Former members of Belfast’s Artfellows Gallery will exhibit work at Betts Gallery in June.
In 1980, as part of the first Church Street Festival, the newly formed Artfellows Cooperative Gallery held their first exhibit in three rooms on the second floor of the Odd Fellows building on Main Street. This space became home to the gallery for several years and inspired its name.
The organization grew quickly, its members mostly from Waldo and Knox counties. The late Richard Norton, staff photographer for The Republican Journal and later The Waldo Independent, was the group’s most visible member and first president. Artfellows shows were well attended and their invitational, showcasing the work of area artists who summered in Maine, drew much attention to the gallery and helped to give it a state-wide reputation.
In 1985, the group had approximately 40 members and decided to move to a space downstairs, now occupied by The Belfast Framer and Betts Gallery. In 1987, Norton stepped down as president. Feeling that Artfellows had served it’s purpose, most members voted to end the gallery’s seven year run on a high note. A few members opposed this motion, reorganized and the gallery continued for another several years.
Proprietor Vicki McDaniel has long wanted to honor those early to mid Artfellows years with a show of current work from members from 1980-7. “Many of these artists I’ve known for years and I have followed their careers after they left Artfellows. It just seemed natural to one day celebrate them, here where they had their formative years.”
Exhibiting artists include: Lois Anne, Margot Balboni, Dan Clarke, Alan Crichton, Lorna Crichton, Squidge Liljeblad Davis, Randy Fein, Jerri Finch, Jane Gilbert, Stew Henderson, David Hurley, Michael Hurley, Candace Hutchinson, Cynthia Hyde, Janice Kasper, Jim Kinnealey, Marika Kuzma, Bill Landmesser, Peggy McKenna, Cathy Melio, Richard Norton, Mat O’Donnell, Chris Osgood, Dennis Pinette, Megan Pinette, Tom Prescott, Phil Prince, Michael Reece, Scott Reed, Denise Remy, Liv Kristin Robinson and Lesia Sochor.