Waterfall Arts celebrates forty one years of Belfast artist vanguard, the Artfellows, with exhibition this fall


(Belfast) – On Saturday, September 11th, Waterfall Arts will open its doors to another history-rich exhibition with Artfellows: Belfast’s Original Cooperative Gallery, 1980-1997.

In 1980, a number of young Waldo County artists teamed up to form the Artfellows, a group committed to supporting artists and to creating more local opportunities for exhibiting contemporary art. For over a decade, the Artfellows gallery served as a hub of ingenuity, dialogue, and camaraderie. Dozens of Maine’s best-known artists got their start at Artfellows. This show celebrates the 41st anniversary of the founding of this dynamic community, featuring works made by Artfellows in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as examples of  what they are making today.

“I was one of the early co-founders of Artfellows,” writes co-curator Lesia Sochor, “and in 1980–along with Richard Norton, Michael and David Hurley, Marika Kuzma, Margot Balboni and Michael Reece–put together the very first exhibit: ART FELLOWS at the ODD FELLOWS. The space became a hub of creativity and fun, and in its heyday, a respected venue for contemporary art. It had over 50 members, including many known guest artists such as Alex Katz, Yvonne Jaquette, Neil Welliver, Rudy Burkhart, Rackstraw Downs, and others. It was truly a catalyst for Belfast’s creative community.”

The exhibition is curated by Lesia Sochor, Lorna Crichton, and Liv Kristin Robinson, and will feature works from 45 of the original gallery members.  

We invite the public to visit the exhibition during gallery open hours (Fridays and Saturdays, 11am-3pm). The Art Fellows exhibition will be open to the public starting Saturday, September 11th, 2021, through Saturday, November 6th, 2021, or by appointment. The Waterfall Arts office hours are Tuesdays through Fridays, 10am-5pm.

Photo: Some members of Artfellows, from left to right: Denise Remy, Stew Henderson, Richard Norton, Cathy Kaelin, Megan Pinette, Phil Kaelin, Janice Kasper, and Dennis Pinette posing for “School of Evocatism” on New Years Day, 1985, in Belfast, Maine.
Photo: Artfellows Gallery moved to its new storefront location, 104 Main Street, in 1989.

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