top of page

Local Color News

Local Color Gallery Introduces Guest and Three New Full-Time Artists on 4th Friday

Local Color Gallery will host a Fourth Friday Art Walk reception on Friday, May 24, from 4 to 7 pm, featuring short artist talks at 5 pm by Van Bankston, the new guest artist, and three new full-time artists: Susan Smith, Shelley Breton, and Ruth Heffron. Bankston’s bold colors and non-representational geometric pieces will be featured at the gallery for three months beginning Tuesday, May 21.
“This series of paintings furthers my spiritual evolution away from materialism and the status quo,” Bankston says. “My art is an invitation to enter a contemplative space where the mind may experience the satisfaction of the present moment through the abstract essences of color, balance, line, form, and texture. My art is about the relationship between myself and the painting, the painting and the viewer, and the viewer with him or herself.”

A Belfast artist, Bankston was born and grew up in the Mississippi Delta. He has degrees in landscape architecture, education, and theology. He has also studied at the New York School of Interior Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. After years in New York City as an interior designer, he returned to Mississippi and worked full time as an artist, which ultimately led to a call to the priesthood. He has served as an Episcopal priest since 2012.


Local Color Gallery, 135 High Street, Belfast, is open from 11 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday and 11 to 4 on Sundays. For more information, go to

Local Color Gallery Hosts Book Launch for Belfast Poet Tom Moore

Thomas R. Moore will launch his sixth book of poetry, Unleashed (Moon Pie Press), on Sunday, May 5, from 4-6 pm, at Local Color Gallery.

Unleashed cover, Tom Moore.jpg

A four-times Pushcart nominee, Thomas R. Moore won a Pushcart Prize in 2018 with “How We Built Our House.” His work has been broadcast on Writer’s Almanac and American Life in Poetry, and he received an Individual Artist Grant from the Maine Arts Commission. He taught at universities in Iran, Turkey, Mali, and the US, and his work is included in the 2018 Best of the Small Presses Anthology. In 2017 and 2018 he served as Poet Laureate for Belfast, Maine. He has published over a hundred poems in various literary journals. In a recent review, Dana Wilde called him “one of the most skilled poets we have in Maine right now.”

He will be joined by former Belfast poets laureate Ellen Sander and Judy Kaber, and his wife Leslie Moore, printmaker, poet, and member of the gallery, for a reading at 4:30 pm. The cover of Moore’s new book features a painting by Sheep Jones, a yearly guest artist at the gallery.

“In Unleashed, Thomas Moore navigates the intersection where memory and imagination converge,” writes Ellen Sander. “It is a liminal space, one which this extraordinary collection occupies with quiet, particular, and eloquent glee…. There are salty meditations on aging and a juicy application of darkish wit. Moore is a master of the spare, vivid stanza and Unleashed abounds with droll and meticulous craft.”

“I found myself in continued surprise as I read these poems,” writes Jefferson Navicky. “Often arch, often delightfully curmudgeonly, always refreshing, these poems follow the poet’s roving eye around Belfast, Maine….In “An Ark of Oddities and the Finish Line,” Moore writes “I too want / to have made something exquisite and useless— / something too stunning to put into language.” With Unleashed, Moore has indeed achieved the exquisite and the stunning.” 

Tom Moore & Rumi.jpg

Local Color Gallery Welcomes Three New Artists

Three new year-round artists join Local Color Gallery in Belfast on Tuesday, April 23.

On Friday, April 26, from 4 to 7 pm, a reception and open house will offer the public an opportunity to meet the artists, with artist talks at 5 pm.

Ruth Heffron_ Marsh Mellow.jpg

Ruth Heffron, Belfast, works primarily in oil, often with cold wax added. She enjoys collage and printmaking as well. She views her paintings as poems---shining a light on the ordinary and highlighting the complexity of nature. Heffron attended Agnes Scott College majoring in Political Science and Psychology with several art courses along the way. After careers in teaching and 20 years working in community foundations in South Carolina and Maine, Heffron and her husband owned and operated Compass Rose, a bookstore/café in Castine, Maine. Following retirement, Heffron returned to her love of painting. She has studied with artists across the US and Italy.

Marsh Mellow (Ruth Heffron)

Shelley Breton, Freeport, has been painting in oils for over 14 years. Although her education and career are science-based, she has always had a love of the arts. Breton is a juried member of the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society. She was named one of “Maine’s Most Collectible Artists” in ArtMaine Magazine, 2019. Breton’s work was included in “All About Oils” in the October 2021 issue of American Art Collector magazine. A Maine native, she takes inspiration from the effects of early and late-day light on the local landscape and seascape as well as florals and figurative subjects. With her expressive-representational style, she strives to evoke a sense of mood, light, and place through depictions of sunlight and shadow.

Shelley Breton, Watcher.jpg

Watcher (Shelley Breton)

Susan Smith_ animal architecture_.jpg

Susan Smith, Dover-Foxcroft, is an artist, activist and educator. As faculty and coordinator for the graduate art program at the University of Maine, she is deeply committed to work that reflects stewardship of land and water. Her work begins with visits to a site—a witnessing of place and the forces that shape it. She often uses foraged materials: earth becomes pigment; plants become dyes or egg tempera; and textiles become imprinted with botanical traces. Smith is an art extension director for the Urban Soil Institute, collaborating with soil scientists, botanists, and earth keepers.

Printmaker David Morgan, Bath, continues as Local Color’s guest artist through May. He will teach a printmaking workshop on Saturday, May 4, “Print Day in May.” More information will be available soon on our website:

Local Color Gallery is located at 135 High Street in Belfast. Open Tuesday through Saturday 11 to 5 and Sunday 11 to 4.

animal architecture (Susan Smith)

Judy Kaber.jpg

Exploring Art Through Poetry at Local Color Gallery

In honor of April’s National Poetry Month, Judy Kaber teams up with Belfast’s Local Color Gallery to present a two-part workshop on ekphrastic poetry, followed by a poetry reading in the gallery where the final poems will be read and displayed next to their inspirational art work. Judy Kaber is an experienced teacher and writer as well as former poet laureate in Belfast. She holds a MEd in teaching Language Arts from the University of Maine and is a Maine Writing Project fellow. She has published in numerous journals including Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Atlanta Review, Off the Coast, and The Cafe Review. Contest credits include the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest in 2009, the Larry Kramer Memorial Chapbook Contest in 2011, second place in the 2016 Muriel Craft Bailey Contest judged by Marge Piercy, and the Maine Poets Society Prize Contest in 2021 and 2023. She is the author of three chapbooks, most recently “A Pandemic Alphabet.”

The workshops are designed to meet the needs of all levels of writers. During the first meeting, we will examine ekphrastic poems by other poets (e.g. Anne Sexton, Robert Hass, William Carlos Williams, W.H. Auden, Derek Mahon, UA Fanthorpe, Janine Pommy Vega, John Stone) and discuss the various approaches used to write about a work of art.

Handouts will be provided to aid participants as they take notes and photographs of work in the gallery. Between the first and second sessions, participants will work on writing a draft of their poem. In the second session, we will share poems with the intent of providing a useful critique. Final drafts of the poems will then be hung on the gallery wall along with the artwork that inspired them and will be read aloud at a reception on Sunday, April 21.


Session 1: Sunday, April 7, 1-3 pm

Session 2: Sunday, April 14 , 1-3 pm

Reading: Sunday, April 21, 2-3 pm

Cost: $40 (covers all sessions) – Registration required by Friday, April 5.

Register via email at jkaber1948@

Limit: 12 participants

Payment may be made by mailing a check to Judy at 37 Oak Hill Rd., Belfast 04915 or may be paid on the day of the first session.  

Local Color Gallery is located at 135 High Street, Belfast;; 207-218-1249.

Winged Leaf by MF Morison.jpg

Variation on a Theme by Robert Frost after “Winged Leaf” by MF Morison

Whose woods are these, whose trees, whose leaves fallen to ground, weathered and

brittle, backs bare, breaking? A sweep of easy wind carries the rust of what we’ve done, saws

ripping, skidders moaning over darkened earth. My car stalls, key clicks in the ignition. I stop in

this place without cigarette, flask, without company or intent. Leaves on desolate ground spread

their wings, mistake the taste of winter for rebirth. There’s a bridge up ahead that leads back to

my easy life, but I’m stuck in the dark and deep, a withered bouquet of loneliness on the seat

beside me. Whose earth is this, the color of soot, of rotten plums? Hope still clings to me like

smoke, like bells I can shake to wake—who? The man who owns the woods? I stare at his

woodlot, young trees fallen, dirt nudged into muddy ruts, hard as an ax and chain. I am stuck,

hauling all the fallen rubble in my head, unable to nudge the world awake, only knowing I have

miles and miles to go to see again wings on leaves spread to the sun, to hear them rustle, sigh,


Judy Kraber

Printmaker David Morgan to Show at Local Color Gallery in Belfast

Local Color Gallery is excited to welcome woodcut printmaker David Morgan as a guest artist for a show beginning Wednesday, March 27. There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 29, from 5 to 7 pm, including a short artist talk at 5 pm.

David's work has been shown and won awards in many venues around the United States and in Japan, Peru, and the United Kingdom. He moved to Maine from New Mexico in 2013, and opened his print studio, the Merrymeeting Press, in Bath in 2015.

His career in art began with photography when it was still done with silver and light (but in the dark), went on to include woodcarving, furniture making, and some fascinating detours like working as an archaeologist in England. There he discovered medieval sculpture which inspired him to start carving and making prints from similar designs on scraps of wood in his cabinet shop. He still carves and prints medieval-inspired designs, though now he finds visual delight here in the contemporary world as well.

Making prints has always attracted him, ever since his early days as a photographer. About printmaking, he says:

“The alchemy of printmaking has always fascinated me. It transmutes a visual idea through the crucibles of drawing, carving, inking, and printing into a finished image that holds some surprises for its maker, and hopefully some delight for its viewer. The very indirectness of making prints – carving first (backwards), then patiently adding color and shape in many layers, not knowing what it will finally look like till the end of the process - invites the unexpected, in contradiction, you might think, to its technical demands. Playing with that contradiction is part of my creative process.”

In addition to the opening reception and artist talk on Friday, March 29, David will offer a woodcut printmaking workshop on “Print Day in May” - Saturday, May 4. More information will be available soon.

Sheep Jones and Marli Thibodeau are Guest Artists at Local Color Gallery

Local Color Gallery welcomes Sheep Jones, a Belfast, Maine painter, as a guest artist for the months of December, January, and February. A popular artist in Maine and beyond, Jones primarily works with oil and wax on panel using a palette knife. Her dilapidated sheds, skies of various colors, quirky birds, congested gardens, bumblebees, fish, botanicals, and uniquely clad figures are some of the images she chooses to create her painted narratives.

Jones says her paintings begin in layers. “Layers add extra interest, leaving swatches of colors in their wake. These are perfect tidbits for the imagination.” Jones always looks for “the puzzle pieces to suggest a narrative. The thing is, all people have stories. Often, they will look at one of my paintings and recognize in it their own story, their own past, their own dreams.”

Sampler 18 by Sheep Jones.JPG
Red Stockings by Sheep Jones.JPG

Red Stockings 

Born and raised in Waterville, Maine, Jones studied art at the University of Southern Maine. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows and galleries in the US and Europe. In 2003, she was chosen as Artist of the Year at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. She now lives in Belfast, Maine.

Sampler 18

Marli Thibodeau, an abstract painter from Rockland, will continue as a guest artist during the month of December. Marli’s work is influenced by the natural world and the landscapes of Maine. Her paintings are composed of opaque and transparent layers representing the ongoing dialogue between painter and painting.

Local Color Gallery, 135 High St., is open 11 -4, Tuesday through Saturday during December, and Wednesday through Saturday in January and February, or by appointment.  For details, visit or call the gallery at 207-218-1249.

Marli Thibodeau.jpg

Leslie Moore Launches New Book--Grackledom


Local Color Gallery will host book launch, signing, and reading for Leslie Moore’s Grackledom, a bestiary of poetry, prints, and pen-and-ink drawings (Littoral Books) on Saturday, November 4, from 3-5 pm, with a reading at 3:30. It’s a book filled with sparkling poems, colorful prints, and an unforgettable array of birds, beasts, cats, and dogs. Siri Beckman, printmaker, calls Grackledom a treasure. “Her poems grab your heart right from the beginning, and her prints add a dynamic visual treat to the eyes.” Elizabeth Tibbetts, poet, says, “Through her exquisite linocuts and deft poems, Leslie Moore portrays birds, wild animals, and pets with heart and accuracy.”Leslie Moore is a poet, printmaker, and pen-and-ink artist. Her writing has appeared in journals and anthologies. Her art may be found in book illustrations, private collections, and at Local Color Gallery and at the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor. She is the winner of a Maine Literary Award for Short Nonfiction (2018) and the author of What Rough Beasts (Littoral Books, 2021).Grackledom (80 pages with 50 color and black-and-white prints and drawings by the author, $20) will be for sale as well as framed linocuts from the book.

Grackledom cover _edited.jpg

Sandra Huck at Local Color Gallery
in October and November


Sandra Huck of Caribou is the featured guest artist at Local Color Gallery in Belfast for the months of October and November. Huck’s “sculptures on canvas”, created with found objects, feature the gathered, work and eroded textures and forms created by nature. Each find—a rock, feather, driftwood, or a piece of rusted metal has its own unique beauty. When these finds are combined, or arranged, a dialogue emerges as the combination creates a new whole. Huck strives to allow the objects to speak for themselves, just as they were found.


Huck studied art at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and advanced sculpture at Teachers College in New York City. She has participated in several group shows and has had a solo exhibition of her work in the Reed Gallery at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Huck’s work is in several private collections.


Huck’s work will be at Local Color Gallery from 1 October - 4 December, 2023.

#63, Found Objects on canvas,
28 1/2" x 16 3/4" x 3 1/2", framed.

Liz Prescott Returns as the Guest Artist at Local Color Gallery in September


Liz Prescott’s art is driven by a love of process and color. Her work often focuses on reflected images, particularly of boats and buildings—forming, dissolving, reforming. She is a graduate of Maine College of Art and Vermont College of Fine Arts. She teaches online courses at Winslow Art Center and leads several in-person workshops in Maine each summer. Prescott’s work is included in the permanent collections at the Portland Museum of Art, Colby College, Bowdoin College, New York Public Library, and the University of New England. She maintains a studio practice in Freeport.


Precott’s work will be at Local Color Gallery from August 28–October 1.

“Floating”, 36" x 36", Acrylic on Canvas

“What If”, 24x23, Acrylic on Canvas

Marli Thibodeau
at Local Color Gallery July 31 - August 27


Rockland-based painter Marli Thibodeau’s work is influenced by the natural world and is abstract or non-objective. Deeply influenced by the Abstract Expressionist movement and artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Franz Kline, her paintings don’t reference recognizable form. Instead, the works are composed of opaque and transparent layers representing the ongoing dialog between painter and painting. She creates intense personal moments on the canvas by questioning what is here now, present within.


Thibodeau has studied both art and movement. “Everyone has a unique way of expressing the experience of who they are,” she says, “and I’ve discovered that mine is through un-choreographed visual and movement art.”


The landscapes of Maine infuse Thibodeau’s work with a sense of awe and appreciation. “I create my work to give voice to a wild sense of beauty, the excitement of discovery, and to

nurture the spark of what is possible.”

“The Nature Of Life” 1, 24x18, Acrylic on Panel

“Sleeping in the Trees” by Karen Olson
at Local Color Gallery until June 25th


Belfast—Karen Olson, a self-described lens-based artist and sculptural photographer, is the featured guest artist. “Sleeping in the Trees,” is meant “to evoke a sense of well-being and contentment,” says Olson. “This work summons the feeling of just waking from a dream-like state.” 

Olson’s work, on display from May 22-June 25,  is concept driven and explores subjects such as grief, trauma, empathy, and forest bathing. Fibers, papers, and photographs are formed and sculpted, adding weight and texture. “I seek an open dialog with the materials and the subject, encouraging collaboration and interchange,” Olson says. 

Olson’s work has been featured by the Griffin Museum of Photography, Maine Museum of Photographic Arts, Art New England Magazine, and One Twelve Publishing. She was chosen as an Rfotofolio selected artist for 2021 and was included in Maine Magazine’s “Shifting Sequences,” 18 Up-And-Coming Maine artists to watch.

“Deep Secrets” Pigment print on photo rag metallic, 20.5” x 32” on 24” x 36” sheet

Print Day in May at Local Color Gallery
Saturday May 6th 11am - 3pm

Three printmakers from Local Color Gallery will demonstrate the art of printmaking on Saturday, May 6, from 11-3, in celebration of Print Day in May. Leslie Moore (linocut), MF Morison (linocut/copper plate etching) and Nell Parker (woodcut) will join printmakers from around the world on this first Saturday in May to make prints and share their experiences on social media. 


The Local Color printmakers’ subject will be turtles. They will give away prints and ask for donations to the Turtle Rescue Program at Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine. Leigh Hallett, Executive Director, says, “We treated 75 turtles last summer, and they tend to stay with us for many weeks and require a lot of care. Each year the numbers go up, as more people realize that there is something they can do to help turtles that are injured in the road. The peak time for car strikes in this area is the first two weeks of June.” Hallett will be at the gallery on Saturday from 12:30 -2. She’ll offer brief comments about turtle rescues and answer questions.


Local Color Gallery, 135 High St., Belfast, is open from 11-5 Monday through Saturday and 11- 4 Sunday. Visit for details.


 Painted turtle woodcut in progress by Nell Parker (top)

Mixed-Media Textile Artist Catherine Worthington

Catherine Worthington, a mixed media textile artist, will be the guest artist from April 25-May 21, 2023. Inspired by walking in the woods and sailing the coast, Worthington captures nature’s color, texture, and charm in her art quilts for the wall. Working with textile paints on cloth, she creates colorful and highly textured one-of-a-kind pieces. She then cuts, stitches, and collages the painted fabrics to create her compositions, constructing a sense of depth, dimension, and line. “My textile quilts are interpretations of real places,” she says. “I hope to capture the attention of the viewer by creating a feeling or a familiar place to connect with.”


Worthington grew up on the south shore of Massachusetts and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in textile design from U-Mass North Dartmouth. In 1988 she and her husband moved to Brunswick, Maine, where they raised three boys. She worked as an artist mentor for adults with disabilities for over 20 years at Spindleworks in Brunswick. Her textile art has been shown in galleries and at arts-and-craft fairs, and may be found in many private collections as well as in three Maine hospitals and a church. She is a member of the Maine Crafts Association-guild level, Maine Fiber Arts, Designing Women, and the Lemont Block Collective.

“Butterfly Garden” by Catherine Worthington Mixed Media Textile, 15” X 18” (above)

Artist Van Bankston shows at Local Color Gallery from March 28-April 23, 2023

Bankston paints big, bold, geometric abstractions. “My artwork is about being authentic,” he says, “editing the world, editing my life to what is the truth. Going beyond the things I have done or acquired, with my painting, I want to create and evoke a visual pathway to experience spirituality. I hope my art encourages others to self-reflect; that it makes them stop, pause, take a breath, and contemplate. I hope it is a respite that is lifegiving, empowering, and supportive of self-discovery.”

Bankston was born and grew up in the Mississippi Delta. He has degrees in landscape architecture, education, and theology. He has also studied at the New York School of Interior Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. After years in New York City as in interior designer, he returned to Mississippi and worked full time as an artist, which ultimately led to a call to the priesthood. He has served as an Episcopal priest since 2012. Bankston lives in Belfast, Maine.


“280705,” collage diptych by Van Bankston (above)

280705, Collage Diptych by Van Bankston.jpg
Bulb Narrative 29, oil on wood, 30x40.jpg


Sheep Jones is the featured guest artist at Local Color Gallery for the months of December, January, and February. 


Jones, who works in oil and wax, says her paintings begin in layers. “Layers add extra interest, leaving swatches of colors in their wake. These are perfect tidbits for the imagination.” Jones always looks for “the puzzle pieces to suggest a narrative. The thing is, all people have stories. Often, they will look at one of my paintings and recognize in it their own story, their own past, their own dreams.” Some of the stories Jones’s paintings will tell are about bumblebees, birds, and botanicals, figures, fish, and root vegetables.


Born and raised in Waterville, Maine, Jones studied art at the University of Sothern Maine. She has exhibited her work in several solo and group shows and galleries in the US and Europe. In 2003, she was chosen as Artist of the Year at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. She now lives in Belfast, Maine.


Local Color Gallery, 135 High St., is open six days a week in December, Tuesday-Saturday, 11-5, Sunday, 11-4. In January and February it will be open five days a week, Wednesday-Sunday, 11-4.

News: News & Updates
bottom of page