Learn more about the artists who have recently displayed their work.
Did you miss an art exhibit? You may enjoy some of our past exhibits virtually in the online gallery provided below. Click on the images to enlarge them and more fully enjoy each piece. Click on an artist’s name below the virtual gallery to learn more about each artist and their work. This archive only contains exhibits from last year and the current year.
COMMUNITY COLLECTS ~ CELEBRATING THE ART OF PATIENCE HALEY with Panos Ghikas and Priscilla Haley January - March 2022
eginning in January and running through March 2022, the York Public Library will host a retrospective of watercolors and paintings by Patience Haley (1926-2020). Well known in her later life for her large vibrant watercolors of flowers, Patience was also a teacher, a conservationist, and an art restorer at several museums. Several paintings by her husband, Panos Ghikas (1917-2012) and prints of her sister Priscilla Haley will also be on display.
Patience E. Haley was born in 1926 in Boston, Mass. and passed away in York, Maine in August 2020 at 94 years of age. She attended the opening in 1953 of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and had a watercolor show there in 2016. Ms. Haley was an active member of the Ogunquit artist colonies during the fifties and forward.
Master Gilder and Egg Tempera expert, Panos Ghikas (1917-2012) executed a mural in gold leaf for the World Trade Center’s 110th floor restaurant, Windows on the World.
He and his wife, Patience, restored historic murals by Barry Faulkner at the Averill Harriman estate in Harriman, NY. He lived and worked in Boston for 50 years before moving to Maine in 1991.
Priscilla Haley, also an artist, was primarily known for her printmaking and was a member of the York Art Association. Her work reflects Maine, its rugged coast, islands, and ever-changing sea.
About Patience Haley
Patience E. Haley: The Maine Connection: Biographical Notes and Memories
My experience and accomplishments in my art world in and out of Maine might prove of interest here. Although born in Boston, Massachusetts, my sister and I came to Ogunquit many summers while in prep school and college working as waitresses at the old Lookout Ogunquit Club Hotel and the Beachmere Inn, as well as Kennebunkport and Camden, Maine.
I was fascinated by the lovely Lookout gardens of the Harry Merrills and Mrs. Merrill, knowing of our interest in art, asked us to arrange flowers for the hotel lobby every day. My Professor of Watercolor at Oberlin College Jesse Trefethen, came from Peaks Island, Casco Bay, and her palette would not allow black. Ellen Johnson, the renowned art historian and collector at Oberlin was also an inspiration as was Zaydee DeJonge Harris, Director of the Fitchburg Art Museum who was my teacher at Cushing Academy.
A summer on Orrs island while still in college proved to be a memorable experience when my sister and I would venture out each day, rain or shine, to paint realistic aspects of island life. It was here while having a show at a Bailey Island fish house that we met Henry Strater of Ogunquit and his great companion George Weare who were on a tuna expedition. Mike even bought a small watercolor of mine from the show. Little did I know that we were in the future to become colleagues of the Ogunquit Art Association. I made frequent trips to the offshore islands to paint with a friend who was in the sea-moss harvesting business which he started after Dartmouth. We would picnic on Mark Island and I was forever haunted by the solitude and beauty of this unspoiled island. Later I was to spend dark hours of a night marooned off Mark Island when our anchor got tangled. This island, its shape and starkness appears again and again in my work.
Summer evenings in Ogunquit were often spent in Perkins Cove “hanging out” with Hal Carney, wearing his Wesleyan sweater, Tony Mattei and others. The School of Painting and Sculpture was in frill swing with Laurent, Karfiol, Kuniyoshi among the instructors. I once did a sketch of John Lamberts schooner in the Cove for free rides all summer. In this same aspect I later lettered the first sign for Dick Perfkins’ famous Poor Richard’s Tavem at the head of Perkins Cove and enjoyed delicious casseroles in exchange. All the while I sketched rocks, flora and sea-life all along the coastal rocks and ledges. My father had known Charles Woodbury, being a Maine native himself, and I recall a spirited party at David O. Woodbury’s home, his son, where artists and writers mingled. My mother, a Smith College art major from Indiana, spent time along these shores and urged me to use my own interpretation always.
After college I taught and curated at the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum in
Springfield, MA, where I won a First Prize and other awards while in the Springfield Art
League. Five years later I was in Middlebury, Vermont teaching painting at the college under Arthur K.D. Healy the well-known watercolorist and historian. We were out many days painting the verdant Vermont landscape. I lived at the Sheldon Historical Museum in exchange for curatorial duties. AKDH (as he was known) was a Director of YADDO, the artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, New York, and he helped make it possible for me to spend three summers at YADDO which were among the most inspiring of my career. I became a friend of Jacob Lawrence, the noted black artist over chess and egg tempera, and Milton Avery was also there along with Bob Coates and Hilton Kramer, the art critics.
Carson McCullers, the renowned playwright and writer of Member of the Wedding, was there as well. She was an eccentric lady who drank away each weekend with her friend, Tennessee Williams, who would arrive from New York in his Jaguar with a case of “spirits.” But she took a liking to my work as did Elizabeth Ames, The Director, and gave me some great pointers.
Another summer was spent at the Highfield Art Workshop in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where inspiring teachers were Lawrence Kupferman, Walter Kamys and Mervin Jules. I began experimenting in Duca’s new medium, polymer tempera or polyvinyl acetate. One of my large polymer temperas, Ancient City Walls, was later bought by Bart Hayes for the permanent collection of the Addison Gallery of American Art.
Abbot Academy offered me a position teaching art in 1956 and one summer while there I rented a cottage on Pine Hill Road in Ogunquit and I joined the OAA with David VonSchlegell as my sponsor. The following spring Fred Walkey of the DeCordova Museum gave me a one-woman show at the Museum and bought a watercolor for the DeCordova Collection. Back in Boston in 1959 1 showed in the juried Boston Arts Festivals and became a Designer for United Publishers, Rust Craft Division. The next year I won a coveted Tiffany Foundation fellowship and went to Ogunquit using a wonderful studio which Maggie Strater insisted I use. Several years later I was awarded a
MacDowell Colony fellowship where I met my husband to be, Panos Ghikas, and the rest is history. We were married a year later in the beautiåll Savidge Library on a snowy winter afternoon. We returned several times to work in that glorious mountain setting. In 1969 1 received a two year appointment as fellow in Painting at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College ending with a one-woman show at the Bunting Gallery.
Panos and I did quite a lot of art restoration throughout these years, from private collections as well as restoring large historical murals for Columbia University at Arden House in Harriman, New York. I also worked for Gustav Kliman in Boston as an inpainter.
All along Panos and I continued to come to Maine and Ogunquit as much as we could hoping someday to find a place of our own and that time came in 1991 when we bought our house on River Road in Cape Neddick. We renovated the old pig bam into a comfortable studio with views of an old apple orchard and rock gardens. It was wonderful to have a home in the country and by the sea after having spent my childhood in small country towns and farms throughout New England. Looking onto such simple natural aspects as grass, trees, river and sea together with picking wildflowers and feeding wild birds has definitely shown in a “new trend” in my watercolor paintings. I have also been fascinated by the dawns and twilights, things one doesn’t see in years of city living. To coin a phrase it is akin to the return of the native to her “homeland” and I continue each day to marvel at the smallest things in nature and in the ecology of the countryside, and majestic sea.
Patience E. Haley – My Painting Philosophy
I believe that painting is a process, and with a great debt to the past, I am creating a present and a future. I feel that my work can simply and only speak for itself. Working primarily in a water based medium I have no long theories on why I paint as I do but rely on inward intuition and inspiration. When I begin a work I do not know how it will end.
Although I received a rather formal art education at college and in earlier years, my own painting style is hardly formal. In earlier years my teaching brought me in touch with many styles and expressions from my students and from my own experiences with art history. Those were the years of teaching at Middlebury College and at the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum in Springfield as well as at Abbot Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Five years as a designer with United Publishers and greeting cards was a knowledgeable experience with the exactness and precision necessary, but, when it comes to my own personal expression there are no rules.
At the start of any work, I often just take a brush full of paint in a desired color or mixture of color either dropping it on a wet background or using a spray bottle to spread the paint. Immediately shapes and designs take place. This initial “happening” often decides what course the work will take – whether sea or foam or woodland ideas. When painting a floral inspired work my knowledge of flowers; their leaves and petals, their pistils and stamens has come through years of roaming woodlands in my early years, camping out with the Girl Scouts and collecting specimens of wild plants. As each minute changes our environment, so does each minute change in a watercolor which in my opinion should not be too controlled. This is my belief only. There are millions of painters who believe the opposite. I can draw and can draw well but I choose not to draw a plan or cartoon of what the painting will be. for me the excitement lies in not knowing exactly what will happen. The paper itself creates designs, the ridges overflow with color and “Accidents” become realities. In recent years my work in art restoration has indirectly been an asset in my own painting for it has shown me how errors in drawing, painting and the use of non-pennanent materials can change the whole surface and appearance of what is supposed to be a “work of art. “
Without being literal in expression I use patterns and forms inherent in ecology, geology and fossilized sea life as well as the flora of sea meadows and salt marshes. The islands of Maine where I have explored and lived hold my fascination with their solitude, light, majestic firs, and conglomerate ledges. Various phases of the sun and moon, dawns and twilights also make their appearance in my work. The rich inspiration of Maine is native to my blood with the mystique of centuries old ancestry as a descendant of 17th century settlers on the Isles of Shoals. My grandfather, a Methodist preacher and orator spoke on many of the islands and outposts of Maine. My mother’s family were pioneers from Indiana who forged the way’ to the West in covered wagon days. With this great spirit in my mind and my great interest in our environment, I strive to interpret the mood and beauty of a natural world. That is the key word – to interpret!
My watercolor supports include Whatman and Fabriano watercolor papers, Ogura rice papers, which I often use with silver or gold leaf, and various types of illustration board. I rely on Winsor Newton brand watercolors in tubes and use permanent LUMA inks sparingly.
Speak, Memory November - December 2021
A new exhibit of photographs will open on November 2, 2021, at the York Library, entitled “Speak, Memory.” The two photographers, Annette Brennan and Julee Holcombe, engage both memory and photography in very different ways.
When photography first developed in the mid-nineteenth century, it seemed that the photo was a “mirror of nature” that captured the true image of its subject. The need for long exposure times led early photographers to choose immovable subjects such as buildings; improvements in lenses and film allowed more portraiture—yet people still had to hold their poses for many seconds. Families documented their members then, just as they do today, to preserve memories of people, occasions, places and events.
For some photographers such as Annette Brennan, the truth-telling record of the photograph remains important. The artist’s eye is engaged by the nature of the scene and the patience to wait for the exact moment. Light at just the right time of day, a bird or animal captured just as its pose conveys its essential qualities—photos that capture a fleeting slice of reality and its beauty testify to the photographer’s skill.
Taking an opposite tack, Julee Holcombe’s photographic prints are the results of her digital remixing of various components. Her own photographs are taken in far-flung parts of the world; she sometimes borrows images from artists who practiced in other eras. Some of her digital manipulations deceive the eye while others create the abrupt shifts of a collage. While she hopes to capture the essential qualities of human experience, she does so through meditating on many images, combining them to convey “the complex nature of the human condition.” The results may seem surreal rather than naturalistic.
These two artists give us the opportunity to reflect on memory. The naturalistic subject matter preserves the appearance of a bird, a flower, a landscape as we remember it. The photograph triggers memories in the viewer of related scenes and moods. The altered photograph’s task is not to preserve memories but to instigate a chain of associations in the viewer’s mind, akin to the associations our dreams conjure up. These transformed fragments of memories become new ways to remember the world.
Edge of the Land, Edge of the Water - September / October 2021
The York Public Library exhibit “Edge of the Land, Edge of the Water” is now on view until October 29. The exhibit features three New England Artists with very different styles, all representing their views of the landscape.
Stephen Harby, an architect who lives in York in the summer, is an expert watercolorist. His representational paintings include many of views of York and other Maine sites as well as views of sites in Italy, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere. His fresh execution delivers a sense of spontaneity while the white of the watercolor paper suffuses the scenes with light.
Toby Gordon lives and paints in Kittery Point, Maine. She studied painting and drawing at the University of New Hampshire and has taken workshops with artists Tom Glover, Wendy Turner, and many others. Her paintings employ the palette knife and create impressions of landscapes pared down to their essence and sometimes to abstraction. Her beautiful colors create a calm and reflective space.
Brett Gamache’s landscapes often include people in recreational or work settings. In his studio in Ipswich, MA, he composes very colorful canvases, sometimes executed with heavy oil paint. He simplifies the forms of his subjects yet conveys a realistic sense of light, action, and place.
On a different note, the glass showcases at the front of the Library contain a series of delightful small sculptures of animals by Jeff and Carol Tollefson. Their experience making thrown clay vessels led them to hand-built work and then to sculpting their interpretations of animals—both natural such as monkeys, and fanciful such as dragons–in that same clay. These fired clay creatures would be a perfect accent for a home library shelf!
Sanctuary Arts July - August 2021
Sanctuary Arts proudly presents a showcase of its instructors, a group of talented artists who are passionate about their work and eager to pass on their technical and creative expertise. You may enjoy a sampling of the art virtually in the online gallery below. Click on the images to enlarge them and more fully enjoy each piece, and visit the Library during open hours to view the full exhibit. More information about the artists can be found in a binder at the Library. If you are interested in purchasing one of the pieces, please contact the artists directly.
FEATURED ARTISTS: Christopher Gowell | Joshua Langstaff | Bill Paarlberg | Lauren Dow | Josh Dow | Alastair Dacey | Sean Kramer | Anthony Alemany | Sean Beavers | Bob Ellis | Tom Glover | Amanda Letscher| Sydney Sparrow | Russel Whitten | Alice Carroll
About Sanctuary Arts
Sanctuary Arts started in 1997 when founder Christopher Gowell, a figure sculptor with an MFA from Boston University, moved to Eliot from Portsmouth’s Button Factory Studios to begin her own art and teaching studio. She and friend Rob Wallis, purchased the old Methodist church on Bolt Hill Road, with the intention of creating a community of artists that she could work with and learn from. Over the years the space has evolved into a community art space focusing on fine art education. Green Foundry was created when Josh and Lauren Dow decided to take on running the foundry that Christopher built and now cast fine art sculpture in bronze, aluminum and iron, from all over the region. Christopher continues to take one or two classes each semester and is learning to paint after being a sculptor for over 50 years.
Originally a Methodist church built in the 1850’s using hand hewn beams, the tin ceilings and walls of Sanctuary Arts sing with life. It had been a place for the community to gather for more than a hundred years when the last occupants decided to sell. This space continues gathering the community. Inside these beautiful tin walls many have celebrated births, deaths, weddings, art shows, music shows, inaugurations, the list goes on. Sculpture gardens created by Judy Andrews and maintained by Julie Marvin, and stone scapes by Alan Eves and Steven Carpenter enliven the grounds. We have a philosophy of community—a commitment to creating spaces where artists can connect and learn. We offer classes in old techniques and new ones, always focused on quality instruction from fine artists who hold the same values. Come take a class with us and see for yourself the power of a space with history and intention and the beauty of garden spaces. www.sanctuaryarts.org
SANCTUARY ARTS CONNECTS Scholarships
Sanctuary Arts Connects is our new nonprofit organization that works to create opportunities for the exploration of artistic expression for members of our community regardless of financial or social background. Sanctuary Arts community is a space where the developing mind can investigate the skills of art making and build confidence while learning practical, technical, conceptual and critical thinking skills. We believe these skills should be accessible to all in our community. The making of art is a skill that connects us back to our inner selves, requiring the use of our hands, minds and hearts. Donate or inquire about a scholarship at www.sanctuaryartsconnects.com
Amy Brnger April - June 2021
Amy Brnger : A Tour of Seasons
As long as I have painted I have been influenced by seasons and my emotional state while I work. My approach to a bouquet, a landscape, or an interior will be different depending upon weather, the quality of light, whether I am tired and crabby or energized and happy. All are reflected in the final image. The way I push paint around a panel, feel the paint on my palette knife and brush, is dependent upon my feeling state.
I try hard to keep the surprises that make their way onto a panel and stop the painting a few steps before it is finished. Sometimes the image might look awkward and slightly underdone, but if it feels genuine and somehow a reflection of how I see the world in that particular moment, then I want to keep it. When I keep working past that point, the likelihood of scraping the response away is great.
Though this year has been challenging and I often feel worried, anxious and sad, I continue to see beauty in our world. As you look at my flowers and interiors in January, birds and blooms I am happy to see again in May, reflections of my studio and hot bright roofs in August, or the somber light of fall landscapes and end of season blooms, I hope you can catch a glimpse of the world as I see it.
More About Amy
Amy Brnger is a New Hampshire native who grew up near Keene, lived for a long time in Portsmouth but recently moved to Eliot, Maine. She studied painting at the University of New Hampshire and has worked as an artist since 1987. In 2012 she began making cards, calendars and prints from her paintings and opened Amy Brnger Art and Paperworks. Her paintings are shown in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
Amy has painted still life, flowers, interiors and landscape for as long as she has been an artist. She uses nature as a vehicle, or an excuse, to paint, and enjoys painting places and things with and about which she is familiar or curious. Forgotten and overlooked places are a particular favorite. Her paintings are expressive, energetic, and attempt to capture the changing nature of living things.
Amy has been teaching painting since 2012, but has been a painter for over 35 years. Thanks to the Coronavirus, she finally took the plunge and learned how to teach online and loves it. Her classes and workshops are available on her website, amybrnger.com, as well as with the Winslow Art Center in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Barbara D’Antonio January - March 2021
“My paintings are influenced by the Post Impressionists’ works in The Barnes Foundation. Specifically, Bonnard and Matisse. I’m inspired by the artist that have come before me. My eyes look at the world around me, but what I see has been filtered by the artists of the past. What is actually there? I don’t know, but the work that emerges includes a little bit of reimagined memory, and a whole lot of art history. My works are in private collections in the United States as well as in Crete, Greece and Spinetoli, Italy where I lived and worked in the summers between 1985 through 2014. I consider myself a modern figurative artist.”
About My Studio
My studio is a former boat house located on the Back Channel of the Piscataqua River in Kittery, ME. Build in the 1800’s as a school bathroom, it was later moved to the water’s edge as a work shop for the neighborhood lobstermen to repair traps and set bait. Its’ many windows flood with light and reveal the ever-changing river views and the variety of waterfowl living there. The studio is open to visit. Please call ahead: 207-703-0554.
Education (1970’s and 1980’s)
Main Line Center for the Arts, Haverford, PA. Primary Influence: Biagio Pinto, Painter
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA Primary Influence: Fritz Janschka, Printmaker
Haverford College, Haverford, PA Primary Influence: Bruce Gagnier, Sculptor
The Barn’s Foundation, Merion, PA Teacher: Violet DeMazia
Fleisher School of Art, Philadelphia., PA Primary Influence: Francis McCarthy, Life Drawing
Newburyport Art Association, Newburyport, MA, 1992 and 1993
Kittery Art Association, Kittery, ME, 2012 through 2020 (Spotlight Artist: April, 2017)
Morgan Gallery, Kittery, ME, two separate shows in 2016 and 2017
The Barn Gallery Regional Show, Ogunquit, ME, 2017 and
Haley Art Gallery, Kittery, Me, 2019 and 2020.
Maryse Newton, Thomas K. Merriam, and Lucy Johnson October - Dec 2020
Multitalented artists Maryse Newton, Thomas K. Merriam, and Lucy Johnson bring color, calmness and their love of nature to our Library walls this fall. Maryse finds balance and calm on the distant horizon and energy in the fresh Maine Salt air. Thomas’s paintings, wood sculptures and sign carvings reflect his roots as a Maine native. His lifelong observation of the “wilds of nature” is captured in many of his paintings of local (and not so local) animals. Lucy Johnson (1946-2016) was a multi-media artist who lived in Eliot. Her paintings offer us a safe haven for an engaging visual experience.
Maine Coast III – acrylic – 30” x 48”
Maine Sparkle – acrylic – 48” x 24”
Untitled – Oil – 34” x 40”
Untitled – Oil – 40” x 46”
Covid Lion – Oil – 64” x 44”