Building dreams with art

Posted May 30, 2010, at 11:16 p.m.

Roofing nails, wire mesh, shards of pottery, fabric and unused flooring might not seem likely ingredients for a fine work of art, but nine artists in midcoast Maine accepted the challenge to turn them into something beautiful for charity’s sake.

Each year, the Maine Home+Design Midcoast Show collaborates to raise money for a charity with half the proceeds from the event’s ticket sales going to the cause.

This year, the Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville is hosting the participant party and also wanted to find a way to support the charity of choice — Midcoast Habitat for Humanity.

“We came up with Construction for Humanity,” said Bob Ferro, Maine Home+Design Magazine advertising manager, on Friday.

Using their relationship with the local arts community, event organizers from the magazine approached artists and tasked them with creating one-of-a-kind art using building materials donated by exhibitors.

“It was everything from roofing nails to shards of pottery to unused flooring to used paintbrushes and paint,” Ferro said. “The artists could use some of their own materials, but I have to say they really embraced the concept and really used most of the stuff the exhibitors provided.”

The artists featured are: Michael Branca, Jill Dalton, Dan Dowd, Eva Deveau, Nathan Deveau, Mark Kelly, Mike Libby, Edward Mackenzie, Louise Philbrick and Anastasia S. Weigle.

The pieces are being auctioned online (www.constructionsforhumanity.com) with 100 percent of the sales revenue going to Midcoast Habitat.

“The goal is to really just raise awareness for artists in the wonderful state of Maine, as well as raise money for Habitat,” said Ferro.

Starting bids range from about $100 to $475, but there are “buy it now” prices listed for each work running from $275 to $2,500.

On Friday, June 4, online bidding will end and those who want to continue to bid on items that haven’t been purchased through the “buy it now” option online will continue to be auctioned off in silent auction fashion Saturday during the home show.

The final auction event will be held during the Midcoast Home Show Gala 5-8 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at Point Lookout Resort in Northport. Tickets for the gala are $25 per person, and each auction winner will be awarded their piece after the show.

“The goal is to get as much money as possible to help that Habitat chapter,” said Feero.

Midcoast Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, with a mission to provide safe, affordable housing and homeownership opportunities to low-income families in Knox County.

In addition to the Construction for Humanity auction, this year’s home show includes an opportunity Saturday for attendees to win a Vespa motor scooter courtesy of Camden National Bank, Hancock Lumber and Land-marcs.

The show will include exhibits from architects, builders, interior and landscape designers, kitchen suppliers, artists and food purveyors.

The Artists

· Michael Branca has received fellowships at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center and the Carina House on Monhegan, as well as a grant from the Maine Arts Commission. He graduated from Colby College, attended Temple University Rome and is working on his MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He teaches drawing at Southern Maine Community College and has shown his work throughout New England at such venues as the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Whitney Artworks and Stadler Gallery. Visit MikeBranca.com.

· Jill Dalton is a mixed-media sculptor and jewelry maker with a relentless need to collect rusted bit of metal. She uses found objects in her work to explore meaning, history and humor. She earned her BFA in sculpture in 1999 from Maine College of Art, where she is employed as alumni relations coordinator. She and her husband, glassblower Ernest Paterno, co-own Filament Gallery in Portland. They live in the East Bayside neighborhood with five formerly stray cats and expanding organic gardens. Visit FilamentGallery.com.

· Dan Dowd has been collecting objects for most of his life. His most recent works are examples of what is created when some of those objects are united and interact. Any story that may be in his head as he creates the piece, or any story that he may write after the piece is completed, is different from the stories that a viewer may create. No one story is correct. This aspect of his work, and art in general, intrigues and amazes him.

· Eva Deveau is 7 years old and in the second grade. “I like to go shopping with my mommy and I like to do art,” she wrote in her artist profile. “I think about my art before I make it and I always try my best.” Her works have been displayed at AVA Gallery, Chellie Pingree’s congressional headquarters and the Maine Home+Design Midcoast Show in 2009.

· Nathan Deveau relocated to Maine from Vermont to attend and graduate from the Maine College of Art. His latest work focuses on environmental responsibility through the use of natural materials that many people would consider waste, such as spent coffee grounds, grass clippings, tree branches and sawdust. He transforms these materials into sculptures, mirrors, jewelry boxes, cutting boards, tables, sinks, countertops, flooring and tiles. Visit www.deveaugallery.com.

· Mark Kelly earned his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. He is a founding partner of Aarhus Gallery in Belfast, was the 2009 Earth Week Artist-in-Residence at Waterfall Arts, and recently was a group leader at Unity College’s Art of Sustainability Conference. His work was included in Maine Home+Design’s Art of Assemblage feature in the Jan-Feb 2009 issue. Exhibitions include the 18th Annual Drawing Show at the Boston Center for the Arts-Mills Gallery; the Out of Bounds altered book show, Rockport; Art from Intuition — Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, Mass.; The Crossing of Time and Environment: Micro Installation — Tianan County, Taiwan (group collaboration); and First Traces at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport. He lives in Belfast with his wife and three daughters. Visit www.AarhusGallery.com.

· Mike Libby is a multidisciplinary artist who makes highly detailed sculptures, models, collages and drawings. Through diverse materials and methodologies, she explores themes of science, nature, fantasy, history and autobiography, highlighting illogical and acute correspondences between the real and unreal. Visit www.InsectLabStudio.com.

· Edward Mackenzie works with old and new manufactured objects to create unique sculptural art. His work has a strong design element with references to humor, allegory or history. Chosen material often evolves into a series of artwork, for example: “Pianoworks” using piano parts; “Oaracle” using sculling oars; “Pyrotechnical” using matches and matchboxes. Visit www.EdwardMackenzie.com.

· Louise Philbrick’s work typically involves memory. She seeks out objects — doomed instrument parts, rusty street detritus, surf-worn stones — that demonstrate the rigors of their histories and she re-contextualizes them in a way that features those peculiarities. Visit www.LouisePhilbrick.com.

· Anastasia S. Weigle received her B.A. in natural science illustration with a minor in museum studies from SUNY Empire State College and an M.S.L.I.S. (Library & Information Science) in archives management. Her professional work as an archivist influenced her work as an artist. Through discarded objects and ephemera she found her true voice. Weigle creates a magical history all her own. The inner child — who still believes that dreams do come true — is the master and teacher. Visit http://anastasiaweigle.artspan.com.

The Maine Home+Design Midcoast Show

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 5 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, June 6.

Where: Point Lookout, Northport.

Cost: $10 per person, children under 12 free.

Contact: 772-3373 or www.mainehomedesign.com or www.constructionsforhumanity.com

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