During the month of November, the Camden Public Library will host a virtual art show entitled “Artists Connecting” featuring the works of Knox County Art Society members. The show is an eclectic mix of watercolors, photography, and abstract oils portraying the breadth of talent of local artists. The gallery can be viewed online, beginning Nov. 1, by visiting the library’s event calendar or librarycamden.org/event/kcas-virtual-gallery/.

When the Art Loft of Rockland, a non-profit art organization established in 2016, was planning to close its doors in late 2019, the Knox County Art Society (KCAS), a brand new association based in Camden, stepped in to continue the Art Loft’s education programming.

By January this year, KCAS was hosting weekly figure drawing sessions and planning an ambitious schedule of exhibitions and art classes. The Maine Arts Commission and a private foundation both made substantial grants to support the art center’s reincarnation. By mid-March, a few days before its grand opening reception was scheduled to occur, the pandemic hit and all planned activities had to be cancelled.

Despite the COVID emergency, a majority of faithful members remained committed to the Society’s survival. “The challenge for our new organization — founded to foster ‘face-to-face’ meetings — is now to sustain itself while adhering to the limitations imposed by social distancing,” says KCAS President David Blanchard. “We are creating a new online presence and gathering members’ ideas about how we can continue to support and inspire each other, if only virtually for now.”

The Camden Public Library has been hosting monthly virtual art shows since its Picker Room gallery became unavailable during the pandemic. “Collaborating with KCAS for an online exhibit felt like a good opportunity to support this new organization and showcase the talent of our local artist community,” said library Programs Coordinator Julia Pierce.

Members of KCAS have generously offered to donate 20% of art sales from the show in November to benefit the Camden Public Library.