“The Painter and the Line” 1985 oil on panel 10 by 12 inches Lois Dodd

ROCKLAND – The Caldbeck Gallery, 12 Elm Street in Rockland, will open four new exhibits on First Friday, Aug. 5, with a reception from 5-7 p.m. The shows will continue through Sept. 11. Featured are works in oil on panel by Lois Dodd of Cushing and Blairstown New Jersey, oil and acrylic on large and small canvases by Kayla Mohammadi of Walpole and Brookline, Massachusetts, David Dewey of Owls Head, Alan Crichton of Liberty, and Brenda Free of Rockport. 

In the Barn gallery, Lois Dodd’s figures and landscapes will be shown together, in an exhibit titled “Working Women and By the River.” Celebrated throughout Maine and New York City since the early 1950s, Dodd’s work reaches audiences nationwide and overseas. This exhibit is curated by Caldbeck Gallery’s founder and co-director, Jim Kinnealey, with whom Dodd has enjoyed installing every one of her Caldbeck shows since 1985. In writing a review in the New York Observer for the 2001 Caldbeck exhibit “Women at Work,” Hilton Kramer talks about Dodd’s relationship to the European tradition of figure painting, where the artist “brings a distinctly American accent, a plain-spoken delight in the medium itself that is accompanied by a keen sense of humor and an insouciant sense of proportion.  The result is an unalloyed pleasure for the viewer – you can see it in the faces of the people who visit this exhibition – and a triumph for the artist.”

In her exhibit, titled “Overlap,” Kayla Mohammadi will show new paintings in acrylic on canvas, as well as oil on panel. The works range in size from 11 by 14 to 59 by 45 inches. Art historian Vittorio Colaizzi writes of Mohammadi’s work, “She paints the complex cultural inheritance of painting, to which the west is becoming ever more mindful, as well as the medium’s embedded desire for raw experience. Mohammadi …paints an atmosphere of pleasure, one that we might again inhale or feel on our skin, even as we become acutely conscious of her paintings’ abstract constructive elements and hence their intellectual distance from, though not opposition to, sensual abandon.”  Mohammadi has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation,The Dedalus Foundation and the Blanche E. Coleman Foundation.   She has been represented by the Caldbeck since 2011. 

David Dewey’s watercolors in this exhibit, From the Sketchbook, were made over the past three years with accumulated visits to the nearby Beech Hill, Ragged Mountain, Weaskeag Marsh, and Rockland Harbor. Taking spiral bound watercolor sketchbooks, and cutting them lengthwise down the middle, Dewey worked the long, thin panoramic shapes into heroic landscape portraits. Mostly measuring 5.5 by 22 inches, the paintings hang frieze around the gallery room. Curator Susan Larsen wrote that in Dewey’s work, “order and life, then and now, mastery and risk, all enliven and balance one another.” He is the author of “The Watercolor Book” published by Watson-Guptil Publishers. His paintings are in collections around the country, including Bowdoin College Museum in Brunswick, Frye Art Museum in Seattle, The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Newport Art Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, The Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Addison Museum of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts, and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The artist has been represented by the Caldbeck since 2004.

Alan Crichton’s watercolors measure 5 by 7 inches were made during the pandemic. The artist writes that they “emerged during the long studio retreats imposed by Covid. Time suddenly opened up again, time to simply fix things and make things. The days seemed longer, and that felt good.  Everywhere else there was chaos.” He continues, “The paintings start pretty randomly with colors and brushes I like and lots of watery, overlapping washes and definite strokes. A visual suggestion arises and I take it up, see where it leads me.  Eventually I arrive with an image that says, ‘Hello, here I am! Do you see me?’ And that’s where I stop.”

In 2000, Crichton and a team of fellow artists founded the Arts Center at Kingdom Falls, in Liberty. This non-profit artists’ residency and community arts education organization became Waterfall Arts when it moved to its present location in Belfast.  Newly retired, the artist is back in his studio. Studio art studies include the University of Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the New York Studio School. Teaching positions include Colby College, Vermont College, Waterfall Arts, and the Farnsworth Art Museum. His award-winning column of art appreciation and opinion, Hi-Lo Art, regularly appeared in the Waldo Independent, the Republican Journal, the Camden Herald, Art New England, Maine Arts Journal, and the Free Press.

In her first exhibit with the Caldbeck, Brenda Free will show recent work in acrylic on paper, measuring in the range of 7 by 13 inches to 10 by 15 inches. She writes, “Within my work are hidden images, hints that we know both more and less than we think we do. Imbedded in my sensibility is a decade of deciphering my world while living on a boat. My eyes, my instincts, even my beliefs of where I thought I’d been or was going were often overruled by instruments. In my work I layer past and present, instinct and reality, its associated unease and possibility.” The artist received her B.A. from the University of Maine, with continued studies at the Corcoran School of Art, Washington D.C. Before taking to the seas, Free co-owned an advertising agency in Boston. When she moved to Maine, she showed her studio work with the Jonathan Frost Gallery.

Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday 11-4, and Sunday 1-4, and also by chance and appointment. Please email the gallery at info@caldbeck.com for further information.