A profusion of eye-catching artwork by a who’s who of local artists is what’s on tap at “The Little Holiday Show,” on the walls and shelves and inside the glass cabinets at the Kefauver Studio & Gallery in Damariscotta through Friday, Dec. 23.
Perfectly timed for the Christmas shopping season, the show features original works of various sizes and prices by 20 top-notch artists, such as photographers Ronn Orenstein and Claudia Noyes Griffiths; painters DiTa Ondek, Sally Loughridge, and Liliana Thelander; and metal sculptor and painter Marnie Sinclair. These pieces share space with a large number of very small paintings on easels and beautiful, winter-themed notecards based on artists’ original work. In one corner stands a festive Christmas tree decked out with tiny paintings by Sinclair, Jan Kilburn, Kathleen Horst, and Will Kefauver, owner of the gallery. Kefauver’s finely crafted oil paintings (and several “enhanced giclees”) – many featuring iconic Maine scenery – grace a large portion of the gallery.
“Everybody has shown here during the year, so this was sort of a little holiday gift for them, too. They didn’t have to jury in. If they had been here during the year, they are here,” said Kefauver, explaining the logic behind the selection of artists for “The Little Holiday Show.”
Photographer Judy Bernier’s three small square sepiatone photos on aluminum – “LaVerna Ferns,” “LaVerna Sea Shell,” and “LaVerna Frog” – are charming, as are Kilburn’s miniature matted, framed watercolors of local landscapes. Kilburn’s “Afternoon Sail,” measuring just 2 1/4 by 2 1/4 inches and featuring a tiny white sail on a background of water, mountains, and sea gulls, is particularly lovely. Nearby, Horst’s watercolor “Trees” is equally appealing.
Deena Ball’s small watercolor painting of a tree, “Morning Light,” captures the beauty of a tree in muted colors and an abstract approach. Ondek’s little paintings of pigs and goats are delightful, and her two acrylic paintings of old pickup trucks in a holiday “mood” – “Christmas Truck I” and “Christmas Truck II” – are sheer fun.
Thelander, who currently has paintings on display at The Carey Gallery at Skidompha Public Library, weighs in at “The Little Holiday Show” with a number of single-subject still lifes, including “Green Pepper,” “Cabbage,” and “Bananas.” Her “Violin & Clarinet” shows off her attention to detail and her ability to precisely paint reflections. As always, Thelander’s work is carefully created and aesthetically pleasing.
Loughridge’s “Darkening” features a blue-green object that could be a rock, an island, or a mountain looming over two reddish buildings in the foreground. Her choice to depict the buildings and the blue-green land mass in the sparest of details pays off in this intriguing painting.
Two of the most striking pieces in this show are Petrea Noyes’ glossy pigment prints, “Harpies” and “Farmer.” “Harpies” features the mythological creatures of the painting’s title drawn in what appears to be white ink or paint on a dark canvas resembling old Levi’s. “Farmer,” picturing a cartoonishly drawn farmer in a hat standing near a tree, is a sheer delight to examine at length. Noyes’ drawing skills are impressive, as is her ability to create art that is utterly unique and captivating.
Show-goers should not miss Sinclair’s charming little bronze sculptures in a glass case near the front of the gallery. “Small Reclining Pig,” “Small Harp Seal” (two versions, both perched on small rocks), and “Sitting Frog” are expertly made and adorable.
It is not incorrect or cliched to say “The Little Holiday Show” has something for everyone, from the lover of art looking to spend an hour or more perusing the art on display to the Christmas shopper looking to purchase anything from a lovely seasonal greeting card or ornament to a piece of collectible art for gift-giving.
The Kefauver Studio & Gallery is located at 144 Bristol Road, Damariscotta. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.