July 28, 2011

Skowhegan to host tour of art works

By Doug Harlow dharlow@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

SKOWHEGAN -- Give the monkey a quarter, ring the bell and count slowly to 100 ...

click image to enlarge

Kiri Guyaz hangs one of her paintings among diners at the M. Thai restaurant in Skowhegan. The venue is one of several taking part in the Wesserunsett Arts Council and Main Street Skowhegan sponsored art walk, beginning this Friday and running through the summer.

Staff photo by David Leaming


Friday 4-8 p.m.
Participating venues:
• WISH, on Madison Avenue, will feature pottery by store owner David Ellis, paintings by Linda Swift and globes from the Worlds Seen and Foreseen show.
• Happyknits Yarn Shop, in the old county jail, will feature wood block prints of Robert Gray, Jr., with each piece telling a story.
• M.Thai Restaurant, art work of Kiri Guyaz.
• Upstairs at Bloomfields Cafe, video art, featuring Paul Gregoire’s 1998 “Launching,” the TwaTones at Lakewood in 1986, and more.
• Vincent’s Framing, Joe Kennedy’s inventive sculptures in the window.
• Leakos Gallery, an interactive art show — give the monkey a quarter, ring the bell and count slowly to 100 ...
• Old Mill Pub — The paintings of Forrest Meader.
• Central Maine Artists Gallery, wine, cheese and works of art by various artists.
• River Roads, works by 23 Maine artists.

That's the invitation at the Leakos Gallery on Water Street this summer as part of the Downtown Art Walk, sponsored by the Wesserunsett Arts Council, with support from Maine Street Skowhegan.

The Leakos show is one of a dozen locations for the art stroll from 4-8 p.m. Friday. Art walks are scheduled on the last Friday of each month through December, according to arts council organizer Lolly Phoenix of New Portland.

Venues include Happyknits Yarn Shop in what was the command center and overnight holding cell at the former Somerset County Jail, M. Thai Restaurant and River Roads art gallery.

There will be a display of video art upstairs at Bloomfield's Cafe, paintings by Forrest Meader at the Old Mill Pub, pottery at the WISH store on Madison Avenue and wine and cheese at Central Maine Artists Gallery on West Front Street.

"A good jumping off point would be either of the two galleries where you can get a map of the walk, which will be helpful," Phoenix said. "Each participating venue will have a red flag out front. People can come and go as they please -- no reservations, no tickets, no hidden costs; it's just here for people's pleasure."

The Wesserunsett Arts Council was established in the early 1990s in Madison. It lay dormant for several years until recently when Phoenix and others took it over and included all of Somerset County. It is a non-profit organization.

Phoenix and Oakland photographer and watercolor artist Kiri Guyaz on Wednesday were hanging art at several locations in a build up to the walk on Friday. Dozens of art works will be on display, they said, adding that next month, the venues and the artists will change.

Guyaz, whose work will be on display at M. Thai Restaurant, said Phoenix contacted her through her connections to the art scene in Waterville.

"She found me at the art show this past Saturday in Waterville," Guyaz said. "She was one of the people that stopped by and said they were doing these things in Skowhegan and we'd like you to help out. I'm bringing a blend of abstract art and a realistic pieces; my style tends to be impressionistic -- I like to paint the imagery of moods and dreams."

The video and multi-media installation above Bloomfields will feature a short film called "Launching" shot in 1998 by Paul Gregoire, along with a taping of a live performance by the TwaTones at Lakewood Theater in 1986.

Phoenix said the arts council also is sponsoring the annual Open Studios tour of artist's residents and work places throughout Somerset County on Aug. 6 and the ongoing show of globes in storefront windows called Worlds Seen and Foreseen.

Doug Harlow -- 612-2367


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