On Friday evening, November 6, from 5:00 to 8:00, the Jonathan Frost Gallery in Rockland will host the opening reception for a show called “New Kids on the Block.” These “new kids” are five young artists in Rockland who spend much of their time working at two of the city’s eating and gathering places. Celia Hensel, Sean Seuffert, and Mae Towers work at Rock City Café; Joshua Cardoso and Ashley Seelig are affiliated with Fog Bar and Café. Tom Luther will play jazz piano at the opening.
Celia Hensel was raised in Friendship, Maine. As a child she enjoyed drawing and painting and received strong encouragement from her family and teachers. Since graduating in fine art from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design she has practiced her art while doing other jobs and has taught in local after-school art programs. Several of her drawings and monoprints in this show depict thoughtful, vulnerable figures.
Sean Suffert, who grew up in Bennington, Vermont, is largely self-taught. He admires Paul Klee, Agnes Martin, Sabra Fields, and others with a graphic approach to fine art. He aims for simplicity in his small, abstract compositions.
Mae Towers was born and raised in the small town of Fort Fairfield in northern Maine. During her last year in a private high school she worked with fine artist Elizabeth Punches. She has found her own way as an artist while working at a wide variety of jobs, from picking potatoes to cooking to working with Alzheimer’s patients. In 2013 she created a series called “Louie the Neurotic Dog,” which has raised over $1,300 for animal rescue organizations. Her love of animals is apparent in her current work.
Joshua Cardoso was born in Boston. He is a dual citizen of the United States and Portugal. He received his BFA from Cooper Union, where he received the Michael S. Vivo award for excellence in drawing. He has shown in New York City and elsewhere and has written critical pieces for the Brazilian arts journal DASartes. Besides working at his art and helping behind the scenes at Fog, Cardoso directs and curates Win Wilder Hall, the gallery adjacent to Fog. At the Frost Gallery he will be showing graphite drawings resembling complex veils of thousands of tiny marks.
Ashley Seelig, born in Philadelphia, moved to Maine as a teenager and studied painting independently with Jonathan Frost and Cynthia Hyde. She earned her BFA from Cooper Union in 2004, studying under leading contemporary painters Cecily Brown and Charlene VonHeyl. Seeling now lives in Rockland and is the owner/operator of Fog Bar & Café. Her paintings draw on her command of the figure and of perspective and reveal her pleasure in abstraction and bold experimentation with materials.
“New Kids on the Block” will be up through December 1.