Loving the LC arts scene: I am on a roll. Or, rather, Lincoln County’s arts scene is on one.
Downtown lowdown: Things are quickly heating up on the downtown Damariscotta art scene. In my last column, I wrote about amazing artist (and very nice person) Phoebe Dean, who recently began working at Buzz Maine. Now, I am just as excited to tell readers about self-taught Thomaston wood artist Rob Jones and his wife, Barbie Jones, who opened Wooden Alchemy last Wednesday, April 4 in the Main Street space formerly occupied by River Gallery.
“The family fishermen are going the way of family farmers,” says one man interviewed in “Dead in the Water,” the new documentary film by Southern California filmmaker David Wittkower showing at Harbor Theater in Boothbay Harbor on Monday, April 9. Shot in New England coastal towns, the film chronicles the struggles of New England fishermen to remain viable in an age of what some might deem excessive federal regulation of the ground-fishing industry.
Getting to know Phoebe Dean: Delightful barely begins to describe my recent experience of spending time talking with 21-year-old self-taught artist Phoebe Dean. In addition to being very accomplished in the art of drawing, Dean is also a barista at downtown Damariscotta coffee bar and co-working space Buzz Maine. She is the one responsible for making the cool-looking new signage tacked onto the front counter at Buzz.
Just about everyone can relate to the lyrics of the anthemic theme song from the popular 1980 movie “9 to 5”: “Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’/ Barely gettin’ by, it’s all takin’ and no givin’/ They just use your mind and they never give you credit/It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it.”
Luoma landscapes: I braved the latest round of snow to head over to the Hall Gallery at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus in Damariscotta to see Alna artist Jon Luoma’s new exhibit “Landscape Watercolors of Maine, Newfoundland, the Galapagos, and Beyond.”
River Arts rocks it: There is a fabulous new exhibit on the walls (and pedestals) of the River Arts gallery in Damariscotta. “Figures & Sculpture” features the work of more than 60 artists from all over Maine, including such names as Belfast’s David Estey and Rockland painter Ronald Frontin.
Viva, Rhodes and Garren: “Viva Cuba” is the name of the fantastic photography exhibit currently on the walls of The Carey Gallery at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta. Featuring photographs from recent trips to Cuba by Katherine Garren, of Damariscotta, and Gisela H. Rhodes, of Newcastle, this show is must-see stuff. Rhodes (and her dog), incidentally, volunteer once a week at Skidompha.
Die Kunst des feinen Porzellans: I am back from my two-week vacation in Bavaria, Germany, where I had a great time. One of the interesting arts-related things I did – besides just taking in some of the beautiful architecture, such as Wahnfried Haus in Bayreuth, the preserved former home of the late German composer Richard Wagner – was check out Seltmann Weiden, the world-famous manufacturer of fine porcelain in the small city of Weiden in der Oberpfalz, where my son and his family live.
Charles Stuart’s brand-new documentary film “Into the Light,” set to screen Saturday, Feb. 17 at Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta, is “a riveting story and an uplifting film about the stigma and shame surrounding mental health in this country,” said the 73-year-old Nobleboro filmmaker in a recent interview at a local cafe.
Art of the square: “I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we first met at my art display at the Bristol Area Library,” Walpole artist Susan Bartlett Rice told me in a recent email. Indeed, a year has gone by since Rice’s last Bristol exhibit, and now she has a new exhibit at the same library, which runs through the end of February.
Welcome, McGrory & Wolf: I had mentioned to several people last year, after attending ArtWalk Waldoboro, that the art scene in Waldoboro seemed to be picking up steam. The addition of Valerie Greene Studio, for one, to the excellent local lineup was exciting.
The full parking lot at the Alna town office the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 31 was an indicator that the meeting of the Alna Board of Selectmen might be a lively one, and it did not disappoint.
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.