Outstanding in the Field
September 3-October 9
Outstanding in the Field offers a fresh approach to viewing clay-centric art during this time of social distancing. With the Barkan Gallery program suspended for summer 2020, we invited artists to submit project proposals for work to be installed on our 54-acre property. Natalia Arbelaez, Ruth Borgenicht, Dan Molyneux, and Anna Marie Valenti were selected to conceptualize and create new work on campus. The artists’ pieces create a dialogue with their surroundings, inviting viewers in as participants to examine and interact with the sculptural works.
Beginning September 3, the public is welcome to visit the Watershed campus and view the work during daylight hours. Please note that campus buildings are not open and no restroom facilities are available. While most of the work is in very close proximity to parking areas and driveways, we encourage visitors who plan to view the work on foot to wear sturdy shoes, as the pieces are installed on uneven and varied terrain. Exhibition map.
Natalia Arbelaez’s twin pillars are comprised of modular ceramic parts that connect the land and the cosmos. She dedicates the piece to lost pre-Colombian culture and Amerindian and First Peoples. Arbelaez’s work places her in the context of a storyteller, blending her personal experiences with ancestral histories and narratives. In addition to installing the pillars, she intends to document a performance that incorporates the work.
Ruth Borgenicht’s Articulated Spaces aims to manifest aspects of movement in physical space. The work is comprised of repeated spheres and undulating hourglass shapes. When combined, the components create patterns from joints reminiscent of those found in the human body. Made of stoneware, the piece’s versatility allows it to respond to an outdoor space by following the topography of a path, weaving around the edge of a forest, and wrapping around trees.
Dan Molyneux’s Carnelian nods to mechanical and human structures. As a sculptor, Molyneux’s interest lies in creating a visual language that deconstructs forms down to a basic set of shapes that he combines to create complex compositions. This reconfiguring of elemental forms ties his process to the macro- and microscopic make-up of the universe, asking us to consider our place beside and with his work.
Anna Marie Valenti’s Better Together creates opportunities for interaction and connection. Reminiscent of breeze blocks, her modular ceramic screen is set against the backdrop of Watershed’s 20 acre back field. Featuring two bright yellow functional ceramic stools that contrast with the lawn, the piece invites visitors to engage with each other and with the work.
Masters & Apprentices
Watershed partnered with the Maine Craft Association (MCA) to host Masters & Apprentices. The show featured work by artists who took part in MCA’s 2019 Craft Apprentice Program. The seven pairs of master craftspeople and apprentices worked together over the course of nine months. Selected works made during the apprenticeship were included in this culminating exhibition.
The following images are from the exhibition opening on October 4, 2019 courtesy of the Maine Craft Association.
Open House featured work by 2019 summer staff members: Laura Nave, Danielle Weigandt, Adam Redd, Stephen Mangione, Anna Kruse, Bianca Loscocco, Annie Morford, and Ashley Pfister, along with work by year-round Studio Manager Reeder Fahnestock. The show marked the opening of the Barkan Gallery to the public, and it was fitting to welcome friends and neighbors to the Joan Pearson Watkins house to see work that had been made by Watershed’s current staff-artists. The eight seasonal staff members lived and worked on Watershed’s campus from May through August. Their varied work veers from formal, colorful sculpture and installation to atmospheric functional pieces meant for everyday use.
Ceramic Sculpture Culture
In conjunction with the 25th annual Salad Days celebration, Watershed invited guests for a sneak peek at the new Barkan Gallery featuring a special exhibition of work by members of Ceramic Sculpture Culture (CSC). The CSC members, who are based all over the country, enjoyed two weeks together in July 2019, living and working alongside one another at Watershed. The exhibition included small works by collective members Hannah Cameron, David Kenton Kring, Ben Lambert, and Jamie Bates Slone, along with their invited artists Carly Slade, Jose Villalobos and Matthew Dercole.