Belfast. “Lyrical” is a word that comes to mind when visiting the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery’s Summer Stable Show. A favorite with returning art-lovers and summer visitors alike, this is the gallery’s annual large group show, showcasing seventeen Maine artists this year, including Dahlov Ipcar.
“What I love about this show is that it is often very painterly and eclectic,” says gallery curator Anna Witholt Abaldo. “It has a bright and colorful tone, with some surprising fresh additions this year.”
The first floor features dynamic abstracts from a series on rhythms in nature by Belfast’s Kathryn Shagas, a larger-than-life Julie Crane woodcut print of a horse jumping over a city (with a wink to Chagall), and a beautiful collection of small coastal paintings by Portland’s Christopher O’Connor. Contemplative figurative work by sculptor Elizabeth Ostrander dialogues with the evocative paintings of Sheep Jones, another Belfast artist. Lou Schellenberg impresses with strong, imposing landscapes with vigorous compositions. New works by Julie Cyr, Petrea Noyes, Sarah Wilde and Leslie Anderson round out this collection.
The second floor displays delicate watercolors by Margaret LaFarge: dirt roads curving through a landscape, evoking a real sense of stillness found in nature. Jude Valentine’s new pastels-over-monoprint, done after visits to the old orchard at Buckle Farm (Unity), speak with directness and energy – courageous use of color and line. MJ Viano Crowe, showing at MFT Gallery for the first time, brings her garden goddesses, made from intricate paper cuts. Sharon Yates, Robin Rier, Kathleen Perelka and prints by afore-mentioned Dahlov Ipcar make up the rest of the show.
The Summer Stable Show 2016 runs from August 1st through September 16, with artist talks Friday August 26 from 4:30-5:30, followed by a reception and the town-wide Belfast Art Walk from 5:30-8pm.
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. More information can be found at www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/public-outreach-new/gallery/ .
artwork pictured by:
Image 1: Kathryn Shagas
Image 2: Julie Crane
Image 3: Christopher O’Connor
Image 4: MJ Viano Crowe
Image 5: Petrea Noyes