Caldbeck Gallery, 12 Elm St., will open new exhibits of work by Janice Kasper of Swanville; Barbara Sullivan of Solon; Frederick Kellogg of Thomaston and Washington, D.C.; and Carol Sloane of Washington with a reception for the artists Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 6 to 8 pm.

Kasper’s her new work is about two separate things: the larger paintings are a part of a “shadow species” series, based on animals found but seldom seen in Maine and focusing on the patterns found in Maine’s flora and fauna; and smaller paintings, in oil on panel, directly influenced by Medieval illuminated manuscripts — in the artist’s 21st-century version, the central saint figures are animals instead of humans, and the painting’s borders and backgrounds reflect the environmental issues that impact us all.

With a BFA in Painting from the University of Connecticut, Kasper also studied with the Artist-in-Residence at Unity College with Leonard Craig and at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work is in collections around the country including the Portland Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Hitchcock Collection at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.  Exhibitions include ones at the O’Farrell Gallery formerly of Brunswick; the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, N.Y.; the Center for Maine Contemporary Art; and the L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley. She has been awarded an Artist Resource Trust Grant, a Maine Percent for Art commission, as well as a Good Idea Grant from the Maine Arts Commission; and has been published in eight books and museum catalogues. In 2007, she received an artist-in-residence position at Denali National Park in Alaska. She has shown with the Caldbeck since 1985.

In “In and Out of Perspective,” Sullivan integrates large-scale drawings with fresco bas relief sculpture. The artist said the play of how things are constantly in and out of perspective, metaphorically and physically, interests her. There is always something on the surface and under the surface. The almost austere, black and white drawings contrast beautifully with the rich pigments of the fresco work.

Sullivan received a BA in Visual Art and Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington, as well as an MFA. at Vermont College. She has given many fresco workshops at colleges and art centers throughout New England and New York and currently teaches drawing and painting at UMaine Farmington.  Awarded several prestigious grants (a Pollock/Krasner Grant and two Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Support Grants), the artist’s work also has been shown in the Portland Museum Biennial, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Morgan Rank Gallery in East Hampton, N.Y., and the Ernest Rubenstein Gallery in New York City, as well as many galleries in Maine. This is her eight solo show with the Caldbeck Gallery, where she has shown since 1996.

Kellogg is one of a number of artists engaged in the search for what can be called a contemporary realism. Like others, he has been deeply influenced by the work of American Realists such as Edward Hopper and Fairfield Porter; and challenged by the impact of photography as an art form, as well as the innovations of the mid-20th-century Abstract Expressionists and their aftermath. In “Goodbye Miami and Other Reflections on the 21st Century,” the artist has created a body of work that visually ponders the nature of mankind’s endeavors.

Kellogg has exhibited in Washington, D.C., Richmond, Va., and Maine including Gallery 68 in Belfast, O’Farrell Gallery in Brunswick, and the Nan Mulford Gallery in Rockland.  His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, MBNA Bank, corporate collections in Boston and Washington; and private collections throughout the country. This is his third solo show with the Caldbeck.

In “Domestic Partners,” Sloane paints the intensity of feeling that plays out between people and their canine or feline partners. Her juicy paint and sculptural figures fill her canvases with an energy and realism, though in some of the paintings, mysterious truncation of shapes lead the viewer into another plane of reality, making one wonder, “what is going on here?”  There seem to be several levels of meaning, though each viewer would most likely interpret them differently.

A founding member of the Downtown Gallery in Washington, the artist was awarded the Carina House Residency on Monhegan Island in 2002, the Helen Wurlitzer Foundation Residency of Taos, New Mexico in 2005 and 2010 and the Cill Rialaig Project in Ballinskelligs, Ireland in 2006. She spent the winters of 2007 through 2009 on solo painting sessions in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Sloane first exhibited with the Caldbeck in 1998 and has exhibited widely in Maine including CMCA, the Portland Museum Biennial, Tidemark Gallery, Waterfall Arts, Greenhut Gallery, Elizabeth Moss Gallery and Round Top Center for the Arts.

The quartet of solo shows will run through Sept. 17, Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 594-5935.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to dernest@villagesoup.com.