2016 marks the 56th year that the Pemaquid Group of Artists has shown its artwork at Pemaquid Art Gallery in New Harbor. This year, this venerable group of artists showing at the gallery numbers 30. They are as follows: Barbara Applegate, Debra Arter, Bruce Babb, Julie Babb, Stephen Busch, Mark B. Chesebro, Trudi B. Curtis, William Curtis, Dianne Smith Dolan, Peggy Farrell, Sarah L. Fisher, Helen Viola Glendinning, Claire Hancock, Kay Sawyer Hannah, Jean Nelson Harris, Kathleen Horst, Hannah Ineson, Will Kefauver, Jan Kilburn, Barbara Klein, Patti Leavitt, Sally Loughridge, Marlene Loznicka, Nancy O’Brien MacKinnon, Judy Nixon, Paul Sherman, Liliana Thelander, Ernest “Tommy” Thompson, Bob Vaughan, and Bev Walker.
All are from towns in the Pemaquid area, from Damariscotta to New Harbor. Each artist deserves mention because collectively they make up the powerhouse that is the coastal-focused art hanging on the walls of Pemaquid Art Gallery.
One enters the gallery, which is located on the grounds of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park, and is immediately struck by the volume of art inside. Paintings, drawings, and marquetry pieces – inlaid artwork made from various types and colors of wood – of such obviously appropriate subjects as lighthouses, waves, boats, and lobster buoys hang seemingly everywhere. The room has the feeling of a small museum.
Two walls feature “small works by our artists,” as a sign states it. In this area, one can view such little gems as Kathleen Horst’s “Lupines” watercolor; watercolorist Paul Sherman’s “Hot Sun,” of a lobsterman in his boat; and Bev Walker’s “twin” oils of deep-blue trees on a background in shades of orange: “Branching Out” and “Reaching Out.”
Fans of nearby Monhegan Island might like to linger in the section of the building where Bristol artist Patti Leavett’s pastels hang. Her “Monhegan,” of a cottage and two overturned boats near the surf, and “Monhegan Boats” will likely please them.
Similarly, lighthouse buffs will find much to make them happy in this show (not to mention, if they go outside, they will see the real thing only yards away). Marlene Loznicka’s oil painting “Pemaquid Moonlight” features the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, as do Will Kefauver’s oils of the lighthouse as different times of the day. Damariscotta artist Hannah Ineson offers a lovely watercolor titled “Lupine and Lighthouse.” Painter Ernest Thompson, also of Damariscotta, weighs in with “Pemaquid Point Light House.” New Harbor’s Mark B. Chesebro offers “Pemaquid Light” and “The Lighthouse.” And so on. It is truly a feast for lighthouse lovers.
Birds are another topic covered in this show. Julie Babb, of Pemaquid, has created some very detailed, life-like gouache paintings featuring tiny, delicate birds: “Titmice,” “Cedar Waxwings,” “White Crowned Sparrows,” and “Garden Party,” of three small birds playing in a fountain. Judy Nixon weighs in with a sweet acrylic painting of three hens gathered around the rim of a blue water bowl in “Then She Said …” And Jean Harris’ “gentle paintings,” as she describes them, include a cute ink-and-watercolor piece called “Free Range,” of a chicken roaming outside a garden fence. Her “Garden Guardian,” of a scarecrow seemingly guarding a tomato plant loaded with tomatoes, is equally charming.
Chamberlain’s Bev Walker offers four contemplative oil paintings: “Popcorn Clouds,” Pine Branch,” “Pemaquid Pine,” and “Northeast View at Sunset.” The lovely “Pine Branch” – of wispy pine branches against a pink-and-lavender sky – has almost an Asian feel in its style.
Near Walker’s pieces are the oil paintings of Liliana Thelander, of Bristol. Thelander possesses a somewhat bold style, lending a pleasing seriousness to her work. Her still-lifes “Three Bananas,” “Yellow Pepper on Paper,” and “Three Pears” are very fine, and her “Screened Bottles” painting, with its skillful handling of light and shadow, is impressive.
Almost emblematic of the seeming theme of the Pemaquid Art Gallery show are Sarah L. Foster’s watercolors of local landmarks, such as “Early Morning Glow – Pemaquid” and “Fort William Henry – Morning Light.” Their subject matter, clothed in gently washed pastel skies, represent what so many visitors find beautiful and significant about the area.
Take in the abundance of excellent art at the Pemaquid Art Gallery sometime before it closes on Columbus Day. Those visiting Pemaquid Lighthouse Park on Saturday, Sept. 10 for Maine Open Lighthouse Day can experience the park, the lighthouse, and the art at Pemaquid Art Gallery, and, as a special treat, can watch artist demonstrations at the gallery from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Pemaquid Art Gallery is on the grounds of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park, at the end of Route 130. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 10. Call 677-2752 or go to pemaquidartgallery.com for more information.