Tag Archives: Photography

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

Two by Two: Two Couples, Four Photographers

(Belfast, ME) When it comes to photography, couples Ralph & Kathryn and Margaret & Drew are two peas in a (tri-)pod. For both pairs, being photographers together is a core part of their relationship – not unlike farming is to many farming couples. The new exhibit at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery features a selection of each of these four photographers.

Two by Two: Two Couples, Four Photographers will be on display from November 7, 2016 through January 6, 2017. There will be an artist talk with all four photographers on Friday November 18, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm, followed by a reception from 5:30 to 8:00 pm.

Kathryn and Ralph

Kathryn has been an artist her whole adult life. She met Ralph when he contacted her to collaborate on a photo series in May 2013. It was a dance series and she participated as the subject. Shortly thereafter they became good friends and eventually fell in love. “Ralph inspired me to step behind the lens myself,” says Kathryn. “So we continue to bounce ideas off each other, share critiques but we pursue our own projects independently.”

Ralph was born in West Germany and studied European literature in Germany and France. He immigrated to the United States in 2002. He is a self-taught photographer who regularly presents his work in national and international shows.

“Kathryn and Ralph both often work in black and whites, and their images are rather dream-like,” says Anna Witholt Abaldo, curator of MFT Gallery. “But that is where the resemblance stops. There is a definite difference in feel, which completely echoes their individual spirit. Kathryn’s works – especially her encaustics – have an ephemeral, wispy, whimsical quality that pulls us into imaginary worlds filled with voices of flowers and wind-swept grass. Ralph’s work can be both beautiful and haunting at the same time. It strikes me as truly European: born from a philosopher’s soul, he mixes equal parts of the same dark and dripping angst found in Rilke’s poems with raw and unexpected beauty. The resulting images quiver with melancholy longing.”

Margaret and Drew

Margaret and Drew typically photograph and exhibit together. “We often spend several hours working at the same location—it could be an old farm, an abandoned mill site, or perhaps an historical building,” Margaret says.
Margaret was not a photographer when they met, but Drew was. “I would come along when he was taking pictures,” says Margaret. Drew proceeded to give Margaret a camera. “I had liked photography in my childhood – but I was always interested in abstract stuff, and was told I was taking the wrong kind of pictures!”

By Drew Sanborn

A common thread in their work is their interest in the still-visible remainders of Maine’s 19th and early 20th century history. Abandoned machinery from farms and factories, evolving rural landscapes, and even libraries of vintage books are all viewed with a contemporary sensibility.

“Margaret and Drew know how to do justice to the beauty and personality of all things old,” says Anna Witholt Abaldo. “Looking at their work I sense a stillness and emptiness, like time has momentarily stopped.”

New Photographs by Lynn Karlin, Marquetry by James Macdonald at MFT Gallery

Belfast. “We taste (rather we eat), we touch (maybe not enough). But how often do we slow down to take in the beauty of the often-overlooked vegetables that nourish us?” Thus begins Lynn Karlin’s artist statement on her new body of work, The Tray Series.

Starting September 23rd, Maine Farmland Trust Gallery will be exhibiting Lynn Karlin’s much-awaited Tray Series on the ground floor. Eight years ago Belfast’s own Karlin began a quest to honor even the humblest vegetables by elevating them, as she puts it, “to a place where they belong: on a pedestal.” The stunning Pedestal Series which resulted from this endeavor earned Karlin the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for “Best in Still Life Category” for the last two years, and “Gold” for the Prix De La Photographie Paris in 2015 – along with worldwide acclaim.

The photographs in The Tray Series offer an aerial view of a confined space, with the subject often exiting the frame to break up the design. Thinking within the box, Karlin looks for good form, texture, patina and color. Subjects may now include familiar man-made kitchen objects as well as her beloved fruits and vegetables, showing “beauty can be found everywhere, if you take the time to really look.”

Reverenceby James Macdonald

Another artist who wants to treat his subjects in a way that reveals both their importance and aesthetics is Unity artist and craftsman James Macdonald. His exceptional marquetry work – defined as the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to a structure, in order to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures – will be shown on the gallery’s second floor.

Macdonald’s body of work, titled Growers and Grown, was funded by an Artist Project Grant from the Maine Arts Commission and features new farmers in Waldo County. Says Macdonald: “My work in this exhibition comes from my fascination with the relationship between us and the food we eat. Here I’ve chosen to present a mix of work showing local farmers, food, and hand tools. My desire is to treat and display these subjects in a way that reveals their beauty, necessity, and magnificence.”

The exhibit runs from Friday September 23rd through October 31st, with an artist talk on opening day September 23rd from 4:30-5:30pm and a reception on the same evening, from 5:30-8pm, during the Belfast Art Walk.

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. The gallery is also open for Belfast Creative Coalition’s Cultivate Tour, on Saturday October 8, from 10am-3pm. 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

Collin Howell

Home Grown: an exhibit about Farming Families at MFT Gallery

From April 4 through May 30, Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is exhibiting a new show tied together around the common theme of farming families in Maine.

On the ground floor is a photographic documentary by Collin Howell who, over the course of three years, became a frequent guest at Winterberry Farm. Her photo series, “Sage,” shows us life on a family farm through the eyes of a young girl, whose only home has been this land that sustains her. The second floor showcases three different painters – Leslie Harris, Maxwell Nolin and Pat Wheeler – along with book artist Abbie Read. Continue reading about the artists at here.

The artists will be present for an artist talk on Friday May 27, from 4:30-5:30pm, followed by a reception during Belfast’s first art walk this season, from 5:30-8pm. All are welcome.

Collin Howell

Home Grown: an exhibit about Farming Families at MFT Gallery

 

From April 4 through May 30, Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is exhibiting black and white photographs, paintings, mixed media works and an artist book which all tie together around the common theme of farming families in Maine.

On the ground floor is a photographic documentary by Collin Howell who, over the course of three years, became a frequent guest at Winterberry Farm. Her photo series, “Sage,” shows us life on a family farm through the eyes of a young girl, whose only home has been this land that sustains her.  “What makes this body of work so successful is the palpable intimacy that the photographer developed with this family,” says MFT Gallery curator Anna Abaldo. “She was able to be present without being intrusive, giving us a very close look into the family’s daily life. It’s as if we ourselves are standing in the kitchen while the bread is being kneaded; as if we ourselves are trailing behind Sage as she does her farm chores.”

The second floor showcases three different painters – Leslie Harris, Maxwell Nolin and Pat Wheeler – along with book artist Abbie Read.

Leslie Harris, from Abraham’s Goat Farm in Newport, is showing a new body of work consisting of portraits of family members past and present, which string together like a veritable farm-family tree. Great grandmothers standing proudly in front of a lush vegetable garden are represented alongside the artist’s own grandchildren, gathered together in the living room on a sunny afternoon on the farm.

Maxwell Nolin, new on the Belfast art scene and new to MFT Gallery, is also a farmer: he and his partner Hannah grow vegetables for the Belfast Coop on Harrow Down Farm in Brooks. Like Leslie Harris, he paints other farming family and friends in his environment, yet with a surrealistic, dreamlike twist.

Pat Wheeler is not a farmer, but very connected to her farming community in the Blue Hill and Deer Isle area, which she portrays in her mixed media works. She titled this recent body of work “The Hunger for Connection,” showing that farmers in her area are meeting two needs simultaneously, by growing food and community. Many of her larger works incorporate what she refers to as “bundles ” – gathered bits and pieces of nature that she wraps, stitches, glues and waxes together. “They are something sacred,” says Wheeler, “each bundle like a kernel of the whole land.”

Abbie Read created a large artist book in honor of her niece Morgan, who farmed on Matinicus Island last year, from April until November. She shares: “The pages of the book are the grain bags that accumulated as my niece Morgan fed her pigs, hens and ducks. She is the fifth generation to farm in our family, in some way, beginning with my grandmother’s father.”

The artists will be present for an artist talk on Friday May 27, from 4:30-5:30pm, followed by a reception during Belfast’s first art walk this season, from 5:30-8pm. All are welcome. For more information please visit www.mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org.

The Faces of Farms

Throughout 2015, photographer Catherine Frost will be traveling to Maine farms all across the state, visiting those with their own special livestock. From alpaca to water buffalo to turkeys and rare breeds of horses, each month will feature new faces. The best will be featured in a show at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in January and February of 2016, The Faces of Farms.


The Belted Galloways of Mitchell Ledge Farm, Freeport, Maine

I visited Mitchell Ledge three times in two months and each time, each day the temperature was below freezing. One day it was snowing furiously and the other had dangerously low wind chill temperatures. Covered with their dense, curly coats, none of the herd seemed to mind. To them it was just another day in the life on the farm – chewing, meandering, scratching, sleeping and being nonchalantly curious about what I was up to jumping fences, crossing their well-beaten paths and squirreling into their cozy spaces.

More than the belt, I am taken with their ears and eyelashes. I want to snuggle each one as though it is an enormous, gentle puppy. When their fuzzy Dr. Seussian ears catch the sunlight, it’s magical.  And the closer I get, the more they flirt with their big baby brown eyes. I get just a bit closer. Thankfully, they don’t seem to mind.

View the full post, with photos, HERE.

Maine Artist Explores Ties Between Soil, Farmers and Community

The Maine Farmland Trust Gallery presents:

Heather Lyon: “The Farm Project”

February 13-March 27 exhibit

Artist Reception: March 20, 5-7:30pm

 

Belfast. The Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by Blue Hill artist Heather Lyon. The exhibition consists of photographs of local farmers’ hands, an embroidered tablecloth recording the spills from a farm dinner created for the photographed farmers, and a sculpture made of soil sampled from all of the participating farms.

“The Farm Project” exhibition is the culmination of work that Lyon started several years ago, when she began photographing farmers’ hands holding their soil. She was interested in the idea that the soil, that which is essential and which is the beginning of all growth, could be held in a tender gesture by the people who so lovingly work with and care for it. Lyon feels a deep sense of connection to the land, which is the reason she has chosen to make rural Maine her home, and with this exhibit wishes to pay homage to some of the stewards of that land.

The feast, prepared by Aragosta chef and owner Devin Finigan, brought those farmers together to enjoy a meal consisting exclusively of foods grown and raised by them on the Blue Hill peninsula. Lyon has recorded that meal by embroidering on top of spills and stains on the 30 foot tablecloth used during the meal. With her labor, she acknowledges the labor of the farmers.

The final element of the exhibit is a soil sculpture consisting of samples taken from each of the farms. The sculpture is both a literal and poetic bringing together of the farms she visited, a material monument to the shared vision of the farmers. It is the dirt itself that symbolizes a community.

Heather Lyon’s work is an exploration of the palpability of place, systems and ways of perceiving energy, through the metaphoric use of materials. Her work often uses repetitive tasks such as piecing, sewing, wrapping, embroidery, knitting and binding.   She seeks to create objects, environments and images that are simultaneously themselves and more than themselves.

Heather Lyon is an artist born on the coast of Maine. She holds both an MFA and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After living and working in France for four years, she returned to Maine in 2009 where she built an ecological home with her husband and son. She has shown at numerous galleries in Chicago, Nantes (France), and Maine, as well as being a featured artist in ‘Scope’ New York. She has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont and at Atelier Alain LeBras in Nantes, France, as well as workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Maine), Ox-Bow Artist’s Colony (Michigan), and the Burren College of Art (Ireland).

She is currently the Exhibition Chair for the Deer Isle Artist’s Association in Deer Isle, Maine.

This exhibition is made possible by farmers from the Blue Hill Peninsula (Horsepower Farm, Quills’s End Farm, King Hill Farm, David’s Folly Farm and Yellow Birch Farm) Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, Aragosta Restaurant and the Blue Hill Wine Shop.

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery is located at 97 Main Street in Belfast and open Monday through Friday (not on holidays) from 9-4. In addition, the gallery will be open Saturday March 21 and Sunday March 22 from 10-2. 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 about the Trust, visit www.mainefarmlandtrust.org

 

Pictured: “ANDY” Horsepower Farm, Penobscot  by Heather Lyon

Attention to Detail at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery: new works by photographer Lynn Karlin, with additional photographs by Helder, Hire, Reid and Woodman

This summer, Belfast fine art photographer Lynn Karlin returns to Maine Farmland Trust Gallery for her second solo show at this location: Attention to Detail. MFT Gallery was in fact the first venue to showcase Lynn Karlin’s photography as fine art.

In 2009, Karlin began working on the now famous Pedestal Series, honoring the beauty of the vegetable. MFT Gallery exhibited Pedestal Series in 2012. Karlin continued to expand this body of work, and it has since traveled to Napa Valley in California, the James Beard House Gallery in New York, and other galleries around the country; it was reviewed in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, London’s Sunday Telegraph and several Swiss magazines as well.

Recently, Karlin’s work started taking a direction that is reminiscent of the old Dutch Masters – both in lighting, and in composition. MFT Gallery will be showing a particularly exquisite piece which is a classic still life of fruits and vegetables, printed on an impressive scale.

“I also like the modern look: one simple vegetable, close-up, looking for the perfect lines or form,” Karlin commented. “Right now I am somewhat torn between the two styles.” None of this tension is visible in Karlin’s refined prints, which exude a quality of timelessness, grace, and royalty.

Attention to Detail, which is on display at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery from June 13 through July 14, 2014, will be highlighting some of Karlin’s most recent works, many of which have not been previously exhibited. In addition, the show features select works by four other Maine photographers, shown on the gallery’s second floor. Jaap E. Helder, whose abstract photography and paintings were included in an exhibit at MFT Gallery in 2012, will be showing new photographs. Photographers Terry Hire, Michael Reid and Mary Woodman will all be making their first appearance at MFT Gallery.

The public is welcome to attend the reception on Friday June 20, from 5:30-8pm, during the Trust’s annual Maine Fare celebration. The gallery will also be open for Belfast’s Final Fridays Art Walk on June 27, from 5:30-8pm.

Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, located at 97 Main Street in Belfast, is open Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm. More information can be found atwww.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

I FARM BECAUSE…

I FARM BECAUSE

A Collection of Photographs and Writing at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery

 

Farming is contagious – at least to Isabel Stearns, a young photographer from Simmons College in Boston. This past summer, she drove up to Maine to visit her friend Anna, an apprentice on Four Season Farm on Cape Rosier. Through her friend, she was introduced to the diverse farms in the Penobscot Bay area. Soon Stearns found herself volunteering at Four Season Farm for two weeks alongside eight apprentices. With camera in hand, she had a taste of Maine’s farm life.

 

According to Stearns, who was raised on a conventional cranberry farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts, working as an apprentice on a farm is a foreign lifestyle to most of her peers today. She states: “As a result of many factors such as industrial agriculture, fast-food, and supermarkets, there is a disconnect between the food that sustains our bodies and where it comes from. We either romanticize farming as the “simple life,” or look down upon it as menial labor. Consequently, farming is easily overlooked as a career path. However, I am excited to see that young individuals of all backgrounds are carefully choosing this work.”

 

During her weeks in Maine, Isabel created a collection of photographs and assembled handwritten words of farm apprentices in the Penobscot Bay area. “The inspiration was my admiration and wonder for the life of an apprentice. I hope to share the beauty I see in their work,” she explains. “Rather than pursuing more financially secure or socially encouraged career paths, the apprentices have chosen to invest their time in a trade which nurtures the land, themselves, and others.”

 

Each portrait in this exhibit is accompanied by a statement which begins with: “I farm because…” Isabel Stearns, the photographer, and Anna Abaldo, Maine Farmland Trust’s Gallery Curator, have created an interactive response wall so that visitors, too, can tell us why they farm – “which we hope they do!” smiles Abaldo.

 

Stearns graduated in May, 2013 from Simmons College in Boston where she studied Business Management and Photography. She took her first darkroom processing class during her first year of high school and has since spent countless hours photographing. Not until the past year did she begin to explore digital photography. This is her first major exhibit.

 

I Farm Because…. Will be on display at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery from March 7 through April 28.

Calling All Farmers! Be in the next Gallery Show!

“These are a few of my Favorite Things”

This Winter, MFT Gallery would like to cover all its walls from top to bottom with pictures of “Favorite Things” from your farm: a much loved farm animal, a baby calf, your favorite tool, your most-worn pair of overalls, a cherished view, your yummiest value-added product, the best pie from your farm kitchen, your family – whatever makes your heart sing.

This being the time of family celebrations and giving thanks, we at MFT would like to celebrate along with you and pay homage to Maine’s farm families and all that you love.

 

To participate, send between 1 and 20 pictures, color or black and white, before January 12th, in one of the following ways:

DIGITALLY: via email to anna@mainefarmlandtrust.org, preferably higher resolution – we will print them out and use them only for the show. Make sure to add in the email: Your name, the name of your farm, and the subject or title of each picture.

MANUALLY: drop framed or unframed pictures off at MFT, 97 Main Street in Belfast – ask for Kim and give them to her. Make sure to add a note with: Your name, the name of your farm, and the subject or title of each picture. Also add your contact info so we can contact you to pick the pieces up at the end of the show.

 

“These are a few of my Favorite Things” will be up during February and March, possibly April.

We look forward to receiving your photos! Any questions can be directed to Gallery Coordinator Anna Abaldo at: anna@mainefarmlandtrust.org.