PORTLAND — Four Oxford County artists are featured in the exhibition, “Visible Discourse from Maine’s Western Foothills,” at the Union of Maine Visisual Artists, Portland Media Center, 516 Congress St.
A reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at the gallery. The exhibtion runs through Sept. 28.
The exhibition celebrates Maine’s natural and diverse environment; the wildlife, woodlands, lakes and ocean that draw visitors to Maine from around the globe. It is a collaborative installation by Diana Arcadipone, Don Best, Nikki Millonzi and Judith Schneider. The artists share works inspired by the magic and collective energies of the Oxford Hills, an area with a rich visual and performing arts culture.
Arcadipone creates artworks on and of paper. Her passion for making art with natural materials and mixed media emerged from an early devotion to traditional craft techniques such as papermaking, book arts, basketry, and textiles. Trained as a painter and printmaker, Arcadipone’s work is informed by primitive art, folk art, traveling, and the natural world; it is the intersection of these influences that defines her work.
Best works mainly in wood. He carves, paints, assembles, burns, and hand colors his work, which often uses animals as its subject and theme. Much of Best’s recent work has been reliefs, which give him the opportunity to use his drawing, painting, and sculpture skills to create engaging narratives. Shadow boxes become stages for his carved animals. Best’s work has a playful quality that makes it accessible to people of all ages.
Millonzi, nature, the arts and the world around her all help her to make sense of things. She loves and cherishes the natural world so political activism is important to her. This year Nikki felt an increasing need to express the interconnectedness of life on this planet. Using newspaper and ink her installation We Are All In This Together helps us resonate with this underlying unity.
Schneider investigates place and memory through the physical properties of landscape. By collecting and analyzing nature – dissecting it by color, form and line and then reassembling it, she finds meaning. Scale, density and layering are important. How the images find their natural edge and how memories form present a nice duality. She is in pursuit of what is physically present, woven with memory, dreams and how the energy of “place” is conveyed.
Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursdsay, 1 to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
PHOTO: Artwork by Don Best will be featured in the exhibition. (Submitted photo)