Walking into Kerr-Jones Fine Art & Craft is like walking into a treasure chest. The light and airy space is alive, its white interior adding to the expansive feel of the atmosphere. As your eye drifts slowly downward the colors and variety of uncommon goods you realize you’re going to be there for awhile.
Longtime friends and creatives, Diana Kerr and Kathleen Jones describe their new venture as a “hybrid of fine art and textiles.”
There was a very soft opening July 3; A few people were invited by email. There was another invitation opening a few weeks later as well.
The space is something they have wanted for some time; not only as a place to showcase their work, but that of others as well.
“We love the idea of supporting artists whether they are from Maine or Morocco,” Jones said. “We have different tastes, one of us can love some works more than other. We are constantly evolving, and we are definitely open to looking at other artists.”
This first year, the artists and artisans Jones and Kerr are sharing the space with are David Whitbeck, Abe Goodale, Gayle Fraas/Duncan Slade; Jeff Barrett, Sarah Lee, Jane Dahmen, Dona Dalton, Marnie Sinclair, Dick Alden, Scott Tindall, Martha Baum, the late Fr. Paul Plante, and Scout Dunbar.
Showcased within the walls of this new space are vintage and contemporary tribal rugs and other Moroccan textiles; ceramics, paintings, prints, sculpture, jewelry; lush, organic, scented soaps; Moroccan lemonwood kitchen utensils; carved wooden birds on wheels; decoupage plates and glassware, leather goods – including baboush, footwear for babies and toddlers; furniture, foutas (lightweight towels large enough to be used as a wrap or shawl), and more.
“Artists are coming to us now, some with galleries and some without,” Kerr said. “We intend to take a look each year and change it up.”
Said Jones, “We are constantly curious.”
The space has something for everyone, really, from $3 and up to the thousands for some of the paintings. Kerr and Jones like not being high end, and to be fun.
The Moroccan textiles are a given when it comes to these two. Since their first trip to Marrakesh, Morocco in 2006 they fell for the vibrant colors of the rugs. They learned those colors in a vintage rug are composed of vegetable and spice dyes and that some are of cardamom, henna, pomegranate, coffee, saffron and mint. They symbols woven into the rugs by the women of various Moroccan tribes vary depending on the tribe.
Many of the Moroccan rugs (or wall accents) in the East Boothbay space are two-sided and both are meant to be used. In the summer, the no-pile side is used. Living high in the Atlas Mountains these rugs are also used as blankets.
“There are so many tribes – this is the livelihood of women,” Jones said. “It’s exciting to know we are supporting these women.”
Kerr’s one-of-a-kind decoupage glassware is colorful and inventive; the plates are stunning, nature-themed pieces. Jones, a jeweler and silversmith has distinctive earrings and bangle bracelets handcrafted of sterling and fine silver, 24kt gold, semi-precious stones, and found artifacts. Jones displays her jewelry on nature beds of moss or stones.
And, Jones’ daughter Kate’s jewelry collection, Ursa Major (named after the family’s sailboat) will be among the temptations found at Kerr-Jones Fine Art & Craft.
“Kathleen and I have collaborated a lot over the years, This has been a dream of ours for a very long time,” Kerr said. “to have this kind of space. A lot of the things in here are one-of-a-kind – pretty darn cool.”
Kerr-Jones Fine Art & Craft, at 268 Ocean Point Road, is open May through mid-October, Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visit the gallery online at http://kerrjonesdesign.bigcartel.com.; and on Facebook, Kerr+Jones Design.