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The popularity of pop-ups!

Pop-up Art Exhibitions at the Nonantum Resort

It was in 2015 when The Sharpe Gallery held its first pop-up art exhibit.  I was fortunate to have it in DC during its lovely springtime season!

It was that exhibit which sparked the interest in conducting more pop-up art shows and what wet my appetite to bring the gallery out from a single location in Maine.  The DC show gave me the opportunity to meet new people under different circumstances and environments.  I love "change" and I love traveling, thus an ideal business model for me to embark on designing.  And what perfect timing as it's evident that pop-up events are becoming increasingly more popular and hip!

That's how the pop-up and "traveling art gallery" idea came to fruition.  The way I see it, in our fast-pace and busy world, let The Sharpe Gallery come to you!

Friday, May 19, 2017, was our first of a series of pop-up exhibits at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine.  The event showcased new artwork by all artists represented by The Sharpe Gallery.  It exceeded my expectations and I trust it did the same for attendees.  I was delighted to see long-time gallery customers and new gallery visitors attend the show.  And I am ever so grateful for local friends showing their support by stopping in. 

If you missed the show in May, Friday, June 9, 2017 will be the second of the series of events at the Nonantum Resort.  Similarly, we will be featuring new artwork by all artists represented by the gallery from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  And on July 14th, come by to meet artist, Michael Guinane, during his solo show of new artwork (more information to come).

Art Walk

Why do you attend art walks?

Why do you go to an art walk? For me, there are many reasons. The most notable one is that I enjoy art. Yet, an art walk is a resource for many things. It can simply be a social activity: meeting and catching up with friends, a cultural event to feed our soul, or an activity in conjunction with other plans, such as dining out. But art walks offer so much more. They provide an opportunity to learn about art, artists and their processes for creating art. The sheer fact that there’s a cluster of artist studios and galleries in a central location allows for individuals to compare and contemplate various styles of art nearly side-by-side. We can discover within ourselves why we find a particular work of art to be exquisite and another not. I find art walks to be a great avenue for strengthening our knowledge about art and the more we know and understand, the better equipped we are to appreciate and value art.

Sunday, I drove to Boston to spend the day in the SoWa Art & Design District. SoWa is an acronym for South of Washington. The SoWa Art & Design District guide book describes the district as,

…a vibrant community of artist studios, contemporary art galleries, one-of-a-kind boutiques, design showrooms, restaurants, and entrepreneurs unified by a passion for creating and curating exceptional artworks, products and experiences. Once known as a parcel of neglected warehouses in Boston’s South End, the SoWa Art & Design District has experienced a dramatic renaissance, blossoming into a world renowned retail & arts community that includes the famous SoWa Open Market, the SoWa Vintage Market, and a fashionable residential neighborhood.

I met my friend, Gina, for brunch and then we set out to enjoy one of our favorite activities, visiting as many studios as possible. I knew it wouldn’t be hard to find at least a few extraordinary artists among the one hundred plus who rent studio space in SoWa. While there were many whose work I enjoyed, a few stood out. I enjoyed Jennifer Ellwood’s abstract paintings and David Kasman’s sculptures. Had Kasman’s studio not been buzzing with people eagerly wanting to learn about his process, I would have loved to chat with him. I couldn’t take my eye off of Beth Dacey’s oil paintings. Dacey describes her process, “Each painting begins with a vintage black and white photograph that captures an incidental moment in time. The shadows, poses, and fragments from an unknowable past feel compelling to me; and while I paint from a record of someone else’s gaze, the images pass through me and become mine.”

Our last visit was a studio and an artist who left a lasting impression on me. I describe this kind of artist as “having the whole package.” Yes, of course I want art to move me, have it stir something within me to make me think deeply about the artist’s message or make me search for why it makes me come alive, feel emotion, or why it takes my breath away. Yet, I want the artist herself to be intriguing. I found Mae Chevrette to be this whole package. Chevrette’s life story is fascinating. She’s from Seattle and came to the East Coast for college. And, although Mae took her area of study and went into the workforce, she ultimately changed directions and is focusing entirely on her art career. It’s an admirable quality and takes guts. Chevrette is a self-taught mixed media artist whose paintings begin with a backdrop of her photography work combined with layering of objects and vintage paper giving her final piece a lightly textured quality and appearance.

It was an art walk I’m glad to have attended.  If you’re in the Kennebunkport area, our art walk begins June 9th.  Check out the Exhibitions and Events page for dates and time.  The Sharpe Gallery will be exhibiting artwork at the Nonantum Resort during the art walk.  See you there!

Activities Abound at the Nonantum Resort

Celebrating Women

Sunday, I attended The Women’s Spring Expo 2017 at the Nonantum Resort hosted by Maine Women Magazine.  Ticket proceeds were donated to Crossroads.  Crossroads offers individualized treatment plans for substance abuse recovery and mental health disorders. 
 
The resort was packed with many exhibitors.  Categories included shopping, beauty, spiritual healing, full body rejuvenation, health, nutrition, fitness, home décor, and more.  It was a fun afternoon where I had a chance to catch up with a lot of people who I haven't seen all winter while we all jetted off somewhere warm! 
 
Additionally, I had an opportunity to discover how well the "Front Porch" room (seen here) works as an event space.  The Front Porch location at The Nonantum Resort is where you'll find The Sharpe Gallery group art show on May 19th from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The public is welcome and I look forward to seeing you!

No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki at Colby College

An exhibition worth the trip to see!

Today, I, along with artists Sandy Dunn and Linda Murray, made the drive to Colby College Museum of Art to see the work of Zao Wou-Ki.  It was an amazingly powerful show of an artist who combined eastern and western aesthetic sensibilities in his artwork. Indeed, in his paintings, I could see how his life in China and France influenced his work.
 
I'm generally attracted to subtle and cool colors, which tend to guide my liking a particular piece of art.  But that's not exactly true one hundred percent of the time.  I couldn't get my eye off of Zao's "27.02.98," 1998, oil on canvas.  It is strikingly beautiful marked with a sense of loss and sadness.  Perhaps the calmer, cool colors framing the fiery center, is what relaxes me while I contemplate what is the source of loss deep within the meaning of the painting.  But my favorite was "Homage to John Kennedy", pictured here.  (Image courtesy of AsiaSociety.org.)
 
I can say that I left this exhibit placing Zao Wou-Ki as one of my favorite artists.

Lavender, Lilac & Lupine

A June Festival at the Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport

The Sharpe Gallery is honored to be participating in the Lavender, Lilac & Lupine June Festival at the Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport on Saturday, June 17, 2017.  Artist Sandra Dunn will be on-site painting one of her floral scenes for their guests during the afternoon garden party.  To attend one of the garden parties, visit the Captain Lord Mansion website, www.CaptainLord.com, for room availability.  The Inn is the only AAA, Four Diamond Bed and Breakfast in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Volunteering

Habitat for Humanity

Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to the community.  When I first moved to Maine, I frequently drove Route 1 to run my errands.  It never failed that my eyes would be directed to a sign along the road, "Habitat for Humanity".  I never sought the sign out, but the timing was such that I would always look up and over just as I was passing it.  I thought, "I can't build; I don't know a thing about construction work and I'm not good with a hammer.  I'm sure there are other jobs for volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, but..."  Why do I keep seeing this street sign?  Ten years later, the connection was made.  I now know someone who volunteers and sits on the board for the organization and he introduced me to a lovely lady who coordinates volunteers to make and deliver lunches.  Helping with the lunches was a great way to get my feet wet and learn more about the organization.  I look forward to discovering other ways in which I can offer my time and services.

Pop-up Art Exhibition Series

Will you join us at the beautiful Nonantum Resort?

We're excited to announce our series of exhibitions we're running at the beautiful Nonantum Resort located at 95 Ocean Avenue in Kennebunkport starting in May 2017 and running throughout the summer and fall.  Be sure to visit our Exhibitions and Events page for more details!  I'm sorry to say that my dog, London, won't be there.  But I will be and I look forward to seeing some familiar, as well as some new, faces!

Artists and Presidents

A stroll along Ocean Aveune.

Today, my plan was to check off items on my art gallery to-do list.  But my dog, London, begged for a walk by the ocean.  Indeed, it was a much better idea on such a beautiful spring day!  It's easy to see why two of our former presidents call Kennebunkport their summer home.  And the list of artists who have lived or spent time in Maine is endless - Frank Weston Benson, Alex Katz, Dahlov Ipcar, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and, of course, the Wyeths to name only a few!

 

Art Deliveries

Times Square in Kennebunkport?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - one of my favorite parts of owning an art gallery is when the artists deliver their artwork.  Tim Gaydos stopped by with his painting, Times Square, and a few others.  I watch patiently while Tim unwraps each painting...okay, maybe not patiently...and once the packaging lifts, my breath is taken away.  The joy and excitement I feel cannot be expressed in words though I try to explain it to him.  He comments that it's probably the same feeling the artist gets when completing a painting.  I don't know, I told him.  For me, I look at a painting in wonderment because I know I could not create such a masterpiece.  They are truly gifted and I am grateful artists exist in our world.  They bring so much joy to so many people.  Thank you!

A beautiful day in Maine!

Beautiful Landscapes of Maine

Days like today - sunny and warm - give me energy and make me excited for the summer tourist season in Kennebunkport and other parts of Maine.  It feels like spring is finally here!  Have you made plans to visit our lovely town?  This picture is of the Pier in Cape Porpoise, Maine.