Joanne Tarlin of Harpswell is happy for the chance to show her artwork in different coastal communities. Contributed / Joanne Tarlin

The Midcoast chapter of Union of Maine Visual Artists is active again after about 10 years of stagnation, and its Juried Winter Exhibition at Waterfall Arts in Belfast is running until Feb. 24.

This is the Midcoast chapter’s second show since starting up again. A smaller show was held at the Camden library in January.

Liv Kristin Robinson, a Belfast artist who helped organize the exhibition for the Midcoast chapter, said the high amount of interest in restarting the local chapter was understandable.

“There’s so much talent and so few venues for artists to show,” Robinson said. Other local artists had the idea to revive the chapter when they were trying to coordinate a system for transporting their work to Portland galleries, the most common place in the state for shows, especially by UMVA, she said.

A watercolor by Kelly Desrosiers of Unity is exhibited at the show this month. Contributed / Liv Kristin Robinson.

Robinson and Ann Tracy, a Rockport artist, created a survey to gauge interest in a Midcoast exhibition and received 300 responses. Once the show was in the works, 26 artists applied.

Tracy said she expects the chapter to “become a new force in the Midcoast art scene” as it opens up opportunities for more artists to show their work. Over 150 people came to the Juried Winter Exhibition’s unveiling.


“The show runs the gambit from realistic painting to wild abstraction, yet you don’t see as much ‘tourist art,'” said Tracy. “I’m so pleasantly shocked by the number of people who came out.” 

The work on display varies widely, from paintings to photography, monoprints and mixed media.

Joanne Tarlin, a Harpswell artist whose work is featured, said she appreciates the chance to introduce her work to “different parts of the coastal community.” The show, she said, pulls together “a selection of work that shared the breadth of what the art community is doing in the area.”

She is exhibiting abstract paintings she created during the pandemic.

Greg Burns, a Brunswick artist exhibiting in the show, said the Midcoast is “an area of the state that’s very strong artistically. A lot of artists in Midcoast don’t get seen in Portland.”

Midcoast artist Libby Sipe with her art. Contributed / Liv Kristin Robinson

He looks forward to seeing the Midcoast UMVA chapter grow.


“It’s got a lot of really good energy,” he said.

He hopes the new chapter will inspire others to open chapters in the state so more artists can show their work and connect with their local arts communities.

The show was curated by Belfast artist David Estey, a three-year member of the UMVA board.

“The enthusiasm for the show was a great surprise,” Estey said. “I was really happy about that.”

He said he took an unusual curation approach, going in with the intention of being as inclusive as possible. He ended up accepting all the submissions.

“I am convinced that accepting all the submissions in this case will make for an interesting exhibit with much to be learned from the wide variety of work being done in the Midcoast area,” he said. “I can talk about every piece and justify what’s there.”

Gallery hours for the Belfast show at Waterfall Arts are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

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