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September 15, 2013

5 views: Fine-arts picks for the fall

There is art beyond Labor Day, and quite often it's the best of the year. Check out these venues easily reached from Portland.

By Bob Keyes
Staff Writer

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"Spring, Thomas Point," by Felicity Sidwell. Sidwell credits the light outside her West Point studio that makes her want to paint. It’s “always different every morning. Everything looks different every day.

Image courtesy of Sidwell Art Gallery

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”“Sam’s Boat,” by Felicity Sidwell

Image courtesy of Sidwell Art Gallery

Additional Photos Below

Seaman and his wife, Heidi Seidelhuber, live in Seattle, where they run a steel fabrication business. Five years ago, they bought a building in downtown Boothbay Harbor and opened a gallery, Studio 53. "The gallery was on my bucket list," he said.

Today, Studio 53 is a thriving fine-art concern featuring the work of several local artists, including Seaman and Seidelhuber. They are in town only now and again, and turn the day-to-day operation of the gallery over to a half-dozen other artists.

It is run almost as a co-op. Each artist with a stake in the gallery shows his or her own work, and they also feature a local artist who is not associated with the gallery on a rotating monthly basis.

Three of the artists, including the husband-wife owners, are graduates of Rhode Island School of Design. The others are lifelong working artists or second-career newcomers.

"It is happening and building up strength with each year, and we're now on our fourth," said Studio 53 member Paula Ragsdale, who hopes that people visiting Boothbay Harbor this fall will take the time to step inside.

"Some of the exhibits have been cutting edge, worthy of New York City," she said. "My feeling is our building needs to be on the radar outside of this tiny region."

Other artists who show regularly are Dick and Priscilla Alden, John and Lynne Seitzer and Robert McCay. The work is varied and diverse, ranging from traditional landscapes and seascapes to abstract sculpture.

Each artist has his or her own room to hang work, and Seaman has given himself most of the third floor. This past spring, the gallery hosted a 50-year retrospective of Seaman's paintings, drawings and other two-dimensional work.

Among the work on view this fall is a series of conceptual pencil drawings that Seaman made based on Bach fugues. Each drawing has 24,000 pencil lines. The drawings are dramatic and precise, and almost mathematical in their execution.

Studio 53, 53 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through mid-October. 633-2755;



For most of his art-making career, printmaker R. Keith Rendall has created large-scale prints, woodcuts and etchings of critters and creatures found among the lakes, streams, rivers, bays and other waterways of Maine.

He's interested not simply in rendering the birds, bees, waterfowl and wildlife of Maine in their natural settings, but is concerned about making those creatures, great and small, look exactly right. He cares about how they move through the reeds and water, how they dive for their food and interact with their environment.

Rendall makes his prints based on years of observation, which involves hiking and canoeing and simply sitting down and watching for hours on end.

"I want to be true to these creatures, and be respectful of them," he said. "I want people to get a different story about these creatures, and the true essence of them and their habitat."

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Additional Photos

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Mae's Cafe, Bath

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"Hobson's Whart" is one of Ann Mohnkern's realistic views of the waterfront.

Jay York photo

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Sidwell Art Gallery

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Ann Mohnkern lately has been painting en plein air. This is “Plein Air #3”.

Courtesy of the artist

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Rendall Fine Art, Wiscasset

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“I want to be true to these creatures,” says R. Keith Rendall of his subjects, including “King Eiders.”

Image courtesy of Rendall Fine Art

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Keith Rendall's “Kingfisher.”

Image courtesy of Rendall Fine Art

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Richard Boyd Art Gallery, Peaks Island

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"American Eagle," by Gwen Sylvester

Image courtesy of Richard Boyd Art Gallery

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"Lawnmower#1: The New House" by Gordon Carlisle

Image courtesy of Richard Boyd Art Gallery

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Studio 53, Boothbay Harbor

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Abstract by Terry Seamon at Studio 53

Image courtesy of Studio 53

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"Quiet Time," by John M.T. Seitzer at Studio 53


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