Ones to Watch

A.J. BUECHE Untitled, 2017, oil on canvas, 24” x 24”
BRENDA CIRIONI Barn Series: Honor, 2017, mixed media on panel, 40” x 48”
AMY POLLIEN Bass Harbor Cliff, Descent, 2017, oil on panel, 36” x 24”
KIM CASE The Reader, 2017, oil on canvas, 36” x 48”

Five standout artists to keep your eye on

Lesia Sochor

“Wooden spools in a drawer sparked my decade-long exploration of paintings depicting connections among women, sewing, and fashion. The series Threads, Bodices, and Body Language is the result of this evolving inspiration. The images communicate timeless narratives layered in meaning, recalling a past when one owned few but finely tailored garments, as well as our present- day, wardrobe-filled world. My intention is to engage the viewer in a dialogue about the beauty, power, function, and art of fashion, and examine how an article of clothing makes us feel: how it can intrigue, provoke, amuse, define, or reinvent us. This ongoing theme explores the broader issues of image, identity, sexuality, and politics. It confronts the obsession with style and trend, and the enormity of today’s garment industry, crossing all cultural borders. We are asked to pause and question, ‘Where are our clothes made?’ and to consider the choices we make when purchasing our attire. The bodices and figures are painted in thin, transparent layers of oils on collaged sewing pattern paper, allowing the all-important markings and multilingual text to remain visible, and paying homage to the tactile process of sewing.”

A.J. Bueche

“I feel compelled to paint; I’m not sure why. Most often, I paint landscapes, seascapes, or cityscapes with varying degrees of abstraction. I like to challenge myself. There is satisfaction in approaching things from different perspectives and reaching satisfactory conclusions. My process changes over time, but I like to work on small series of paintings, and I try to avoid repetition. I think painting can mean more than representation. Artist statements seem to attempt to explain the inexplicable and justify objects that don’t need justification. They try to codify a process that cannot be described adequately, reveal to the reader a ‘soul’ that is impossible to reveal, and report a state of being that is changing constantly. I like oil paint. Oil paint has qualities that make it more malleable than other media. It is basic. It is comfortable. It is limitless. I paint with gouache and watercolor when I can’t paint with oils. I believe that people interact with art in ways that can be meaningful, delightful, thoughtful, disgraceful, provoking, inspiring, disturbing, challenging, instructive, enjoyable, and worthwhile, and in many more ways too. Each person possesses unique traits as well as individual life experiences that affect how they view a work of art. Each person sees and reacts to individual works differently, yet we still share many commonalities.”

Brenda Cirioni

“My latest paintings are about structural stability—both internal and external—and how it relates to the concept of home. Having a safe and secure home impacts us all physically and emotionally when we’re children, and we carry that impact throughout our lives. My newest paintings in Barn Series and Dream House explore the home environment and our connection to the world. I juxtapose a singular structure against organic form and use the house icon as a counterpoint to my energetic and chaotic natural surroundings. My selection of materials—repurposed house paint, fabric and wallpaper remnants, and other debris— reflects my interest in the environment. I’ve always collected branches, rocks, feathers, and nests off the ground. Now I pick up what others have thrown away; I collect discarded clothing and wallpaper remnants. These bits of discarded paper, wrappers, fabric, and various oddments allow me to give new life to that which would otherwise be in a landfill. My method of layering draws attention to the multiplicities and mysteries of nature.”

Amy Pollien

“In May and June of 2017, I hiked the trails around Bass Harbor in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. From the cliffs, there is a view out to the horizon and more than 50 feet down to the incoming tide. Through repeat visits, I have witnessed the change of tide and spray on windy days, as they cover and then reveal the rocks beneath. The vegetation clinging to the cliff face started out green and lush, then dried under the wind and heat of full-on summer. I think about the geology of the downeast coast, the forces that have acted on the landscape we know today, and how the land will change over the next hundred or thousand years. Observing the coastal edge of Mount Desert Island provides a perspective on time and distance that informs my work.”

Kim Chase

“The positive and negative aspects of moving frequently as a girl have had enormous influence on my art, even all these years later. I’m always carrying around a longing for where I’ve been, coupled with a deep appreciation for new places and vistas. Raised in a dozen cities around the world, we always returned to this corner of it to reboot. Maine’s fresh air, intense beauty, open space, big skies, and sense of safety are all recurrent themes that I try to capture in my paintings. Every artist I see is an inspiration because I now understand the dedication it takes to live as an artist. Lately I’ve begun incorporating figures into my landscapes, inching toward portraiture. Painting people was a certain leap for me—not only did I want to represent recognizable features, but also to reveal a personality, with restraint. I wanted to show, not tell. But no matter where it takes me, the satisfaction of creating something from nothing but a blank canvas and a few tubes of paint will keep me returning to the easel.”