Art and hobnobbing at the Grill: Last week, I stopped by the Wednesday opening reception at Damariscotta River Grill for the new art show there, featuring the work of 16 local artists in the Pemaquid Group of Artists.
Before I headed upstairs to the bar area where the reception was being held, I made sure to take a good look at the artwork downstairs, located on both sides of the restaurant’s kitchen. One of the nice things about taking in a show at Damariscotta River Grill is that one has two floors’ worth of walls on which artwork hangs, making for a wealth of viewing. Add to that the fact that Damariscotta River Grill art shows feature more than one artist – usually three, but in this case, a whopping 16. Fun!
The list of artists in this show amounts to a who’s-who of artists in Lincoln County. In alphabetical order, they are: Deb Arter, Stephen Busch, Peggy Farrell, Claire Hancock, Kay Sawyer Hannah, Jean Harris, Hannah Ineson, Will Kefauver, Jan Kilburn, Sally Loughridge, Marlene Loznicka, Judy Nixon, Paul Sherman, Cindy Spencer, Liliana Thelander, and Bob Vaughan.
Harris’ large watercolor “The Poet’s Garden” hangs downstairs near the stairwell to the second floor of the restaurant. It is an intricate piece featuring a rusted-out pickup truck in a snowy yard at the center of the painting, encircled by letters of the alphabet, colorful spring flowers, and a hummingbird. The work suggests all the tools needed for a vibrant writerly life: Maine’s beautiful contrasting seasons and everything that goes along with them – and letters to make words and phrases.
Arter’s “Skip,” also downstairs, is a monotype that also includes encaustic “paint” (pigmented hot wax) and tiny beads. “Skip” should be sought out by show-goers for its delicacy and loveliness. In it, a spray of little pearlescent beads helps portray the splash that would come when a skipped rock hits the surface of water – a unique, effective move. The soft colors in the rather abstract piece – the yellow of the sun and the blues and white of the concentric rings of water – add to the beauty of the piece.
Arter has other pieces in the show, including “Soft Ocean,” a beautiful abstract monotype with chine-colle in pinks and grays. It contains the barest hint of waves and what could be interpreted as a boat and lobster traps. Definitely worth seeking out, it hangs upstairs by the venue’s windows overlooking Main Street.
Other highlights: Nixon’s little acrylic painting “No. 426” (downstairs); Loughridge’s “Winter’s Moon,” an oil painting of a forest through which a gold-leaf moon shines (also downstairs); Sherman’s watercolor “Grace,” of two female figures strolling down a sidewalk (upstairs); and Thelander’s glossy “Hen on the Snow” (upstairs).
Also upstairs: the fine party that is a Damariscotta River Grill art reception, complete with excellent art and hors d’oeuvres, and good company. It’s fun to chat with the artists about their work, and it’s nice to see who else shows up. Like Amy Kefauver, the wife of artist and Pemaquid Art Gallery Board of Directors President Will Kefauver. It is always nice to catch up with Amy, the friendly face behind The Barn Loft Apartment, a beautiful three-bedroom Airbnb space above Kefauver Studio & Gallery in Damariscotta.
The Pemaquid Group of Artists show runs through Tuesday, March 13. Damariscotta River Grill is located at 155 Main St., Damariscotta.
Learn more about Pemaquid Art Gallery, the regular, seasonal venue for the Pemaquid Group of Artists, at pemaquidartgallery.com. The gallery will be open daily from June 4 to Oct. 8.
(Email me at email@example.com or write me a letter in care of The Lincoln County News, P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543. I love to hear from readers.)