Veggies in the limelight: I moseyed on over to the Central Lincoln County YMCA last Friday, Nov. 16 to check out the art on the walls of its lobby area. I say mosey because it was snowing, and driving and walking slowly is what is called for in such circumstances. Plus I kind of like the word.
Walpole painter Susan Bartlett Rice’s “4 Seasons of Paintings” show is what currently graces the Y’s lobby/sitting area.
I chose Friday morning to see Rice’s exhibit to time it right with the indoor farmers market that is in the same space every Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.
“4 Seasons” is a relatively small exhibit but it plays especially nicely against a backdrop of fresh vegetables, as several of the paintings feature vegetables. (Fans of Rice will likely recall her 2017 artist-farm partnership with Westport Island’s Tarbox Farm as part of Harlow Gallery’s CSA II project.) The Nov. 16 market was small compared to a previous one I attended, due to the snowy weather. But it still provided a nice counterpoint to Rice’s work.
While I took in Rice’s show, CLC Y Membership and Marketing Director Leslie Gomes was busy selecting the perfect bunch of celery from a pile of delicious-looking celery offered by Morning Dew Farm, of Newcastle. The farm’s tables also boasted a selection of other robust veggies and herbs, including potatoes, carrots, parsnips, cilantro, and parsley (perfect for the stew I was planning to make that evening).
On the wall behind Gomes were Rice’s paintings “Maize” and “Amongst the Giants,” of corn growing in a field and Atlantic giant pumpkins, respectively. One can appreciate the size of the dozen or so pumpkins in “Amongst the Giants” as Rice has included a human figure in the background who is dwarfed by the gigantic orbs.
Rice has a knack for bringing out the beauty (and then some) in what some might just see as ordinary, such as a field of corn, a pile of pumpkins, and flats of veggie seedlings, which she portrays so colorfully in her large square painting “Greenhouse Greens” that hangs just inside the entrance to the YMCA.
“I love Susan’s art, especially the colors she brought out of my friend’s greenhouse,” said Morning Dew Farm’s Brady Hatch with a smile, referring to “Greenhouse Greens.”
Rice’s show runs through Monday, Dec. 31. Learn more about her art at susanbartlettrice.com.
Thanks, Dale: I recently received a package from one of my favorite local artists, Dale Dapkins, hand-delivered to the LCN by his very charming wife, Lola Dapkins, whom I did not get to see because she knew I was busy and discreetly left the parcel with the person manning the front desk.
Unwrapping the brown paper, I revealed Dale’s latest kids book, “Bird Boy,” featuring his trademark whimsical drawings and refreshingly kooky words (“Paolo was afraid his mother would make a big deal about his new feathers like she did whenever he grew a new whisker on his upper lip or got a pimple on his face, so he hid his feathers by wearing a big sweatshirt.”)
Dale, who has five grandkids, knows how to appeal to a kid’s imagination and sense of humor.
The book I got has “Not for Resale” printed across the cover, but I imagine the for-sale version is not long in coming.
(Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.)