Friday, June 27, 2008

art wanderings

Another PeaksFest has come and gone. This annual "celebration of community" is highly anticipated and always delights. We began our roving downfront, at the library, where an exhibit sponsored by the Peaks Environmental Action Team (PEAT) was hanging out to dry.

Quite a few photographers responded to the call for art about laundry, doubling the aesthetic and environmental value of this humble fact of life. In particular, I liked these two by Craig Davis (left) and Ruby Murdock (right)...

Inside the library, the Peaks Island School's Chair Auction was underway, an effort first sparked by Kathy Newell's attempt to get rid of some old school chairs. Kathy Hanley's seat with ferry ticket stubs says it all.

Next we were entertained by the operatic puppetry of Julie Goell, who had a thorough cast of characters, including the Producer, and Madame Pompanour, the fundraiser. She asked everyone to donate to their opera company by throwing toasted marshmallows.

Later in the day, I headed out to sample the first Art Walk of 2008.
Marty and I participated the first two years ('03 and '04) but have barely found the time to be spectators during the last few summers. First stop: Robert Van Der Steenhoven. I met Robert years ago at a life drawing group and became acquainted with his sculpture at the Gem Gallery. It just started to drizzle when I arrived. I had the garden to myself for a bit. Quite magical.

This is Kissing Birds.

Robert crafted this cozy studio from found materials, repurposing a neighbor's cast-off deck as his roof.

I wanted to sit and soak up the atmosphere of inspirations, tools, and artful clutter.

Next stop: Cole Caswell and Jessica George, new island residents and MECA masters candidates. Their work overlaps with creative endeavors happening in every room. When I stopped in, Cole and a houseguest were working on a cross-country webcam trip. I got to poke around the house.

Photographs, ink drawings, oil paintings, augmented clothing. They do it all. Below is Jessica's painting studio. Love the sideways panorama of ocean rocks..

Next stop: Lane Williamson's studio. She works in a former garage now surrounded by organic gardens and a lily pond.

She had only one painting on display, one in progress, and everything else on exhibit elsewhere. So she had supplies ready for anybody game to make art. Yay! I envied her sumptuous stash of pastels.

Here's my oily attempt..

I moved on to my last stop, since two other studios I wanted to visit were not open. Paul Brahm's work was on nearly every surface of his studio. He's one prolific painter.

It would probably take every Art Walk left to cover all 20 of the participating artists. It's truly the most talent to be found in a single square mile in Maine. All of these artists, and myself, will be showing work at the Gem Gallery. More to come on that.

I gotta hit my own pastels in the meantime!

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