MOUNT DESERT — One of the great pleasures of the spring here on Mount Desert Island is the art exhibit at Sam Shaw’s Gallery in Northeast Harbor, which features the works of MDI artists on a first-come, first-served basis.
The result is usually a fun, but somewhat mixed bag of art works ranging from enthusiastic Sunday painters to seasoned professional artists.
For his closing show of the season, Shaw also is featuring Maine landscape artists, largely from MDI, again in a variety of styles and media, but when it comes to talent and skill, this time it is no mixed bag. All the artists represented are pros and a great reminder of the exceptional community of artists who live and work here.
There is Somesville artist Scott Baltz, whose stylized interpretations of MDI’s mountains, coastline and forests give us a pleasing new perspective on familiar scenes. The collaboration of Nancy McCormick and her husband Paul Monfredo in gold leaf and lapis blue results in mirrored art works that look as if they have been robbed from King Tut’s tomb.
On the opposite end of that spectrum is Laura Ellis, whose almost minimalist seascape “Looking Up” is all about the puffy, clouds with just a blue bar of sea and a thin strip of distant land below. It’s the view one might see lying on the deck of a sailboat. If you stand in front of it long enough, you can almost hear the creak of the hull and the wind whistling through the shrouds.
Cranberry Island artist Henry Isaacs, Beth Lambert and Jill Hoy brings such joy to their colorful scenes of Maine life that it’s impossible not to smile.
Judy Taylors’ coastal scenes remind us why we come here. Kay Carter’s scarlet berry bushes in “Duck Brook Flowage” remind us why we stick around after summer.
No one captures the subtle play of light on water better than Paul Rickert, whose watercolor “Slow Departure” of a moonrise reflected on a tranquil sea is simply lovely. Another gorgeous full moon rises in Brian Hewitt’s near surreal depiction of a pier stretching into Harriman Bay with the perspective of a wide-angle lens.
Susan Williams also manages to capture the deep beauty of night with just a few broad brush strokes of oil on Mylar in her “Night 3.”
These are just a few of the good reasons – and we’re not even talking about the treasure trove of original jewelry here – to visit Sam Shaw’s this fall.
They are open five days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Thanksgiving till Christmas, Shaw’s also will be open some weekend hours.