Mainely Art: Three places we loved in Boothbay region

 

Nautical painting by Jessica Ives

In Maine, art is all around.  From colorful harbors that shimmer by day to pristine white houses standing alone near fields of wild blueberries.  Artists flock to the region for inspiration, and those of us who love to shop are rewarded with delightful renditions of what artists see and, in turn, share with us.  In one day alone, we found three places we’d love to see again in Boothbay Harbor and Edgecomb.

Gleason Fine Art

31 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor

Perhaps it was the sculpture outside that led us into this attractive gallery filled with local contemporary art, but it was the quality and the artful display of paintings that kept us there.  Located in a restored 19th-century farmhouse in Boothbay Harbor, Gleason Fine Art showcases some of the region’s best, and we were drawn in immediately to a scene from Monhegan by Peter Sculthorpe that literally took our breath away.  Hanging in the entrance hall, the piece defines what Sculthorpe senses and then shares through art — the dreamlike, almost all-alone feeling you get when you’re in Maine on Monhegan Island. And the painting sets the tone for the Gleason gallery.

Monhegan Landing, Sunset by Peter Sculthorpe, oil 36" by 50"

Monhegan Landing, Sunset by Peter Sculthorpe, oil 36″ by 50″

White walls form the perfect backdrop for the variety you see at Gleason, and you move through the gallery as you would in a home furnished with tasteful Oriental rugs and quality art.

Art on display at Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor

Art on display at Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor

We were familiar — well, at least a little bit — with the work of Kevin Beers from our stay at Spruce Point Inn where a number of his clear-colored paintings of the Monhegan Light hang.  His paintings inspired us to travel to Monhegan Island (and write a post that we’ll be sharing soon.)

Dory Geometry by Kevin Beers, oil 40" by 40"

Dory Geometry by Kevin Beers, oil 40″ by 40″

Among the traditional colors of Maine homes and landscapes, though, were the fresh, new colors of Henry Isaacs’ work.  An artist living in the Cranberry Islands, Isaacs offers a refreshing take on the usual harbor scenes with lively pastel colors and broadly impressionistic brush strokes.

Off Owls Head by Henry Isaacs, oil 20" by 40"

Off Owls Head by Henry Isaacs, oil 20″ by 40″

Be sure to check out Gleason’s website for more contemporary art as well as 19th and 20th century acquisitions.  But if you’re in Boothbay Harbor, don’t miss the opportunity to view (and purchase, too) some of the region’s best art.

Alison Evans Ceramics

93 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor

You just may get lucky, as we did, to see Alison Evans herself crafting dinnerware and tabletop accessories using natural shapes of coastal life in her shop, Ae Home.

Alison Evans at work at Ae Home in Boothbay Harbor

Ceramicist Alison Evans at work at Ae Home in Boothbay Harbor

As we learned later, she also owns Ae Gallery in Yarmouth, but the place in Boothbay suited us just fine with retail displays and a place for Alison and company to work their magic right there in the shop.

Display at Ae Home in Boothbay Harbor

Display at Ae Home in Boothbay Harbor

Display in front, work space in the back: Ae Home in Boothbay Harbor

Display in front, work space in the back: Ae Home in Boothbay Harbor

According to the brochure you get with every purchase (and yes, we’re bringing something home with us!), the “work is hand molded and hand glazed, making each piece unique.” One firing turns pieces into bisqueware which are then glazed by the artists.  A second firing liquefies the glaze causing crystals to grow and form little detailed spots that even the makers of this ware can’t predict how they’ll turn out.

Beautiful glazing makes each piece unique at Alison Evans Ceramics

Beautiful glazing makes each piece unique at Alison Evans Ceramics

Needless to say, each piece is unique. And it’s not just the “spotty” pieces that make you want to touch and hold.  Oversized molded bowls and platters caught our attention for their unique forms and representations of nature’s creations.

Bowl from Alison Evans Ceramics

Bowl from Alison Evans Ceramics

Edgecomb Pottery

727 Boothbay Road, Edgecomb

You’ve got to admire Richard and Chris Hilton who, in 1976, purchased a one-room abandoned schoolhouse to pursue their love of pottery-making full time.  During the first summer, they even slept on the schoolhouse floor and took showers at local campgrounds  and the YMCA to make ends meet.

Little red schoolhouse, first home of Edgecomb Pottery

Little red schoolhouse, first home of Edgecomb Pottery

But as a testament to their faith and perseverance, Richard and Chris not only endured, they succeeded.  And today, the huge gallery of Edgecomb Pottery invites locals and tourists in to see various lines of pottery, jewelry, glass, wood, metal, and lighting.

Airy displays give space to each important work at Edgecomb Pottery

Airy displays give space to each important work at Edgecomb Pottery

Artfully designed displays show off the hefty pieces that sport one-of-a-kind spattered glazes in a variety of colors. But other pieces just invite you over to check ’em out and marvel at this store filled with enticements.

Metal sculpture and handcrafted lighting at Edgecomb Pottery

Metal sculpture and handcrafted lighting at Edgecomb Pottery

Stroll through the schoolhouse to read about the history of Edgecomb Potters, and then check out the rooms of utilitarian and decorative pieces.  It’s a trip worth taking to Edgecomb, Maine.

Showroom at Edgecomb Pottery

Showroom at Edgecomb Pottery

For more Maine-inspired posts, check out our Travel Series:  August Down East And be sure to click on the links above to read more about these artsy places to see!

 

 

 

 

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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15 Responses to  Mainely Art: Three places we loved in Boothbay region

  1. tappjeanne says:

    love the Monhegan Landing piece = it always amazes me how artist capture the light!

    • I love that one also. If you’re into painting, you might take a look at some of my photos of it. This artist has taken some liberties — which is fine — with the composition, but each one stood out for me.

  2. Thanks for the art tour, Rusha. Dory Geometry was my favorite. I liked the crispness. –Curt

  3. Valentina says:

    I adore artsy places. There is so much to discover and learn about the artist work.

  4. Oh nice pieces of art they’ve got there!

  5. Jodi says:

    what a lovely visit!

  6. prior.. says:

    ooo and oooo
    thanks
    coming back later to soak this artsy post up some more – but had to say that the Ives nautical painting seems perfect for Maine – and the angle of Evans’ ceramic bowl is outstanding – with the lady there and the depth – the bowl felt huge and we felt its beauty with shine and form.

    • Thanks for taking good looks at some of the quality art in this area. We found these three galleries to be pretty classy, and, even though we couldn’t afford to purchase much, we would have loved taking home some of these goods for ourselves and for presents.

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