“Icarus Goes Solar” by Tim McCreight of Harpswell is part of “Flight” at Cove Street Arts in Portland. Tim McCreight

Despite the pandemic, this is good time to see art. In person or online, galleries across Maine are giving art lovers a reason to pay attention. Here are four fall art picks.

“Flight,” Cove Street Arts, 71 Cove St., Portland, through Dec. 5.

Curated by artist Lissa Hunter, this exhibition features the work of eight impeccable Maine artists and their personal interpretations of flight, in sculpture, prints, drawings, fabrics and fired stoneware, told with images of birds, distant stars and delicate butterflies. All the artists involved – Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade, Kathleen Florance, Lin Lisberger, Lisa Pixley, Paul Heroux and Tim McCreight in addition to Hunter – pay attention to the elements of craft involved in their work as much as the artistic qualities. It’s beautiful, elegant and paradoxical. McCreight, a metalsmith from Harpswell, made a series of small sculptures that explore the awkward realities of flight – a propeller affixed atop a heavy stone, with no chance at achieving liftoff, a biplane with a brick body and “Icarus Goes Solar,” a plane of paper skin, broom straw, thread and glue – and tiny solar panels that actually work.

These are small, intimate pieces, all made during the pandemic at his dining room table with materials at hand to occupy him during the precarious days of spring. His work is just one example. The show is full of imagination, wonder and dreams.

Susan Webster’s “I Hear Something Coming” is made of tar paper, at CMCA. Susan Webster

2020 Biennial, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, 21 Winter St., Rockland, through May 2.

CMCA has put a virtual 3D interactive tour of the biennial online. If you can’t or have not made it to Rockland, the tour, created by midcoast photographer and videographer Dave Clough, provides a walk-through experience with the opportunity to pause, read wall labels and focus on specific elements of the exhibition. The juried exhibition includes art by 34 artists representing 17 Maine communities, and reflects the energy and zest of the state’s contemporary art scene. The walls are filled with objects big and small, paintings, sculpture, photography – and an unusual wall hanging by Deer Isle artist Susan B. Webster made from roofing felt.


“I Hear Something Coming” is a five-panel piece of shapes, colors and words printed, stitched and painted on the tar paper, commonly used for roofing projects. She made the piece in response to the pandemic, with references domestic violence, reproductive rights and other themes. She chose five vertical panels because in Hebrew, the number five represents kindness and favor to humankind. “It’s an acknowledgement of all that is happening now. I wanted to create a space that might provide comfort and solace,” she said.

“Bingo and Brown Shoes” by Margaret Rizzio of Camden at Dowling Walsh. Courtesy of Dowling Walsh

Margaret Rizzio, Dowling Walsh, 365 Main St., Rockland, through Oct. 31.

Hurry, this show is on view only through the end of the month. Margaret Rizzio, who grew up in Blue Hill and lives in Camden, is an avid collector of American ephemera, especially from mid-century. For the installation at Dowling Walsh, she created a wall-size landscape assemblage of original vintage and antique advertisements, photos and miscellaneous cultural material that she has collected over many years. The piece is called “Bingo and Brown Shoes” and is staggering in its detail and depth.

“It is a ‘wow’ when you walk into the room,” Rizzio said, achieving the reaction she hoped for. “The show is like walking into one of my pieces of art.” The massive piece is paired with “Rizzio Essentials,” everyday objects with a twist.

Kimia Kline’s “Lobotomy,” an ink and oil pastel on papyrus, and An Hoang’s untitled watercolor will be on view at Able Baker. Courtesy of Able Baker

“You Look Like a World,” Able Baker, 29 Forest Ave., Portland, opening Friday, through Nov. 21.

Curator Hilary Schaffer shows the work of five women – Meghan Brady, Jennie Jieun Lee, Jay Miriam, Kimia Ferdowsi Kline and Brie Ruais – artists for whom, she says, “the body and the female form is a potent resource for creation rather than a hindrance.” With paintings and sculpture, they reimagine and celebrate the physical form as inspiration and motivation. Shaffer also is showing a selection of drawings by An Hoang in the upstairs gallery.

For Friday’s opening, the gallery will be open 3-7 p.m., with attendance limited to five at a time.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: