BELFAST — Since its 2013 expansion, the downtown Maine Farmland Trust Gallery has used the term Stable Artists to refer to a growing group of artists who collaborate with the trust year-round in support of its mission of supporting farmers and protecting farmland. This year’s “Summer Stable Show” will open with a Fourth Friday Art Walk reception Aug. 28 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
The “Summer Stable Show” will run through Sept. 25 and boasts a wide variety of media, from oil paintings to pastels; and photography to mixed media collage, even jewelry. More than a dozen established stable artists will be participating in this year’s show including Leslie Anderson, Laurie Lofman Bellmore, Leslie Harris, Terry Hire, Dahlov Ipcar, Margaret LaFarge, Christopher O’Connor, Abbie Read, Robin Rier, Margaret Rizzio, Charlotte Sawtelle, Jude Valentine and Sarah Wilde.
In addition, the “Stable Show” includes a few guest artists: Judy Belasco, courtesy of Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth; and Jo M. Orise and Daniel Paulding, two emerging artists showing at MFT for the first time. Finally, there will be artwork by two other stable artists, donated to the MFT in full: one piece by Lou Schellenberg (a donation by the artist herself); and several pieces by Sheep Jones (a donation by a generous patron).
Two painters will be highlighted in the 2015 “Summer Stable Show.” Oil painter Robin Rier lives on the coast in Jonesport. She has studied with several renowned plein air painters such as Sharon Yates, Colin Page and Robert Beck; and her work has been featured at juried outdoor shows as well as galleries throughout the state of Maine. Working on location “is an invigorating and spiritual experience for me,” she said.
Leslie Anderson, who divides her time between the city of Portland and the more rural Sedgewick, will show a body of work inspired by her husband’s flower farm. Whether outdoors or in her studio, Anderson’s artistic concerns are the same: juxtaposing light and dark; and layering sumptuous color.
The opening reception also will include book signings by two authors who have recently published books about farming in Maine. “Get Back, Stay Back: 2nd Generation Back-to-the-Landers” by Joseph Conway captures the vibrancy of the children of the back to the land movement who, like their parents, have chosen to put down roots as farmers and homesteaders in rural Maine. Peter Felsenthal’s “New Growth” celebrates Maine’s small, organic farms with in-depth profiles and lush photographs of six Midcoast farms. Both authors will be on hand to sell and sign their books.
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, located at 97 Main St., is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., staying open to 8 p.m. for Fourth Friday Art Walks through September. For more information, visit mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org.
Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide, member-powered nonprofit working to protect farmland, support farmers and advance farming. Maine Farmland Trust created its gallery to celebrate art in agriculture; and to inspire and inform the public about farming in Maine. For more information on MFT, visit mainefarmlandtrust.org.