Tag Archives: Belfast

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.

Land and Sea: MFT Gallery’s 2017 Summer Stable Show

Belfast. Take farmland, and just add water. All gallery curator Anna Witholt Abaldo knew was that Maine Farmland Trust’s new CEO would be writing a feature article for the 2017 edition of the Trust’s coveted journal, titled Land and Sea, about the interconnectedness of Maine’s land and sea-based food systems.

Rather than echoing the in-depth treatment of Maine’s food systems in CEO Amanda Beal’s essay, MFT Gallery’s Land and Sea exhibit aims to be a light-hearted riffing-off of the journal article’s theme. Having traditionally shown work that reflects some aspect of farming in Maine, in this exhibit the gallery includes work which celebrates Maine’s coastal landscape and fishing culture.

The eclectic group show welcomes visitors with a giant black and white woodblock print by Julie Crane, showing Rockport harbor above and below sea level. Crane printed the woodcut at Pickwick Press in Portland, Maine – with the assistance of three other people.

On the opposite wall, Lou Schellenberg’s oil paintings render the light, the skies and coastal landscapes of Maine and Nova Scotia, dazzling with bold, confident brush strokes. “The larger one, What We Leave is very influenced by Marsden Hartley’s landscapes,” says Schellenberg. “I’ve been carrying his paintings in my head my whole life! The title is a reference to community change, islands and so on.” Schellenberg was chosen to be MFT Gallery’s poster artist for 2017.

Abstract paintings by Belfast’s own Kathryn Shagas (Dandelion, and Native Plants) hang side by side with photographs by Terry Hire – also non-objective in nature, yet taken from very real subjects: in this case, boats in dry dock, and an old chicken barn on Rt. 3.

Painters Robin Rier and Bjorn Runquist offer some wonderful plein-air style views of boats, wharfs and factories in Maine’s fishing villages. In contrast, to remind us of MFT Gallery’s root in farming, Sharon Yates offers us her keenly studied, understated cows; Leslie Bowman, a single, masterfully painted ear of corn. And Jude Valentine once again hits the mark with her pastel landscapes, which are always subtle, yet full of color and lively gestures.

Maryjean Viano Crowe takes a different approach entirely. Her complex paper cutting of almost five feet tall reads like an ancient myth. The artist states: “True to my fashion of working with the 16th-century German art form Scherenschnitt, my piece is an elaborate paper cut, polychromed with offset and registered stencils. Entitled Between Sky & Sea: Ancestral Spirits, it explores a mythological realm inspired by Native American stories. I believe it shows my reverence for the land, and an abiding belief in the beauty, magic and mystery of Mother Earth, whom we are charged to protect and respect, now, more than ever.”

MFT Gallery’s roster of much-loved figurative painters such as Leslie Anderson, Julie Cyr, Leslie Harris, Sheep Jones, Christopher O’Connor and Amy Peters Wood round out this fabulous collection of new work, alongside new appearances by Dale Hueppchen (giclee prints), Heléna Melone (paintings on silk) and Jim Nyce (photography).

Land and Sea: Summer Stable Show 2017 runs from July 3 until September 15th. There will be artist talks by Julie Crane, Maryjean Viano Crowe, Terry Hire and Lou Schellenberg at 5pm on July 28th, followed by a public reception and the Belfast Fourth Friday Art Walk from 5:30-8pm. There will be another Art Walk on August 25th, from 5:30-8pm.

MFT 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

The Inside View Artist Talk and Reception

 

Join us for The Inside View, on exhibit from April 3rd through June 23rd. There will be artist talks at 5:00pm on Friday May 26, followed by a reception as part of the Belfast Art Walk from 5:30-8:00pm.

With The Inside View, Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is aiming to show a variety of interior views of farms: old and new; still used for farming or transformed into an artist’s space; the family’s kitchen table versus the cow’s barn. The group show includes oil paintings, acrylics, mixed media, drawings and photography by artists Julie Cyr, Kerstin Engman, Leslie Harris, DiTa Ondek, Susan Smith, Sarah Szwajkos, and afore-mentioned Margaret LaFarge and Tessa O’Brien.

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/ .

Maine Farmland Trust completes donation of Fiore art to close to fifty Maine non-profits

Several years ago, MFT found itself in the unique position of having been given over one hundred pieces of valuable artwork by the late artist and conservationist Joseph A. Fiore (1925-2008) – for the sole purpose of re-gifting these pieces to educational and environmental organizations throughout Maine. The paintings and drawings were part of Fiore’s “Geological Works,” also known as the “Rock Paintings,” and were collectively valued at approximately $1.3 million.

During his lifetime, Joseph Fiore was an avid supporter of Maine Farmland Trust. A former Black Mountain College student and teacher, Fiore was a well-known avant-garde artist during the 1960s. An artist friend and contemporary of Lois Dodd and Alex Katz, Fiore divided his life between New York City and Jefferson, Maine. While Fiore is best known for his abstract compositions, his key inspiration was always the natural world – and this is where his heart lay.

Fiore’s family created a foundation after he passed in 2008.  From 2012 onward, the Falcon Foundation donated many of Fiore’s landscape works to MFT—owing to the artist’s longstanding commitment to the Trust and the fact that MFT runs a gallery that combines art and environment, paralleling the artist’s own passions.

Recently, Maine Farmland Trust completed the re-gifting of the Rock Paintings, which now reside with fifty non-profits throughout the state of Maine, and beyond. Among the recipients are such organizations as Bates College, Colby College, College of the Atlantic, St. Joseph’s College, Unity College, Bay Chamber Concerts, DaPonte String Quartet, American Farmland Trust, Blue Hill Heritage Trust, Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, Damariscotta River Association, Island Heritage Trust, Midcoast Conservancy, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Penobscot East Resource Center, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Kieve-Wavus Education Inc., Hurricane Island Center for Science & Leadership, Haystack, Gibbs Library, Skidompha Library, Vose Library, and many more Maine non-profits doing important work.

A full list of recipients can be found on MFT’s website: https://www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/public-outreach-new/jaf-art-center/fiore-art-trail/. This page actually offers a “Fiore Art Trail,” giving an overview of all the places in Maine where Fiore’s art can be found, along with opening times of organizations which offer public access. There is even a day trip suggestion complete with locations of delicious eateries along the way.

MFT itself has two locations where Fiore’s art can be seen – in this case, not only Rock Paintings, but also landscapes and abstract works: MFT Gallery, 97 Main Street, Belfast (open M-F, 9-4); and the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center, 152 Punk Point Rd, Jefferson (open to the public June – September, on Saturdays from 12-4).

The Inside View at MFT Gallery

Belfast. Machias watercolorist Margaret LaFarge has lived in Maine since 1980. Her intimate paintings transport us across time and space, into the rooms of farmhouses with which LaFarge has a special connection. “These are primarily homes I have lived in,” she points out. “And so my paintings revolve around family, memories and history.”

The farmhouse interiors depicted in paintings such as “Horse Hair Chair” and “1800 Farm House” hail from New England villages that once had a vibrant farming community. “But a lot of farming has disappeared here,” said LaFarge. “It’s so sad to see old farmhouses fall apart. I am fortunate that my family has always maintained them.”

An old box of photos took painter Tessa O’Brien on a trip down memory lane, to a time in her childhood when her parents and their friends built a timber frame together. “Everyone stayed and camped out with their babies and dogs. I just love those images, and the memories they conjure up,” said O’Brien.

In her bold, colorful paintings, the timber frame itself became a symbol for community, sustainability and craftsmanship. “I was pursuing my MFA at the time,” O’Brien explained. “And visually, I loved the structure of the timber frame as an image in its own right. I’m primarily interested in paint – the possibilities of it, the textural quality – but I need an organizing principle to direct my work.”

What followed was much like a community engagement project. “I started hunting down timber frames in Maine, and ended up meeting the people building them, and hearing their stories,” O’Brien shared. “I love the stories that go along with the buildings, and the way these structures interact with the land.”

The Portland painter recognized that the subject matter of farm houses runs the risk of being nostalgic. “While I started from a place of nostalgia that is not what I want to communicate. I want to show the present-day possibilities, which are very alive in Maine, and ask what these traditions can bring us now.”

With The Inside View, Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is aiming to show a variety of interior views of farms: old and new; still used for farming or transformed into an artist’s space; the family’s kitchen table versus the cow’s barn. The group show includes oil paintings, acrylics, mixed media, drawings and photography by artists Julie Cyr, Kerstin Engman, Leslie Harris, DiTa Ondek, Susan Smith, Sarah Szwajkos, and afore-mentioned Margaret LaFarge and Tessa O’Brien.

The Inside View will be on exhibit from April 3rd through June 23rd. There will be artist talks at 5:00pm on Friday May 26, followed by a reception as part of the Belfast Art Walk from 5:30-8:00pm.

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/ .

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

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery lost a remarkable artist last week

Dahlov Ipcar in her studio with her cat

Dahlov Ipcar died at the age of 99 in her home in Georgetown. MFT was honored to have worked with her over the past five years, sharing her children’s books and her wonderful prints and lithographs. Ipcar was featured in a solo exhibit of her drawings and watercolors in 2013, and became MFT Gallery’s first poster artist. Some of her lithographs are featured in the current show. The Portland Press Herald fittingly captured Ipcar’s generous nature and her impact on art in Maine:

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/02/11/legendary-maine-artist-dahlov-ipcar-dies-at-99/

In Dialogue with Nature

Please join us for our next gallery show and artist talk: In Dialogue with Nature

Exhibiting the four artists-in-residence who spent a month during the summer of 2016, living and working at MFT’s Joseph A. Fiore Art Center in Jefferson:

Thomas R. Higgins (courtesy of Greenhut Gallery, Portland)

Robert Pollien (courtesy of Dowling-Walsh Gallery, Rockland)

Thérèse Provenzano

Susan Smith

With new work by Julie Cyr, Dahlov Ipcar, Sheep Jones, Christopher O’Connor and Lou Schellenberg on the second floor.

The exhibit will be on display from Tuesday January 17 – Friday March 24.

There will be an Artist Talk by the artists-in-residence on Friday March 17, 5:00pm, followed by a Reception until 7:00pm.

In Dialogue with Nature

Belfast. In the summer of 2016, four artists spent a month living and creating at Rolling Acres Farm in Jefferson. More precisely: a month of observing and noting, walking and musing, painting and drawing, collecting and interacting with the soil, the water, the weeds, woods and sky.

These four artists, all from Maine, were the very first artists-in-residence at Maine Farmland Trust’s Joseph A. Fiore Art Center, an initiative started last year in collaboration with the Falcon Foundation in Damariscotta, which holds the works of late artist and environmentalist Joseph A. Fiore (1925-2008).

The Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm aims to actively connect the creative worlds of farming and art making by way of exhibitions and public educational events, through research and development of new farming practices and by hosting residencies for artists on a working farm.

David Dewey, trustee and curator of the Falcon Foundation and co-director of the Fiore Art Center believes that an artist residency is an important creative interlude from the demands of life, which allows artists time to refresh their creative batteries and develop their art work with a clear mind. “We all need a break at times; the residency program can be a valuable period of critical artistic growth that both the artist and the public can benefit from.”

The four 2016 artists-in-residence Thomas R. Higgins*, Robert Pollien*, Thérèse Provenzano and Susan Smith are now exhibiting the work created during their month at Rolling Acres Farm at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in Belfast. The exhibition, titled In Dialogue with Nature, is on display until March 24th, with artist talks and a closing reception on Friday March 17, at 5pm. (*Higgins appears courtesy of Greenhut Gallery, Pollien appears courtesy of Dowling-Walsh Gallery.)

The artists each had their own unique approach and experience. Higgins, a landscape painter who worked mostly in oils, followed by some drawing, shared: “Having the unobstructed freedom to come and go as I please has resulted in the opportunity to focus on subject matter not explored in recent years, and the chance to get to know a few locations intimately.” Pollien, also a landscape painter, said: “The month was very productive and I find that the intensity of the residency has carried over nicely. The time spent working and thinking deeply about painting continues to be of lasting value.”

Provenzano, pastel painter, spent many a day right outside the glass doors of her barn studio. “My residency at Rolling Acres Farm provided a new lay of land to digest, en plein air.  The sky read imposing, vast or aloof. Rain and clouds made their presence known. Reaching and digesting the land, alone and unencumbered […], took precedence.”

The vibrant greens and lively brush strokes of Higgins’ paintings; the reverent stillness which Pollien is able to evoke with his coastal views and clouds; Provenzano’s meditation on the S-curved farm road meandering down to Damariscotta Lake – each speak to a different aspect and experience of the fields, water and sky at Rolling Acres Farm.

Smith took a different approach entirely. Her site-specific art practice lies somewhere between the archeological, ideological, experimental and ephemeral. She collected rusty old bits of farm equipment, branches, soil and plant materials, and created intricate eco-prints by tightly wrapping these different ingredients into cloth “bundles,” then steaming them. Her work wants to be touched, and speaks straight to the soul of buried history, sleeping memory, and connection to land that longs to be known.

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In Dialogue with Nature is currently on display until March 24th, with artist talks and a closing reception on Friday March 17 at 5pm. New work by MFT Gallery artists Julie Cyr, Dahlov Ipcar, Sheep Jones, Christopher O’Connor and Lou Schellenberg on the second floor.

 

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.

The Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm, located at 152 Punk Point Rd, Jefferson, is accepting applications for 2017 residencies until March 1st. More information can be found at https://www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/public-outreach-new/jaf-art-center/.

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