River Arts of Damariscotta presents “New Works,” a hopeful vision in challenging times. Running from March 29 to May 7, the “New Works” show graces the walls of the gallery with recent work by Maine artists in a wide range of media. From a record-breaking number of entries, juror Bob Keyes selected 87 pieces by 85 artists for this spectacular show. The public is invited to the opening reception on Saturday, April 2 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Bob Keyes said of the jurying experience, “I am always grateful for the opportunity to see new work by artists who are engaged in the currents of our times. It helps me feel connected to the pulse of humanity. I believe this exhibition of ‘New Works’ by members of the River Arts community reflects some of what we are all feeling right now, which is a mixture of despair and hope, anger and contentment, and chaos and calm.
“As an observer of contemporary art, I have always been predisposed to favoring representational paintings and sculpture. I like things that look and feel familiar. I love boats, landscapes, seascapes. With this exhibition, I found myself drawn to abstract, looser work in ways that I might not have before the pandemic, before the chaos, before the division,” said Keyes. “I was less interested in concrete ideas and more interested in ideas that expanded what I was seeing and how I thought. Themes emerged: Work, home, humanity, and, above all, color. It happens that the colors of yellow and blue caught my eye, representing the hope of a million clear skies.”
The artists were called to present work from the last 12 months and they responded overwhelmingly with the greatest number of submissions in River Arts’ history. The resulting show exudes the feeling of calm within chaos and strength in the face of despair.
River Arts is located at 36 Elm St. Plaza, Damariscotta. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Masks are required in the gallery. Contact River Arts at 207-563-6868 or email email@example.com.