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Opening Reception: Thursday, September 14, 5:00 – 7:00pm

6:00pm Readings by Kristen Case, Asst. Prof. of English, University of Maine, Farmington; Steven Pane, Prof. of Music, University of Maine, Farmington and Peter Pfeiffer, Independent Tree Farmer and Writer

Waterville, Maine — Common Street Arts, the programmatic arm of Waterville Creates!, is pleased to present work by Maine artists Barbara Sullivan and Juliet Karelsen in the exhibition Into the Forest: Flora, Fauna, Lichen, Moss on view from September 13 through October 28, 2017 with an opening reception at Common Street Arts on Thursday, September 14 from 5:00-7:00 pm.

Into the Forest will explore the themes of our natural environment, preservation, conservation, and biological diversity. Central Maine is a region where residents have the potential to directly interact with the natural landscape through nature walks, birdwatching, hunting, and fishing, among other explorations—and the work of Barbara Sullivan and Juliet Karelsen offers a unique and candid artists’ perspective on our local environment.

Barbara Sullivan’s two-dimensional large scale drawings of the forest coupled with her whimsical fresco creations of birds and woodland creatures, reminds us of the bounty and diversity of the Maine landscape. Often our interactions with wildlife are fleeting, requiring steadfast patience, and a fair amount of serendipity. Barbara’s work provides us an opportunity to linger in our contemplation of the flora and fauna which surrounds us but may be less discernable in the bustle of our daily routine.

Juliet’s work, likewise, offers us moments of quiet contemplation and close-looking while creating an otherworldly atmosphere with elements that simultaneously harken to Maine’s vast geological underpinnings. Karelsen asks us to walk the liminal space between the natural and the unnatural—both worlds mystical and enchanting—one an emerging and evolutionary landscape and the other a built and cultivated environment.

Both Sullivan and Karelsen extend themselves through their adopted media—Sullivan’s fresco paintings evolve into seemingly animated sculptures that invite us into a secret, wooded landscape. Karelsen’s felted objects combine stitching, tapestry, embroidery to become a myriad of methods in which she creates her “geological pillows”. Through a combination of subject matter and media, both artists ask their audiences to participate in the captivating worlds they create—to consider our impact on the natural environment while we ask ourselves what their built narratives can teach us.

This exhibition will feature selected works from the L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley, Maine.

Related programming at Common Street Arts:

Community Rocks Project with Juliet Karelsen – Saturday, September 16 @ 10:00am

For the birds! – Thursday, September 21 @ 4:00pm

Sketching in the Park with Helene Farrar – Saturday, September 23 @1:00pm

Fresco Workshop with Barbara Sullivan – Saturday, September 30 @ 10:00am

Conversation with the Artists and Justin McCann – Wednesday, October 4 @  6:30pm

Owls of Maine, Chewonki Foundation – Saturday, October 7 @ 10:00am

Fall Migration Talk with Bernd Heinrich – Thursday, October 12 @ 5:00pm

City Forest Walk with Drew Barton – Friday, October 13 @ 12:00pm

Rocks in Your Life – Thursday, October 19 @ 4:00pm

The Common Street Arts gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12:00 – 5:00pm. The gallery is closed Sunday through Tuesday. To learn more about the Into the Forest exhibition at Common Street Arts, visit:

About Waterville Creates!
Waterville Creates! is a non-profit on a mission to promote, support, and grow greater Waterville’s arts and cultural scene. Collaborating with regional arts and culture institutions and their supporters, together we are strengthening our community as a vibrant creative center, increasing access to creative opportunities. Learn more at