Tag Archives: Maine art

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. 

June Belfast Fourth Friday Art Walk

For those who can’t make it to the gallery during 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.

Front of Fiore Center house

August Open Studio Day at Rolling Acres Farm

Join Maine Farmland Trust on Saturday, August 26th from 11am-3pm, at our Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm for a family-friendly Open Studio Day. Come meet and view the work of August’s artists-in-residence: Elizabeth Hoy, an abstract painter living in Brooklyn , NY (MFA, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2009) and Jessica Klier, from Northampton, MA, who fashions elaborate installations from recycled waste (BA in Expressive Arts and Community Engagement with a Minor in Studio Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.) There will be live music on the lawn by father and daughter Phil Clement (guitar) and Sophia Buckley-Clement (voice), and free coffee, tea and ice cream. The Gallery at Rolling Acres will be open, currently showing a group exhibit with sixteen painters: Conversations, Studio and Table.

Located right on Damariscotta Lake at 152 Punk Point Road in Jefferson, the Fiore Art Center is a perfect place for a fun family outing – the public is invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the Center’s grounds for the day.

 

Front of Fiore Center house

July Open Studio Day at Rolling Acres Farm

Join Maine Farmland Trust on Saturday, July 29  from 11am-3pm, at our Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm for a family-friendly Open Studio Day. Come meet and view the work of July’s artists Tanja Kunz, an oil painter living in Bath (MFA, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC) and Josselyn Richards Daniels, a young illustrator and native Mainer from Yarmouth, currently a student at Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA. There will be live music on the lawn, and free coffee, tea and ice cream. Located right on Damariscotta Lake the public is invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the Center’s grounds for the day.

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/

Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm

Artist Studio Day & Open House at the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm

On Sunday, August 28, from 11am-3pm, the Art Center will host a family-friendly Artist Studio Day & Open House – a great opportunity for the public to see the new Center, visit the studios and talk with the artists and staff. These events will feature live music on the lawn, and free coffee, tea and ice cream. Bring a picnic and enjoy the Center’s magnificent grounds.

Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm

Artist Studio Day & Open House at the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm

On Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, August 28, from 11am-3pm, the Art Center will host a family-friendly Artist Studio Day & Open House – a great opportunity for the public to see the new Center, visit the studios and talk with the artists and staff. These events will feature live music on the lawn, and free coffee, tea and ice cream. Bring a picnic and enjoy the Center’s magnificent grounds.

Maine Farmland Trust announces Joseph A. Fiore Art Center A New Artist Residency Program in Jefferson, ME

Jefferson. Maine Farmland Trust, a statewide organization that protects farmland, supports farmers, and advances farming, recently partnered with the Falcon Foundation in Damariscotta to create an artist residency program on a protected farm.

 

The Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm in Jefferson will be launching its first residency for Maine-based visual artists in the summer of 2016. The program aims to connect the creative world of farming and art making, and evolve the dialogue between human and environment within the context of our current culture and time.

 

Falcon Foundation, a charitable foundation that holds the estate of the late artist Joseph Fiore (1925-2008), is generously supporting the establishment of the art center and residency program. Joseph Fiore was an artist and active environmentalist who, with his wife Mary, actively supported Maine Farmland Trust for many years.

 

David Dewey, former student and friend of Fiore and curator of the artist’s estate, will function as the Center’s Co-Director (Fine Arts Program), alongside Anna Witholt Abaldo (Co-Director, Center Operations), curator at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery since 2009.

 

Rolling Acres Farm sits on 130 acres on scenic Damariscotta Lake. Maine Farmland Trust purchased the Rolling Acres property to make sure this beautiful and productive land will be permanently protected and always available for farming.  MFT hopes that Rolling Acres will once again become a vibrant farm, so that art and agriculture can truly interweave and cross-pollinate.

Four Maine artists granted first month-long residency during summer

 

For this first pilot year, the application process was open only to artists living in Maine.

 

“We were excited and pleasantly surprised to receive close to 25 applications in this first round,” said Anna Abaldo. “The jury was impressed with the high quality of the work.”

 

Of the 23 eligible applicants, four artists were selected by a jury consisting of renowned New York/Maine artist Lois Dodd and Rockland’s Caldbeck Gallery owner Cynthia Hyde.

 

The July artists in residence will be Robert Pollien, MFA (University of Pennsylvania), from Mount Desert, whose submissions included landscape drawings and oil paintings; and J. Thomas R. Higgins, MFA (University of Wisconsin) from Readfield, a plein air landscape painter who works in oils.

 

The August artists in residence will be Thérèse Provenzano, MFA, (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) from Wallagrass, whose submissions consisted of works in charcoal and pastel on paper; and Susan Smith, MFA/IPh (University of Maine, Orono) from Dover Foxcroft, who creates site-specific projects that address the environment, through the use of sustainable methods and materials.

 

At the end of each residency, the Art Center will host a family-friendly Artist Studio Day & Open House at the Fiore Art Center in Jefferson – a great opportunity for the public to see the new art center, visit the art studios and talk with the artists and center staff. The 2016 summer dates are Saturday July 30 and Sunday August 28, from 11am-3pm; both days will feature live music outside on the lawn, and free coffee, tea and ice cream. Bring a picnic and enjoy the Center’s magnificent grounds.

 

For more information on the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center and artist residencies, please visit:

https://www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/public-outreach-new/jaf-art-center/

sprouts

Food: Long Grain

Local ingredients and home cooking lead to a James Beard Award nomination for a Camden chef from Thailand

By Sharon Kitchens
Illustrations Julie O’Rourke for Muwin Collective
Photos Jon Levitt for Muwin Collective

Long Grain

Food is a strong part of Thai culture. Even in big cities, edible traditions are upheld, such as a community lining up at dawn to offer food to a silent procession of monks who give blessings. While Americans might open a conversation by asking, “How are you?” Thai people often greet each other by asking if the other person has been eating.

Ravin ‘Bas’ Nakjaroen and Paula Palakawong are the husband-and-wife owners of Long Grain, a Camden restaurant that serves ethnic comfort food influenced by their native Bangkok, a Thai city known for street food that melds cuisines from neighboring countries.

Nakjaroen, the chef at Long Grain, learned the fundamentals of Thai cooking from his grandmother and mother. They shopped with him at local food markets and instilled a sense of pride in cooking delicious and comforting food from scratch, using the best available ingredients. When Nakjaroen was announced as a 2014 James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef: Northeast no one in Camden was surprised.

Long Grain opened in September 2010 and the buzz has continued since then. Part of the reason could be timing: Consumers are more aware than ever about the importance of locally sourced foods and the men and women who are their farming neighbors. Every dish at Long Grain starts with good ingredients like locally foraged mushrooms, eggs from Bowden’s Farm in Waldoboro, tofu from Heiwa Soy Beanery in Belfast, and meat, seafood, and greens sourced nearby.

“My husband always says it is an honest food,” Palakawong says. “There is nothing to hide what we do. When we say it’s homemade, it’s homemade. When we say it’s local, it’s local.”

Because Palakawong and Nakjaroen are from Thailand, Long Grain is often perceived as a Thai restaurant, but the menu features comfort food inspired by dishes you might find at markets in Bangkok where the food is as much Thai as it is a pan-Asian medley. A popular vegetarian item at Long Grain is the garlic chive rice cakes,   which are pan-fried and served with sautéed bean sprouts. In a Chinese restaurant this type of dish would likely be served with soy sauce, but at Long Grain they add a little more chili and vinegar to make it brighter and more flavorful.

“We use more seasoning than any other Asian country,” Palakawong explained. “Indian foods use more dry spices, Thai use everything. Japanese and Chinese only use soy sauce, they don’t use fish sauce. Thai use all kinds of sauces; that makes Thai food more accessible.”

Long Grain
Long Grain
Long Grain
Long Grain

Spicy Thai Basil Minced Chicken

Spicy Night Market Noodle Soup

Pla Mug Manow

Long Grain
Long Grain
Long Grain

Pad Kee Mow

Pad Ped Moo

Pan-fried Garlic Chive Rice Cakes

The couple is not only committed to local foods, but to incorporating ingredients Maine has to offer in dishes that would normally rely on foods from a tropical climate. In the spring diners find locally foraged ramps on the menu in place of   leeks or scallions, which do not come in until July and August.

Palakawong said locals especially know and appreciate the difference in their use of locally sourced ingredients. In a small town, everything travels fast—in Camden it is not just the ingredients that attract the locals, but what Nakjaroen does with them. The unique combinations burst with fresh taste.

Long Grain uses seventy-five pounds of Heiwa Tofu a week, year-round. Most of Heiwa Tofu’s soybeans are grown in Maine. Through the reemergence of a grain-growing community, the company has been able to recruit more farmers. According to Heiwa Tofu owner Jeff Wolovitz, soybeans are an excellent fit into many of these farmers’ rotation schemes for oats, wheat, corn, or even potatoes.

Wolovitz appreciates the couple’s support of the local food economy and the cooking. “Bas is spot on with it,” said Wolovitz. “Cubes of tofu quickly stir-fried, piping hot, and seasoned near the end. So simple. You can really enjoy the tofu that way. One of my favorites is the Pad See Ew with tofu and pork. Traditionally, tofu isn’t vegetarian food, it’s just another protein source that everyone eats.”

Patrons range from fishermen to summer residents and the restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner throughout the year. On most summer evenings, the homey 30-seat space is full for hours, with diners eating plates of house-made noodles and stir-fries. As a testament to the food, the staff never tires of “family meal.” In other restaurants, family meal is often different than what’s on the menu. At Long Grain, the food is so simple and easy to prepare that the staff eat just like the patrons.

And the prices are reasonable (nothing on the menu is more than $17). “A lot of the time people think when you eat locally it has to be expensive,” said Palakawong. “It is our job to work on the pricing. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion when someone comes in to eat with us.”

If the crowds, positive customer reviews, and recent James Beard nomination are any indication, Long Grain’s proprietors are doing their job and a lot more. Nakjaroen’s mother and grandmother would likely be very proud of what their son and his wife have accomplished. At Long Grain, good ingredients sourced locally allow the food to speak for itself.

Long Grain