Exhibitions

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS:

June 27 – September 2, 2024

McKenna and Her Camera

The Midcoast Maine Art Scene: 1987 – 2008

The exhibition opens with a public reception on Thursday June 27 from 6 – 8PM. 

Beginning in the 1950s, some of America’s best-known artists came to rural midcoast Maine in search of compelling landscapes and drawn by cheap land and a community of like-minded people. Photographer Peggy McKenna moved to Montville in 1972 and soon became a vibrant and beloved part of the community. Her specialties were photojournalism and portraiture. Her reputation among the artists was based on their deep respect for her photographic artistry and many had their portraits made by her.

McKenna’s archive of photographs was donated to the Penobscot Marine Museum in 2015. PMM has partnered with Waterfall Arts to create this exhibition of Peggy’s photos that brilliantly document the faces and personalities of some of the key figures in the midcoast art scene, which had a considerable impact on the history of American art. This exhibit will include 34 of her artist portraits, including Joe Ascrizzi, Anne Arnold, Katherine Bradford, Bob Brooks, Rudy Burckhardt, Tom Burckhardt, Kathy Butterly, Alan Crichton, Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, Charles Duback, Anda Dubinskis, Ed Dugmore, Kerstin Engman,Joe Fiore, Linden Frederick, Harold Garde, Ron Garfinkel, Sam Gelber, Robert Hamilton, Yvonne Jacquette, Janice Kasper, Alex Katz, Richard Norton, Stephen Pace, Orlando “Dino” Pellicia, Dennis Pinette, Allison Rector, Michael Reece, Denise Remy, Daphne Taylor, Fred Wiseman, John Wissemann, and Nancy Wissemann-Widrig. Each portrait will also be paired with a work by that artist.

The exhibit includes artist portraits and original work from the following artists: Joe Ascrizzi, Anne Arnold, Kathy Bradford, Bob Brooks, Rudy Burckhardt, Tom Burckhardt, Kathy Butterly, Alan Crichton, Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, Charles Duback, Anda Dubinskis, Ed Dugmore, Kerstin Engman, Joe Fiore, Linden Frederick, Harold Garde, Ron Garfinkel, Sam Gelber, Robert Hamilton, Yvonne Jacquette, Janice Kasper, Alex Katz, Richard Norton, Stephen Pace, Orlando “Dino” Pellicia, Dennis Pinette, Alison Rector, Michael Reece, Denise Remy, Daphne Taylor, Nancy Widrig-Wissemann, Fred Wiseman, and John Wissemann. 

News Coverage:

Bangor Daily News, July 6, 2024

The Republican Journal, June 7, 2024

The Free Press, June 7, 2024

PREVIOUS EXHIBITIONS:

April 26 - June 7, 2024

You Are Never Alone

You Are Never Alone: Paintings by Sally Stanton, Libby Sipe and Emily Sabino

This show investigates inner images and messaging that reminds us that we are never truly alone in our lives. In difficult times, we may feel like we are on the outside looking in, wondering if we are the only one who feels or thinks like we do. But this is rarely true; seemingly unique challenges are experienced by many, and for artists, there is always an opportunity to encounter guidance, connection and expanded perception while in the studio. 

Sally Stanton’s visual narratives are expressed in bold colors and come from memories, dreams, and the human stories that filter through her subconscious from the unquiet world. Libby Sipe’s dramatic images express the intuitive processing and acceptance of memory and past trauma, so that healing can occur in the present. And Emily Sabino’s archetypal images celebrate the sentience and intelligence of the natural world, an expansive melting into earth magic. These paintings just may inspire the viewer to rethink what allies walk alongside us, seen and unseen. 

“Do not feel lonely: the entire universe is inside you.” —Rumi

 

March 8 – April 6, 2024

Young Artists’ Gallery Takeover

Special appreciation and honors to the dedicated professionals
in our community who guide and support students’ artistry.

Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional thanks to our generous sponsors The Anonimo Foundation, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Davis Family Foundation, and Little River Veterinary Clinic. 

Kindred Futures: Through Our Eyes

January 26 – March 1, 2024 

On view at the Clifford Gallery at Waterfall Arts, Kindred Futures: Through Our Eyes features works in sculpture, video, and digital collage by four Maine-based artists: Ashley Page, Eli Kao, Lokotah Sanborn, and Shane Charles. Exploring themes of language, land, environment, and memory through embodied experience and site-based processes, Kindred Futures: Through Our Eyes presents the artists’ explorations into creative placemaking. Layers of time are sifted through layers of making, allowing the invisible to emerge into view.

 

This exhibition invites viewers to see the world through the artists’ eyes, and envision a kindred future. The conversation generated between the artists’ works reckons with historical and present harm, while inviting visitors to imagine spaces of solidarity moving forward.

Kindred Futures: Through Our Eyes is co-curated by Ashley Page and Eli Kao.

Location: Clifford Gallery, Waterfall Arts, Belfast, ME
On View: Friday, Jan. 26th through Friday, March 1st.
Artist Talk & Reception: Saturday, Feb. 10th, 4pm – 6pm

 
Support for Heritable (Eli Kao, 2024, multimedia) is provided by the American Rescue Plan Maine Project Grants, a subgranting program administered by SPACE Gallery for the National Endowment for the Arts.

In the Media:

The Republican Journal, January 11, 2024

Maine Arts Journal, Spring 2024

Homegrown: 2023 Denizen Exhibition

AND    

Signed, Sealed, Delivered                         

October 20 – December 2, 2023

Waterfall Arts invites you to celebrate a TWO-FOR-ONE opening reception for our October shows—Homegrown: A Denizen Exhibition and Signed, Sealed, Delivered. On Friday October 20 from 5 – 7PM we’ll host a reception and the first opportunity to view both shows!

HOMEGROWN: The 2023 Denizen Exhibition

After a 3-year hiatus we are bringing the Denizen Show back to Waterfall Arts. 

What is a denizen you ask?

Denizen = an inhabitant or occupant of a particular place.

A Waterfall Arts Denizen = a volunteer, private studio artist, teacher, public studio monitor, studio subscriber, artist in residence, staff member, or board member.

What is the Denizen Exhibition? It showcases work created by our community of denizens since 2020 (the last time we had the show!)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

For this show in our Corridor Gallery, we have invited creatives from all over the world to participate in an open call for mail art. From July – October 2023, Waterfall Arts collected mail art submissions. Our definition read like this:

Mail art is simply art that has been sent through the mail, but generally is made knowing the piece will journey via the post. Painting, drawing, collage, photography, and writing can all easily be mail art. Stamps, how the piece is addressed, and the marks made by the postal service also add to the final art that arrives at its destination.

As a medium, sending art through the post office allows for a new type of physical connection between people, places, and ideas. We had no expectations about what we would receive or what qualified as mail art. Each week more and more entries arrived and we opened envelopes, studied postcards, and laughed when we received a potato! A birdhouse! A yogurt cup! We received mostly works on paper, of course, but also some fabric, a mirror, bark and acorns, and a soundcard to be played on a record player.

Our goal was to create a community show where everyone could participate, regardless of their art experience, age, and cultural experiences. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” represents a community of art that traveled a magical journey through the post!

Mail Art Data

We received a total of 234 pieces of mail art, representing 20 states and 27 different countries around the world.

UNITED STATES

California
Joshua Tree (2)
Oakland (5)
Pasadena
Redlands
San Francisco
Santa Clarita (3)
South Pasadena (3)
Connecticut
Branford (2)
North Haven
Georgia
Marietta
Kansas
Wichita (2)
Kentucky
Keavy
Union
Lancaster
Louisville
Paducah
Massachusetts
Boston (5)
Maryland
Baltimore
Maine
Bangor (2)
Belfast (23)
Camden (2)
Corinth
Freedom
Liberty
Lincolnville
Monroe – 2
Nobleboro
Northport – 9
Pittston
Orrington
Unknown – 4
Vassalboro

Michigan
Houghton (6)
Minnesota
Saint Cloud
Missouri
St. Louis
Nebraska
New Hampshire
North Carolina
Greensboro (2)
Raleigh (4)
New York
Albany
Mid Island
New York (12)
Ohio
Fairview Park
Pennsylvania
Media
Texas
Austin
Dallas
San Antonio (4)
Texas
San Antonio
Virginia
Fairfax Station
Unknown (3) – illegible, no identifying information 

WORLDWIDE
Australia
Belarus (2)
Belgium (2)
Brazil (9)
Canada (5)
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
France (4)
Germany (6)
Hungary
Ireland
Italy (7)
Japan (4)
Latvia (2)
Macedonia
Malaysia (2)
Netherlands (2)
Philippines
Portugal
Serbia (2)
Spain (4)
Switzerland
Turkey (2)
United Kingdom (5)
Uruguay

Interested in becoming a mail artist? Here are some resources to get you started:

Check out and join IOUMA—the International Union of Mail Artists. This is where we posted our call and how we received so many pieces from overseas. IOUMA is a great place to find other mail art calls and to exchange mail art with folks around the world.
https://www.iuoma.org/

A few books:

John Held Jr.: Small Scale Subversion: Mail Art & Artistamps, Lulu Press, 2015. (A comprehensive history of mail art and artists stamps)

Jennie Hincliff: Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art, Quarry Press 2009

Margaret Rizzio: From Here to There, 2018

Ray Johnson c/o Caitlin Haskell and Jordan Carter (editors), Art Institute of Chicago, 2021

WELCOME TO EGG ROCK: 50 YEARS OF SEABIRD CONSERVATION

 April 14 – August 24, 2023

Join as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Project Puffin!

The National Audubon Society’s Seabird Institute and Waterfall Arts are pleased to present Welcome to Egg Rock: 50 Years of Seabird Conservation by Maine-raised artist and printmaker, Pippin Frisbie-Calder and Terrie Frisbie. With floor-to-ceiling prints and paintings, this immersive, multimedia art installation transports participants to the world’s first restored seabird colony on Eastern Egg Rock in Midcoast Maine. 

Sponsored by Stanley Buick Maine

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Project Puffin, Frisbie-Calder and Frisbie bring to life the inspiring return of Maine’s Atlantic Puffins after nearly disappearing due to hunting, and the challenges they now face with climate change. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of this small, six-acre island, participants are invited to peek into puffin burrows, explore the Egg Rock field station, and take home their very own handmade puffin print. 

“This is an exhibit of hope, where the actions of a few scientists changed the outcomes of seabirds forever. Art can communicate to people of all ages and backgrounds to understand this powerful story and contemplate their own actions for the future of seabirds,” said Pippin Frisbie-Calder. 

The Gulf of Maine is one of the fastest-warming bodies of water on earth, and seabirds are struggling to find the fish they rely on for food as a result. This project highlights the triumph of puffins’ return to their historic nesting range on Eastern Egg Rock, as well as the care and collective action needed to ensure their long-term success in the face of climate change.

CREATING IMPACT WITH ART: “WELCOME TO EGG ROCK” PANEL DISCUSSION

May 20, 2023 — the Seabird Institute, Waterfall Arts, the artists and the scientists who created “Welcome to Egg Rock” hosted a discussion about the development and implementation of this immersive, multimedia installation. They discussed how this installation combines art, science and storytelling to inspire visitors to act on something as big and complex as climate change. Panelists shared why collaboration is important for innovation, how the team worked together on this particular project, and what impact art can have on conservation efforts. A Q&A  followed. This event was free and open to the public.

Participants:

Welcome to Egg Rock Artists: Pippin Frisbie-Calder, Terri Frisbie

Seabird Institute: Don Lyons, Director of Conservation Science, Rachel Guillory Coastal Communications Manager, and Kimberly Faux Development and Communications Associate

Waterfall Arts: Amy Tingle, Program Director

ABOUT PIPIN FRISBIE-CALDER:

“My work seeks to investigate ecosystems and demystify scientific outcomes, while calling into question human culpability and responsibility. Working with Microbiologists, Ornithologists and Biologists I create large-scale installations and prints exploring issues of climate change, species extinction and environmental stewardship. The materiality of printmaking reverses its subject and injects personality into every mark, transforming my drafting in different ways depending on the use of wood, collagraph or screen. The specificity of science requires reimagining my print practice and changes my methodology in service to ornithology, or ecology. The work I am happiest with always finds a balance between printmaking, science and draftsmanship, unifying to tell big picture stories about humanity’s complicated relationship with nature.”

 

Her prints and installations have been shown widely around New Orleans, most prominently as a solo show at the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center. She has also exhibited at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Michigan, Biennale Internationale d’estampe contemporaine, Canada, Indonesia, Denver, Maine, South Carolina and Rhode Island. She has held residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center, A Studio in the Woods, Big Cypress National Preserve, Jakmel Ekspresyon, Haiti and AS220. She received her MFA in printmaking from Tulane University in 2017 and her BFA with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. She was the Artist-in-Residence at Waterfall Arts in September 2022.

To get in touch, please email pippinfrisbie@gmail.com

She is currently represented by LeMieux Galleries: 332 Julia St, New Orleans

Press Coverage

Young Artists’ Gallery Takeover 2023

Waterfall Arts - Seventh Annual Young Artists Gallery Takeover

Sponsored by Stanley Buick Maine

Waterfall Arts celebrated Youth Art Month with its seventh annual Young Artists’ Gallery Takeover. More than 200 works by Waldo County’s next generation of artists were on display throughout the month of March, not only in both galleries at Waterfall Arts, but also in the Belfast Free Library, and in shop windows throughout downtown Belfast. This epic display of creativity is always a must-see and inspires viewers of all ages.

Special appreciation and honors to the dedicated professionals
in our community who guide and support students’ artistry.
This year our educator-participants include:

Nancy Brown, Captain Albert Stephens School and Nickerson Elementary
Samantha Maheu, Troy Howard Middle School
Heidi O’Donnell and Kim Baker, Belfast Area High School
Jill Schvartz, East Belfast, Ames, and Gladys Weymouth Elementary
Kathie Gass, Extended Learning Program RSU 71
Mary-Ann Ashe, Leroy Smith Elementary and Wagner Middle School
Andrea Harris, Searsport Elementary, Middle, and High Schools
Casey Robison, Cornerspring Montessori
Victoria Barnes, Ecology Learning Center

UMVA Midcoast Juried Winter Exhibition
January 25 to February 24, 2023

Sally Stanton - Soft Inside - 30x40 mixed media

After many years of dormancy, a new effort to bring back the Midcoast Chapter of the UMVA (Union of Maine Visual Artists)  culminated in the chapter’s first juried exhibit at Waterfall Arts in Belfast from January 25th to February 24th, 2023.

The exhibition featured works chosen from submissions by UMVA Midcoast chapter members  – ranging from photography to painting to monoprints and mixed media work. The judge for the show was David Estey, a well-known Maine abstract-expressionist painter whose work has been featured in 24 solo shows and in more than 100 group and juried exhibits.

“At the outset, we had decided I should be as inclusive as possible, to support submitting artists and encourage participation in the new UMVA Midcoast chapter,” said Estey. “Judging by the digital submissions, the resulting exhibit should be a surprisingly wide and perhaps little-known spectrum of esthetics, styles and artistic expression being created in the Midcoast area.”

The Midcoast chapter of UMVA formed when Liv Kristin Robinson, Sally Stanton, Ann Tracy and Deb Vendetti met to discuss taking turns traveling to Portland to carry work to exhibits. They wondered if enough UMVA members in the Midcoast area would want to form their own chapter. An internet survey showed there was great interest and the chapter began to take shape. After the Winter Exhibit at Waterfall Arts in Belfast, possible shows may be held in Waldoboro and Damariscotta later in 2023.  

The Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) represents visual artists statewide in all fields of endeavor and welcomes those who support contemporary artists in Maine. The UMVA is dedicated to upholding the dignity of artists, while creating positive social change through the arts. By collaborating with other cultural and progressive organizations, we raise awareness for significant issues while promoting an inclusive arts community in Maine. We are grassroots and we are active. 

Esteemed juror, David Estey is an abstract-expressionist painter in Belfast, whose current solo exhibit “Emergent Phenomena” at Cove Street Arts in Portland showcases that his improvisations leave him “as surprised and intrigued as anyone else by what I make.” He graduated from Crosby High School, Rhode Island School of Design and George Washington University. Besides a stint in the army as an illustrator and a federal career in public affairs, he has lived, worked, taught art and exhibited in Baltimore/Washington, Philadelphia, North Carolina and Mid-coast Maine. He is on the UMVA Board of Directors and was an early Board member, instructor and longtime monitor of figure drawing at Waterfall Arts.

After 70 plus years of making art, Estey has produced over 100 sketchbooks and more than 10,800 pieces of art. In the past three decades of exhibiting, he has been in 24 solo shows and over 100 group and juried exhibits. His work is in private and organizational collections in 20 states and seven countries. To learn more, visit www.davidestey.com.

 

Nowhere Left - Paul Valentine

November 4 - December 4, 2022

Artist Statement: Paul Valentine creates woodcut prints and paintings that celebrate the beauty and power of the earth and asks the viewer to consider the impact that their lifestyle leaves upon it. We all consume material goods at a horrifically fast rate. We buy our freshly grown produce wrapped up in plastic, eat our food out of foam containers, and throw away last year’s electronic gadgets to make room for the newest models. These things we throw away leave our mind as soon as they enter the waste bin, but they will exist somewhere in the world for hundreds of years. Our lives are so short but our trash’s life is long. Paul’s artwork draws attention to the mindset that trades long-term natural beauty for short-term satisfaction.

About the Artist: Paul Valentine is a multidisciplinary artist living in Surry, Maine. Formerly an architectural and museum exhibit designer, he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelors of Architecture. He has exhibited artwork and painted murals in Qatar, Russia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, and the United States, as well as participated in a 9-month Artist-in-Residency at the FireStation Museum in Qatar. Paul has dedicated a significant portion of his life to exploring the natural world, having backpacked over 7,000 meters of long-distance trails, walking across the US twice, on the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail, and the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. The impact that sleeping under the stars for a combined 2 years during these adventures has had on his work cannot be overstated. Seeing the first-hand effects that humanity is having on the world propels him to use his art to help inspire people to take better care of the beautiful and magical places we have all around us.

Radical Acts - Shannon Downey (aka Badass Cross Stitch) October 8 - October 23,  2022

Waterfall Arts hosted artist Shannon Downey October 21 – 23, 2022. Shannon is better known to her followers as Badass Cross Stitch—she’s created a platform where she melds cross stitch with activism, making it “craftivism” and she’s changing the world one stitch at a time. 

Artist Statement: 

It is a radical act…to take up space when society has trained you to make yourself small, to spend time exploring your story and voice, to center yourself in your own narrative, to come together in community to discuss hard things, to make time to create art about yourself, to participate in something greater than oneself, to collaborate, to trust, to stand up and declare – this has value and it deserves to be completed and shared, to create space for other marginalized voices, to speak your truth, to ask for help, to respond to a request for help, to try something new, to learn something new. Thank you for being here. It is a radical act to support radical acts.

About the artist:

Shannon Downey aka Badass Cross Stitch is an artist, activist, craftivist, community builder, and general instigator. She blends her politics, activism, and art into projects that are designed to inspire others to take action, think, discuss, engage with democracy and their community, and find some digital/analog balance. She uses art as a vehicle for positive change through creative interventions whether that be through open-source street art campaigns or global craftivism projects.

She is the instigator behind #RitasQuilt, #MakeDontBreak, #YearOfStitch and @BadassHerstory. She is on a quest to teach 1 million people to embroider and invite society to rethink how we categorize, and value craft and art. Shannon sold everything she owned and moved into an RV in June of 2020 to bring art, activism, and community to the country.

She teaches at Columbia College and DePaul University and is founder of Seriously Badass Women. Her life motto is: Make Art. Smash Systems.

Exploring the Gulf South Through Woodcut - Pippin Frisbie-Calder

September 8 – September 30, 2022

Waterfall Arts was thrilled to welcome artist Pippin Frisbie-Calder to our gallery in September 2022 during her artist residency. Below is information about the exhibit, artist, and related events.

Artist Statement:

This woodcut series focuses on the flora, fauna and stories of the Gulf South. Using printmaking techniques Pippin Frisbie-Calder explores the scale of the swamp, the microorganisms within, and the complex ways that we extract and benefit from these fragile ecosystems.

About the Artist:

Pippin Frisbie-Calder’s prints and installations have been shown widely around New Orleans, most prominently as a solo show at the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center. She has also exhibited at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Michigan, Biennale Internationale d’estampe contemporaine, Canada, Indonesia, Denver, Maine, South Carolina and Rhode Island. She has held residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center, A Studio in the Woods, Big Cypress National Preserve, Jakmel Ekspresyon, Haiti and AS220. She received her MFA in printmaking from Tulane University in 2017 and her BFA with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. She is currently represented by LeMieux Galleries.

The Embrace - Karen Olson

June 3 – July 22, 2022

Waterfall Arts welcomed Karen Olson to our gallery during the summer of 2022.

Artist Statement:

I stand quietly in the midst of the trees, examining their texture, following the vein-like branches reaching upward and out. I imagine the network of communication and support beneath the surface and feel the effects of this far reaching community. They/we are interconnected.

In these years we have lost much in the way of human connectedness. Each decision to do so has been fraught with fear. As we imagine the days going forward can this human-nature relationship help us? Do the trees have something to teach? This work is an exploration of interconnectedness. It is a deep, intimate conversation, an embrace.

About the Artist:

Karen Olson is a lens-based artist working at the intersection of human emotion and the natural world. In her figurative and nature-inspired work, Karen uses concept-based projects to explore the human-nature connection and its role in fostering mental health and communication. Karen seeks an open dialog with subjects such as grief, trauma, empathy, and forest bathing. She illustrates these multi-sensory experiences with two and three-dimensional works. Click here to view photos from the exhibit.

Young Artists' Gallery Takeover 2022

*March is Youth Art Month*

Waterfall Arts celebrated Youth Art Month with its sixth annual Young Artists’ Gallery Takeover. Over 200 works by Waldo County’s next generation of artists were on display throughout the month of March. This year’s showcase occupied not only both galleries at Waterfall Arts, but also the Belfast Free Library, and shop windows throughout downtown Belfast. This epic display of creativity inspired viewers of any age and is a must-see!

Thanks to the following in-town locations for sponsoring artwork in their windows:

Alexia’s Pizza, Bay Wrap, Belfast Fiber Arts, Better Homes and Gardens, CG Bikes, Downshift Coffee, Chocolate Drop Candy Shop, City Drawers, Coyote Moon, Darby’s, Eat More Cheese, Epoch, Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, Heavenly Yarns, Home Supply Center, Katwalk, Belfast Free Library,  Local Color Gallery, Nordic Aquafarms, Out On A Whimsey, People, Places, Things, Quench, Satori, Colonial Theatre, Good Table, Green Store, TJ Eyewear, TOKO, Vinolio, Yo Mammas.

We are proud to share the hard work of our local art educators; the 2022 show included work from:

Captain Albert Stephens Elementary
Troy Howard Middle School
Belfast Area High School
Searsport Middle and High Schools
Leroy Smith, Wagner, and Nickerson Elementary Schools, Cornerspring Montessori

…and more!

Thank you to our sponsors, Stanley Buick Chevrolet, of Belfast.

Photos from Young Artists' Gallery Takeover 2022 Exhibition

Artwork in storefronts and at Waterfall Arts.

Uplift - Nina Elder

Friday, December 10, 2021 – Sunday, February 13, 2022

“Cradle” (2021), by artist Nina Elder, is being exhibited among seven other large-scale drawings and a video installation.

Uplift,” a multi-media exploration of the act of lifting by artist Nina Elder, opens at Waterfall Arts on Friday December 10 (National Human Rights Day). Through a residency at Waterfall Arts (with support from The Onion Foundation) during the summer of 2021, artist Nina Elder created eight large-scale drawings. Her inspiration began as she witnessed the care, collaboration, technology, and resources that are used to move yachts from water to land in Belfast harbor.

As a counterbalance to the exclusivity she observed in the conspicuous care of yachts, Nina made these drawings while considering what else is carried in more private realms. Created using marine motor lubricant and industrial pulp mill waste—materials that point to certain non-recreational realities in Maine—these drawings abstract what is uplifted and are meditations on the kinds of invisible emotional lifting we all do.

The attention to the technologies of cradling and carrying boats in the harbor subsequently led Nina to create “Overburden,” a video installation that is debuting as part of this exhibition.

overburden: (verb) to give someone a weight that is too great to carry.

overburden: (noun) the geologic material that is removed to expose a desired underground mineral

From 1902-1987 the Dodge Phelps Corporation dumped massive piles of slag along the United States/Mexico border in Douglas, Arizona. This final product of copper mining is a toxic landscape defined by radioactivity, unfertile soil, and acidified rain and rivers. It is a dramatic and dangerous place that has become a theater for United States politics as enacted by border patrol employees, walls, and myriad forms of surveillance and incarceration technologies. 

“Overburden” documents artist Nina Elder’s attempt to care for and carry away the slag. She uses hand-sewn devices, accentuating both her strength and her softness, to uplift and dignify the pulverized, leached, melted, dumped, and forgotten rocks. 

Amy Tingle, program director at Waterfall Arts, says, “Nina’s work is a direct response to the extraordinary weight in our current world—so many of us feel overwhelmed, overtired, nearly incapacitated by the burdens of the pandemic and the sytemic issues it has unearthed. Nina created from a space of true heartache as she witnessed firsthand the destruction of land caused by greed and cruelty, yet she still managed to ask and attempt to answer the question: ‘what if recognizing internal resiliency and healthy interdependence becomes the hallmark of this challenging time?’ These questions are crucial: Can we help someone else carry a weight that is dragging them down? Can we find beauty in the hoisting, joy in levitation, can we be awed by the miracle of understanding that not one single organism on this entire planet is doing it alone?

Artist and researcher Nina Elder creates projects that reveal humanity’s dependence on and interruption of the natural world. With a focus on changing cultures and ecologies, Nina advocates for collaboration, fostering relationships between institutions, artists, scientists and diverse communities. Her work takes many forms, including drawings, performative lectures, pedagogy and critical writing, long term community-based projects, and public art. Find out more about Nina and her work at http://ninaelder.com

Contact

Amy Tingle
Program Director
207-338-2222 ext. 104
amy@waterfallarts.org

Past Exhibits

2021

Photographing Belfast's Waterfront: Then & Now

waterfront-Postcard-no-logo

Friday, June 18 – Sunday, August 29, 2021

At the center of Belfast’s long and colorful history is its dynamic waterfront. From boat building to chicken, sardine and potato processing, Belfast’s shoreline has evolved and transformed with the changing tides of industry, economic cycles, and tourism. Today, we enjoy public access and recreation opportunities alongside a working shipyard.

This extensive photography exhibition explores how Belfast’s identity has evolved –and how it has stayed the same– in tandem with the varied activities and bustle of its harbor. Held at Waterfall Arts in partnership with the Penobscot Marine Museum and the Belfast Historical Society and Museum, the show includes historic images as well as photographs from over a dozen contemporary photographers. The featured works reveal the rich maritime history, commerce, recreation and scenic beauty of Belfast’s waterfront, as documented over the last several decades.

Liv Kristin Robinson, lead curator, has been documenting the evolving Belfast harbor since 1988 and is known for her hand-painted photographic works of the Belfast waterfront, several of which are in the permanent collections of the Portland Museum of Art and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. Other participating photographers include: Marcie J. Bronstein, Leslie Gregory, Susan Guthrie, Betsy Headley, Jaap Helder, Terry Hire, Kevin Johnson, Lynn Karlin, Mark Kuzio, Ben Magro, Peggy McKenna, Richard Norton, Neal Parent, and Louise Shorette.

This exhibition would not be possible without the curatorial support of Kevin Johnson of the Penobscot Marine Museum and Megan Pinette of the Belfast Historical Society and Museum.

OPENING RECEPTION

On Friday, June 18th, 5-7pm, Waterfall Arts opened our doors and Gallery for small group viewings. The opening event featured a poetry reading of works themed around the Belfast Waterfront, planned in collaboration with the Office of the Belfast Poet Laureate. Enjoy some images from the evening here.

Exploring Belfast's Waterfront by Megan Pinette

Click here to learn more about the historical images in the exhibition.

Curators Virtual Tour

artfellows-front-evite-full

Artwork credit: David Hurley

Artfellows: Belfast's Original Cooperative Gallery, 1980-1997

Saturday, September 11 – Saturday, November 6, 2021

Attracted by the state’s unique character and way of life, artists have established communities and flourished in Maine for over a century. 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 Art Fellows. This show celebrates the 41st anniversary of the founding of this dynamic community, featuring works made by Artfellows in the 1980s and 1990s, and what they are making today.

Participating Artfellows

Lesia Sochor

Lorna Crichton

Liv Kristin Robinson

Lois Anne

Janice Anthony

Read Brugger

Alan Crichton

Dan Clarke

Squidge Liljeblad Davis

Janelle Delicata

Randy Fein

Jerry Finch

Maggie Foskett

Jane Gilbert

Nancy Glassman

Stew Henderson

David Hurley

Mike Hurley

Phil Kaelin

Janice Kasper

Tony Kulik

Mark Kuzio

Marika Kuzma

Abbott Meader

Oliver Nuse

James Oates

Martha Oatway

Mat O’Donnell

Nell Moore

Richard Norton

Sandy Olson

Chris Osgood

Tom Osgood

Dee Peppe

Dennis Pinette

Megan Pinette

Philip Prince

Alison Rector

Scott W. Redfern

Michael Reece

Denise Remy

Louise Shorette

Marjorie Strauss

Dana Strout

Deborah Vendetti

Donate to support future exhibitions

Waterfall Arts needs your help in order to sustain our free, engaging, and noteworthy exhibitions in our galleries. We want to continue providing our community with rich cultural experiences through the arts.