Does it seem like I am procrastinating on my own work? Is it obvious? Well, there are times that an artist needs to look around, and smell the turpentine in other places, for like, inspiration. Or procrastination. Whatever!
I checked out the Addison Woolley Gallery in Portland recently. The owner, Susan Porter, is a neighbor on the island. We met, like many of us do, at a yard sale. Their yard sale, in fact. She and her husband bought a cottage chock full of vintage stuff, several years ago. This is a particular high point of island life: when an old cottage changes hands. Deals are bound to happen. Anyway, Susan has pursued her longheld dream to open her own gallery, in the Old Port, no less! This is an undertaking of epic proportions yet she has pulled it off gracefully, with her experience in public relations and text/image studies, plus a personal passion for photography.
When I stopped in, I browsed long enough to overhear the earnest display of an artist hoping to score a show there.
That has to be both an up and downside to curating a gallery. You find the ones who blow you away, then there are those that do not. Susan has a good supply of firm tact. The space was the former Green Grocer, a shop islanders still miss. So the place has fond karma, good light, and plenty of room for mingling.
Paul Brahms' work was on the left wall, Victor Romanyshyn's photographs on the right. Down in the back L-shaped gallery hung Jeanne O'Toole Hayman's prints.
It was a series of feminine icons, all merged in a delightful way, causing me to muse on the multiple layers of meaning.
Jeanne used to graciously host the island life drawing group. Her figurative work is lively and deliberate. In this series, she combines the repetition of printmaking, art history symbolism, and the elemental female. Cool.
All this is presided over by Susan's hound.
Can you resist those eyes?