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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: December 18, 2017

The Harlow Gallery hangs its final members’ show in original space

Written by: Bob Keyes
"Push" by Liz McGhee Photo courtesy of Kennebec Valley Art Association

“Push” by Liz McGhee
Photo courtesy of Kennebec Valley Art Association

One of the delights of the members’ exhibition of the Kennebec Valley Art Association is its wild-card nature. Each artist-member can show one piece of art in the exhibition, which is on view at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell through Jan. 20.

“That sense of inclusiveness makes it unique and special,” said Allison McKeen, the gallery’s marketing manager. “The theme is whatever the members have been up to. Every piece is so different than the next.”

This exhibition is a holiday tradition that dates to the founding of the gallery in 1963. This one is extra special because it’s the final members’ exhibition in the Harlow’s longtime space at 160 Water St. The gallery, which is the home of the art association, is moving down the street, to 100 Water St.

The Harlow Gallery at 160 Water St. is moving in March.

The Harlow Gallery at 160 Water St. is moving in March.

“Mainly, the new space is larger,” McKeen said. “That’s been our biggest concern here for some time. We not only have our shows, but we have a number of groups who meet in the space, which is no longer conducive to all the programming we have already and all the programming we hope to do in the future. We simply need more space — for events, for storage and for our office.”

The gallery at 100 Water St. has two levels and offers more flexibility. The Harlow expects to accommodate more exhibitions of sculpture, installations and larger work in general. “We love showing that work, but with all the groups meeting in the (current) space, it becomes an issue.”

Nonetheless, leaving the current space is a significant move for the gallery, the art association and the community. The Harlow Gallery has been at 160 Water St. since it opened Nov. 17, 1963, five years after the association was founded in 1958.

While the current exhibition is the last members’ show at 160 Water St., it’s not the final show in the original gallery space. That show is “Seven,” opening Jan. 26, featuring the work of seven abstract artists: Emily Blake Blaschke, Jenny Campbell, Alicia Ines Ethridge, Celeste June Henriquez, Doreen Nardone, Brenda Overstrom and Donald M. Peterson.

While “Seven” is hanging in the original space, the new gallery will show members’ work beginning Jan. 18. The move will be fully complete in March, with all exhibitions in the new space, McKeen said.

HARLOW GALLERY MEMBERS’ SHOW

WHEN: On view through Jan. 20, noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday
WHERE: Harlow Gallery, 160 Water St., Hallowell
INFO: harlowgallery.org or 207-622-3813.

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