From left, work by Michele O’Keefe, Wayne Robbins, John Bisignano, Randy Fein, Jeff Barrett and Holly Brooks.

Join Archipelago and celebrate the summer with new and returning Maine artists in the gallery show “Summer Pleasures,” opening with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. July 1 during the First Friday Art Walk. The show will remain on view through Aug. 27.

This show brings the joy and delight of a Maine summer inside through the work of Maine artists Michele O’Keefe, Wayne Robbins, John Bisignano, Randy Fein, Jeff Barrett and Holly Brooks.

Archipelago is at 386 Main St., Rockland. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Call 207-596-0701 or go to for more information.


Using recycled wood from barns and sheds, along with found objects and hand-forged metal, Jeff Barrett crafts each piece one at a time. At Whistling Bird Designs in Monroe, he works diligently and lovingly on his eco-friendly line of wood carvings and sculpture. “These are my versions of antique paintings, vintage weathervanes, and my theater sets featuring fish, birds, dogs and cats, whales and ships as the actors in my folk art and wood sculptures,” he says.

John Bisignano was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1929, into a family of 12 brothers and sisters. After a career in design and teaching, he moved to Maine to devote himself to art full-time. Bisignano worked in mediums including collage, sculpture, acrylics and photography. Bisignano constantly explored the relationship between color, light and form. He has created multitudinous works that includes landscape, seascape and still life. He was a master colorist. Through the use of color, he brings the elements of surprise and delight to his work. Archipelago will be showing his paintings, collages, prints and large wood inlay pieces that are celebrations of a well-lived life. All proceeds from sales go to the John Bisignano fund through the Maine Community Foundation. His heartfelt wish in life was to create a foundation for aspiring young artists who do not have the resources for college and this fund is set up for that purpose.

Holly Brooks, of Portland, says, “I have always loved art. There are a number of ingredients, as artists know, that go into the magic of it, such as color relationships, composition, positive and negative shapes and value contrast. Ultimately, it is a way of saying, ‘This is what I was looking at or thinking of and appreciating, and here it is in the way I captured it in my vocabulary.’”

Randy Fein, of Lincolnville, is an accomplished ceramic sculptor and well-known arts educator who has a 30-year history of leading community-inspired workshops in both public and private schools. Archipelago will be showing a range of her work from her unique wall relief sculpture, hand painted plates and mugs and large sculptural yet functional vases. Her expressive work features lively creatures that live in the sea, some of them mythical. “Clay is my material of expression,” Fein says. “It inspires touch, while offering infinite possibilities. I work in the moment and my hands are my tools. I pinch, push and press clay seeking to discover the life hidden within a shapeless lump of mud.”

As the Vinalhaven Ferry grinds across Penobscot Bay into a breathtaking expanse of sky and sea, the silhouettes of islands take shape on the horizon, and Michele O’Keefe is reminded of what a privilege it is to live and create art on the island of Vinalhaven, 15 miles out to sea. “Being here brings the essentials of life and art into sharp focus — especially during COVID,” she says. “The working waterfront, the resilience of island families, the beauty of the environment, or perhaps a magnificent seagull, all come to the fore in my work. To treasure, document and preserve glimpses of what makes this island unique motivates the choice of my subject matter and my art.”

Wayne Robbins’ appreciation of the innate beauty of wood helps him design pieces that maximize the beauty and grace of both the medium and the subject. The artist, based in Bath, chooses from a variety of native and exotic woods. By selecting a wood that complements his subject, a synergy results that informs and guides his creative process. For finishes, Robbins uses various combinations of oils and waxes to give the sculpture that “almost wet” look, as well as a feeling that is silky-smooth to touch. He welcomes admirers to touch his creations so they can experience the full sensual awareness of his art. Robbins’ representational style depicts the natural grace and beauty of the creatures he loves. Sculpture sizes range from two inches to four feet, in both wall mounts and freestanding compositions. Each sculpture is unique and identified for its species, numbered, dated and signed by the artist.

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