MOUNT DESERT — An open house at The Gallery at Somes Sound will kick off two July exhibits, “Reflections of Maine: A Tribute to Joellyn Duesberry (1944-2016)” and “Featured Furniture Masters of NHFMA” on Saturday, July 1, from 4-6 p.m.
Artist Joellyn Duesberry enjoyed a long career as a landscape painter. Duesberry’s abstract images reveal a strong interest in geometry and an awareness of such modernist masters as John Marin and Milton Avery. She was born in Richmond, Va., and educated at Smith College and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. As an artist, she was completely self-taught, with the exception of one month spent with Richard Diebenkorn in 1986.
Duesberry began exhibiting her work in New York City in 1979 and went on to have 10 solo exhibitions in the city. After receiving an NEA grant in 1986, she moved to a Colorado farm. The surroundings there revitalized the abstract language of her work and supplemented the painterly instincts she cultivated over 50 years of summer trips to Maine, where she observed the beauty of Acadia’s lily ponds, forests, bogs, hills, gorges and creeks.
Duesberry had many collectors in Maine, mostly from Mount Desert Island, Cranberry Islands and Swans Island. Her paintings are held in numerous museum, public and private collections around the country. Duesberry died of pancreatic cancer at her home in Greenwood Village, Colo., on Aug. 5, 2016.
Selected furniture masters in the “Featured Furniture Masters of NHFMA” exhibit include Ted Blachly, Jon Brooks, Greg Brown, John Cameron, Timothy Coleman, Jeffrey Cooper, Garrett Hack, David Lamb, Terry Moore, Richard Oedel, Jere Osgood, Brian Reid, Jeffrey Roberts and guest furniture maker Roger Myers.
The New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association has nearly two dozen makers from New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont. These gifted artisans create studio furniture that is exceptionally beautiful and diverse, and spans an array of styles including Period, Early American, Shaker, Neo-Classical, Traditional, Contemporary and Art furniture.
In addition to showing at The Gallery at Somes Sound, the furniture masters work collaborative, host educational initiatives and participate in exhibits and an annual auction that generate a market for their works. They create the majority of their handcrafted furniture on commission, collaborating with the patron to determine the materials, style, functionality and budget for a given piece. In so doing, they create fine, one-of-a-kind pieces that they hope will be the cherished heirlooms of future generations.
Today, their works grace many private homes and public spaces and also may be found in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American Art; The Currier Museum of Art; the American Craft Museum in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Johnson Collection (Objects USA) to name a few.