Thursday, May 8, 2008
Sprouts at the GEM
Peaks Island's best little gallery in Maine has reopened. Marty and I designed this little ditty to announce the first group show of the season. The Gem Gallery is a collective of island artists, mostly year-round folks and a few newcomers. We are quite a bag of tricks, from Connor Flynn, a high schooler creating dazzling glass vases, to Victor Romanyshyn, a photographer of nature's divine details. The openings always bring out a festive crowd.
Carol Cartier and Diane Wiencke are the hangers of all shows: they are amazing artists and find just the right way to show off all the work.
The gallery is actually two rooms given up for art in the home of Kristen Chalmers, veteran islander and patron who answered the call when Gem founder, Jane Newkirk, needed gallery space. Jane swept in and got a loose posse of artists together back in 2003, no small feat. The Art Walk and Wanders began during the summers,
a roster of open studios scattered across the island. Still, island artists felt the need for a downfront location. Kristen, Jane, and a crew of volunteers turned part of the house next to the Post Office into a sweet little gallery. Jane Newkirk ventured off the island but left a strong yet still loose coalition of dedicated artists who meet once a month. We divvy up the duties of gallery-sitting, hanging, promotion, and maintenance. Kristen handles the finances and conducts the meetings, but otherwise defers to the collective vision.
Paul Brahms, painter extraordinaire, displayed two gems above resident feline, Leo.
Tim Nihoff always manages to surprise with his found object assemblages.
Here is my Urchin Experiment.
The gallery is open on Fridays from 4 - 6:30 PM and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 PM. The weather is just right for a ferry ride and the gallery is located a short (uphill) walk from the dock. Go straight up Welch Street past the Peaks Island Cafe, take a left at Downfront, and stop just short of the Post Office. Support local art; meet an island artist!
My daughter made this little sign the night of the opening, posted on a telephone pole near the entrance.
I'll be gallery sitting on May 18 from noon to 2:30. Come on by!