The Cathance River Gallery will open to the public on Sept. 11. Contributed

Art lovers in Bowdoinham have a new place to create and showcase their work.

Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans member and local painter Bill Stanton will open a new art studio and gallery space at the Knights of Pythias building in the village on Sept. 11, which coincides with the town’s annual Celebrate Bowdoinham festival.

The new Cathance River Gallery is intended to offer a fun, informal setting for artists to showcase their work. Though they are still setting up the studio and preparing for the opening, Stanton said people have noticed.

Stanton said he decided to open a studio in Bowdoinham after vacating Richmond studio space in July after 15 years.

“I had a studio on one of the floors in Ames Mill building in Richmond, but in July, the proprietor of the building decided to sell the entire floor to others, so I was looking for a new studio space and found something in Bowdoinham,” Stanton said.

Stanton added his studio is in the lower level of the Knights of Pythias building and has more space than he needs.


“It has two studios and one gallery space. While I will be using one studio, the other will be used by another artist in the town. The gallery space will be available for people who want to showcase their art,” said Stanton.

Stanton said he feels there is a need for more venues to support local artists, and he hopes this space will help artisans looking for a space to showcase their art and craftwork.

“It wasn’t my intention to put up an art gallery, but once I got the space, I could see that there was a need for it,” said Stanton. “My fellow artists always were looking for places to show their art. Moreover, I have done a lot of artworks over my lifetime, which I want to put up for people to see.”

The first art show at the gallery will be held on its inaugural day, where artworks of local artists and artisans will be on display and for sale.

The gallery space will be available for free of cost during the Celebrate Bowdoinham weekend, but after that, Stanton said he plans to rent it out to artists for a 30% commission.

Stanton added the first preference to use the gallery space will be given to local Bowdoinham artists.


Currently, the town has one art gallery run by the Merrymeeting Arts Center, where art shows are run periodically throughout the year.

“Gallery at the Merrymeeting Arts Center is open only when there is an art show, so I hope this new gallery will be open throughout the year, especially on the weekends,” said Lynn Sternfels, president of the Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans.

“We do not have an art gallery of this kind in Bowdoinham, so this will be helpful for artists to showcase their work. Moreover, the Knights of Pythias building was empty for quite a long time, and no town wants to have empty buildings like that.” Sterfels added.

Cathance River Gallery will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 11 and 12. The regular working hours will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. All visitors are required to wear a mask.

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