Mid-Coast Salon will display more than 60 art works focusing on why “Art Matters,” opening July 2.

With an opening on July 2 at the UMVA Gallery in the Portland Media Center, the works include paint, pottery, photography, and even construction. Exhibiting artists include painter, Harold Garde.

Kenny Cole offers three new works and former Camden-Rockport teacher, Russell Kahn adds graffito pottery. Also included is work by Fredrick Kuhn, who won Honorable Mention in the state-wide Art2021 show at Harlow Gallery.

A significant component of the show is a collection of statements on each artist’s interpretation of “Art Matters.” Kerstin Engman, who teaches art at UME and locally, says, “TV, fashion, buildings, gardens, video, sculpture, theater, ceramics, painting all exist because they pass through the hands of a skilled, trained artist or artisan.” She renders this broad view from interpreting landscape to depicting bottles that transform with shape and color.

David Estey, painter and founder of Mid-Coast Salon, offers two stark abstracts to provoke introspection in contrast to the color in his interpretation of Covid 19.

Greg Mason Burns stresses that “Artists Matter” and combines words, paint and photographs into a personal statement. He says that it’s vital to understand the path to the work that always includes the artist’s background and attachment to the piece.

Lesia Sochor and Andrea Assael agree that the artist creates but the viewer completes the creative cycle as art takes them beyond what they thought they knew. Ed Nadeau, a professor of art at UME, paints contemplative narratives, open to interpretation. Liv Kristin Robinson’s photographs of arriving at the margins of New York City hold stillness as a metaphor for pandemic shutdown.

Several artists depict society such as the Black history paintings by Leslie Woods. Carol Sloane’s figure drawings tremble around fragile open spaces.

Inspired by her thoughts on immigration, they became “personal and intimate loss and societal and cultural loss.”

Three artists with backgrounds in architecture and mathematics generate ambiguity through seeming simplicity. John Silverio and Bob Richardson create art that ponders the relationship of elements while Michael Corden’s individual Flexforms mesmerize as a collection.

The event will run June 29 – July 30 at the Union of Maine Visual Artists Gallery at PMC, 516 Congress St, Portland. After July 2, exhibit hours are Monday, noon-5pm; Tuesday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.