The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, 162 Russell Ave., will open its 61st season with a reception Saturday, May 25, from 4 to 6 p.m. Four new exhibitions will be on view: “What Was, Is”; “Bagaduce ->( )<- East 19th”; “Anna Hepler: New Work”; and “Dress Shop.”

“What Was, Is” pairs recent sculpture by Duncan Hewitt with paintings and selected photographs by Claire Seidl. It is the fourth installation in CMCA’s Counterpoint series, which brings together the work of two artists to spark an engaging aesthetic dialogue. In this instance, Hewitt’s sculpture and Seidl’s paintings and photographs create a compelling conversation about materiality, time and memory. Hewitt is a graduate of Colby College and the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. Seidl divides her time between Rangley and New York City. She received a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from Hunter College.

“Bagaduce ->( )<- East 19th” presents selected recent drawings and wall works by artist Peter Soriano, who has studios in Penobscot, near the Bagaduce River, and at East 19th Street in Manhattan. His current work concentrates on creating diagrammatic wall works that employ a variety of painting methods including spraying, stenciling, and brushwork.

“Increasingly, I think of these pieces as ‘landscapes', albeit in the most schematized way. They include the angles of passing shadows, sections of metal rooftops, and the painted markings on an airport runway, to give some examples,” said Soriano, who received his B.A. in Art History from Harvard College and studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

“Anna Hepler: New Work” features the latest work by the recipient of the 2013 Maine Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellowship Award; beginning this year, CMCA will offer a solo exhibition to the recipient of this annual award. Hepler began her artistic investigation through printmaking, and she has maintained that aesthetic sensibility as she moves to other media including installations and sculpture. Hepler of Eastport received a BA from Oberlin College in Ohio and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Dress Shop” brings together selected work by artists Lesia Sochor and Crystal Cawley that references women’s fashions and garment forms. Both artists incorporate found papers into work that is exquisitely crafted with close attention to detail, suggestive of the careful craftsmanship associated with hand-tailored clothing. Sochor lives in Brooks and received a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art. Cawley lives in Portland and is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, among other awards. Her work will be included in the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial Exhibition.

The exhibitions will remain on view through July 7. Suggested donation is $5; admission is free for members. CMCA’s major media sponsor is Maine Home + Design magazine. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or