BAR HARBOR – D’Alessio Gallery will host an art opening 4-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at 12 Mt. Desert St., to celebrate 50 years of art by local artist Russell D’Alessio. The opening will include a reunion of the “The Anderson Brothers,” a local Bar Harbor band in the 70s, champagne and hors d’oeuvres.
The event kicks off the exhibition “50 Years: A Retrospective”, documenting five decades of artistic evolution for the colorful painter, beginning with his art school days. D’Alessio’s journey as a Maine artist began when he was inspired by his first visit to Bar Harbor while still a student in 1969. Enchanted by the beauty of the area, he and wife Linda D’Alessio relocated to Maine in 1974.
Working in Bangor for Bacon Printing and freelancing graphic design skills, D’Alessio honed his drawing skills and he and his wife Linda moved on to own their own screen print business Maine Shirt Works in Orono where Russell was able to use his design skills creating for and printing t-shirts for the University of Maine, Eastern Fine Paper, various hockey teams, and restaurants throughout the state to name a few.
In 1988, the couple settled into their new home and studio in Dedham, Maine. The view from their perch on Button hill was over the setting moon. This inspired the new studio’s name, Over the Moon Studios.
Over the Moon Studios opened its first store in Bar Harbor in 1989, 30 years ago. The following year the gallery was renamed Pretty Marsh Gallery featuring and featured Over the Moon Studio products and Russ’s fine art including paintings, carvings, and graphics. In 1992 they opened a second location in downtown Bangor in the old Dakin building featuring fine Maine Craft and D’Alessio’s works.
“It has been an amazing journey for the both of us,” said Linda.
Ten years ago, the artistic journey continued with a move to Mt. Desert Street and a name change to D’Alessio Gallery. Today, D’Alessio is known for his paintings, frequently of women, featuring playfully bold fields of color and spontaneous brushstrokes. His works—often whimsical, sometimes more serious and political—have enchanted decades of gallery visitors and collectors.
Reflecting on the connections he creates through his art, D’Alessio said, “I am creating a world, an expression of myself, that extends to other people. Collectors first see the color, which brings a smile to their faces; then they realize there is content to it and they connect. It becomes part of them.”
The opening and exhibition celebration of 50 years of continuous evolution that includes not only paintings but also mixed media, collage, sculpture, and prints.
Show will run through Aug. 5 in the gallery – online through Aug. 31 at rdalessioart.com.