Annual Fiore residency show at MFT

‘Water and Fire, Drawings and Dirt’

Mar 31, 2019
Photo by: MFT Clif Travers’ “I Dream of Trees” is a print on canvas.

Belfast — During the summer of 2018, six visual artists, one writer, one performance artist and one gardener lived and worked together at Rolling Acres Farm in Jefferson as part of Maine Farmland Trust’s Fiore Art Center residency program.

The common thread running through their work was a meaningful engagement with themes related to agriculture or the environment. The solitude, natural setting and communal aspect of the residency allowed the artists to focus, explore and create in new ways.

“Water and Fire, Drawings and Dirt,” the 2018 Fiore Residents Exhibit, is now on display at the MFT Gallery, 97 Main St. It will conclude Friday, May 24, with artist talks at 5 p.m. and a closing reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Performance artist Heather Lyon woke many mornings at dawn to walk through dew-covered fields down to the lake. Working in and with the water, she ultimately crafted several performative videos. MFT Gallery displays her “Safety Poncho (Orange)” video with Michel Droge’s vibrant, atmospheric oil paintings.

Carol L. Douglas created vivid plein air landscape paintings in oils and watercolors respectively, investigating the confluence of paired painting. Maxwell Nolin took advantage of the uninterrupted time in the studio to work on two large, luminous oil paintings.

In addition to working on her narrative manuscript, writer-in-residence Jodi Paloni produced a beautiful lyrical writing that captures the essence of the farm landscape and the connection felt by all who were taken in and nurtured by it.

Clif Travers spent time exploring the natural environment of the field and woods and connecting with the community at the farm. In the studio, he constructed an 8-by-6 foot sculptural panel using discarded lumber and other wood products, then painted the three-dimensional panel in a style referencing church mosaics and stained-glass windows.

During her residency, Stephanie Mercedes continued building archives of missing violent histories and created a variation of her “Relicarios” installation. Mercedes’ work honors the grandmothers who protested the disappearance of their children by wearing lockets.

Thu Kim Vu, from Vietnam, was inspired by the personal bonds formed during the residency through the communal kitchen, food and the garden to create miniature paper drawings of pots, pans and utensils, gluing them Plexiglas to be viewed through the natural light.

In addition to growing unusual vegetables and ornamental food for the residents, resident gardener Rachel Alexandrou created a video installation called “The Nature of Stewardship,” which explores the relationship between human, body and earth.

MFT Gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Fourth Friday Art Walks (beginning in May), the gallery is open until 8 p.m. For more information, visit

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

Carol L. Douglas’ “Blueberry Barrens, Watercolor” is a work on Yupo.
Michel Droge’s “Yesterday’s Fires” is an oil on birch panel.
Heather Lyon’s performative video “RED” is one of several she created during her residency.
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