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The Coastal Fine Art Alliance of Maine (CFAAM) was founded in 1999 as a nonprofit charitable organization. Its mission is to provide a venue for artists from or connected to Maine by hosting juried shows in outdoor gallery settings.
Artists and patrons alike have enthusiastically responded to the level of professionalism along with the wide diversity of media and expression offered for sale. Showcased are acrylics, oils, watercolors, pastels, etchings, woodcuts and mixed two-dimensional media. Styles range from ultra realism to plein air expressionism, impressionism and abstraction.
The season will begin the last weekend in July with "Gallery on the Green" on Route 102A in downtown Southwest Harbor, located on Mount Desert Island. The artists return to Southwest Harbor for the second weekend in August.
Since each show is juried individually for only thirty-five participants, the grouping of artists varies from show to show. "We find that the patrons very much appreciate the show settings and layout which are designed to create a courtyard ambiance," says Alliance spokesperson Tim Flanagan. "They repeatedly express their excitement about the quality of work exhibited as well as their enjoyment of the opportunity to dialogue with the artists."
Although most members of CFAAM have their works represented in other venues, there is a feeling of camaraderie here that is that is not found in conventional galleries as artists visit with collectors and friends. The Coastal Fine Art Alliance of Maine was created by artists who felt the need to control the quality and ambiance of the shows where they exhibit. These artists volunteer their time to organize, advertise and run the shows.
Since the group is a nonprofit organization, monies remaining after expenses are channeled into each show's host community. "We also do 'Artist in Residence' Programs in the schools," says Mimi Carpenter of Kennebunkport, Maine, and author and illustrator of children's books and painter of beach treasures like beach glass and shells. "It's a treat that we can encourage young people to pursue the arts."
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