Swans Island Company, summer artists join Archipelago for September Art Walk

Village Soup
Posted 2017-08-31

By Dagney Ernest / Village Soup

On Friday, September 1st, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., Bill Laurita, president of Swans Island Company, will join Archipelago and some of the gallery’s featured artists for a special reception during Rockland’s First Friday Art Walk.

The public is invited to stop into the gallery’s 386 Main Street location to hear about the history of Swans Island Company on the Maine coast over the past 25 years as well as the story behind many of its handcrafted textiles. Guests will also be able to meet some of the artists currently featured in the gallery’s summer show, including Appleton wood turner, Richard Dunham, and Cushing painter, Thom Buescher, and enjoy some light refreshments.

During the reception, Laurita will speak about the company’s history weaving and dyeing on the coast of Maine. Swans Island Company is currently celebrating 25 years of handcrafted textiles with a special heirloom throw woven with Maine island fleece – with 10% of proceeds to benefit the Island Institute. Handcrafted blankets, throws, and scarves will also be on display in the gallery.

Dunham and Buescher, two of the artists featured in the summer gallery show, will also be on hand to talk about their work. Appleton wood turner, Richard Dunham, works in his woodshop in his 1850’s farmhouse, turning locally found burls into bowls and vases, as well as artistic pieces for display. The cherry burls, knoblike growths on the trunk or limbs of a tree, are from native Maine Cherry harvested from dead or dying trees on his property or from the land of friends in the area.

Buescher, a resident of Cushing, has been painting for over 50 years. His works, drawn from views along the midcoast and Penobscot Bay islands, are developed largely from on-site sketches and studies that are reworked in the studio. He works exclusively in both designer and acrylic gouaches, preferring the matte finishes each provide. Recently retired from almost 20 years of teaching at Camden Hills Regional High School and 25 years as a child/adolescent therapist, he is developing a more ambitious illustration project now that might evolve into a children’s book.

Archipelago’s summer gallery show will run through October 29th. Other artists featured in the show include: Wendy Newcomb (representational painter), Gary Hoyle (aerial landscape painter), Valerie Aponik (painter), Helen Farnham (felt artist), Dylan Metrano (papercuts), and Paul Woonrooij (furniture maker).

Located at 386 Main Street in Rockland, Archipelago, the Island Institute’s store and gallery, is open seven days a week; Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition to the September 1st reception, Archipelago will be open extended hours, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., for the final Arts in Rockland First Friday Art Walk on October 6th.

For questions regarding Archipelago, the reception, or the summer gallery show, please contact Archipelago Director Lisa Mossel Vietze at (207) 596-0701.

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