Boothbay Region Art Foundation gallery manager June Rose once said of its annual Art in the Square show and sale, “It’s hip to be square!” And, given it’s year 16 for this fundraiser, Rose is spot on.
What makes it hip? Well, for starters, it’s the one time each year art fans on limited budgets can afford to have art by a favorite local artist with each 12” x 12” painting going for $125. Artists participating in the 2021 show and sale: Wendy Korjeff Bellows, Andre Benoit, Andrea Blake, Catherine Boucher, Jane Bowman, Marcia Brandwein, John Butke, Keith Campagne, Barbara Chase, Judy Conlan, Marjorie de Garmo, Rick Dickinson, Nancy Dirubbo, Sandra Leinonen Dunn, Sandy Eames, Andie Elwell, James Farnan, Virginia Forrest, Lois Glaser, Sarah Greenier, Sandra Griffin, Ann Hedgcock, Tania Amazeen-Jones, Lyle Jones, Jean Kigel, Dotty Koughan, Charlene Lee, Nancy Lovley, Duane Lowe, Bruce MacDonald, Penny Markley, Brenda MacGovern, Roger Milinowski, Sandra Chase Morrissey, Judy Nixon, John O’Hearn, Brooke Pacy, Cally Peaco, Star Perkins, Andrea Peters, Irene Plummer, Gail Porr, Susie Porter, Mary Jo Riley, Thomas J. Riley, Mary Jane Rosenfield, Christine Roguillies, Sharon B. Ryan, Fran Scannell, Sally Giddings Smith, Charlotte Thibault, Scott White, Sarah Wilde and Diane L. Woodworth.
Media runs the gamut: Oil and acrylic paints are the top two; a few watercolors, photographs stretched on canvas and framed, wooden assemblage, stained glass and lead. Paintings depict sea and land scapes, wildlife – including birds, farm and domestic animals; mandalas, holiday scenes, flora; working waterfront scenes, boats of all sorts, lighthouses and other structures; and there are abstract works and assemblages of owls, and more.
The other hip element: you can add, or start, your art collection knowing you’re helping to support the Art Foundation’s educational component. Each work of art sells for $125 with $75 going to the artist. The remaining $25 is divided between BRAF’s Annual Scholarship Fund awarded to two graduating seniors pursuing art studies, and the K-12 Student Art Show held in May featuring youth artists from Boothbay Region Elementary School, Boothbay Region High School, Southport Central School and Edgecomb Eddy School.
This year, Art in the Square opened Nov. 20, in time for Boothbay Harbor’s Early Bird Sale & PJ Party and will run through December.
As always, it's a diverse collection – Lyle Jones’ glass in blues and green in lead are knockouts; if it’s the classic birch trees in winter you can’t get enough of, Christine Lee has what you want. Like sculpture with a sense of humor? There are several of Andre Benoit’s owls to choose from. Or maybe you know someone who has a penchant for the unusual. Ask to see Sandra Chase Morrissey’s work like “The Latest in Bluebird Fashion.”
A few artists have captured news in their submissions. Jim Farnan has the now unfenced ancient cemetery in Wiscasset on a 12” x 12”, aptly titled, “Unfenced.” He also painted one of the trolls at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Landmarks are popular as well: Former East Boothbay resident Sally G. Smith, now of New Hampshire, painted the Fishermen’s Memorial and Wilson Memorial Chapel.
Scenics are always popular. This year, there’s Townsend Gut, Oyster Creek, Pemaquid, and the view from Andrea Peters’ home – painted by Peters. Speaking of Peters, another scenic is a dramatic, boldly painted outdoor scene done in yellow, red and deep navy. The brush strokes and tree branches are jaw dropping.
Abstracts run from the bold, such as Gail Porr’s “Chaos,” to the softer, soothing feeling of Catherine Boucher’s “Optimism” to Dotty Koughan’s arresting “Fish Movements” to Sarah Wilde’s moving and wild “Spatial Integration.”
Ann Hedgcock’s “The Venerable Pine” depicting a forest scene is moody and enchanting. Roger Milinowski’s lobster boats and fog scenes are atmospheric, as is Star Perkins’ home on the edge of the woods, and Stan Perkins’ “Campfire.” Marjorie deGarmo’s “Winter Sleigh Ride” reminds us of winter nights many, many decades gone by, and in a painting style quite reminiscent of its suggested time.
Bird lovers will be thrilled with Bill Duncan’s “Evening Grosbeak on a Crabapple Tree;” Nancy Lovley’s “Male Goldfinch in Winter,” among others – painted and in photographs. And those photos are stunners: the snowy owl, puffins, gold finch and red tail hawk, among several others.
Don’t miss this show! Get on down to BRAF at 1 Townsend Ave. in downtown Boothbay Harbor. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.