Art comes to me: Sometimes I go in search of arts-related topics to write about and sometimes they just fall into my lap. This week has been a case of the latter.
The hot topic at the Tuesday, Oct. 10 meeting of the Whitefield Board of Selectmen was the Wednesday, Oct. 4 rear-ending of a horse-and-buggy on East River Road by a Whitefield resident driving an SUV.
Cultural awareness: On Wednesday, Oct. 4, I attended the afternoon screening of the documentary film “Maineland” at Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta. “Maineland” follows two well-to-do, amiable Chinese high school students, Stella and Harry, as they attend boarding school at Fryeburg Academy in Fryeburg, Maine, coming of age in a culture very different from the one in which they were raised. The 90-minute 2017 movie, which took three years to film, is directed by filmmaker Miao Wang, who moved to the United States from China when she was 12.
Ceramic arts in the ‘hood: As readers of this column know, well-known local potter and ceramics teacher Liz Proffetty recently opened Neighborhood Clay, the new clay studio and retail space on upper Main Street in Damariscotta. The last time I was at Neighborhood Clay was before it opened, when Proffetty was taking much delight in the expansive, well-lit space still under construction.
Damariscotta artist Bernice Masse Rosenthal is a “seasoned recycler,” as she puts it in her artist’s statement accompanying her new exhibit in The Carey Gallery at Skidompha Library. As such, she has amassed a wealth of discarded wooden items and wood scraps, some of them from her days working as a volunteer “friend” at The Carpenter’s Boat Shop in Pemaquid. “I can never resist any interestingly shaped piece of wood, big or small,” she writes. Rosenthal recycled a number of these interesting pieces of scrap wood, turning them into the 20 wood-assemblage pieces currently hanging on the walls of the cozy library gallery.
The Alna fire station was the location for a public informational meeting the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 3 to discuss the possible relocation of Bailey Road. Michael Abbott, the recently hired environmental coordinator of Topsham-based Crooker Construction LLC, which operates the large gravel pit on Bailey Road and Route 218 in Alna and Whitefield, hosted the meeting. The meeting came on the heels of a Sept. 6 notice of violation received by the construction company from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection that it had excavated too close to Bailey Road, encroaching upon the required 100-foot setback from the road.
Farrell riding high: In June of last year, Newcastle photographer Chesley “Chet” Farrell had a show of his work in the cafe at Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta. His pieces were impressive – lovely depictions of the local landscape, for the most part. Notable, though, was the fact that Farrell’s work was largely unframed. That is because the photographs that he had gathered up to exhibit at the time were basically all he had left after a fire at his home and he had to put together a show in a bit of a hurry. He did a fine job.
Have lots of fun for a really good cause: The Maine Marimba Ensemble‘s upcoming concert on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Darrows Barn at DRA Round Top Farm in Damariscotta looks like a really fun time. And the ticket price – $10 at the door – will go to benefit the Meals on Wheels program at Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center in Damariscotta.
At first glance, one might understandably think that the main impetus for making “The Home Road” – the brand-new film by Portland-based filmmaker Tonya Shevenell screening at Lincoln Theater on Saturday, Sept. 23 – was to create a historical documentary about the life of Shevenell’s great-great-great-grandfather Israel Shevenell. Israel Shevenell was the first permanent French-Canadian settler in Biddeford and the town’s first French voter. He arrived in Biddeford after walking there from Quebec, Canada to find work in the spring of 1845.
Wilde and scenic: There are two things that I find crucial to a good art-viewing experience (in addition to, of course, the presence of good art): adequate lighting and a quiet room. The current exhibit of paintings by Walpole artist Sarah Wilde in the West Gallery of River Arts in Damariscotta, “On the Wilde Side,” hits it on both counts – well, all three, if one counts the fact that Wilde’s art is very good.
Mixing work and pleasure: On the morning of Thursday, Aug. 31, one of my colleagues here at The Lincoln County News, reporter Maia Zewert, and I took a 50-minute Hardy Boat trip from New Harbor to spend the day on Monhegan Island, which is part of Lincoln County and, therefore, part of the paper’s coverage area.
The art studio and gallery of painter Alice Boynton is tucked away at the end of a wooded trail near the north end of Monhegan Island, 10 miles off the coast of Maine, but still part of Lincoln County. Like everything else on the picturesque island, the journey to the destination and the destination itself are equally charming.
Lincoln Theater in the limelight: As readers have no doubt noticed, Lincoln Theater in downtown Damariscotta has been closed for a number of days while the theater’s wood floor is sanded and revarnished. It will reopen in all its new glory on Friday, Sept. 8 with the screening of the 2017 film “The Big Sick.” Based on a true story, the film, which stars Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan, is about a Pakistan-born comedian who falls in love with an American grad student. Movie-rating website rottentomatoes.com gives it a whopping 98 percent approval rating on its Tomatometer.
Damariscotta artist Denise Rankin’s work is nothing if not fine. The painter and Shaker basket maker excels in both of her chosen mediums. Luckily for art lovers, Rankin’s whimsical, carefully crafted paintings and equally painstakingly crafted Shaker boxes and trays are on exhibit at The Stable Gallery in Damariscotta through mid-September.
The work of Bristol pastel artist and oil painter Kathleen Galligan has been gracing the walls of both floors of Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Damariscotta for well over a month. Her “Intersections II” exhibit will run through the end of August. Those who have not had the opportunity to see this collection of Galligan’s masterful work really ought to view it before it is taken down.