Caldbeck opens four solo shows

Aug 09, 2017
Bayard Hollins, whose 2017 oil on canvas “A Special Place” reflects decades of being out on the water at Islesboro, used to love to go out in his power boat in stormy weather but now relives those experiences in some of his work.

Rockland — Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 16, the downtown Caldbeck Gallery, 12 Elm St., will exhibit the work of four artists: Lois Dodd of Cushing and New York City; Bayard Hollins of Islesboro and Ojai, Calif.; Janice Kasper of Swanville; and Lise Becu of Tenants Harbor.  An opening reception for the artists will take place Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.

In “Summer Paintings,” Dodd’s oil on Masonite and oil on aluminum paintings, mostly painted within the past three years, celebrate the light and air of summer in Cushing. Dodd’s most recent museum exhibit was the major retrospective “Lois Dodd: Catching the Light,” curated by Barbara O’Brien for the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri in 2012. This exhibit traveled to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, where it hung during the winter of 2013.

Dodd’s work has received innumerable awards including an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize. Memberships include the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters, National Academy of Design, Colby College Museum Advisory Board and the Skowhegan School Board of Governors.

Dodd’s work is in multiple collections and has been shown widely in New York City, where she shows with Alexander Gallery; and throughout the United States for more than 60 years. This is her 11th solo show at the Caldbeck, where her first exhibit was in 1985.

Hollins’ show, “A Special Place,” features paintings in oil on canvas, as well as in acrylic on paper. Many influences go into his work, the artist said, although the dominant theme tends to be the interaction between classical realism and abstract expressionism. He works very fast, with large brush strokes, in order to convey the rawness of nature; and likes to leave a painting “in a sort of incomplete state.”

Hollins’ studies include the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Program at Lacoste, France; the University of Salamanca in Spain; the Studio Cecil-Graves in Florence, Italy; and the New York Academy of Art.  Exhibitions include the Aspen Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Architectural Foundation in California, the Double Door Gallery on Islesboro and J.S. Ames Fine Art, formerly of Belfast. This is the artist’s third solo show with the Caldbeck.

Kasper’s five canvases in her show “New Work” are about nature (and human nature). Each painting tells a story, woven together by the artist’s sense of humor and compassion for the animal world. Her work is concerned with “how we view and interact with our fellow creatures,” she said. In “Three Graces,” for example, wild turkeys stand upright in front of sumptuous trees in an unapologetic take off from Botticelli’s masterpiece, “La Primavera.”

Kasper was the curator of historic sites for the Farnsworth Art Museum for many years. Her work there included caring for the Lucy Farnsworth Homestead, as well as the Olson House in Cushing. In 2007, Kasper was the artist-in-residence at the Denali National Park in Alaska, which occupies six million acres of wilderness.

With a BFA from the University of Connecticut, Kasper studied with Leonard Craig at Unity College and received a scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1979. Her work is published in many of Carl Little’s books on Maine art, as well as in Edgar Beem’s “Maine Art Now” and David Little’s “Art of Katahdin.” She has shown widely in Maine and Connecticut; and has been with the Caldbeck since 1985.

Becu’s “Works in Stone” includes a number of new sculptures, as well as a number of earlier pieces. Becu works predominantly in different kinds of granite and Rockland limestone, but also works in alabaster, travertine and calcite. Of particular interest to her are found stones — on the beach, in a wall or from a slag pile. She said she likes to use the natural shape of the stone and tries to leave some of the stone’s texture, which is created by years of erosion out in nature: “When I finish a piece, I blend those areas of roughness into the final polished surface.”

Her work also has been shown at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Hawk Ridge Farm, Maine Audubon, Court House Gallery, the University of New England, the College of the Atlantic and the International Wood Carving Symposium in Finland. In 2011, Becu participated in the International Schoodic Sculpture Symposium; the major work that she created there was later permanently installed in Addison.

The Chandler, Quebec, native first studied art at age 14, through the “Famous Artists” mail correspondence course. At age 16, she left home and enrolled at the Ecole de Sculpture sur Bois in Quebec, Canada, where she studied woodcarving. Additional studies included the Art Student’s League in New York City and the University of Montreal. Her work is collected widely throughout Maine and elsewhere. Becu has been represented by the Caldbeck since the gallery’s first exhibit in June of 1982.

These show will continue through Sept. 16. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 and 4 p.m. For more information, call the gallery at 594-5935 or email at caldbeck@midcoast.com.

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

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