Tag Archives: Belfast

As Seen At CIFF: Two Maine films come to Belfast, Nov. 26th

REVIVING THE FREEDOM MILL and JOSEPH FIORE: THE NATURE OF THE ARTIST, two short films that premiered at the 2013 Camden International Film Festival, will screen Tuesday, November 26th at The Colonial Theater in Belfast at 7PM. The screening is free, and open to the public.

JOSEPH FIORE: THE NATURE OF THE ARTIST paints a revealing portrait of Joseph A. Fiore (1925-2008), a critically acclaimed vanguard New York artist in the 1960’s,  who spent his summers in Jefferson, Maine. Fiore began as an abstract painter, and moved through several transitions in his life as an artist. He worked alongside Josef Albers, Willem deKooning, Robert Rauschenberg, and others. Artist-friends Alex Katz, Lois Dodd, Charles DuBack, Rackstraw Downes, David Dewey, and Paul Resika offer insights into his aesthetic. His pictographic rock paintings are part of a collection that Maine Farmland Trust is now placing in museums and other non-profits.

REVIVING THE FREEDOM MILL documents environmentalist Tony Grassi’s project to revive an abandoned Mill in Freedom, Maine. With the help of a team of builders, masons, engineers and architects, he sets out to reconstruct a forgotten historic treasure, in hopes of bringing new life to the town.

REVIVING THE FREEDOM MILL will be followed by a Q&A panel, featuring some of the people involved in the project, including: David Conover (Filmmaker, Compass Light Productions), Tony Grassi, Jay Fischer (Cold Mountain Builders), and John Piotti (Maine Farmland Trust).

Hanna Ranch: One Cowboy’s Fight for Family and Land

August 14th
The Colonial Theatre

Join us for a special screening of Hanna Ranch, a feature documentary depicting the personal struggle of Kirk Hanna, a visionary rancher in Colorado and leader in the environmental ranching movement who set out to protect the West from the relentless threat of development and misuse.

The film will be followed by a Q+A with Karl Kister, one of Executive Producers of the film.






Featured in the book Fast Food Nation and dubbed the “eco-cowboy,” Kirk Hanna was an early adopter of Holistic Resource Management practices, sat on numerous environmental boards and was president of the Colorado Cattleman’s Association. Hanna’s opinion was so widely sought and respected, many even saw him as a future governor of Colorado. But when his dream of harmony and sustainability ran up against the reality of family conflict and mounting threats to the land, Hanna lost hope.

Kirk’s legacy and fight live on as his family and friends continue to protect the West by saving Hanna Ranch.

Read more about the film here.

That Ole’ Barn: Gallery Exhibit at Maine Farmland Trust

Belfast. What makes a farm a farm? Is it the fences, the animals, the farmer out on the land? In times past, the iconic grandeur of the big barn alone was enough to convey agricultural activity. While that may not necessarily be true today, barns remain an emblem of farm life. Whether a barn continues to exist as a home for animals or hay, a place for tractors or tools, or has found a second life as an art studio, the barn holds an important place in Maine’s history, as well as in many of our hearts.

That Ole’ Barn, the next exhibit at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, is dedicated to Maine’s barns in all their variety and splendor. Through the eyes of sixteen different artists the barn is portrayed for its architectural significance in the landscape, its central role on the farm, as a testament to Maine’s rural heritage, and as a vessel holding childhood memories or future visions.

With That Ole’ Barn, several new artists join the ranks of Maine Farmland Trust Gallery: sisters Sheep Jones and Julie Cyr, formerly represented by High Street Gallery, Belfast, as well as oil painters Ingunn Milla Jørgensen and Walter Smalling, watercolorist Margaret La Farge and ceramic sculptor Randy Fein.

Returning favorites include Vincent Abaldo (found object assemblages), the late Joseph Fiore (oils), Elizabeth Fraser (oils), Terry Hire (photography), Elizabeth Ostrander (sculpture), Kathleen Perelka (pastels), Michael Reid (photography), Willy Reddick (white-line woodblock prints), Robin Rier (oils), and Margaret Rizzio (mixed media collage).

Each artist seems to have a personal connection to a particular barn, or to barns in general.

Margaret La Farge from Machias grew up on an old farmstead where she and her siblings played in an old post and beam barn. For sculptor Elizabeth Ostrander, Eastport, there’s a sense of comfort and belonging when she thinks back to her own “ole’ barn” from long ago, remembering the sweet smells of hay and molasses-fortified grain, together with the reassuring sounds of low belly rumblings and chewing from two horses, three goats, and a pony.

Robin Rier remembers jumping off a hayloft as a kid. Elizabeth Fraser recalls the sense of mystery and magic whilst poking around in her grandfather’s old, two-story barn filled with antiques. Terry Hire is drawn to the texture of old barn doors, the lines and patterns. Vincent Abaldo hopes to still restore his late-1700’s post and beam barn. All of his submissions to the exhibit have been made from old parts of that very structure.

That Ole’ Barn opens with a public reception on Friday October 3rd, from 5:30-8pm. The show will be on display until November 14. Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is located at 97 Main Street, Belfast and is open M-F from 9-4. For more information visit www.mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org.

The gallery is open for extra hours on the weekend of October 11 & 12, for Cultivate: Belfast Area Farm & Arts Trail. For more information visit http://belfastcreativecoalition.org/cultivate/.

On Friday evening October 17th, MFT Gallery will be hosting local poets Toussaint St. Negritude and Josh Kauppila as part of Belfast’s Annual Poetry Festival. Being not only poets but also partners on a small goat farm in Swanville, the duo will be reading poems which speak to their deep connection with the land. Check the home page of www.mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org for exact time of the reading.

Author Don Perkins will be giving a free talk about the history of barns in Maine, on Thursday November 13th at 6:30pm, at the Belfast Free Library. His book, The Barns of Maine, will be available for purchase at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery for the duration of the exhibit, as well as at the presentation. Visit www.ourbarns.com for more information on the book and the author.

Artwork at top: Thorndike, Julie Cyr

Call for Photos! Face to Face with Maine’s Farmers

Last year we wall-papered the gallery top to bottom with pictures of farmers’ favorite things. The show was so much loved by those who participated and those who saw it, that we want to do a similar call for pictures this year.

For January 2015, we envision our gallery space to be wall-papered with pictures of as many of Maine’s farmers as possible. Young and old, experienced and beginning, small or large-scale farming, alone and with the whole family – we want to see it all.

If you’re a farmer, send us a selfie (face or full-body, with your animals, in your farm stand or in your field – it’s all welcome), or send a picture of your whole farming family. If you are not a farmer but have a favorite farmer, take a picture of them and send it along!

All (digital) pictures can be sent to: anna@mainefarmlandtrust.org. Make sure the pictures are high resolution or else they can’t be printed. Please send along the farmer’s name, farm name, and location. The deadline for submissions is January 1st.

The show will be hung in the first week of January and stay up through February.

Thank you for your participation!

Whimsical Fiber Art Show at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery Delights Young and Old

November 17, 2014

Belfast. Maine Farmland Trust Gallery’s Frolicking Fiber Fiesta is a colorful holiday show with a bounty of treasures for fiber art lovers, along with paintings to match their style. The arts and crafts on display range from high-end, fanciful wall hangings to cleverly repurposed feed bags – catering to any budget and perfect for that special gift.

The show is a true feast for the senses: color, texture, playfulness and detail abound. The artist line-up includes local, award winning fiber artist and international exhibitor, Dianne Hire, better described as “quilter extraordinaire”; Leia Scotton, a successful young painter in MFT Gallery’s stable, now coming out as closet fiber artist; Nora Flanagan, quilted pillow queen from Belmont; Julia Ventresco, who has turned recycling into a fashion, with classy shoulder bags made from repurposed feed bags; Willy Reddick, with felted wooly animals too cute to resist; Karen Olson, jewelry maker gifted with a subtle touch; Karen Kulberg, with a fabric inspired series in encaustics; Jude Valentine, pastel artist and sublime silk painter; Sandra Covington, with do-it-yourself needlepoint canvases and Christmas ornaments; and Leslie Anderson and Jill Hoy, oil painters with a flair for color and movement. Finally, painters Christopher O’Connor and Sarah Wilde revisit MFT Gallery’s walls with one canvas each to round out the show.

Says Hire about her quiltmaking: “To stretch the rules and locate fresh boundaries is my desire. I am a colorist who intuitively responds to the joyful way colors intermingle. I require vibrancy to speak out but never shout — yet boldly sing. That song is interpreted in fiber, strings, strong design and intense vitality of color.”

Scotton’s fabric collages are pieced-together strands of history. Almost every component in each of her pieces is at least a decade old; some fifty years old, some much older. Scotton says: “Just holding them, I feel connected to the people who had them before me, and I try to keep that alive by giving these scraps and odds and ends new life in my artwork.”

Frolicking Fiber Fiesta will be on display from November 21st through January 5th. Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is located at 97 Main Street and open Monday through Friday (not on holidays) from 9-4. In addition, the gallery will be open Friday December 5th from 5:30-8pm. Saturday December 6th the gallery will be open from 6am -1:30pm for Belfast’s Early Bird Sale (all items discounted!), and during the Art Walk and Tree Lighting later that evening, 5:30-8pm, the gallery will host a festive reception for all.

More information on MFT Gallery can be found at www.mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org or by contacting Gallery Coordinator Anna Abaldo at anna@mainefarmlandtrust.org .


Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide non-profit organization working to keep Maine’s farms 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 the Trust, visit www.mainefarmlandtrust.org




Thérèse L. Provenzano Buckwheat No. 9- It Can Be Divided, red and green Bouchard’s Family Farm, Wallagrass, ME Pastel on paper 21 h x 29 w

Buckwheat Reds from Aroostook celebrated at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery

Belfast. This April, Maine Farmland Trust will feature Buckwheat, a solo exhibition of “en plein air” pastel paintings by Thérèse L. Provenzano on the second floor gallery. The pastel paintings depict the buckwheat fields in Wallagrass, Maine belonging to the Bouchard Family Farm of Joseph and Janice Bouchard, known among Maine’s local food consumers for their silky buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat documents how the fields change over time. The growing season is short and even shorter if your purpose, as an artist, is to paint that particular red. It took Provenzano three growing seasons to complete this body of work on location.

Says the artist: “A painter wrestles with an unexpected strong wind, the possibility of intermittent sun showers or a sudden downpour. It required an artist’s patience and skill.”

Provenzano shares this experience in a poem she wrote as her artist statement.


Each day is different.

There lies the challenge.

What’s given is different.

What I see is different.

Mostly, the light changed.

Then, the field changed.

Patient, with intent,

I search for one constant

and rest my gaze on a shape that is familiar.

It grounds me to trust my instincts.

I take off, willingly.

I found myself in a place of wanting to paint

Bouchard’s red that glistened.

I identify land with my grandfather.

He was a farmer of Wallagrass.

Provenzano continues, “A direct and unfiltered experience with nature was essential to my process as the distant fields pulled me close.“

The Bouchard Family Farm harvests buckwheat to make and sell their famous Ployes mix. Ployes are a version of a crepe or pancake and are part of the Acadian culture of the St. John Valley in Aroostook County.

Provenzano says: “The landscape of the St. John Valley is no doubt beautiful. However, it is even more beautiful because of how the land is worked and cultivated by the farmer. I dedicate this exhibition and moment in time to the hard work of the farmer and in particular, the Bouchard Family Farm.“

Buckwheat, and the exhibit on the ground floor, Bearing Fruit, will open together on Friday April 3rd, with an artists’ reception (open to the public) from 5-7:30pm. The show will be on display until May 8, 2015.

Provenzano is a faculty member at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. She teaches the visual arts and history of art. In 2002, Provenzano left New York to reside at her great-grandfather’s homestead in Wallagrass. The Maine landscape and artifacts of Acadian culture have been, and continue to be, a source of inspiration for her work. Provenzano earned a Masters of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts (formerly Philadelphia College of Art) and a Three-Year Certificate of the Fine Arts from the National Academy of Design School of the Fine Arts in New York. The Woodmere Art Museum of Philadelphia awarded her the Edith Emerson Prize Award at their Sixty-Sixth Annual Juried Exhibition. The Metropolitan Museum and Art Center of Coral Gables Florida awarded her the First Prize Award at the Fabric On, Third Annual International Design Competition. Presently, her charcoal drawings are traveling in an international group exhibition, Acadie Mythique, curated by Harlan Johnson, a Fine Arts faculty member of Dawson College in Montreal.

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is located at 97 Main Street in Belfast and open Monday through Friday (not on holidays) from 9-4. More information on MFT Gallery can be found at www.mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org .

Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide non-profit organization working to keep Maine’s farms 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 the Trust, visit www.mainefarmlandtrust.org

MFT “Stable Show” Showcases 18 Artists

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.

In the MFT Gallery: 25 Artists, 100 Small Works

BELFAST — Maine Farmland Trust Gallery’s annual “Small Works” holiday show will feature many new artists from all over the state this year. The show will be on display Friday, Nov. 20, through Jan. 4. The public is invited to attend the Holiday Art Walk gallery reception Friday, Dec. 4, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“Small Works” is a cheerful collection of landscapes, figurative work and more abstracted imagery related to Maine’s rural culture. It ranges from Kathleen Perelka’s vibrant pastel landscapes to Kathryn Shagas’ dynamic horse drawings; and from Terry Hire’s elegant close-up plant photography to Axel Stohlberg’s simple and bold found object sculptures.

Viewers can expect to see new work by Katherine Churchill, Julie Crane, Julie Cyr, Lisa Dellwo, Maureen Egan, Lindsay Hancock, Terry Hire, Elizabeth Hope, Sheep Jones, Margaret LaFarge, James Macdonald, Leslie Moore, Petrea Noyes, DiTa Ondek, Elizabeth Ostrander, Daniel Paulding, Kathy Perelka, Robin Rier, Charlotte Sawtelle, Kathryn Shagas, Meg Shields, Erin Smith, Axel Stohlberg, Mary Louise Town Jaqua, Jude Valentine and others.

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, 97 Main St., Belfast, is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as into the evening for the Holiday Art Walk. For more information, visit mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org.

Image: Kathy Perelka

Just Eat It

“Just Eat It” Film Screening in Belfast

Did you know that 40 percent of the food produced for humans in the U.S. is wasted every year? That’s enough to fill the Empire State Building nearly 100 times. Meanwhile, Maine ranks first in New England in terms of food insecurity, including for children, and the State struggles to manage the costs and impact of our municipal solid waste stream, 43 percent of which is organic material.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine and Maine Farmland Trust join forces to host a community screening and discussion of the documentary, “Just Eat It” on Saturday, January 30 at 4:00 p.m. at the Colonial Theater, 163 High Street, Belfast.

Reserve your ticket today.

NRCM’s Sustainable Maine project helps individuals, communities, and the State adopt practical, effective measures to conserve and protect Maine’s natural resources, now and for future generations. We are committed to helping address the massive food waste problem as it relates to human and environmental health and economic sense.

Maine Farmland Trust is a member-powered statewide organization that protects farmland, supports farmers, and advances the future of farming. More info at: mainefarmlandtrust.org.

Please join us to see this incredible film and learn what we can do! $5 suggested donation at the door.Reserve your ticket today.

‘Food for Thought’ film + discussion in Belfast

BELFAST. How is the health of our food system connected to the health of our soils? Sustainable Harvest International and Maine Farmland Trust will be asking this question and others at an upcoming film screening and panel discussion on Tuesday, November 17 at 7PM at The Colonial Theater in Belfast.

The film, FOOD FOR THOUGHT, FOOD FOR LIFE, is a 20-minute documentary film about the structural causes of our current food system such as commodity agriculture, depleted soil, and urban food deserts and a look at solutions cropping up across the country. It is fast-paced and packed full of information and ideas and stories of change. Statistical infographics and footage are intercut with an all-star cast of interviews, including chef Dan Barber, Poet Wendell Berry and Chef Michel Nischan and many others.

Several local Maine farm and food advocates also make appearances in the film, including farmer Eliot Coleman, farmer and musician Bennett Konesni, and seed breeder John Navazio.

The film will be followed by a focused panel discussion on the connections between soil and health. Panelists will include Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm, Bennett Konesni of Duckback Farm, Katy Green of MOFGA, and Elliot Powell of Sustainable Harvest International. The panel will be emceed by Sustainable Harvest International Executive Director, Renée Johnson.

There is a $5 suggested donation at the door. The event is sponsored by the Belfast Co-op.

For more info, contact ellen@mainefarmlandtrust.org OR 207.338.6575