Sunday, December 25, 2011


I want to speak about art more directly and more often to anyone willing to listen; anyone who loves, is interested in, or skeptical of art; even if they didn't go to art-school or don't know the secret handshakes and lingo of the art world. I want an inversion to take place. Instead of the one writing to the many in a hierarchical critic-on-top structure, I want to be involved with the many speaking to one-another, coherently, with pleasure, provocation, vulnerability, humor, passion. I'm not interested in being the main-speaker. I want to hear, listen, heed. I want writing to form moving communities and temporary bonds, be a vow, create a chorus, be a crucible of doubt and agency, be a living text of different compulsions. I want to enter what Cézanne called "a shimmering chaos." Many have criticized me and this as "dumbing-down" the conversation. They could be right. From my experience these conversations have never been dumbed-down or anti-intellectual.
– Jerry Saltz

art current: Studio Visit with Eric Hopkins

A studio visit with one of mid-coast Maine's most prolific artists.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Portland Phoenix: Drawings at June Fitzpatrick

A review of a group show of some great drawings at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery on Congress Street, Portland.

above: Kimberly Convery

below: Tom Hall

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just Seen and Dashed Off: Matt Hutton at the ICA in Portland

I just saw the current show at MECA’s Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland, Maine, and cannot rave enough about Matt Hutton’s contribution to A Perpetual Present: 2011 MECA Faculty Selects Exhibition. He is Associate Professor and Program Chair of Woodworking & Furniture Design at the Maine College of Art. Most of the works are wall-mounted and their predominant material is wood of course. Hutton manages to combine superb craftsmanship, intellectual edge, and aesthetic refinement to create incredibly sensitive work. For instance, County Line Road (above) evokes utility poles but in such an understated and smart way that any association becomes only added bonus. And the delicacy of Oblique (below), in which the slightly askew band of one compositional element is set off by another, is a tour de force of texture, color, and placement. There are many more pieces to get excited about. Go see for yourself by December 23.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Art changes the way we perceive and imagine. Art is a doorway to change.
Through artistic vision, cultures and societies realize their dream. Together we share the potential for creative expression. Art equals social change.
-Jamie Ellin Forbes

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Art … its true effect is to open to us dimensions of the spirit that normally lie smothered under the weight of living.
– J. Winterson

art current: CRAFT in Rockland

Checking in with Barbara Michelena after two seasons at CRAFT.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


The emotion of art is impersonal. And the poet cannot reach this impersonality without surrendering himself wholly to the work to be done. - T.S. Eliot

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Portland Phoenix: Henry Wolyniec

A great show of Henry Wolyniec's works on paper at ICON Contemporary in Brunswick.

art current: Four Intriguing Artists at Aucocisco

This is a review of the work of Christopher Keister, Sage Lewis, Cassie Jones, and Mark Wethli at Aucocisco Galleries in Portland.

above: Cassie Jones

below: snapshot of Mark Wethli's Before I knew You

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Setting up rules and parameters leads to the discovery of new possibilities.

Monday, October 17, 2011

art current: "Pieced" at CMCA

Gabriella D'Italia and George Mason are showing together at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in an exhibition titled Pieced.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Portland Phoenix: Abstraction at Aucocisco

Joshua Ferry, Stew Henderson, and Kayla Mohammadi showing at Aucocisco in Portland.

Monday, October 3, 2011

art current: Contemporary Hooked Rugs at the Farnsworth

This is more of a personal response than a review of Beyond Rugs! at the Farnsworth Art Museum.
above: TracyJamar

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

art current: Graphite at ICON

This is a review of Kate Beck and James Marshall's intriguing show at ICON Contemporary Art in Brunswick.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Portland Phoenix: Dan Dowd at Coleman Burke

Review of Dan Dowd's installation Anna Hepler's Head at the Coleman Burke Gallery in Brunswick.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Portland Phoenix: Jason Larkin at the Farnsworth

A review of a young and very talented British photographer's exhibition at the Farnsworth Art Museum.

art current: Five Artists at the Caldbeck Gallery

This is a review of basically a whole group of solo shows at the Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, Maine. Lots of color and interesting shapes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just Seen and Dashed Off: Susan Metzger at Aarhus

Until July 31 Susan Metzger is showing a new body of work at Belfast’s Åarhus Gallery. Her new paintings constitute a small but significant departure—the atmospheric bands of color suggesting a landscape’s limitless horizon are still there, but there is also an important shift toward representation of two subjects. One group of works contains an area of focus, of literalness, in which a single wave crashes in a swirl of white. The other series is inspired by images of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning in the middle of a vast watery expanse. I had seen these reproductions tacked to the walls of Metzger’s studio when I visited in January of this year. And here they are now in her newest paintings: dark brooding presences amidst calmness. Erupting from an indefinite area of color that we read as fire, totally black or black/blue/grey columns of smoke arise like tornadoes of foreboding. Metzger’s painting surfaces are still richly textured through multiple layers of gesso, paint, and sanding, and they have gained an additional interest in the transitions from the darkest billowing clouds to the bluest skies. Compositionally there is a new dynamism of interacting colors and shapes which is also reflected in all of the paintings’ titles which include Darkening, Not Stopping, Pooling, and Melting. The horrific, sublime, and romantic are all coexisting in these new paintings which vibrate with the tension between threat and lucidity.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Portland Phoenix: Drawings at Bates

Bates College Museum of Art has organized a great three-women-show of drawings by Amy Stacey Curtis, Alison Hildreth, and Andrea Sulzer. All three artists work in other media as well, so it is interesting to see them here on such related terrain - yet so different!

art current: Jan Rosenbaum at the Caldbeck

Photographer Jan Rosenbaum currently has a show of his beach scenes at Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Portland Phoenix: Elizabeth Cashin McMillen and Duane Paluska at CMCA

This is a review for the Portland Phoenix about a somewhat surprising pairing of a painter and a sculptor - the paintings seem to shout, and the sculptures, placed in the center of the space, appear to quietly think their own part.

top: Elizabeth Cashin McMillen, Untitled

below: Duane Paluska, Ahab