Textile artist Michael Olszewski iwith his fabric collage at the opening of the Maine Art Gallery’s current show, “The Artful Interior.” Photo by Bob Bond

“The crafts are as beautiful as the fine art,” said one visitor to Maine Art Gallery’s opening last Saturday of “The Artful Interior.” The age-old academic debate of the difference between crafts and fine art seemed to be moot with many other visitors responding similarly.

The arrangement of Eric McIntrye’s whimsical brooms and delicate bowls made an eye-catching display. Photo by Bob Bond

The concept for the show was the brainchild of Cynthia Pappas, an artist and former member of the gallery’s board. Working with exhibition chair Mark Coates and designer/artist Michael Olszewski, Pappas’ vision of an interior space filled with beautiful things, both functional and aesthetic, was, judging from comments and reviews, a triumph of imagination. The thoughtful juxtaposition of objects and paintings, all still-life interiors, caused viewers to linger longer than usual. Many objects, such as a whimsical broom created by Eric McIntrye and an enchanting metal lamp in the form of an owl by Christopher Bissett, brought smiles to viewers’ faces, according to a news release from Kay Liss with the gallery.

One of the most dramatic pieces in the show, which appropriately commands the front panel of the upstairs gallery, is Olszewski’s fabric collage “Evening.” One onlooker found it “mesmerizing,” the subtle shades of black and grey and careful arrangement of verticals and horizontals, inviting an extended viewing.

Other crafts include bold rugs woven by Sara Hotchkiss and ceramics by Michelle Michael. The many striking paintings and sculptures displayed were selected by Coates.

The show will run until Oct. 21. The hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at the gallery at 15 Warren St.

The Maine Art Gallery’s show sponsor is BIRCH Home Furnishings and Gifts, and its season sponsor is Sherri Dunbar of Tim Dunham Realty.

More information can be found at maineartgallerywiscasset.org and on Facebook at Maine Art Gallery Wiscasset.


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