Something for everyone: Last Thursday, July 18, was a rather hot day in Newcastle, a perfect day to drive from the LCN office down the Pemaquid peninsula, where it was a little cooler, to visit Saltwater Artists Gallery and take in the work of the 25 well-known area artists showing there.
From the work of jewelry artist Cat Crozier, aka “The Pemaquid Beader,” and woodturner Tom Raymond, to that of Whitefield ceramicist Libbey Seigars and photographers and painters such as Sandy Flint and Ardy Greatorex, and Alice de Mauriac and Elizabeth Palmer, respectively, there is a lot to see at the gallery. (Note: Palmer’s watercolors are extremely well-detailed; don’t miss them.)
Raymond, whose finely crafted bowls made of different types of wood are on display at the gallery, was the artist on hand that day to greet visitors, answer questions, and ring up sales at the not-for-profit cooperative gallery. A friendly man, he gave me a little insight into his woodworking process, which included telling me that one of his bowls – the one I was particularly admiring for its beautiful coloring and grain – was made from a box elder tree that grew in his yard.
As I toured the various rooms of the gallery, it occurred to me that Saltwater Artists Gallery, as is fitting its location in a high-traffic tourist area, has a little something for everyone who comes in if they wish to buy a memento of their visit to the area.
In addition to the top-notch work they have featured at the gallery, a number of the artists on exhibit offer greeting cards of their work, for instance. Flint’s beautiful framed photography of animals such as moose, puffins, and foxes is represented in cards; I bought a very compelling and cute one of an owl with its mouth open, looking like it was saying “Hey!” to the viewer.
I also bought a card featuring the colorful Maine-centric art of painter and photographer David Higgins, whose work ranges from a postcard-worthy shot called “Sun & Fog – Pemaquid Light” to his playfully cartoonish acrylics, such as “Stonington Cottage” and “Ram Island Light, Boothbay.”
In addition to her monotypes and etchings, artist Kay Miller offers tiny paintings on easels and refrigerator magnets that are also small paintings. Greatorex has added a line of cards and calendars to her creative photography offerings. (Check out her powerful, colorful, unframed photo-on-canvas called “Trap Rope,” for one.)
Cynthia Smith, whose innovative and sometimes quirky work I admired when I first visited the gallery a couple of seasons ago, weighs in with a lot of visually interesting pieces, from bronze and stone sculptures to an Escher-like pen-and-ink piece called “Lateral Movement.”
“Le Fromage,” a whimsical sculpture featuring mice, cheese, and a cheese board perfectly represents what Smith is all about. Her work is fun.
Smith, whose numerous mediums include stained glass, also offers colorful stained-glass lobster buoy ornaments for $10. I can see a kid who is wanting to buy a pretty piece of art to take home purchasing one of these gems.
At the risk of sounding trite, there is so much to see at this venue, all of it good and interesting. Allow at least an hour to adequately take it in.
Saltwater Artists Gallery is located on Route 130 (Bristol Road) in New Harbor (Bristol), a tenth of a mile before the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. The gallery is online at saltwaterartists.com. It is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday, Oct. 14.
(Christine LaPado-Breglia has written about the arts in both California and Maine. She is the recipient of two 2018 Critic’s Awards and a 2018 Local Columnist award from the Maine Press Association. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write her a letter in care of The Lincoln County News, P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543.)