August 04, 2020

Calais art exhibit features works from both sides of the border

CALAIS – The doors soon will open on a new exhibit and gallery.

“Works of Art from Private Collections,” opens Oct. 15 and runs through Oct. 31, at the Riverside Pavilion on Union Street, next to the Calais Free Library. Exhibit hours are from 1 to 6 p.m.

“There is more color coming to Calais than the fall foliage,” said Alex Markhoff, project director of the fine art exhibit.

The exhibit opens in a building that for nearly two decades catered to tourists.

Earlier this year, the tourist information center moved into the Downeast Heritage Museum. That left vacant the building on Union Street between the Calais Free Library and Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative.

A few weeks ago, city officials reached an agreement with the building’s owner, the state Department of Transportation, to lease at no cost the facility until the end of October.

This first project organized by the newly formed St. Croix River Valley Arts Council will include paintings, prints and some three-dimensional objects of artistic, historic and cultural significance.

All works are on loan form private homes and local institutions, representing art collections from both sides of the St. Croix River. “It is truly an international program that will delight the area residents and visitors,” the group said in a prepared release.

The final selection of art works encompasses a rich variety of pieces of different periods and different places of origin. “It also offers a wonderful opportunity to see images inspired from the beautiful local scenery as well as mysterious and magical imagery from exotic places, reaching from Tibet to Nigeria,” the release said.

More than 50 works of art, bridging many cultures and nations will be on display.

“This is truly a unique event, an exceptional display of outstanding quality artwork and an unbelievably generous cooperation between art collectors, artists, administrators and members of the community. And Calais sets an example of how to enrich the quality of life in a community,” Markhoff said. “Our thought was to present an exhibition from the community for the community.”

The search for art collectors who shared the belief that good art deserved to be seen began several months ago when Arts Council members went in search of people who wished to share their collections.

The council also hopes to initiate a cultural program for the community that would include art and artifact exhibits, concerts, lectures, film screenings and a children’s art program.

For more information on the exhibit contact Markhoff at 454-8281.

Correction: This article appeared on page B3 in the State edition.

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