LEWISTON – A hand-blown glass vessel. A steel fish sculpture. A framed lithograph by Maine’s beloved icon of American Art, Dahlov Ipcar.

These are but three of the unique pieces of art displayed in the “Studio Connections: Artists Supporting MPBN” exhibit now open at L/A Arts’ Gallery 5.

A jury of arts professionals selected 120 pieces from the many works of art and fine crafts generously donated to benefit MPBN through the Great TV Auction for the seventh annual art exhibition. The exhibit covers almost every medium from oil, pastel and watercolor to metal sculpture, photography, woodwork and blown glass.

Among the featured works of art is a contemporary hand-blown glass vessel that is one of a series of 10 produced each year for PBS, collectively known as “The PBS Blues.” The work, created by James Michael Studio in Dayton, Ohio, is a combination of ancient and modern techniques. The piece has been signed, numbered and exclusively identified as a piece of the “2008 PBS Blues” series by artist Noah Wilsey, under the direction of master glass blower James Kahle.

This year, the unifying theme of all 10 vessels is the use of “crazy” and “star” cane. These particular crazy canes are made up of 27 shades of blue glass, folded, twisted and pulled into canes somewhat like taffy, looking like a peppermint stick. Each piece of cane is as individual as each vessel. The cane is then sliced, placed on its side, picked up and incorporated into each vessel.

Another featured piece is a black painted steel fish sculpted by Stephen Salvatore Fasciana. It is fashioned from shapes reminiscent of a Calder mobile. The fish measures 5 feet long and 28 inches high. It floats on a pivot that allows it to turn a full 360 degrees in a breeze. The fish is mounted on a granite column with a black steel base. Fasciana is affiliated with Studio 220 in Standish.

“After School in the Lot,” by Kathleen Mack, is an engaging and colorful work of encaustic on board. Color and composition go hand in hand as a group of youngsters enjoy the bright day, leaning on their cars and engaging in conversation. Tones are varied, from the red and blue and creamy yellow of the cars to the orange and peach and pink of the brick buildings. The fragment of city sky is a mottled blue, while the pavement is a mix of sand and green shadow.

Mack, a resident of Round Pond, has exhibited her work throughout Maine in major galleries and in the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, the Round Top Center for the Arts and the Atrium Gallery at USM-Lewiston/Auburn College.

“Grendel’s Nest” is a framed lithograph by Dahlov Ipcar, whose works grace the collections of the Metropolitan, Whitney and Brooklyn museums of art, leading Maine museums, and private and corporate collections countrywide. Grendel, Ipcar’s cat, rules all in her sight in this fine black-and-white lithograph. As appropriate to her royalty, her fluffy body and tail are comforted by a rug and cushion as she looks out at the viewer with an all-knowing stare.

All items are available for purchase at Gallery 5 through June 28. Gallery hours are 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday or by appointment by calling Tammie Grieshaber at 576- 4805. Gallery 5 is in the historic Lyceum Hall at 49 Lisbon St.

New this year is a live auction at Maine Maritime Museum Saturday, July 12. In preparation for the auction, the exhibit will move to Long Reach Hall at Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath.

Anyone wanting more information may e-mail Margie Oxman, auction director, at [email protected] or call 800-884-1717, extension 5167. The art can be viewed online at www.mpbn.net/auction.

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