Thursday, November 10, 2011

anytime shopping

Soon the Gem Gallery will install it's annual Holiday Shop, but meanwhile Laura Glendenning and friends are showing Artery: half art, half article. This is a collection of new, reused, and repurposed articles of clothing as well as books, bags, hats, scarves. Find just the perfect thing amid paintings, pottery, and jewelry.

Fall hours are Saturday and Sunday, noon - 5 PM.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

holidays at the Gem

Everyone can get a brand new bag at the Gem Gallery. The annual Holiday Shop will open this Friday, and will be open for Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 PM during December.
Come on in, and see the bounty of island wares, from fleece hats, to glass vases, to earrings and unique necklaces, to pastels, prints, oils, and pottery.

The Gem Gallery will host a book signing on December 18th from 2:30 PM until 5PM, two books, on Peaks Island: For the Love of Peaks – Island Portraits & Stories: A Collection by Fran Houston and A Glimpse of Old Peaks Island: Through Rose-Colored Glasses by Alice Boyce, Eunice Curran, Ellin Gallant, Reta Morrill & Joyce O'Brien. Featuring wonderful music by Ronda Dale and Kevin Attra. A check will be presented to Peaks Island Tax Assistance for 10% of the gross sales this year for For the Love of Peaks. Please Join us!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

art on the walls, poetry in the woods

Gem member Jamie Hogan shared original art from the recently published "Nest, Nook & Cranny" at the Gem Gallery on October 16. The poem collection about animal habitats, written by Susan Blackaby, provided a great spring board for evocative line drawings by Jamie. She hung sketches and variations of color work that became the final art for the cover.

Meanwhile, Garry Fox, president of the Peaks Island Land Preserve, led a guided nature walk on a PILP trail dotted with pages from the book.

It was a poetic way to bring literacy outside, and thanks to Healthy Portland for sponsoring the signage. A portion of proceeds from the sale of art, books, and prints will benefit the Peaks Island Land Preserve. After all, it's the natural beauty and its stewardship that inspires the island artists who inhabit its environs.

On October 23, PILP opens Battery Steele to the annual pagan art festival, Sacred and Profane. The procession begins from Welch Street off the 2:15 boat from Portland.

Come see this mysterious and sacred event.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

paula coward

A native of California, Paula Coward found a community to call home on Peaks Island about two years ago. After gallery rounds in LA and travels in Asia, she has settled into a creative groove in Maine. Her current show at the Gem Gallery is a mix of wood, ink, watercolor and pastel with an emphasis on pattern and symmetry.

Paula, on the right, at her opening on Friday night:

This piece is ink on wood with a glossy surface.

Paula's work will be on display through next Wednesday, August 18. Gallery hours are
11 - 6 PM daily. Take a ferry to Peaks, walk up the hill, left at the ice cream store. When the gallery is open, a red sandwich board is on the sidewalk, right before the Post Office. Call 766-5600 for more information.

Meanwhile, over on City Point Road, Jane Banquer is furiously carving wood blocks for her upcoming show, "Shelter by the Sea," August 19 - 25 in the back gallery. Jane's opening will be next Friday, August 20 from 5 - 8 PM.

Jane shares a sunny studio with partner, Norm Proulx, who also exhibits at the Gem Gallery. Their studio is open for the last Art Walk of the summer on August 28.

In the Gem show, Jane's deep background in printmaking will be on view, with woodcuts, and solar plate etchings, along with paintings inspired by cottages by the sea.

Also this weekend, some members of the Gem Gallery will participate in the annual Art on the Porch at the Fifth Maine at 45 Seashore Avenue. Paul Brahms, Jamie Hogan, Peg Astarita, and Kathy Newell, Thea Demitre, Betsy Stout, and Martha Morris Gibson will be among 40 artists selling their work on August 15 from 10 - 3 PM.

Enjoy the views and meet the artists!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Claudia Whitman (on right) speaks with an art patron about her work during the current show at the Gem Gallery which is on exhibit July 29 - August 11.

Norm Proulx and Claudia Whitman share the walls of the back gallery in the Gem for two weeks, as they have for the last couple of summers. Their work complements each other; although disparate in both approach and motive, these pieces speak about work.

"Forsaken Workplaces, Forsaken Workers" is a dual exhibit that touches on one theme in very different ways.

Claudia's pieces make use of her collage and assemblage.

Claudia makes this statement about her series:

This show is a response to the NYTimes Magazine articles I read last summer about women being the only hope for the world. There were descriptions of poor communities around the world where women got small micro loans that led to small businesses but huge changes in the family and economic dynamics. Husbands often stopped beating their wives. I decided I needed to focus on women, particularly in the so-called third world. Hanging in my window was a mobile from NAWOU, the National Association of Women’s Organizations in Uganda, with spectacular figures in different poses. I thought I might make something like these figures, but then it occurred to me that I could use theirs and in such a manner, contribute to awareness of their endeavors and to their financial efforts. I e-mailed them and asked if I could use the figures in my art pieces if I gave them credit and also offered to give them a percentage of any sales. They answered enthusiastically in favor of the project. Thus, I will be donating 10% of sales to NAWOU, will send pictures of the individual pieces, and will offer to bring the show to Uganda at some time in the future.

My art has always been a collaboration: items I find and things I make; incorporation of old works into new ideas; use of prints made by school kids with work of my own. This show stretches the concept further for me.


NAWOU, The National Association of Women's Organizations in Uganda, is a non-governmental organization representing women's groups in Uganda. The goal of NAWOU is to improve the status and living conditions of women in Uganda and to make women self-reliant. In addition to running income generation projects, NAWOU is also involved in micro credit, information and research, advocacy, and lobbying for women’s rights.

NAWOU’s handcraft project supports 70 women’s handcraft groups, representing over 1,000 women. With the income earned from making handcrafts, the women provide needed resources to their families. Having a sustainable source of income has not only improved their self esteem and confidence, but has also enabled women to cope with social economic issues and has given the women a stronger voice in their families and communities. Earning their own income has meant that women are able to make decisions and be less dependent on men for accessing their basic needs like food, shelter, health and education for their children.

Through an agreement with NAWOU to use the figures in my art pieces, I will be donating 10% of all sales to NAWOU.

BASKETS are made by Dhaka Handcrafts, an independent organization designed to assist impoverished rural artisans in Bangladesh to attain self-sufficiency, and at the same time to encourage and market traditional craftsmanship.

Norm Proulx has created a series of pastels and acrylic paintings of mills in Maine.

Weather is grand for traveling via ferry to the Gem Gallery on sunny Peaks Island! Call 207-766-5600 for gallery hours.

You can also see the work of Peaks Island artist Jeanne O'Toole Hayman at the newly relocated Addison Woolley Gallery from August 5 - 28. Gallery hours at 132 Washington Avenue in Portland are
Wed. - Sat. 11:30 - 5.

Monday, July 26, 2010

super freak species

Carol Cartier has mounted another mind-boggling installation of magical curiosities.

She is a truly obsessed Thing Finder, and our world is better for it. She finds mystical joys in the most unexpected places, such as worn shoe soles and specimen tags.

Try to picture the pains involved in carting this amount of ephemera from one place to another, and placing it JUST SO, like Joseph Cornell waaaaay out of the box.

Here in this Cabinet of Curiosities, she shares a love of shiny elements with David Sheppard, an artisan extraordinaire whose silver boxes hold secrets worth keeping.

Carol delights in surfaces and textures, combining here fur, leather, and funk.

Along one wall of the Gem Gallery is a row of tintypes by Cole Caswell, a photographer from another dimension. His metallic portraits capture the itinerant souls of his rogue subjects with a delicate blend of the past and future. Pure alchemy. You can find him ducking under a black cloth at the Portland Farmer's Market, or at the next Art Walk, or at We Are X on High Street in Portland.

Carol Cartier's unique installation is only on exhibit through July 28. You MUST see it to believe it.

Next up: Norm Proulx and Claudia Whitman who pair their talents in indescribable ways.

Opening reception: July 29, 5 - 8 PM.

Monday, July 19, 2010

At Gem Gallery hanging our show.

Sunday, July 18, 2010