The history of farming in Maine is rich, bountiful, creative, and diverse, as is the…
Belfast. “We taste (rather we eat), we touch (maybe not enough). But how often do we slow down to take in the beauty of the often-overlooked vegetables that nourish us?” Thus begins Lynn Karlin’s artist statement on her new body of work, The Tray Series.
Starting September 23rd, Maine Farmland Trust Gallery will be exhibiting Lynn Karlin’s much-awaited Tray Series on the ground floor. Eight years ago Belfast’s own Karlin began a quest to honor even the humblest vegetables by elevating them, as she puts it, “to a place where they belong: on a pedestal.” The stunning Pedestal Series which resulted from this endeavor earned Karlin the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for “Best in Still Life Category” for the last two years, and “Gold” for the Prix De La Photographie Paris in 2015 – along with worldwide acclaim.
The photographs in The Tray Series offer an aerial view of a confined space, with the subject often exiting the frame to break up the design. Thinking within the box, Karlin looks for good form, texture, patina and color. Subjects may now include familiar man-made kitchen objects as well as her beloved fruits and vegetables, showing “beauty can be found everywhere, if you take the time to really look.”
Another artist who wants to treat his subjects in a way that reveals both their importance and aesthetics is Unity artist and craftsman James Macdonald. His exceptional marquetry work – defined as the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to a structure, in order to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures – will be shown on the gallery’s second floor.
Macdonald’s body of work, titled Growers and Grown, was funded by an Artist Project Grant from the Maine Arts Commission and features new farmers in Waldo County. Says Macdonald: “My work in this exhibition comes from my fascination with the relationship between us and the food we eat. Here I’ve chosen to present a mix of work showing local farmers, food, and hand tools. My desire is to treat and display these subjects in a way that reveals their beauty, necessity, and magnificence.”
The exhibit runs from Friday September 23rd through October 31st, with an artist talk on opening day September 23rd from 4:30-5:30pm and a reception on the same evening, from 5:30-8pm, during the Belfast Art Walk.
MFT Gallery, located at 97 Main Street, Belfast, is open Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm. On Fourth Friday Art Walks, the gallery is open until 8pm. The gallery is also open for Belfast Creative Coalition’s Cultivate Tour, on Saturday October 8, from 10am-3pm. More information can be found at www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/public-outreach-new/gallery/ .
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 agriculture through art, and to inspire and inform the public about farming in Maine. For more information on the Trust visit www.mainefarmlandtrust.org