Photo By Nan Lincoln

A fun night on the town

Photo By Nan Lincoln

The Fogartys of A Little Mad got into the spirit of things, Thursday Night. Pictured here are Cameron Grover, Patrick and Jolene Fogarty, Jenny Porter and Jeffrey Fogarty.

BAR HARBOR —This year, the shops and galleries of Bar Harbor decided to combine the town’s Fashion Night Out and Art Walk into a single evening. While merging the two evenings made all sorts of practical sense, some of the distinct flavor of each event was a bit lost last Thursday night, and only a few places dressed themselves and their windows for the occasion.

Still, it was a perfect late summer evening, with much to see and do, eat and drink – so much in fact it was impossible to visit all of the 27 participants. As magic carpets are in short supply, it might be helpful to group the shops by address rather than alphabetically on the flyer in the future, thus making it easier to find all the participants on a particular street.

One of the shops that got into the spirit of both art and fashion was A Little Mad, tucked inside the Bay View Landing on Cottage and Main. With the theme of “Night Circus,” owners Patrick and Jolene Fogarty, son Jeffrey and two staff members dressed for the occasion in shades of black and white topped off with some interesting headwear. Their shop, which is chock-a-block full of colorful fun and whimsy (including penny candy!), is a welcome relief from the army of T-shirt and souvenir shops that have largely overtaken the main streets of town.

For the art portion, the Fogartys were highlighting Huston Llew’s “Spirit Tiles” – attractive beaten copper and painted wood blocks pairing images and sayings such as a windmill with “When the wind blows some build walls others build windmills.” For fashion, they featured the unique and oddly terrific seatbelt handbags.

Up the street a ways, Sea Of Cotton was showcasing its fall collection of comfy cotton clothes and some attractive Kristina Collection silver and glass and jewelry.

{gallery}fashion{/gallery} West Street has grown rather chichi since developers replaced the hodgepodge of vernacular shops and eateries with a thoroughfare that would look at home in Palm Beach or any other tony resort town. Even the old arts and crafts shop Alone Moose has gone upscale with a name change to Art on West and elimination of the crafts. However, showcasing the big bold watercolors of owner Ivan Rasmussen, the evocative, aged aluminum monoprint photographs of Stan Mason and exquisite bronze sculptures of David Smus, they delivered the art in spades. Upstairs in the same building, Gallery with a View was featuring Lucy Tracy and Jackie Harrington’s wonderful pressed flower art and Joe Tracey’s rock lamps.

Kathleen Hall Art, which was further down the road, offered some original piano music along with its art.

I was thrilled however to find Queen Anne’s Flower Shop now nestled into the shops along Mount Desert Street. In addition to cut flowers and potted plants, it has a nice collection of fine gifts, jewelry, photography and Evergreen Pottery.

Next door, Spruce and Gussy continues to offer an enticing array of gifts, art and fashion, including Jennifer Judd McGee’s wonderful doodle art and Kirsten Hardy’s imaginative hand-sewn textiles.

The D’Alessio Gallery is as always an instant party with attractive friends the moment you step through the door. This evening, the party included a dog and owner fashion show!

A relative newcomer to this street is the Anne Woodman gallery, which features her very fun flower chain jewelry, some fashions and the art of both her parents Bill Woodman and Barbara Shelley. Talented family! Anne also dressed for the occasion in a sweet black frock and giant butterfly fascinator.

On both Mount Desert Street and Main Street, the Argosy Galleries continue to show a fine selection of American landscape artists mostly of MDI and Maine scenes. Proprietors Amy and Charles Sidman looked smashing.

On Main Street, the Katahdin Photo Gallery was exhibiting the impressive large format digital prints of MDI scenes by Steve Bart.

Island Artisans as ever has the classiest crafts in town and some terrific art. Blue Butterfield’s bucolic blockprint and tempera pieces were especially fetching.

It’s hard to know where to look at Sage Grass it is so crammed full of enticing, glassware, jewelry, clothing, art, perfumes, candles, etc. Even the ceiling is festooned with a collection of fine art umbrellas. Especially fun were Lisa Holt’s little scenes created from beach pebbles.

And then time ran out. Never got to the far ends and side streets where some of my favorite new shops are found including Salt on Derby Lane with its neat selection of handmade sail bags, pillows, bait bag purses and other Maine themed handcrafts and the Gaia V. DeBoer Gallery on Albert Meadow with its original fabric art, infant clothes and other neat stuff and Fabricate, the crafters dream shop.

Ah well, next year.

Nan Lincoln

Nan Lincoln

The former arts editor at the Bar Harbor Times writes reviews and feature stories for The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander.