports Central Lounge in the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre and on Oct. 3 at Heritage House in Riverside Park, at 100 Lorne St.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Arts

Hibernation Arts hosting poetry reading on Thursday night – OrilliaMatters.Com

Published

on

By


NEWS RELEASES
HIBERNATION ARTS
*************************
Hibernation Arts, a local gallery in the Arts District, is proud to announce the resumption of its Wordsmith Series, with a poetry reading by Dave Armishaw and Josh Poitras on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

These two local poets have markedly different styles which actually complement each other. The Wordsmith Series started last winter, but took a hiatus over the summer.

This series will resume one evening a month until winter sets in, at which time the readings will be presented one Sunday afternoon a month. The $10 admission includes light refreshments, and the poets will have some of their work for sale.

This is a good opportunity to listen to poetry in an intimate environment enjoyed by both listeners and poets.

Hibernation Arts is also proud to announce the first of its house concerts with Sean Patrick and Darrin Davis, to take place on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The music will be unplugged or minimally amplified, so it is a good opportunity to listen to music in an intimate environment enjoyed by both listeners and musicians.

These concerts will be presented once or twice a month. The $20 admission includes light refreshments. Hibernation Arts is at 7 Peter St. S. in the Orillia Arts District.

*************************

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Arts

Love the arts in New West? Here's how you can help – The Record (New Westminster)

Published

on

By


Love the arts community in New Westminster? Have some time to lend a hand?

The Arts Council of New Westminster is looking for volunteers to help out with a number of upcoming events. Among them:

article continues below

 

RiverFest Pop Up Exhibition:

A reception attendant and bartender are needed to help out on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Fraser River Discovery Centre, at the opening reception for this exhibition featuring the work of nine local artists.

On Thursday, Sept. 19, gallery attendants are needed to help supervise the artwork between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., or 1 and 4 p.m.

  

Culture Forward New West:  

On Saturday, Sept. 28, an outreach ambassador is needed to work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the fourth floor at Anvil Centre. You can share your stories and your passion for the arts.

 

Gallery attendants:

Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis to help at The Gallery at Queen’s Park from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays or Sundays. You can volunteer on either day, once every two weeks. Volunteers are needed to help ensure the gallery can stay open on weekends.

 

Email info@acnw.ca for information or to volunteer.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending