Gallery Opening: Erika Manning

Erika Manning’s solo show re-examines her deep connection to the Maine landscape. Her paintings although abstract are directly inspired by Maine’s gorgeous clear light, the colors of pine trees, ocean, and lobster buoys, as well as the shapes of rock, islands, maps and boats. Although she strives for a finished piece, the beauty for her is in the process of making art. Starting out with beginner mind and initial gesture and relying heavily on the random acts of chance and the correct alignment of time and space: the image shifts as the rhythms and cycles of seasons, nature, earth, life and tides are evoked. The final image is a map of the passage of time, the paths taken, the colors chosen, the shapes drawn, of the emotional weather and the conversations with the piece itself. The final image is always a surprise.

Erika Manning

Artist bio:

Erika Manning is a multimedia visual artist residing in midcoast Maine. She pursues the idea of “beginner mind” in all her work, believing that the process of creating is just as important as the finished piece. In her work, it is often the visual history of the passage of time, of the marks made, the colors chosen, the shapes drawn, the emotional weather and the conversations with the piece itself that she finds the most engaging and intriguing.

“It’s good to have an end to journey toward, but it’s the journey that matters, in the end.”  Ursula K. LeGuin

Gallery Opening: If Only in a Dream

Please join us at the Art Loft for the August Gallery Opening when we feature the work of resident artist Karen Olson. Karen will be instructing her “Live Creatively” classes at the Art Loft throughout August.

This show entitled ‘If Only in a Dream’ is the collective works of Karen Olson’s year-long photography project. Four distinct groups of images span the project, beginning with a series of 7 images depicting stages of emotional trauma and ending with a series styled in fairytale settings in the Midcoast Maine woods.   The entire collection is a work of conceptual, fine art portraiture.

Karen’s thought process for the project centered around using creativity to process emotion and bring healing and light into one’s life. The work showcases the inherent beauty of Maine ’s most precious asset, it’s people. The images depict her young women in ethereal light and were taken in a variety of outdoor and indoor settings.

The women that were chosen for each series have no modeling experience and work in various local businesses and the service industry here in Midcoast Maine. Each photo shoot was designed to help the individual come into their own place of peace and story. Eight women are represented.

Karen will be joined by Catharine McCann of Maine 1 Photography whose breathtaking, atmospheric Maine landscapes have won award and acclaim.

Karen Olson

Artist Statement:

“Portrait work is my passion, still life photography my joy! Lighting, props, costume, and flora are the elements I

Karen Olson - Reunko Styleuse to create conceptual work and fairytale-like composites.  My work is dreamy, emotive, contemplative. I try to depict the inherent beauty and raw qualities of my subject, bringing to the surface that which is deep within.”

Karen Olson is a photographer and creative business mentor who loves to help artists and entrepreneurs navigate technology and craft their own brand presence on the web. She offers online classes and one on one mentoring in photography, website construction, and computer skills specific to your needs. She is a patient and kind instructor that has worked with many individuals to help them realize their vision.

Visit Karen’s website at