Multimedia exploration of home, land

Nov 10, 2018
Kathy Pollard’s “Corn Mother” is made of glass beads, corn husks and moose antler.

Belfast — Maine Farmland Trust Gallery’s new exhibit “Homeland,” opening Monday, Nov. 12, speaks to a deep relationship that comes from cultivating the land and a longing for connection with the land. Artist talks will be held Friday, Nov. 16, at 5 p.m., with a reception following from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

This open call exhibit was promoted and curated in collaboration with GEDAKINA, Inc., a multigenerational endeavor to strengthen and revitalize the cultural knowledge and identity of Native American youth and families from across New England; and to conserve traditional homelands and places of historical, ecological and spiritual significance.

The first floor of the gallery features 16 artists from varied backgrounds who seek to explore their relationships to home and land in a wide variety of media and styles.

Arlene Claudill Hulva’s colored pencil figurative landscape integrates New England and Latin American panoramas. A vibrant Medicine Wheel painting by Mihku Paul-Anderson incorporates elements from the Waponaki culture and symbols from the natural world, while Maureen Block uses a 20th-century ironing board as her painting surface for her work “Uprooted, Unrooted, Rerooted.”

In two very different interpretations of Grant Woods’s iconic painting “American Gothic,” Colette Shumate Smith’s mixed media self-portrait reminds us to be vigilant of changing attitudes toward the land; and Bill Robitzek’s acrylic painting “Bowdoinham Gothic: Sarah and Laura” depicts a modern farm couple that is self-sufficient and socially-conscious.

Liz McGhee’s gelatin plate monotypes use a palette of blues, grays, purples and browns with shapes and line that depict her intuitive wanderings through minimalistic landscapes.

Patricia Ranzoni, Bucksport’s 2014 Poet Laureate, contributes three lyrical, flowing poems on the greater longing for ancient home ground and the yearning of displaced peoples for their place on Earth.

Gabrielle Brown’s five copper, graphite and canvas woven baskets are based on Shaker designs. Elizabeth Hunter has created a grouping of rya pillows, an ancient Nordic woven pile technique, which speak to humans' connection with the seasons.

Kathy Pollard displays a large piece of birch bark with inscribed and painted Maine Indian petroglyph reproductions; and “Corn Mother” sculpture made with glass beads and moose antler.

A mixed media installation by Thér̀ese Provenzano incorporates objects to invoke memories of childhood and change, while Constant Albertson offers two ceramic sculpture pieces on display with themes of water awareness.

Color photographs by Christina Gessler, Emily Davis and Karyn Marden depict varied subjects, such as quintessential views of life on a farm, organically found picture rocks and images of the Casco Bay area. Karen Merritt’s gelatin silver prints portray the beauty in urban gardens of Portland in black and white.

“Homeland” will run through March 1 at the MFT Gallery, located at 97 Main St. and open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery also will be open during the Belfast Holiday Art Walk, Friday, Dec. 7, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit mainefarmlandtrust.org.

Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide, member-powered nonprofit working to protect farmland, support farmers and advance farming. Maine Farmland Trust created its gallery to celebrate agriculture through art and to inspire and inform the public about farming in Maine.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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