Erik Weisenburger, “Lost Limb.”

Dowling Walsh Gallery will feature solo exhibitions by artists Tollef Runquist and Erik Weisenburger from Sept. 1 to 30. An opening reception celebrating the shows will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 1. Both exhibitions present new work by the artists. 

Tollef Runquist takes an instinctive, exploratory approach to painting that supports his innate curiosity about the world. “Painting for me is an undertaking of appreciation and inquiry,” he says. “It is a means to engage the beauty and mystery of visual experience in an ongoing dialogue.” 

Each of Runquist’s works is unique in its subject, yet connected by his distinctive hand and intuitive, sophisticated sense of color. From dreamlike, visionary narratives to suggestions of place and familial scenes, he paints “things that deeply tug at you in a way that is imperative to follow them.” Drawing upon his knowledge of art history and the cultural present, Runquist’s paintings are replete with warmth, humor, and discovery. Seamlessly blending remembered moments with observed reality and shifts in perspective, his paintings serve as tone poems, reflections on the wonderment of life. 

Tollef Runquist, “Harvest Rhythm.”

Runquist “fell in love with Maine” in the 1980s when his parents bought land on the St. George peninsula. After receiving his BA in Studio Art from Dickinson College and spending a year in New York City, he returned to the state in 2004. His paintings are in numerous private collections, and he has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions throughout New England and New York. He currently lives and works in Rockland.

Erik Weisenburger (1968-2023) painted the natural world as a place of mystery and beauty. His precisely crafted images resonate with intricate detail and a sense of wonder, reflecting his interests in folk tales, myths and history. His exquisitely rendered scenes are created using a painting method developed by the early Northern European masters that imparts an internal glow to the finished compositions. After preparing a wood panel with layers of gesso and sanding it smooth, the subject is sketched in, and the image is built up through multiple layers of thinned oil paint and varnish to achieve a satiny, lustrous finish. Weisenburger has said this method “best allows me to explore and interpret the mingling of memories, monuments, permanence, and impermanence.” A recent painting, Red Shirt, is a pastel-hued landscape, sparsely populated by bare-limbed trees and tiny conifers. A hush falls over the vast space, the only human presence appearing in the lone cabin with laundry on the line. In Weisenburger’s painted world, nature persists in its timeless splendor.

Weisenburger spent many years living and working in Chicago before moving to South Portland, Maine, in 2005. He studied at the Parsons School of Design in Paris and earned his BFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work is in the permanent collections of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the Racine Art Museum, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, including the Perimeter Gallery, Chicago; Dean Jensen Gallery, Milwaukee; the Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan; the Wright Museum of Art at Beloit College, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland.

Dowling Walsh Gallery is at 365 Main St. in Rockland. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment on Sundays and Mondays. Visit, or c all 207-596-0084 for more information.

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