A show of figurative work from 24 members of the Belfast Life Drawing Groups, now housed at Waterfall Arts, will open in the Clifford Gallery Friday, May 7 with a reception for the artists from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will run through June 25 at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St.

The exhibit contains a range of figurative work in sculpture, bas relief, charcoal and pencil drawings, paintings and portraits. The show includes finely worked paintings and quick gesture drawings, an artist’s sketchbook and shaped wire figures. Most of the work is for sale.

Participating artists are Adele Drake, Dan Clarke, Stevan Hall, Carvel Glidden, Marianne Smith, Lynn Biebel, Thomas Griffith, Rainy Brooks, Margie Spencer-Smith, Martha Briana, Michael Fletcher, Carla Sanders, David Estey, Alan Crichton, Kris Engman, Ian Bruce, C.A. Babb, Kimberly Callas, Richard Mann, Christine Chan, Emily Hopkins, Nancy Morgan Barnes, Russell Kahn and Hector di Pietra Santa.

“We wanted to acknowledge the commitment that this group – over 10 years – has made to the classic art practice of drawing from a live model,” said Martha Piscuskas, director of programming. “Waterfall Arts is pleased to foster this practice, through hosting and exhibitions and it’s exciting to see the incredibly diverse work that results from this focus.”

About 20 life drawing groups exist in Maine; one in Brunswick has been running for 40 years. The Belfast drawing group was started in May 2000 by Richard Mann and Dudley Zopp, in Zopp’s studio on lower Main Street.  The group has been meeting from 6:30 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday steadily since then. The aim is to provide a way for serious artists of all levels to study the figure inexpensively, by avoiding the cost of instruction and sharing model fees. Approximately 100 participants, ranging from high-school students to established, professional artists, have attended the sessions over the years.

The loose-knit group moved to the Masonic Building for a year, then to David Estey’s studio before moving to Waterfall Arts in 2006.  A Saturday morning session was added a year ago for artists interested in working from longer poses. The groups are open to the public and artists of all levels are encouraged to attend.

At the opening, visitors can try their hand at drawing a live, clothed model. Drawing materials will be provided. A gallery talk with several of the artists is planned for Monday, May 24 at 7 p.m.

Clifford Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment; call 338-2222 or visit waterfallarts.org for more information.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.