MFT Gallery’s upcoming exhibit HOMELAND speaks to a deep relationship that comes from cultivating the land, and a longing for connection with the land. This exhibit is promoted and curated in collaboration with GEDAKINA, Inc., a multigenerational endeavor to strengthen and revitalize the cultural knowledge and identity of Native American youth and families from across New England, and to conserve traditional homelands and places of historical, ecological and spiritual significance.
The first floor of the gallery features sixteen artists that seek to explore their relationship of home and land in a wide variety of mediums and styles.
Arlene Claudill Hulva’s colored pencil figurative landscape integrates New England and Latin American panoramas.
A vibrant Medicine Wheel painting by Mikhu Paul-Anderson incorporates elements from the Waponaki culture and symbols from the natural world, while Maureen Block uses a 20th century ironing board as her painting surface for her work “Uprooted, Unrooted, Rerooted,” that depicts writhing roots in bold reds and yellows.
In two very different interpretations of Grant Woods’s iconic painting “American Gothic”, Colette Shumate Smith’s mixed media self-portrait reminds us to be vigilant of changing attitudes toward the land; and Bill Robitzek’s acrylic painting “Bowdoinham Gothic: Sarah and Laura” depicts a modern farm couple that is self-sufficient, yet socially-conscious.
Liz McGhee’s gelatin plate monotypes use a palette of blues, grays, purples, and browns with shapes and line that depict her intuitive wanderings through minimalistic landscapes.
Patricia Ranzoni, Bucksport’s 2014 Poet Laureate, contributes three lyrical, flowing poems on the greater longing for ancient home ground and the yearning of displaced peoples for their place on Earth.
Gabrielle Brown’s five copper, graphite and canvas woven baskets are based on Shaker designs. Elizabeth Hunter has created a grouping of rya pillows, an ancient Nordic woven pile technique.
Kathy Pollard will be displaying a large piece of birch bark with inscribed and painted Maine Indian petroglyph reproductions, and a beautiful sculpture “Corn Mother,” made with glass beads and moose antler.
A mixed media installation by Thér̀ese Provenzano incorporates objects to invoke memories of childhood and change, while Constant Albertson will have two ceramic sculpture pieces on display with themes of water awareness.
Color photographs by Christina Gessler, Emily Davis, and Karyn Marden depict varied subjects, such as quintessential views of life on a farm, organically found picture rocks, and images of the Casco Bay area.
Karen Merritt’s gelatin silver prints portray the beauty in urban gardens of Portland in black and white.
The second floor of the gallery will be hosting a documentary photo exhibit by Ann Pollard-Ranco, titled “Cultivating Mother Corn”. This group of photos documents the recent recovery of women-led traditional indigenous agriculture along the Sandy River in Starks, Maine, where Abenaki and other Wabanaki people sustainably grew food for thousands of years.
MFT will host the exhibit at its Gallery in Belfast from November 12, 2018 through March 1, 2019. Artist talks will be held on Friday, November 16th at 5pm, with a reception following from 5:30-8pm. Also, the Belfast Holiday Art Walk will occur Friday, December 7th, 5:30-8pm.
Kathy Pollard and Ann Pollard-Ranco from GEDAKINA will speak at the Belfast Free Library on Tuesday November 6that 6:30pm, to share their story of the recent recovery of women-led traditional indigenous agriculture along the Sandy River in Starks, Maine. All events are open to the public.
Gedakina is a multigenerational endeavor to strengthen and revitalize the cultural knowledge and identity of Native American youth and families from across New England, and to conserve our traditional homelands and places of historical, ecological and spiritual significance.