MAINE portrait
Textile artist Michael Olszewski is shown with his fabric collage at the opening  of the Maine Art Gallery’s current show, “The Artful Interior.” Photo by Bob Bond.

“The crafts are as beautiful as the fine art,” said one visitor to Maine Art Gallery’s opening last Saturday of “The Artful Interior.” The age-old academic debate of the difference between crafts and fine art seemed to be moot with many other visitors responding similarly. 

The concept for the show was the brainchild of Cynthia Pappas, an artist and former member of the gallery’s board. Working with exhibition chair Mark Coates and designer/artist Michael Olszewski, Pappas’ vision of an interior space filled with beautiful things, both functional and aesthetic, was, judging from comments and reviews, a triumph of imagination. The thoughtful juxtaposition of objects and paintings, all still-life interiors, caused viewers to linger longer than usual. Many objects, such as a whimsical broom created by Eric McIntrye and an enchanting metal lamp in the form of an owl by Christopher Bissett, brought smiles to viewers’ faces. 

One of the most dramatic pieces in the show, which appropriately commands the front panel of the upstairs gallery, is Olszewski’s fabric collage “Evening.” One onlooker found it “mesmerizing,” the subtle shades of black and grey and careful arrangement of verticals and horizontals, inviting an extended viewing.

Other crafts include bold rugs woven by Sara Hotchkiss and ceramics by Michelle Michael. The many striking paintings and sculptures displayed were selected by Coates. 

The show will run until Oct. 21.

The Maine Art Gallery is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement and preservation of painting, sculpture and graphic arts through exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and educational programs for children and adults. The gallery is located at 15 Warren St., Wiscasset. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Visit for details.

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Categories:   exhibitions, gallery, shows, Wiscasset