River Arts’ Invitational Hall features People’s Choice winners
River Arts visitors have selected the winners of this month’s Peoples’ Choice: three painters who are inspired by the natural beauty of Maine. Realistic and abstract points of departure highlight this beautiful show at River Arts. The show runs until Dec. 1 in the Invitational Hall.
John Butke is an artist who has been painting the Maine landscape since 1974. He earned his BFA from MA College of Art and his MFA from Cranbook Academy of Art. Proficient in oil, watercolor and acrylic, John seeks to capture the beauty and allure of coastal Maine in his work. He and his wife Jill, a weaver, exhibit their work at The Butke Gallery on Sawyer’s Island in Boothbay.
Helen Warner, a resident of Newcastle, is inspired by the beauty and color of the natural world and her work tends toward subjects in nature. The luminous transparency of watercolor and its unpredictability continue to be fascinating, however, recently working in oils and alcohol ink has added a new dimension to her work. Both her mother and grandmother were talented artists so she had lots of exposure and guidance in art as a child.
After a nursing career of over 40 years, retirement offered the opportunity to focus on art. She is primarily self taught but has attended many workshops and classes locally, in Florida and in the Bahamas over the past fifteen years. Working as a volunteer at River Arts in Damariscotta provides exposure to many local artists and the chance to learn from their work.
Cory Stafford, currently living in Whitefield, is a self-taught artist who paints with oils. Having a desire to follow in the footsteps of family members who painted inspired him to start painting. His works lean toward the abstract and imaginative.
River Arts is located at 241 U.S. Route 1 N in Damariscotta. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.