The 2016 Acadia ART Achievement Award goes to Russell and Linda D’Alessio. In the mid-sixties, Russell and Linda D’Alessio were introduced to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park while on vacation. Awe struck by its natural beauty, they knew someday this would become home.
The dream became reality in 1974. With Russ fresh out of art school they packed their VW bug complete with two young sons and moved to Mt. Dersert Island from New Jersey, (in February with no jobs!) Bringing their artistic creativities and passion for the arts with them, Russ, a painter sold some of his originals and prints to local galleries and Linda, her weavings. It was selling these pieces of art that floated them through their first Maine winter and solidified their love for this place.
Living here in Maine has allowed them to pursue their creativity and passion for the arts. In the late 70’s, they opened a screen print company placing Russ’s designs on garments designed by Linda. This line of fashion clothing, jewelry, and decorative accessories sold nationally and internationally including Giverny Gardens, Paris, France
During this same period they formed a side-company to help other Maine Artisans and Fine Craftsmen to market their wares, bringing Maine Art & Craft to the Maine and national market. At that time, Linda presided on the Maine Governors board formed during the McKernan administration to promote “Made in Maine.”
1989 marked the season they opened their first retail operation in Bar Harbor, Over the Moon Studios, focusing on their line of clothing and jewelry in a small space on Cottage Street. A year later they moved to larger quarters and opened Pretty Marsh Gallery, this time featuring their line of clothing and accessories and many of the “Made In Maine” artisans they represented. Operating in that location for 20 years they carried many Maine artist’s works of pottery, jewelry, and fibers arts, including Russ’s paintings, drawings, and illustrations.
Forty-three years later they remain an important part of Bar Harbor and Maine’s art community. Russell’s works can be found at D’Alessio Gallery on Mt. Desert Street, Bar Harbor and online. He also maintains a studio in town upstairs at Bayside Landing while Linda manages the gallery and its web presence. She is also instrumental in beginning Downtown Bar Harbor’s First Friday Art Walks and is currently Chairperson of the committee. You can find more about the D’Alessio’s on the web at: www.russelldalessioart.com