Birds. This unusual and engrossing exhibition of works in various media opens the summer season at Mathias Fine Art. It is a “must see” and is suitable for all age groups. The show runs through Aug. 5.
Ten experienced professional artists, some “from away” - the UK, California, Alaska, New York and New Jersey, Maine, and other New England states have contributed extraordinarily interesting and sometimes unusual “bird works.” Contrasts abound: Max Bartsch (from Alaska) contributed a small humorous and joyous collage cum painting “Wayward Feathered Fates” which is strongly contrasted by the vertical, large-scale, meditative oil panel ”Blackbirds Ascending” by Brigitte Keller. Genetta McLean provides further variety with her meticulously executed, small, gilt-framed paintings featuring avian matters. Photographer Michael Culver’s somber large black and white photographs surprise the viewer by the way they have captured the vital fluttering of small wings and, yet another contrast, Vermont-based photographer Martha Bartsch brings us close-up color images of southern hemisphere birds and their young.
Veteran artist Brenda Bettinson has contributed imagery of the owl and the osprey. Her pencil and wash drawing of an osprey (1997) can be compared with a young osprey portrait executed only a couple of months ago. A recent small panel entitled “NightWatch” is paired with a powerful owl study which she made just after she moved from New York to Maine almost 30 years ago.
Perhaps the most strikingly unusual works are those of Californian artist-craftsman Raoul Spiegel who has been making and exhibiting “art to wear” since the 1970s. Raoul’s medium is bird feathers. VETTED feathers, as he is quick to explain. Rich in color, texture and tone, the jewelry he creates in his California studio has been exhibited in numerous galleries across the country. Mathias Fine Art is showing two of his pieces; a jewel-like necklace and a flat abstract circular wall hanging. In addition there is a display case brimming with Raoul Spiegel’s delightful earrings created with semi-precious stones, silver hardware and of course gorgeous feathers.
Laura Boyd (UK) is represented by two of her “countryside” graphics, Kate Mahon (NY) has contributed a new mixed media piece “Medieval Bestiary” and Kimberly Callas shows a small, clay sculpture entitled “The Many Breasted One.”
In addition to the exhibition, Mathias Fine Art, in conjunction with the Boothbay Region Land Trust, will hold a private viewing of the show for those participating in “Birdwalk” at the Land Trust’s Oak Point Preserve at 7 a.m. on July 10. For more information and to register, call BRLT: 633-4818.
On July 15, plan to attend a gallery talk about the works in this show at Mathias Fine Art at 2:30 p.m. A poetry reading on July 27 at 2 p.m. at the gallery features Dr. Ellen Hart reading poems by Emily Dickinson and other poets who have celebrated the special qualities of birds.
Mathias Fine Art is located at 10 Mathias Drive, Trevett. For more information, call the gallery at 633-7404 or visit www.mathiasfineart.com/events.