On view: January 26 – February 24, 2018 | Opening: Friday, January 26, 5-7pm
Opening in tandem with the Winter Members’ Showcase at 100 Water Street, our new location
Harlow Gallery presents SEVEN – their last art exhibition at 160 Water Street in Hallowell, where the gallery has existed since its opening in 1963, before moving down the street to their new home at 100 Water Street. On view January 26 through February 24, 2018, SEVEN highlights the work of Maine abstract painters Emily Blake Blaschke, Jenny LaMacchia Campbell, Alicia Ines Ethridge, Celeste June Henriquez, Doreen Nardone, Brenda Overstrom and Donald M. Peterson. The public is invited to attend and meet the artists at an opening Reception on Friday, January 26, 5-7pm.
SEVEN is a group of Maine based painters. The group emerged out of a Maine College of Art abstract painting course with Michel Droge This exhibit offers viewers an assortment of abstract painting styles. Each painter has created a unique language to express their visions of the world around them and their experiences in it.
“We are a group of seven abstract painters working in Maine. We meet once a month at each other’s studios to present and discuss new works in progress. As a group of abstract painters, we understand each other remarkably well. This coherence comes from our common fascination and openness to process. Our gatherings are brave, warm and direct. We value self-reflection and enter into dialogue about how to let go of things that get in the way of our full creative potential. We urge one another to have the courage to explore and experiment, to fabricate systems that guide one’s process and then break those rules, to take outrageous creative risks and make mistakes, to risk failure in pursuit of new ideas and new ground. As abstract painters, we rely on intuition and trust the process to lead us. We are guided by what shows up on the surface. This includes messy beautiful swathes of color, detailed imagery, ugly and pretty, precise and carefully constructed, meaningful and meaningless, and quick or dirty. All scenarios are valued: such as painting when we’re inspired or tired, angry or blissful, agitated or confused. We are committed to maintaining the community we have created. We are committed to each other, to encouraging and carrying each other through painters block, busy times, and troubled waters. We are committed to manifesting our truest selves in our work and to valuing an honest and forthright approach to the act of painting and critiquing. “
Emily Blaschke studied art at University of California, Berkeley. She utilizes layers of different textures, exploding colors and collages in her paintings—similar to a quilt maker. She grew up with a mother who collects American folk art and antique painted furniture. This influence has subconsciously helped shape her painting style utilizing a variety of materials and tools. She creates mixed media pieces with American icons and political messages that seek to address the world we live in.
Jenny LaMacchia Campbell hails from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. She has lived in Cape Elizabeth, Maine since 1994 with her husband and 3 sons. She received a BFA in fine art and photography from Brooklyn College of CUNY in 1982 and received an MFA in painting from Hunter College of CUNY in 1986. She studied at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture in NYC from 1982-1984 and received a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Colony in 1984. For La Macchia Campbell painting is immediate and direct. Each painting has a life of its own from the very start and wants to go its own way. Her work derives from automatic mark making, The immediacy is inherent in a process of randomized color gestures which lead to scribbles of seemingly arbitrary shapes, creating a visual tension that provokes the viewer to access the work via intuitive recognition based on their own personal memories and experiences.
Alicia Ines Ethridge has been living, working and creating in Maine since 2008. Ethridge resides on a tidal pond, next to a creek that bends and twists through marsh banks into the thicket, a short distance from the woods and ocean. She works primarily in mixed-media collage, oil and acrylic paint. She studied for two years with A.R.C. (Artfully Raising Consciousness) Project, which is a sanctuary for contemplative artists. She has also studied at Maine College of Art’s Continuing Studies Program and Sanctuary Arts in Elliot, ME. Through these courses, Ethridge helped found an abstract painting group who meet once a month at each other’s studios to present and discuss new work or works in progress. Ethridge’s current work deals with motherhood, mystery and trauma. For Ethridge painting offers a place to reflect and heal, a place to process the pendulous swing between hope and despair. Through color, movement and texture she explores the intensity of her emotions.
Celeste June Henriquez is a painter and illustrator who lives and works in Portland, Maine. Her studio practice investigates domestic and human navigations. “I paint environments that illustrate moments perhaps not noticed, building the spaces for dialog to begin.” Her most recent body of work, “How do we make our daughter?”, is inspired by the life journey in raising a low-functioning autistic child. The elegant- perseverance families and communities take on with this daily work motivated the project. She has formed collaborative supports for families to share their stories, and projects with local advocacy groups. Celeste received her BA in Illustration from Philadelphia College of Art. After graduating she worked as a freelance illustrator for national advertisers, magazines and book publishers. Clients included: Macmillan Publishers, Simon and Schuster, IBM, The Seattle Weekly. Celeste’s is a co-founder of, “7 Artists Collective”, exhibiting at Frank Brockman Gallery (2017), Zero Station (2016). Celeste’s Solo Exhibitions include: “How do we make our daughter?” at Black Cat Coffee in Portland ME (2016), “Bridge” at Anthropology Portland ME(2016). Celeste’s Group Exhibition, a juried show, “Spring Exhibition”, (2016) at Black Hole Gallery, Rockland ME. Presently, Celeste is preparing for a duo-exhibition entitled, “Freedom”, with Bristol Maine painter, Conrad Guertin at Frank Brockman Gallery, (runs Jan 6-28, 2018). Celeste teaches studio classes, Bomb Diggity Arts workshops, a Family Navigator for Maine Parent Federation, and maintains her home studio at www.celestejunehenriquez.com.
Doreen Nardone has raised a family, worked and maintained her study of painting and drawing in Harpswell, Maine since 1986.Her recent paintings engage with memory; its strengths and weaknesses. What we glimpse out of the corner of the eye. What floats by. With what accuracy we recall. What lingers. What flashed before us, what hovers above us, what is felt briefly. What passes above us, around us, through us. Life in small bits that make up the whole journey. The natural world, literature, old photographs, poetry, music, and family inform the beginning of her paintings. Color, light, rhythm, and the appreciation of imperfection, bring about their completion. “I will not change an error if it feels right, for the error is more human than perfection.” David Smith She attended Maine College of Art from 1995 – 2000. She has studied painting and drawing at summer sessions at the Haystack School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine with Maine artist Abby Shahn, Philadelphia artist James Dupree and California artist Larry Thomas. She has also studied abstract painting with artist Michel Droge through Maine College of Art’s Continuing Studies Program.
Brenda Overstrom is a painter who lives in Yarmouth, Maine. She believes artistic endeavor is a search to create a human document which confirms the reality of existence in the ever changing context of our world. For her the challenge of painting remains the enduring command of conscience. She attended Goddard College where she concentrated on weaving and pottery and avoided the painting studio. After working as a pastry chef for the Barefoot Contessa, she attended Sarah Lawrence College where she took her first painting class. Since then, she studied still life painting with Susan Jane Walp at Ava Gallery in Lebanon, NH and privately. At the National Academy of Design, studied with James Bohary, Wolf Kahn and Sonia Gechtoff. At the International School of Art in Montecastello, Italy, Lennart Anderson, Nicolas Carone and Dan Gustin. And at the New York Studio School she studied drawing with Bruce Gagnier and Nicolas Carone. Since moving to Maine has studied at the Maine College of Art Continuing Education Department with Michel Droge.
Donald M. Peterson: It was thirty-five years between brush strokes. Life and responsibilities had intruded such that it took Peterson that long to realize what he had ignored and almost lost. His rediscovery of art started ten years ago when he picked up a 6B pencil and began again to sketch. For two years, he took evening life drawing classes at Maine College of Art in an attempt to restore that which he had left behind in the college art studio. He started with the familiar. The human body has always intrigued him and he had sketched from the model often. But soon, he found that the figure and the pencil were not enough. So he took the plunge. For the next three years he studied painting. Paint and color scared him to death. Technique eluded me. But like anything, time and persistence pay off. Slowly, technique improved and style emerged. Over the last few years, the infinity of abstraction has increasingly intrigued him. Abstraction speaks a language that resonates within him. Personal experience as well as two physical places dear to him heavily influence his work. Truchas, a Spanish land grant town frozen in 1952, is dream-like and seemingly floats above the high desert of New Mexico. He visits often to observe, reflect and paint with his ninety year old dear friend and mentor, Alvaro Cardona-Hine. He lives on the coast of Maine, a place of amazing beauty and contradiction. It exudes both subtlety and power. It constantly changes; yet is ever steady. Simply put, it grounds him. As he has grown older, his appreciation for the tapestry of life has grown only deeper. Thus, his art has become more personal, introspective and increasingly reflective. His work is intentional; a statement meant to open a dialogue. It is offered it as a starting point; a suggestion for you to consider with both your eye and mind. Make of it what you will and what your imagination might allow.
The Harlow Gallery located in downtown historic Hallowell is home to the Kennebec Valley Art Association, a membership based 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to connecting and celebrating art, artists and community in central Maine since 1963. Exhibitions are always free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6pm.
Season Sponsors for 2018 are Book Orchard Press, Capitol Dental Care, Chris Walters Productions, Doug & Melinda Jennings, Eaton Peabody Attorneys at Law, Scrummy Afters Candy Shoppe, Slates Restaurant and Target Electric Corporation.
Programming is funded in part by a Partnership Grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Art.