Senior College of Belfast will present the 12th annual Festival of Art Thursday through Sunday, May 15 through 18, at the at the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave./Route 3. The festival will exhibit the work of 147 amateur and professional Maine artists oldewr than age 50, including drawings, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography, fabrics, jewelry and woodcarving. Many works are for sale.

All festival events are free and open to the public, beginning with an opening evening artist reception Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. that will include refreshments and a cash bar. The four-day exhibition will remain open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

On Friday, the Belfast Bay Fiddlers will offer a free performance from 7 to 9 p.m., in the auditorium. BBF is a group of amateur musicians from Midcoast Maine who play traditional dance tunes from New England, French and Atlantic Canada, Ireland, Scotland and other regions. Their infectious, toe-tapping repertoire includes jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas and waltzes, performed on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, whistle, banjo, bass, piano and other instruments.

On Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., the festival will honor well-known painter Harold Garde with a presentation of his work, delivered by the artist himself; a film clip by Dale Schierholt; and a discussion of the paintings by a panel of experts in the auditorium. The panel will include Sarah Maline, Associate Professor of Art History and Gallery Director at UMaine, Farmington; Thomas O’Donovan, owner of Harbor Square Gallery in Rockland and designer/crafter of signature jewelry; and Alan Fishman, Belfast painter of works found in collections around the world. Belfast painter David Estey will moderate the session and encourage audience participation.

Garde is a very prolific and renowned Belfast painter, printmaker and teacher. He was born in New York City, has a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Wyoming and a master of fine arts degree from Columbia University, moved to Belfast in 1984 and now winters in Florida. Garde has been creating art for more than seven decades, with regular solo exhibitions around the country since 1970 and with work now in major collections.

Garde is a “Maine Master,” featured in the film series by the Union of Maine Visual Artists that often is screened on MPBN. He is the recognized developer of a unique Strappo technique of transferring paintings on glass to paper or other paintings. His 8-by-24-foot painting “Iconoclass” is the flagship work of the Museum of Art in Deland, Fla., and was reproduced in special tiles on an exterior wall of the building. His body of work in the 1970s, including the Iconoclass series, will be unveiled in New York later this year for the first time in 35 years. For more information on his work, visit

For more information about the Festival of Art, contact Estey, member of the Festival committee, at 338-6890 or

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