Connection with the land

What does dirt have to do with paint?? What do farms have to do with art?? Everything!!

Not everyone who tills the soil can swing an artist’s paint brush, not everyone who creates detailed drawings can grow arugula. Maine Farmland Trust brings them together.

Along the River by Sarah Wilde

Along the River by Sarah Wilde

Anna Abaldo, gallery curator at the Maine Farmland Trust gallery on Main St. in Belfast, believes the gallery draws people to the trust in a way that no other venue can. Only after visiting the gallery did I appreciate the important work of the organization. I may not have ever discovered its value otherwise.

Farm Knowledge by Abbie Read

Farm Knowledge by Abbie Read

The gallery is an outreach tool, bringing people in and getting them involved without actually having to lift a shovel. Maine Farmland Trust is an expansive organization, no doubt largely responsible for the fact that Maine is now known for its successful farming community. The key role of the trust is to secure agricultural easements on farmland to permanently protect it, essentially remaining farmland forever. (See Forever Farms) This action prevents land from becoming prohibitively expensive for farming.

diapason by Julie Crane

diapason by Julie Crane

In addition, Maine Farmland Trust helps people interested in farming to acquire land, supporting their efforts in farming with education and information. MFT draws on a network of agricultural experts and resources to help existing farmers initiate new operations, reach new markets, and take steps to ensure future success.  For more information about the trust, please visit the MFT website or their offices in Belfast. I strongly recommend learning of their excellent programs in person at the gallery. They are a non-profit organization. Membership begins at the $20 level.

MFT has a new partner, Veggies For All, a food bank farm that works to relieve hunger by growing vegetables for those in need. Learn about this exciting program at veggiesforall.org.

Help Humanity by Margret Rizzio

Help Humanity by Margret Rizzio

While visiting the gallery I had the intense pleasure of seeing the current show, the ‘Summer Stable Show’. Included in the show are works from artists that ‘live’ with (have a long-term relationship with) Maine Farmland Trust.

Point of Maine Farm: House and Outbuildings by Leia Scotton

Point of Maine Farm: House and Outbuildings by Leia Scotton

The show is diverse yet cohesive. I thoroughly enjoyed collage by Abbie Read and Margret Rizzio, pastels by Jude Valentine, and acrylics by Sarah Wilde. Exquisite detailed drawings by Julie Crane definitely caught my attention.

Lupines & Roses, Deer Isle by Leslie Anderson

Lupines & Roses, Deer Isle by Leslie Anderson

Each artist has his own unique connection with the land. Their work reminds us that farmers grow the food that sustains us and feeds our creative spirit. The artists way of showing appreciation for the land and those that cultivate it, is it to ‘tell the story’ of that connection.

Reedemable by the Undersigned by Margaret Rizzio

Redeemable by the Undersigned by Margaret Rizzio

Sarah's Hope by Leslie Harris

Sarah’s Hope by Leslie Harris

Wheat Mother by Elizabeth Ostrander

Wheat Mother by Elizabeth Ostrander

You still have time to see the ‘Summer Stable Show’. I am sure you will find something you just can’t live without, artworks start at $50. The show runs until August 18th, see mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org for hours.

Little Moose Island 2 by Jude Valentine

Little Moose Island 2 by Jude Valentine

Maine Farmland Trust encourages you to:

Support your local farmers: shop at roadside stands, farmers’ markets and pick-your-own operations

Ask your grocer to stock locally produced food

Use local produce for community events and meals

Encourage the purchase of local food supplies for school lunch programs

Become an active member of Maine Farmland Trust

 

 

Karen Olson

About Karen Olson

Karen Olson is an artist working in metal. Her blogs offer a global perspective, a celebration of art and culture. She 'lives like a tourist' in Midcoast Maine where she makes her home and finds inspiration for art and life in her travels. Follow her creative passion with Renuko Style at renukostyle.com and Coastal Collage, a Bangor Daily News Blog at coastalcollage.bangordailynews.com