Open House at Refuge Visitor Center Features New Artwork

ROCKLAND, Maine – August 20, 2013

Contact: Carney M. Doucette
[email protected]

9 Water Street, PO Box 1231, Rockland, ME 04841
TEL: 594-0600 X5  or (C): 975-9994

Come view this fall’s exhibition at the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge on Friday, September 6 from 5-8 p.m. during the first Friday Artwalk in Rockland. Meet the artists, enjoy some appetizers and learn more about the conservation work from National Wildlife Refuge staff and volunteers.

Russell Wray, a new sculptor to the gallery, has a predominant theme showing the relationship between humans and the other animals.

“Entwined Fates”  by Russell Wray –  basswood, casein paint, string   40″ h. x 35″ w. x 16″ d. The piece depicts a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, entangled in fishing gear, but on another level is about the interconnectedness of humans and right whales, and all the other species.

Blaise Botti, photographer, strives to capture the natural habitat in the hope that people will be aware of the beauty that surrounds them, and they will want to protect it.

Botti Photo: “After a successful fishing hunt, the male osprey prepares to feed their baby osprey.”

Laura Waller is a professional painter right here in Rockland. She recently won Best of Show in a statewide Florida juried exhibition featuring three of her oil paintings of Maine.


“Approaching the Harbor” oil painting of Camden Harbor by Laura Waller

Lori Davis captures spectacular moments in nature and brings them back to share with others, hoping her photographs will educate as well as inspire her audience.

Preening Puffin Portrait by Lori Davis

The visitor center is located in the south-end of town and is housed in the old Captain Snow house, the large white building just behind Triangle Park where Water Street and Route 73 meet.  The visitor center and art gallery also are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This exhibition will be up through October, 2013.

Alliance Announces Winners In 27th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition

Alliance Announces Winners In 27th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition

The River Arts Weekly News
June 21, 2013 Vol. 12, No. 24

More than 100 artists submitted nearly 300 pieces for consideration in the Alliance for the Arts’ 27th annual All Florida Juried Exhibition. This year’s juror, Frank Verpoorten, director and chief curator at The Baker Museum of Arts in Naples, narrowed the list to 50 pieces which were presented to the public on May 31. Winners were announced during the reception and prizes were awarded. Laura Waller was awarded $750 for Best in Show for her oil painting Owls Head. Bonnie Langenfeld won a $250 Golden Paints gift certificate for her second place fiber art piece Everglades Avenue. Megan Kissinger won $100 for her third place acrylic painting In Singing, Not to Sing – The Oven Bird. Judith Anderson and Deborah Martin both won Jurors’ Choice awards for Whaleback Light (paint/fiber) and Elephant I (mixed media on Kozo paper), respectively. The juror led an hour long gallery walk on June 1, which was attended by more than 60 people.

The All Florida Exhibit is sponsored by FineMark National Bank & Trust. It remains on display in the Alliance Main Gallery through Friday, August 2 during normal business hours (Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during GreenMarket).

The Alliance for the Arts is located at 10091 McGregor Boulevard, just south of Colonial

Best of Show ‘Owls Head’ Gives Viewers Respite from Confrontational World:

By Thomas Hall,

On view now through August 2 at the Alliance for the Arts is the 27th Annual All Florida Juried Show. Judged by new Baker Museum Curator Frank Verpoorten, Best of Show honors went to Tampa artist Laura Waller for her oil on canvas titled Owls Head.

The painting is awash in subtle, soothing earth tones: umbers and ochres, cadmium and veridian greens, and soft cerulean blues that contain a tantalizing hint of violet contrasted with puffy wisps of cirrus clouds reflected in the foreground water, which also mirrors grass covered spine of land crowned by a white clapboard bed and breakfast shimmering in the late afternoon Maine sun. The depiction is as relaxed, cozy and, yes, romantic as the red chimneyed inn peeking at the viewer through a haze of shrubs and trees. And this is precisely the feel that Waller seeks to evoke in her viewer.

“I’m exploring softness in this painting,” Waller divulged at the opening night reception for the All Florida show. “Our world is so confrontational right now. I want collectors to be able to come home, turn off the televisions, tune out the world and find their balance, their equilibrium within the four corners of my paintings.”

Waller knows first hand the rigors, stress and hard-boiled reality of the financial, business, and political world. Her highly successful career as a financial planner spanned more than three decades. But at the end of 2011, she decided to focus full time on her career as an oil and watercolor painter. As evidenced by her Best of Show, she’s now enjoying critical acclaim in her new avocation.

Waller describes her seaside landscapes as a cross between realism and impressionism, and there are definitely elements of both genres in Owls Head, which mariners named as such because they thought the shape of the promontory resembles the head of an owl. But the chief characteristic of the painting is its softness. Waller applies paint to canvas so sparingly, it’s as if she were trying squeeze the last bit of pigment from her tubes of paint rather than making a run to the art supply store. But Baker Museum Curator Frank Verpoorten noted in his Gallery Talk that Waller intentionally allows “portions of the linen [to] show through so that her colors vibrate.”

This intelligently translucent quality is just one of “many features that make it a beautiful work” in Verpoorten’s cultured opinion. Drawing on his 15-year career at various museums and cultural institutions in New York and Brussels (which include stints at such venerable places as the MoMA, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, and the Dahesh Museum of Art, and as Cultural Attache’ for the Representation of the Government of Flanders), Verpoorten knows good art when he sees it, and he not only awarded Waller Best of Show for Owls Head, he accepted two of Laura’s other submissions into the exhibition as well.

What turned out to be one of the most memorable nights in Waller’s life almost didn’t happen though. She wasn’t planning to enter her work in the Alliance’s All Florida show, but then good friend Barbara Hill talked her into applying and the rest is history, which makes the experience supremely satisfying for both the artist and the Fort Myers Public Art Committee’s seasoned art consultant, who has an unerring eye for good contemporary artwork herself.

The 27th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition hangs in the main gallery of the Alliance for the Arts through August 2. Drop in and take a look. The show contains 52 strong compositions by some of the most talented emerging and mid-career artists creating works today in the State of Florida.

The Alliance for the Arts proudly supports artists and arts organizations in our area as the state designated Local Arts Agency for Lee County. The Alliance for the Arts galleries and gift shop are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1:00 on Saturdays.

The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Boulevard, just south of Colonial Boulevard. To become a member, please visit or telephone 239-939-2787.

Alliance’s All Florida Exhibition Contains Strong Array of Genres and Media:

By Thomas Hall,

The 27th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition opened on Friday at the Alliance for the Arts. This year’s show contains a particularly strong group of works in a diverse array of genres and media. It is all the more interesting because the exhibition is Southwest Florida’s first chance to gain insight into the curatorial taste and sensibility of new Baker Museum curator and director Frank Verpoorten, who juried and judged the show.

Verpoorten has more than 15 years of experience at cultural institutions and museums in Brussels and New York, and has served in curatorial roles at the Museum of Modern Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Dahesh Museum of Art and, most recently, as Cultural Attache’ for the Representation of the Government of Flannders (Belgium) in the United States.”As a curator, I have a lot of experience with emerging artists,” Verpoorten said Friday night. “There is something exciting about scouting for new works.”

While Verpoorten is clearly a man who knows what he likes, choosing the 52 works for the show from the nearly 300 submissions was not without its challenges. “Exhibitions are normally broken down by genre or medium,” Verpoorten explained. “What’s unique here is that there is such a wide array, from fiber and photography to painting and sculpture. It’s not easy to compare across disciplines.”

Nevertheless, Verpoorten resisted the natural temptation to choose the best works in each genre and medium, vying instead to select the 50 most compelling and evocative works. In that process, he focused on works that demonstrated intellectual creativity, composition and adept execution. From that perspective, the 27th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition is a resounding success.

Best of Show honors went to Laura Waller for her oil on canvas titled Owls Head, who was one of two artists who had three works juried into the exhibition. Bonnie Langenfeld was awarded second place for her intricate and alluring fabric and thread Everglades Avenue. Third place went In Singing, Not to Sing – The Overbird, an acrylic by Alliance art instructor Megan Kissinger, who was the other artist to have three paintings juried into the show.
Judith Anderson and Deborah Martin received Juror’s Choice awards.

The 27th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition will remain on view at the Alliance through August 2, 2013.

The Alliance for the Arts proudly supports artists and arts organizations in our area as the state designated Local Arts Agency for Lee County. The Alliance for the Arts galleries and gift shop are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1:00 on Saturdays.

The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Boulevard, just south of Colonial Boulevard. To become a member, please visit or telephone 239-939-2787.

Holiday Show at Jonathan Frost Gallery Opens December 2

The Free Press, Rockland, Maine
December 5, 2011

The Jonathan Frost Gallery, at 21 Winter Street in Rockland, will present a holiday show from December 2 to 24. The “Small and Affordable” exhibit features work by 30 artists in all media, including painting, printmaking, assemblage and sculpture. A reception, to which the public is invited, will open the show on Friday, December 2, from 5 until 8 p.m., with holiday refreshments and live jazz performed by Steve Lindsay and Friends.

Holiday show artists include Joseph Adolphe, Siri Beckman, Barbara Beebe, Susan Beebe, Phoebe Bly, Carolyn Caldwell, Melissa Derbyshire, Jonathan Frost, Hugh Gumpel, Kathryn Frund, Liz Gribin, Gints Grinbergs, Peter Haines, Alison Hildreth, Constance Kiermaier, Lorraine Lans, Richie Lasansky, Steve Lindsay, James Loffer, Edward Mackenzie, Ann Makuck, Holly Meade, Gary Milek, Jessie Pollock, Steve Porter, Mimo Gordon Riley, Phil Schirmer, Gretchen Dow Simpson, Laura Waller and Joseph Wheelwright.

For more information, call or email the gallery at 596-0800 or [email protected], or visit – See more at:

A Conversation With Two Artists

A Conversation With Two Artists Staff
Updated: March 21, 2013 at 06:23 AM

South Tampa artists Taylor Ikin and Laura Waller are hosting their fifth joint exhibition in as many years at Nuance Galleries in South Tampa. Both artists are watercolorists, but Ikin paints large expansive landscapes on YUPO paper, a slippery, shiny surface that is generally reserved for commercial use; Waller paints smaller and more focused images on a traditional watercolor surface. The Ikin/Waller kind of collaboration is unusual among artists, acknowledged Nuance owner Robert Rowen. “It’s a rare thing to have two of your best-selling gallery artists approach you and want to do a show together year after year,” he said. “Their work is different, but there’s this synergy that happens between them that makes it an interesting show. And there’s no

I recently sat down with the two artists over coffee to talk about their unusual partnership. Q – How did you two meet? TI– My first big memory of Laura is when she and her husband, Ed, bought one of my paintings about 15 years ago. But we’ve known each other at least 20 years. LW – That’s right, because we share mutual friends. And then after I bought the painting, I took a private Saturday morning class with Taylor. It was painting on YUPO, and I don’t paint on YUPO away from Taylor, but I love it when I am with her. Q – How and when did you start exhibiting together? LW – I had built up quite a body of work and wanted a place to show it. There was a gallery that would show me but they said I needed more work. TI – So she asked me to join her, and I was delighted. But I was already represented by Nuance, so I asked Robert (the owner of Nuance), and he said he thought it was a great idea. That was in 2007. So this is our fifth year showing together. Q – What is it you like about exhibiting together? TI – One thing is that when you establish the fact that it’s going to be an ongoing thing, it makes you focus on what you’re doing and building up a good body of work for it. LW – Our styles are very different, but between the two of us the people who come always find something they like. TI – The audience appreciates the diversity. Q – Tell me about your “differences.” LW – Taylor does a lot of the entire state of Florida, and I don’t really do Florida. I travel a lot, and I paint a lot of boats, which is something a lot of women don’t do. And about a year ago, I got into oils because they now have water-mixable oils, so I don’t have to mess with turpentine.TI – I do watercolors, and I work exclusively on YUPO paper for 17 years now. I can’t get enough of it. Every time the brush hits the paper, it’s a new experience, and I don’t have to respond to it. I just have to create out of the chaos. Q – How about the size of your paintings? LW – I like to paint small, which draws the viewer in, so they have to be engaged. They’re kind of using their own mind to finish the piece. TI – The size I paint has been determined by the fact that I can’t find a piece of paper larger than 26 by 20 inches from the YUPO people. If I could get a larger paper, I’d love it. I like that wonderful sense of freedom of being able to take that brush and load it with paint and zing it on the paper. And the larger the surface, the more chance I have to play, and that is my joy when I’m painting. The play. The opportunity for the paint and the water to create something that I by myself could never come up with. Q – Those are the differences. So how do you “complement” one another? LW – We both like photorealism. TI – And we both like life a great deal, and it shows in our work. We struggle to get a good painting and all that, but there’s a great joy in that process. Q – A lot of artists might say the same thing. What else do you have in common? TI – Our palettes are similar. There’s nothing jarring.LW – Our works are from all over. The show is a panorama of the world. TI – Mine come from all over Florida and the South of France, where I went last spring and plan to go again next spring. LW – And mine come from France, Quebec City in winter, California and Maine, where I usually spend the fall. Q – Do you each have a favorite piece in the show? LW– “July 4th at Laguna Beach.” My daughter had just moved to Laguna Beach, and we went there and saw all these congregations of families under umbrellas. This particular group of people was such a blend of personalities, and you could tell they were all family. So it was fun to paint them. TI – “Steps of Eze.” It came from my visit to Eze in the South of France last spring. It goes up these long steps to this window and it has a sense of clarity because the light is so gorgeous. And I admire mightily the folks who live in those hilltop towns with all those steps to climb. It’s a happy place. The way they use potted plants always interested me. They give so much warmth to the painting.”

Correspondent Esther Hammer can be reached at [email protected]

Landscapes, seascapes refresh the viewer at [email protected], Nuance Galleries

Lennie Bennett, Times Art Critic

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 4:30 a.m.

If you still crave a nature fix but are more interested in standing under an air-conditioning vent than the blazing sun, consider a visit to two area galleries where landscape paintings bring the outside indoors. Landscapes became a popular genre in the prephotography days when people wanted reminders of places visited or armchair travelers wanted to dream of places only imagined.

Thomas Murray delves into a mythological exploration of a garden in a series titled “Archetyptonics” at [email protected], 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Loaded with references to goddesses — and be aware that the show contains nudity — Murray’s paintings also depict a lush paradise such as this one. The show continues through May 22. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Free. [email protected]

Taylor Ikin and Laura Waller offer more literal versions of the great outdoors in an exhibition at Nuance Galleries, 804 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Ikin paints on a plastic paper called YUPO that gives her watercolors a high gloss. Recently, she has been roaming Hillsborough County for unspoiled pockets of natural beauty as her subject. Waller, who also works in watercolors, often record her travels. She has applied her impressionist style to the Maine landscape in this new series. The show continues through May 31. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Free.

Same Medium, Different Results

ESTHER HAMMER Tribune correspondent
Published: April 28, 2010
Updated: July 11, 2013 at 04:36 PM

South Tampa artists Taylor Ikin and Laura Waller have exhibited together for four years. Both are watercolorists, but their individual styles are worlds apart. Waller tends toward smaller paintings; Ikin toward larger ones. Waller paints on a traditional toothed surface; Ikin paints exclusively on Yupo, a slick, shiny synthetic surface originally designed for the paper industry. Waller employs a soft touch that lends her paintings a soothing, flowing feel; Ikin drenches her paper with colors, using them almost like oils, then manipulates them to give the final piece movement and texture. In this case, contrast is a good thing. It gives their latest exhibit, “What’s New,” opening Saturday at Nuance Galleries in South Tampa, those elusive elements of excitement and curiosity. Waller, who said her style falls somewhere between realism and impressionism, brings her love of travel into her paintings, recalling people and places she has visited in Europe, Iceland and the United States. She recently renewed her love of the French Quarter in New Orleans.

“I love any place where people are gathering,” she said. “I’m eclectic in taste, but I love painting people.” Every fall she goes to Maine and paints in the Rockland area, but last week she tried a different locale. She took “the back logging roads in Millinocket, Maine, into the wilderness and painted these absolutely gorgeous rivers and streams with Mount Kalahdin in the background,” she said. Ikin, who has been called the Yupo Queen, was among the first artists to experiment with Yupo as a painting surface for fine art, and has been painting on it and teaching others her technique for 11 years. “It’s sort of like a paintbrush on roller skates,” she said. “You load a brush, like you put on your shoes, and once it touches the surface, there’s a tremendous action without moving very much. It skips, it slips, it slides and bounces and it will roll and twist and run in any direction if you’re prepared to tilt the surface.” Controlling activity is the tricky part, and also part of the fun, she said. “What doesn’t please me I can take my brush and then scoot right through the paint right back to the white surface of the paper and remove it,” she said. “Basically my style of painting is I’m a lifter. I put it down and lift it out.” Her recent collection, “The Road Less Traveled,” opened at the Dunedin Fine Art Center in January and closed in early March. The collection highlighted forgotten and beautiful areas in Florida. Many of the pieces from that collection can be seen in the “What’s New” exhibit at Nuance. Meet both artists and compare and contrast their works at an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Nuance, 804 S. Dale Mabry Highway. The exhibit runs through May 31. Call the gallery at (813) 875-0511 for information. Graduates offer an exhibit of variety Student art shows abound this time of year as graduates display their sharpened skills. University of Tampa’s graduating seniors will present a multimedia exhibit May 6-8 at the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery on campus. Added to the usual two-dimensional pieces this year are sculptures, installations and live performances. Hannah Hudson’s installation “Family Dinner” brings the environmental “green” message to the dinner table with grass serving as the table top. Jeff Gibbons presents several sculptures and also turns himself into a clay man for a performance piece called “Who’s Sorrows.” Meet the artists and see their work at a free reception from 7 to 9 p.m. May 7 at the gallery in the R.K. Bailey Art Studios, 301 N. Boulevard. For information, call (813) 253-6217. Get kids’ point of view at photography museum As part of an ongoing outreach program, Literacy through Photography, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay to give cameras to 80 students in grade school through high school. The students were encouraged to explore their neighborhood through the camera’s lens. The visual and verbal results of their efforts are revealed in a one-night exhibit, “My Club, My Place, My Point of View,” featuring selected works from each student. Museum members and their guests may view the works and meet some of the artists at an awards reception from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.Nonmembers may become members that night. Call (813) 221-2222 for information.

Correspondent Esther Hammer can be reached at [email protected]