Thursday, July 26, 2012

Diving Through Layers: A Progression

Artwork by Ruthanne Harrison
July 27th - September 15, 2012

One of the great things about having a gallery is- the work changes every couple of months. Every time I hang a new show I am amazed by how the space is transformed. The image above shows "The Last Year: A Weekly Series." Ruthanne not only created 52 oil pastel drawing over the year but then constructed a way to show them all together! And that is only one wall. You should see what is on the others. Really, come see this show if you can.

Ruthanne Harrison of Richmond, Maine explores the concept of looking down through layers, or opening up a layer to reveal something new. The body of work melds her two passions- art and architecture and includes triptychs which open to reveal a layer beneath as well as oil pastel drawings and paintings. Ruthanne explains: “The work is all a progression, having to do with time, place, materiality.” 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Am A Small Business And I Did NOT Build It On My Own

Over the last 48 hours much has been made of President Obama's comment "if you have got a business, you didn't build that." A quote taken out of context. But you know what? Even if it hadn't been taken out of context, I am fine with it. Why is it that you can win the Super Bowl and thank God and your mother but we can't manage a thank you to all the people who help make our small businesses possible.

So here it is. My shout out to all who have helped make my small business, Monkitree, possible-

The people involved in getting downtown Gardiner listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1980. Without them I'm not sure this is a place I would have wanted to open a business.

The Gardiner Main Street program which has helped to (and continues to) foster the growth and revitalization of downtown Gardiner. The organization was my point of contact which helped me make the decision that Gardiner was the town I wanted to be my community. To all of the past directors who have kept the program going, our current director Patrick Wright who is doing amazing work and the countless volunteers including the Board of Directors. Thank you all for your hard work.

All of the businesses who have committed to the community by keeping their businesses here,  funding community projects like the Waterfront, supporting worthwhile organizations like Johnson Hall and the Boys and Girls Club.

My mother and family members who have helped not only shape me to be the person I am but have helped rip out walls, build walls, paint, cheer me on, loan me money and just about every other thing a family can do. And Peter of course who makes all sorts of sacrifices so we can continue to move forward with our plans.

The supervisors I have had in previous jobs who helped form my work ethic and helped me set achievable goals. People like Marguerite Young who helped me believe that I could do just about anything (as long as I was prepared and followed through) or David and Paula Brooks who have shown me just how flexible small business owners need to be.

Everyone who has and will work on our building as we renovate. Skilled people doing hard and dirty work. I appreciate your hard work- Jered Ladd Plumbing, McFarland Electric, Scott Elliot, Roger Gervais...

Everyone at City Hall and on City Council who serve our city. I'm sure we don't tell you all "thank you" enough. Thank you!

The artists and craftspeople who have given me the opportunity to represent their work. And to the local art community who support each other whenever possible.

To all my Monkitree customers who know that having a few beautiful things around can bring great joy!

The people of Gardiner and the surrounding towns who shop locally and support our downtown businesses as well as my fellow business owners in downtown Gardiner. Like I said in the Bangor Daily News article, "I want us all to succeed- and a few more."

I'm sure there are countless others to thank. My success isn't mine and mine alone. And when I am wildly successful I will continue to be thankful for everyone who helped make it possible. Sure I work hard and take risks but without community and customers I wouldn't have a business.