Katharine Bell and Augusta Sparks

We are pleased to host artists Katharine Bell and Augusta Sparks in a joint show for the month of September. Be sure to come by and enjoy their engrossing works any time during regular library hours. Below are the artists’ statements:

“Augusta Sparks and Katharine Bell will be the 2023 September artists at the Friend Memorial Public Library in Brooklin, Maine. The show will be ready for viewing the week before Labor Day. An opening for both artists will take place on September 22, 2023 at 3:30 pm.

Katharine Bell has been an oil painter in the Boston Area since 1969. She was ten when her parents asked for a painting of the family’s pet hamster and parakeet in elf costumes for their Christmas card. At thirteen she painted laughing monkeys and dogs for the dreary walls of her dorm room. Today, at seventy-two, not much has changed. Most of her work is commissioned and the rest she paints because it makes her happy. Famously, she is the painter behind the two restaurants: Upstairs at the Square & Upstairs at the Pudding. Her work can be found at www.katharinebell.com.

With considerations towards world creation, Augusta Sparks constructs nonsensical narratives and has an art practice based in sense making. It may seem like a lot of MFA speak, however, that is exactly what she is up to at the University of Maine. She returned to Maine a few years ago, to help with the University’s Maine Arts and Humanities in Medicine program, while receiving her Master in Art in Medicine from the University of Florida. 

The peculiar items that will be on view that are not quite identifiable are made with a material processed at the University of Maine called Nanocellulose. The cellulose used ranges from straw to seaweed, although generally accessible as a softwood pulp. The wood is macerated into nano size particles. Sparks then change the particles in varying ways. If it ever stops raining for long enough, she will provide a nanocellulose workshop in September in Brooklin. Her work can be found at www.augustasparks.com.

Between the two of them, they have previously created installations, leaning on the possibility of magical realism; however, never together. This September, Bell will be sharing her portrait paintings and ceramics. Bell depicts her portraits with respect and a sense of humor.  Sparks will showcase her investigations lacing together installation and books. Where could be a better place to showcase this than the Friend Memorial Public Library? Let them know what you think. The show at the library brings the two together with a hint at stories that are just beyond the written word.

You can find them both at the links below: