New Gardiner gallery exhibits tree art

Posted Nov. 01, 2010, at 6:45 p.m.

Most people have tried to draw a tree at least once. The network of branches, intricate bark and innumerable leaves present a challenge, but that’s what makes them such interesting subjects for artists to capture. Four such artists are showcasing their tree art in “Speak for the Trees: Four Women and the Trees That Inspire Them” running through Nov. 13 at the Monkitree at 263 Water St. in Gardiner.

“Trees are really great because everyone connects to them, and when you look at them, it takes you back to something,” said Monkitree owner Clare Marron.

Marron sought artists who put trees first in their artwork and found Susan Elliot, Linda Plaisted, Bridget McAlonan and Linda Murray.

“I’ve been told that my work seems to have a little J.R.R. Tolkien feel. I’m very drawn to their texture,” Murray said. “Trees are worthy to spend time on.”

Monkitree, owned by Marron and Peter Malyon, opened in May after more than a year of renovation. Two years ago, they purchased the building in the heart of downtown Gardiner and moved from Washington, D.C., where Marron worked for a craft store. Malyon has a degree in fine arts.

The gallery displays fine art, Maine-made pottery, cards, jewelry and crafts. In addition to the tree exhibition, five Maine wood-turners are displaying their woodwork at the gallery.

“I put it together to coincide with American Craft Week,” Marron said. “I kept it up because I thought it fit really nicely with the trees on the walls.”

For information on the Monkitree gallery, visit http://monkitree.com/. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-6 p.m. Saturday.

For information about Murray, visit www.artbytheriver.com; Plaisted, www.lindaplaisted.com; McAlonan, www.bridgetmcalonan.com; and Elliot, www.susanelliot.com.

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