‘Art Matters’ exhibit by the Mid-Coast Salon on display at the UMaine Hutchinson Center

Harold Garde, “Tell a Story”

The Mid-Coast Salon exhibit “Art Matters” opens Aug. 4 at the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast. The show, on display through September, is free and open to the public from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday. More information is available on the Hutchinson Center’s website.

Mid-Coast Salon is a monthly discussion group of two dozen accomplished artists brought together by their love for and commitment to art. In this exhibit, 16 artists will present 54 diverse works of drawing, painting, photography, pottery and flex-forms. Participants include nationally known Belfast painter Harold Garde, now in his 99th year. Garde’s painting, “Tell a Story” is one of the few he’s done “where it felt appropriate to incorporate words.”

A significant component of the show is a collection of statements by the artists on why art matters.

“Artists are often at the forefront of progress, showing us something we otherwise wouldn't experience,” says David Estey, painter and founder of Mid-Coast Salon.

Kerstin Engman, who teaches art at the University of Maine, says that most human-made things exist because of a skilled, trained artist or artisan. With his mixed-media pieces, Greg Mason Burns makes the point that artists matter in bringing us their personal backgrounds and attachments.

Several artists interpret society, like Lesia Sochor's “repair” series, Leslie Woods’ Black history paintings and Liv Kristin Robinson's landscape photographs, where stillness is a metaphor for the pandemic. Carol Sloane's figure drawings tremble uncertainly around fragile spaces. Jack Silverio, Bob Richardson, Frederick Kuhn and Michael Corden mesmerize us with paradox through seeming simplicity. Kenny Cole offers three new political works and former Camden-Rockport teacher Russell Kahn adds sgraffito pottery. The paintings of UMaine professor Ed Nadeau and New York’s Andrea Assael encourage us to contemplate and interpret their open narratives.

This show, which was first exhibited in July at the UMVA Gallery at Portland Media Center, will be on display in midcoast Maine at the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Gallery at the UMaine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave., in Belfast from Aug. 4 through Sept. 30.

For information or to request an accommodation, contact Abby Spooner, hutchinsoncenter@maine.edu. For more information about the Hutchinson Center’s H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery, go online.

About the Hutchinson Center:

The Hutchinson Center is an outreach center for the University of Maine in Orono that serves as an educational and cultural center for the midcoast area. It is named for University of Maine President Emeritus Frederick E. Hutchinson. The mission of the Hutchinson Center is to broaden access to University of Maine academic and non-degree programs and services, lifelong learning opportunities, and professional and career development experiences using innovative approaches that increase synergy among University of Maine System entities, University of Maine departments and divisions, and that engage a wider Maine community.

About the University of Maine:

The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state's land grant, sea grant and space grant university. It is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation.  As Maine's flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the state's only public research university and among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and more than 75 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,741 undergraduate and graduate students who have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn master's, doctoral or professional science master's degrees, as well as graduate certificates. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide to conserve energy, recycle and adhere to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine, visit umaine.edu.

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