Announcing the award-winning artists for Art2016, the 21st annual juried art show on view through June 18, 2016. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12-6pm. The gallery’s annual juried show is a tradition that draws artists to Hallowell from all over the state.
This year’s juror was Bruce Brown a true leader in Maine’s art world who served as curator at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport for twenty years. He is currently a partner of Portland’s PhoPa Gallery specializing in Maine photographs and works on paper.
Of his experience jurying the show Brown wrote, “I am honored to be the juror for “Art2016,” the Harlow Gallery’s 21st Annual Juried Show. That a record 141 artists submitted 387 works speaks both to the importance of the Harlow Gallery and the vitality of the visual arts in central Maine. It was a pleasure to be introduced to many artists’ work for the first time. I was impressed by the overall professional level of the entries and particularly by the serious content, a preference for brooding darker palettes and a sense of mystery present in many works of art. The jurying process involved three distinctly different experiences. On April 5 I reviewed all submissions on a computer at the gallery. On May 3rd, I returned to select a single work by 56 artists to be as inclusive as possible. Judging art work via computer images in round one versus considering the actual works in person most likely resulted in my overlooking a good number of excellent works of art. I offer my regrets. The final experience lies ahead when I visit the exhibition installed by Michael Hudak according to his vision. I look forward to contemplating anew my understanding of the exhibition thanks to his efforts.”
Prizes were awarded at the opening reception on Friday, May 13th as follows:
Best in Show and a $500 cash prize sponsored by Levey, Wagley & Putman and Eaton Peabody was awarded to Ronald Frontin of Rockland for his oil on canvas entitled “As I Am”. Bruce Brown wrote that this piece “…is a masterful self-portrait in every respect. it’s large size demands our attention as we are compelled to confront the artist’s clenched hands, somber face and piercing eyes. The disquieting psychological mood of the painting is enhanced by the quiet use of grays, browns and greens. Frontin’s tousled hair suggests an agitated mind and spirit in contrast to nature’s quiet environment surrounding him. “As I Am” is an image that will stay with me for years to come.”
Second Place, with a $250 cash prize sponsored by Mendall Financial Group was awarded to Amy Peters Wood of Georgetown for her egg tempera entitled “What Lies Above the Pulpit”. Bruce Brown described it as “… such an ambitious project that it requires two large canvases to suggest the vast presence of the natural world. The accumulated attention to thousands of details, both realistic and abstract, and use of contour lines contribute to the painting’s fluid patterns that border on the art of illustration at its best.”
Third Place, with a $150 cash prize sponsored by Karen Johnson, CPA, went to Martha Miller of Woolwich. Brown stated, “‘Good Friday, Self’ in various mediums suggests a self portrait in which the artist, depicted by a single contour line and facing back to, reveals more of her psychic rather than physical self. Hints of private thoughts are suggested by partial shapes of objects left over from her barn that burned down years ago which emerge from a dark background partially highlighted in color-related yellows, oranges and browns. Her mysterious contemplative mood is skillfully rendered. “
Juror’s Choice Prize, and a $150 cash prize sponsored by the Maine Film Center was awarded to Kathleen Florance of Rockland for her mixed media entitled “Wasp Space #23”. Brown wrote that Florance’s piece “…combines several mediums including circular forms which might possibly be interpreted as fertile eggs drawn with a litho crayon combined with collaged elements torn from previous paintings. The fragility of the wasp’s nest is emphasized by the negative white spaces of the paper itself, a delicate palette and loose playful lines indicative of the artist’s love of drawing.”
The $50 cash prize for Best Photograph was awarded to C. E.Morse of Cumberland Center for his photograph entitled “Finnto #73” which Bruce Brown said “…relies primarily on colors and shapes to create its significant visual excitement. A close up portion of a rounded arc full of prickly torn and spiked edges bathed in yellow and brown command our initial attention. However, significant movement and rhythms are also discernible among the varying widths and placement of shapes in the much quieter and darker background. It is an excellent example of what an imaginative artist can do working in the digital world these days.”
The following artists were awarded Honorable Mentions:
Nancy Bixler of Hallowell for her graphite/mixed media entitled “Invisible Cities I”
“‘Invisible Cities 1’ references the novel by the Italian writer Italo Calvino about which he said “the frame, the design and the architecture of the book became the plot that had no plot.” Similarly, Bixler’s subtle uses of lines, shapes of various sizes, textures and color – all essential elements of art making – become “the frame, the design and the architecture” of her city we cannot see.” – Juror Bruce brown
Charles Laurier Dufour of Belfast for his black and white photograph with archival pigment print entitled “Apparition”.
“Dufour’s mastery of photographic processes makes it possible for him to create a very imaginative, enigmatic and mysterious image which is bound to raise questions by viewers about “Apparitions” intended narrative.’ Who are the two principal barely discernible figures, what is the relationship between them and why are they placed in a prison like environment?” – Juror Bruce Brown
Michelle McCutcheon of Winslow for her mixed media including pine needles, iris leaves, Kennebec Valley cordgrass, Japanese knotweed leaves, maple and walnut seed entitled “Autumn Joy”.
“‘Autumn Joy’ is appropriately titled as the delightful array of pine needles, various leaves, cordgrass and seeds reflecting colors of the season twist and turn and become more playful the further they expand from the precise circular forms in its center.” – Juror Bruce Brown
Abbott Meader of Oakland for his oil over acrylic painting on 100% rag entitled “Springtime Insists”.
“Abbott Meader’s uplifting “Springtime Insists” is a timely joyful celebration of the return of many people’s favorite season with its confident playful broad brush strokes and fresh bold colors.”- Juror Bruce Brown
Howard Solomon of Bowdoinham for his found object assemblage entitled “Plunge”.
“‘Plunge’ is small in size but full of possible interpretations. Here’s one. The presence of the young angelic child with “wings” suggested by the stringed instrument capable of producing celestial sounds behind her stands just above an animal’s harsh and broken skeleton. The time piece in the center lacks a specific hour or second hand. Might “Plunge” suggest the passage of an entire and possibly difficult lifetime rather than a specific moment in time and place?” – Juror Bruce Brown
Jamie Wiggin of South Thomaston for “Ascent” an oil on canvas
“Might Wiggin’s title “Ascent”, coupled with the dead bird’s cross-like position enhanced by the glowing light of its feathers against the dark stones, possibly be a metaphor referring to the ascension of Christ in this very accomplished painting?” – Juror Bruce Brown
During the exhibition at the Harlow Gallery, visitors are asked to help determine the winners of the People’s Choice Award, which comes with a $100 cash prize sponsored by The Animal Wellness Center of Augusta to be awarded by popular vote at the end of the exhibition.
The 2016 exhibition season at the Harlow Gallery has been made possible by our season sponsors:Capitol Dental Care, Camden National Bank, the City of Hallowell, the Jennings Family, Kennebec Savings Bank, Rosemary Presnar, Scrummy Afters Candy Shoppe, and by grant funding from the Quimby Family Foundation.