Beginning now and running through Tuesday, July 13, "Kevin Beers: 25 Years and Counting," new landscapes of Midcoast Maine are offered for sale at Gleason Fine Art, 31 Townsend Ave. in downtown Boothbay Harbor. This is Kevin's 25th year with the gallery, and the gallery's 33rd year doing business in Boothbay Harbor.
Nothing seems more appropriate to inaugurate the 2021 summer season in Boothbay Harbor than to celebrate Kevin Beers' 25th year with Gleason Fine Art. Twenty-five years ago, in 1996, Beers had only recently decided to give up his position as an art director at a big downtown firm in New York City and to pursue his long-standing dream of becoming a full-time artist.
Beers knew the odds of achieving his goal were slim. After all, art schools, including his own, SUNY New Paltz, graduated hundreds of eager, young artists every year, with a scant few gaining acceptance into professional galleries and fewer still succeeding in becoming career artists.
But Kevin Beers had a secret weapon - his personality. Beers is one of the most congenial, modest, and genuine people you will ever meet, with a great smile and sense of humor to boot. All of that goes a long way toward getting an aspiring artist through the front door.
And that is exactly what happened. Beers is a life-long admirer of the great early 20th century artists Hopper, Kent, and Bellows, all of whom came to coastal Maine, especially Monhegan Island, to paint. Having heard of Gleason Fine Art's connection to Monhegan Island art, Beers decided to stop in Boothbay Harbor and knock on the gallery's door.
As the saying goes, "And the rest is history." Kevin Beers and gallery owner Dennis Gleason immediately struck up a camaraderie that has lasted and grown stronger for a quarter-century. This has been a time of tremendous challenges and changes for artists and galleries alike--the shock and horror of 9/11; the great recession of 2008, which forced dozens of galleries to close; and just this past year, the global pandemic.
Through it all, Beers has found a way to focus and continue to paint, but it hasn't been easy. "This past year was the hardest of all," said Beers. "Uncertainty over what was to come and fear for oneself and others were nearly all-consuming." Beers found that losing himself in painting his favorite Maine locations was a way of dealing with the uncertainty. His masterfully painted, elegiac oil of Pemaquid Lighthouse is the perfect reminder that art can both please the eye and soothe the soul.
An artist reception is planned for First Friday, July 2, from 5-7 p.m. The artist and gallery owners are all fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Liquid refreshments only will be served. For more information, call Gleason Fine Art at 633-6849 or email the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to gleasonfineart.com to view Kevin Beers' show as well as the gallery's inventory of contemporary and estate art.