October 21, 2012

Community rallies for art

When a Hallowell gallery sounded the call for artists for its Community Supporting Arts (and agriculture) show, it turned into a veritable bucket brigade.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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A view of the Harlow installation

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Kerstin Engman’s fiberboard puzzle depicting Treble Ridge Farm in Whitefield

Photos by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below


"CSA: COMMUNITY SUPPORTING ARTS" exhibition dates and locations:

Through Saturday, Harlow Gallery, Hallowell; harlowgallery.org

Nov. 3-30, Common Street Arts, Waterville; commonstreetarts.com

Nov. 9-Dec. 1, Sheepscot General, Whitefield; sheepscotgeneral.com

Nov. 13-Feb. 5, Savory Maine Dining & Provisions, Damariscotta; savorymainedining.com

Dec. 7-Jan. 26, Crosstrax Neighborhood Deli, Unity; crosstraxdeli.com

Jan. 4-February, Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, Belfast; mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org

Jan. 11-Feb. 24, Art Gallery at Frontier, Brunswick; explorefrontier.com

Gulden worked at the farm over several months, helping to bunch scallions and herbs and cutting fennel, among other chores. He arrived in the spring when seedlings were fledgling in the greenhouse and followed the season all the way through to harvest.

"You name it, I was helping out in the field. That was an important part of the process for me, to get a sense of the scale of the operation and work it takes to get things out of the land," he said.

In response to that grand scale, Gulden found himself making much larger clay pots than he is accustomed to making.

Scott Minzy of Pittson made a series of prints based on his experiences at Long Meadow Farm in West Gardiner. He is best known for dark-themed illustrative work. Hanging out at the farm brightened his work considerably. He made many happy images of sunshine scenes and farm animals.

Being on the farm was a new experience for Minzy. "I am a child of the '80s," he said. "I grew up on video games and comic books."

He found himself going back to art-school lessons, and responded to things he saw as opposed to things he imagined, as is his typical studio practice.

"I ended up responding to the environment," he said. "In my regular work, I do the opposite. It's nice to have direct contact with things that are in front of you. It was fun to get lost staring at tomatoes."

His impression of the farm?

"Just how incredibly hard these people work. I would go for a couple of hours and draw, or sit and listen to their conversations. But they are up at sunrise and are at work, and they don't come home until long after 5."


Aleana Chaplin of Gardiner, a sculptor, had a similar experience at her farm, Winterberry Farm in Belgrade.

"They are the hardest-working people I have ever met. Everyone on the farm has a job, and they all take that job seriously," she said.

For her, this project was about reclaiming the integrity of the land and taking responsibility as a community to "take care of our farmers, because they take care of us. ... I'm a huge advocate for learning to care for the land."

Brady Hatch, who runs Morning Dew Farm in Newcastle with her husband, Brendan McQuillen, hopes this project highlights the fertile community of Maine, both artistically and agriculturally.

Hatch grew up on the property she now farms. Like many Maine-born teenagers, she moved away at first opportunity.

"After I left, I realized what I really wanted was to do work outside and do something that made a difference in my community," she said. "When I looked back on Maine, I realized that this is my community."

She came home and learned to farm, and now feels an integral part of her community.

Hatch loves this blending of arts and agriculture.

"Each farm is as individual as a work of art," she said. "You have different material to work both in geography and the market and the crops you are good at growing and able to sell. Using the farm as a stepping-off point for inspiration makes sense to me.

"There is lots of beauty to be found here."

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:


Twitter: pphbkeyes


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Additional Photos

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“Bucket of Chicken” by artist Matt Demers, who worked with Snafu Acres in Monmouth

Courtesy photo

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“Dig In” by Aleana Chaplin, who partnered with Winterberry Farm in Belgrade

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Collaborative weaving by Kim Christensen and Jamie Ribisi-Braley, working as partners at Wholesome Holmestead in Winthrop

Courtesy photos

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“Half Acre in Winter II,” mixed media by Petrea Noyes, partnered with Crescent Run Farm in Bremen

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“Bees,” linocut by Scott Minzy, who partnered with Long Meadow Farm in West Gardiner


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