Tag Archives: Belfast

A very special new year: 2019 is our 20th!

In 1999, a small group of farmers and farm advocates planted the seed of an idea: farmland matters, and should be protected. Word spread, meetings were held with like minds, and soon, MFT began as the first and only land trust in the state focused on protecting farmland and supporting farmers. Thanks to the pioneering vision of our founders, the hard work of volunteers and staff, and the support of members, that seed took root and grew! 

This year, we’ll celebrate 20 years of growing the future for farming by reflecting on our milestones over the years, acknowledging the many people who have helped shape MFT, and by looking ahead to the next chapter. We’ll share stories of farmers and members, host some really fun events, organize a listening tour, and more. Most importantly, we want to create opportunities for you to be involved in shaping the next 20 years and beyond.

Together, we can have a lasting and positive impact on the future for farming in Maine.

Visit our anniversary website to keep up on all things 20th, and stay tuned for details about happenings. Be sure to join us for our Kick Off Party in Belfast on January 24th!

HOME/LAND: A multimedia exhibit

HOMELAND

Through an open call, MFT Gallery invited farmers, artists, artisans and writers living in Maine, from diverse social-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, to create art, craft or poetry which reflects on their unique relationship to home/land.

MFT Gallery asked that the works submitted “speak to a deep relationship which comes from cultivating the land, or a longing for connection with the land.” Art and poetry selected for the final exhibition includes work by farmers/artists which expresses the relationship with the land they cultivate; work by farmers/artists who have been separated from home/land in some way and are cultivating a new relationship to the land they are on; and work by those who are longing for a renewed relationship to home/land.

MFT will host the exhibit at its Gallery in Belfast from November 12, 2018 through March 1, 2019.

Art talks and reception will coincide with Belfast’s Holiday Art Walk, Friday December 7th: art talks at 5pm, opening and art walk 5:30-8pm.

HOMELAND: A multimedia exhibit exploring our collective and diverse relationship to home/land

MFT Gallery’s new exhibit HOMELAND speaks to a deep relationship that comes from cultivating the land, and a longing for connection with the land. This open call exhibit was 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 from varied backgrounds that seek to explore their relationship to 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 Mihku 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, and 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, which speak to human’s connection with the seasons.

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.

MFT will host the exhibit at its Gallery in Belfast from November 12, 2018 through March 1, 2019. Artist talks will coincide with the Belfast Holiday Art Walk on Friday, December 7th at 5pm, with a reception following from 5:30-8pm. 

I Went to the Animal Fair – Finding Common Ground Art Show

MFT Gallery’s new show, I Went To the Animal Fair: Finding Common Ground, features Belfast artist Kerstin Engman’s oil paintings on the first floor, with works by Andre Benoit, Frances Hynes, Leslie Moore, and Julie Cyr on the second floor.

Kerstin’s works for this show are inspired by the animals, goods, and people at the Common Ground Fair Country Fair. To create her signature style, she applies paint in layers of darks, lights, and color to add texture and depth to the pieces. For some of her pieces she uses stencils and modeling paste to create non-representational patterns that form the texture of backgrounds and individual parts of the painting. “Specific design elements and color are the foundation of my recent studies, incorporating repetition, swaths of color, grids, dots, angles, shapes, and overlaps,” Kerstin said of her work. The quintessential paintings depict handsome roosters in their grid-like wire cages and sheep and cows in darkened stalls with light streaming in through windows. Gourds and other vegetables with beautiful cast shadows, skeins of dyed yarn and bundles of lavender, and the fair-goers under tents and at the vendor stands all contribute to the light-filled atmosphere of the classic fair.

On the second floor of the gallery there are works from Andre Benoit, an abstract assemblist sculptor from Boothbay Harbor, who creates fanciful animal forms and iconic motifs with repurposed, painted and assembled wooden remnants. Frances Hynes, a New York artist with many ties to Maine, will display her lyrical watercolors, depicting simplistic farm landscapes with gamboling cows and paddling ducks. Rounding out the artists in the show, both from Belfast, are Leslie Moore, with work including a stippled pen and ink drawing of pigs playing in a puddle, and Julie Cyr, whose oil paintings of animals reflect her inspiration in the wonder of daily life and the light and shapes that arise from the simple scenes around her.

I Went To the Animal Fair: Finding Common Ground runs from September 10th– November 2nd, with artist talks Friday September 28th at 5pm, followed by a reception and the town-wide Belfast Art Walk from 5:30-8pm.

August Belfast Fourth Friday Art Walk

For those who can’t make it to the gallery during 8am-4pm weekday hours, come by and see our Summer Stable show 5:30-8pm while we are open late for the Belfast Fourth Friday Art Walk.

Popular “Summer Stable Show” at MFT Gallery

MFT’s Gallery’s annual Summer Stable Show is a favorite with returning art-lovers and summer visitors alike. This is the gallery’s largest, most vibrant group show that showcases twenty-two Maine artists this year, whose work connects to agriculture, nature or environment. This year includes first time exhibitors Sara Gagan and Susan Sidwell.

The first floor features a large, dynamic, abstract mixed-media piece from a series on rhythms in nature, by Belfast’s Kathryn Shagas; beautiful bright photographs of local landscapes printed on aluminum by Sarah Szwajkos; and a colorful collection of small paintings entitled “Artifacts” by Portland’s Christopher O’Connor. Contemplative figurative works by sculptor Elizabeth Ostrander create a synergy with the beautiful large goddess image, “Oracle,” an intricate scherenschnitt paper cut created by MJ Viano Crowe. The evocative paintings of Sheep Jones, another Belfast artist, contribute strong color, content, and design in her series of “Bulb Narrative” and “Fish Walker.” Sara Gagan’s images of animals are a delightful and inventive use of oils and collage elements. John Arden Knight’s large acrylic paintings of water lilies and milkweed are bold and vibrant, while Leslie Harris and Leslie Anderson present wonderful atmospheric paintings of landscapes and figures. Jude Valentine’s series of small brilliant pastels depict the many views and moods from Great Cranberry Island to Acadia. Paintings by Leslie Bowman, Julie Cyr, and Sharon Yates round out this collection with varied natural subject matter, such as a charming chick, engaging peas in a pod, and rich tulip still lifes.

The second floor displays the photographs of Terry Hire, Lynn Karlin, and Jim Nyce, all with very different subject matter, mood, and use of color.  Lou Schellenberg impresses with oil paintings of strong, imposing landscapes and sky with vigorous compositions. DiTa Ondek’s paintings of laundry fluttering on a clothesline in the wind create a colorful sense of energetic movement, while Kathleen Perelka’s lovely use of light and color accentuate a cultivated farm landscape. Robin Rier’s oil paintings incorporate vivid colors in tranquil scenes of flowers, peeling paint and old fence posts. The bug and rosehip mandala paper cut prints of Susan Sidwell draw you in for a closer look with their intricate design work.

The Summer Stable Show 2018 runs from June 4th through August 31st, with artist talks Friday July 27th at 5pm, followed by a reception and the town-wide Belfast Art Walk from 5:30-8pm.

Image above:

A Perfect Day, Leslie Harris, oil on linen panel, 20 x 16 in.

Let's grow a bright future for farming in Maine, together.

Summer Stable Show 2018

Belfast. Maine Farmland Trust Gallery’s annual Summer Stable Show is a favorite with returning art-lovers and summer visitors alike. The gallery’s largest, most vibrant group show, showcases twenty-two Maine artists this year, whose work connects to agriculture, nature or environment, including first time exhibitors Sara Gagan and Susan Sidwell.

The first floor of the gallery features a large, dynamic, abstract mixed-media piece from a series on rhythms in nature, by Belfast’s Kathryn Shagas; beautiful bright photographs of local landscapes printed on aluminum by Sarah Szwajkos; and a colorful collection of small paintings entitled “Artifacts” by Portland’s Christopher O’Connor. Contemplative figurative works by sculptor Elizabeth Ostrander create a synergy with the beautiful large goddess image “Oracle,” an intricate scherenschnitt paper cut created by MJ Viano Crowe. The evocative paintings of Sheep Jones, another Belfast artist, contribute strong color, content, and design in her series of “Bulb Narrative” and “Fish Walker.” Sara Gagan’s images of animals are a delightful and inventive use of oils and collage elements. John Arden Knight’s large acrylic paintings of water lilies and milkweed are bold and vibrant, while Leslie Harris and Leslie Anderson present wonderful atmospheric paintings of landscapes and figures. Jude Valentine’s series of small brilliant pastels depict the many views and moods from Great Cranberry Island to Acadia. Paintings by Leslie Bowman, Julie Cyr, and Sharon Yates round out this collection with such varied natural subject matter as a charming chick, engaging peas in a pod, and rich tulip still lifes.

The second floor displays the photographs of Terry Hire, Lynn Karlin, and Jim Nyce, all with very different mood, use of color, and subject matter.  Lou Schellenberg impresses with oil paintings of strong, imposing landscapes and sky with vigorous compositions. DiTa Ondek’s paintings of laundry fluttering on a clothesline in the wind create a colorful sense of energetic movement, while Kathleen Perelka’s lovely use of light and color accentuate a cultivated farm landscape. Robin Rier’s oil paintings incorporate vivid colors in tranquil scenes of flowers, peeling paint and old fence posts. The bug and rosehip mandala paper cut prints of Susan Sidwell draw you in for a closer look with their intricate design work.

The Summer Stable Show 2018 runs from June 4th through August 31st, with artist talks Friday July 27th at 5 pm, followed by a reception and the town-wide Belfast Art Walk from 5:30-8 pm.

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, located at 97 Main Street, Belfast, is open Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm, and Saturdays 10am -2pm through the summer. More information can be found at www.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 agriculture through art, and to inspire and inform the public about farming in Maine. For more information on the Trust visit www.mainefarmlandtrust.org.

Let's grow a bright future for farming in Maine, together.

Annual Meeting

Join us at the United Farmers Market Building in Belfast on Tuesday, November 14th, 5:30-8:00pm, for a fun evening to celebrate MFT’s work in 2017, and to learn about the growing Maine grain economy.

We’ll hear how businesses can reinforce and reinvigorate each other, and the land, from:

Amber Lambke, Maine Grains

Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.

Sara Williams, Aurora Mills & Farm

+ taste beers made with Maine grains!

RSVPs appreciated: susan@mainefarmlandtrust.org or 207-338-6575

CSA II (Community Supporting Arts)

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, in partnership with the Harlow Gallery/Kennebec Valley Art Association, presents CSA II – one of three exhibitions of work by 13 Maine artists who have been partnered with CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms throughout the 2017 growing season.

Meet the artists and farmers at the opening reception on Friday, September 22, from 5-8pm with a gallery talk at 5pm. Maine Farmland Trust is located at 97 Main Street in Belfast; the exhibition is on view from September 22 through November 10, 2017. For more information about Maine Farmland Trust Gallery please visit www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/public-outreach-new/gallery/

Participating artists and farms are: Ingrid Ellison of Camden (paired with Hope’s Edge Farm), Helene Farrar of Manchester (paired with Farmer Kev’s), Dylan Gifford of Kents Hill (paired with Wholesome Holmstead), Karen Merritt of Portland (paired with Crystal Spring Farm), Anna O’Sullivan of Portland (paired with The FarmME), Tim Ouillette of Portland (paired with Hancock Family Farm), Tyson Pease of Gardiner (paired with Tender Soles Farm), Alyssa Phanitdasack of Portland (paired with Sheepscot General Farm and Store), Jessica Rhoades of Thomaston (paired with Whatley Farm), Susan Bartlett Rice of Walpole (paired with Tarbox Farm), Nicholas Runco of Oakland (paired with KVCC CSA), Kris Sader of Orono (paired with Ripley Farm), and Rebecca May Verrill of Portland (paired with Frith Farm).

During CSA II (Community Supporting Arts), participating artists have been visiting their partner farms regularly since January 2017, at the very start of this year’s growing season, creating art inspired by their farmers’ lives, work, and landscape. The resulting body of artwork will be exhibited at three venues in the fall of 2017: at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in Belfast September 22 – November 10; at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell October 27 – December 2; and at Engine in Biddeford November 10 – December 16.

In 2012 Harlow Gallery organized the first Community Supporting Arts (CSA) project to connect Maine’s artist and farming communities, two vibrant and idealistic groups that are key to our state’s unique sense of place. The first CSA project was a huge success and the Harlow Gallery staff and volunteers are thrilled to bring it back for 2017.

All the participating farms are Community Supported Agriculture (CSA farms). A CSA farm sells shares at the beginning of the growing season and then provides fresh, seasonal food on a regular basis to each shareholding household throughout the growing season. CSA II will use the power of art to promote the economic and environmental benefits of organic farming and of buying locally grown food. Our food industry is a critical key to a sustainable economy and the health and well-being of Maine citizens in an age of accelerating climate change.

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, located at 97 Main Street, Belfast, is open Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm. More information can be found at www.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 agriculture through art, and to inspire and inform the public about farming in Maine. For more information on the Trust visit www.mainefarmlandtrust.org.

Summer Stable Show 2017 Artist Talk and Reception

Summer Stable Show 2017 Land and Sea on display July 3rd-September 15th. Artist Talks Friday July 28th at 5pm followed by reception 5:30-8pm during Belfast Fourth Friday Art Walk.

Read the full press release here.