“Hawk & Handsaw: Twenty Who Know the Difference” will present selected works by 20 contemporary Maine artists who have been featured in Hawk & Handsaw, the journal of creative sustainability published by Unity College since 2007. The exhibition will open with an artists’ reception Saturday, Sept. 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, 162 Russell Ave. The reception is free and open to the public.

“Hawk & Handsaw,” title of the journal and the exhibition, comes from Shakespeare's “Hamlet” (Act 2, Scene 2), where the Danish prince says “I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly,
I know a hawk from a handsaw.” In the first issue of Hawk & Handsaw, the editors wrote that, like Hamlet, they too know which way the wind blows. Living a sustainable life “can be messy and meaningful,” they acknowledged, and “it requires reflection, deep philosophical commitment, and (more often than not) a good sense of humor.” The creative work chosen for Hawk & Handsaw questions the status quo either in content or presentation, resulting in new ways to approach the crucial discourse about sustainable ways of being in the world.

The exhibition is curated by Ben Potter, professor of art at Unity College and art editor of Hawk & Handsaw; and CMCA director Suzette McAvoy. It is part of this fall's Maine Environmental Art and Design celebration, a collaboration among CMCA, Unity College, Waterfall Arts and other Midcoast arts organizations.

“I have been very impressed with the range and quality of the art presented in Hawk & Handsaw, and approached Ben Potter about the possibility of CMCA hosting a collaborative exhibition as our contribution to MEAD, with the aim of fostering a conversation about the connections among visual art, aesthetic awareness, and our roles as stewards of our world,” said McAvoy.

The 20 artists included in the exhibition at CMCA are Christopher Becker of Lyman; Meghan Brady of Camden; Emily Brown of Freedom; Cole Caswell, Karen Gelardi, Adriane Herman and Tanja Hollander of Portland; Megan Chase and Freddy LaFage of Belfast; Avy Claire of Blue Hill; Jobie Cole of Orland; Kenny Cole and Lisa Martin of Monroe; Lauren Henkin of Lincolnville; Mark Kelly and Susan Metzger of Rockland; Sandy Olson of Troy; Danica Phelps of Rockport; R. Keith Rendall of Wiscasset; and Andy Rosen of South Portland.

The exhibition will run through Dec. 1. For a schedule of artist talks and more information about the exhibition, visit cmcanow.org. CMCA’s major media sponsor, 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. on Sunday. For more information, visit cmcanow.org.

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