CUSHING — The Arts in the Barn series begins with an exhibit of abstract paintings of movement and color by three accomplished artists. “3 Women in the Abstract,” featuring work by Wendy Clayton, Erika Manning and Marli Thibodeau, opens with a celebration Friday, July 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. This show is up for the weekend only — Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 17 Hathorne Point Road.

All three artists live year round and maintain their studios in the Midcoast area.

“Composition 42” by Wendy Clayton.

Clayton said her paintings are captured moments of a dialogue between color, light, texture and found objects. “I am manipulating balance and mediating visual distraction to evoke a reaction. Drawing on images from past influences and experiences, the act and the result of action creates the painting. With each new painting, new directions continue to manifest into works of art,” Clayton said.

Manning is a multimedia visual artist who explores the concepts of balance — of empty space versus overcrowding, of mapping and charting, of light and reflection, as well as individual and collective history. The images loosely relate to the natural world and are inspired by meditation, the dream state, fog, ocean, stars, masts, topographical maps, trees and rocks. While Manning strives for a finished image, the beauty for her is in the process of creating, which she sees as a spiritual practice. She enjoys using a rich, saturated color palette to celebrate the unlimited capacity of the spirit.

“Hidden Heart” by Erika Manning.

Thibodeau is a contemporary artist who is greatly influenced by the natural world and the lineage of Abstract Expressionism. Mostly self taught, her study of art and movement creates colorful choreography in her work. In 2015, with photographer Karen Divine, she conceived the “Being Set Free” project, a global multidisciplinary collaboration of artists. She immerses in the beauty of the world around her and makes an inquiry into self discovery through movement and visual art: curious about how our interior world informs outward expression. Thibodeau maintains a year round studio in Rockland.

“#3 Composition” by Marli Thibodeau.

Arts in the Barn is a program of the Cushing Historical Society and is a nonprofit organization. Visit for more information.