PROCESS/Art at Akari

PROCESS / Art at Akari

A series of contemporary art installations that showcase and sell the work of local emerging artists in a non-traditional setting. The series is organized by Anne Marie Purkey Levine of AMPL Art Consulting, and hosted by Akari Salon at 195 Middle Street in Portland, Maine. Read more about PROCESS / Art at Akari in Maine Women Magazine.


Natural Geometry: Kelsey Haley Textiles

Inspired by her travels throughout Central America, Kelsey Haley utilizes yarn, thread, paint and cloth to create textiles that translate the vitality and order of the natural world. Her painted lines evoke patterns of animal tracks in sand, and are punctuated by subtle splashes of colored thread that playfully disrupt the monochromatic geometry. Kelsey’s ebullient works in yarn read as abstracted flora and fauna in sculptural relief form. By exploring patterns of repetition and disruption, Kelsey’s work comes to life.

Kelsey Haley sewed a Christmas tree with her Grandmother at the age of 8, and there started her love of fiber art. She dabbled in photography, printmaking, and ceramics until she enrolled in an Introduction to Textiles course at the Maine College of Art, and felt as if she were coming home. After graduating with a BFA in textile and fashion design from MECA she began working for a local home decor company in Portland, intertwining her knowledge and love for textiles in the home.

Inspired by her travels throughout Central America, Kelsey Haley utilizes yarn, thread, paint and cloth to create textiles that translate the vitality and order of the natural world. Her painted lines evoke patterns of animal tracks in sand, and are punctuated by subtle splashes of colored thread that playfully disrupt the monochromatic geometry. Kelsey’s ebullient works in yarn read as abstracted flora and fauna in sculptural relief form. By exploring patterns of repetition and disruption, Kelsey’s work comes to life.

Kelsey Haley sewed a Christmas tree with her Grandmother at the age of 8, and there started her love of fiber art. She dabbled in photography, printmaking, and ceramics until she enrolled in an Introduction to Textiles course at the Maine College of Art, and felt as if she were coming home. After graduating with a BFA in textile and fashion design from MECA she began working for a local home decor company in Portland, intertwining her knowledge and love for textiles in the home.


In This Skin: Sophie Cangelosi and Chelsea Ellis

Sophie Cangelosi and Chelsea Ellis utilize portrait-based techniques to explore notions of beauty and femininity. In her drawings and prints, Cangelosi depicts female bodies that are often turned away in profile, looking off into the distance or lost in contemplative thought. While her figures appear autonomous and uninhibited by the ostensible presence of an observer, they are connected by a strong emotional thread conveyed through intimate body language. The artist accentuates physical features with sharp outlines and acrid colors that imbue the figures with a hyper-real physicality and expressive power. 

Ellis traces the female form – her own – by painting and photographing her body, and then digitally altering the images into gestural fragments. An eye, the chin, a mouth - body parts have been extracted and transformed into evocative abstractions that appear as ritual objects or ancient relics. Any personal resemblances to the artist’s features have been stripped away to reveal a life-force that has materialized into an element primordial and sublime.

Sophie Cangelosi is a multi-disciplinary visual artist with experience in illustration, graphic design, hand lettering, and mural installation. Cangelosi explores themes of perception, impermanence, femininity, inner-life, and identity by using graphic, figurative, and abstract forms. She graduated from Maine College of Art with her BFA in Illustration in 2016, and has exhibited her work in a number of locations throughout the United States, most recently at Seven Sisters in Portland, Oregon. Cangelosi lives in Portland, Maine.

Chelsea Ellis is a photographic and digital artist who grew up in Maine and lives in Portland. Her most recent work portrays the arrival of a strong sense of self during a moment of personal anxiety and transition. She received her BA in Photography from the University of Southern Maine in 2012. Ellis currently has work at the Harlow Gallery's 23rd annual juried art exhibition in Hallowell, Maine.


Elemental States: Justin Levesque and Sage Lewis

In their photo-based works, Levesque and Lewis look to the edges of nature for inspiration and meaning. Levesque investigates the Arctic Circle as both ancient and fleeting, as it adjusts to climate change and human interventions. Lewis explores her personal histories via the rock and mineral formations of the desert. Rather than presenting these environments as solitary and barren, the artists imbue them with poetic abundance. 

Justin Levesque takes an interdisciplinary approach to image-making with a consideration for the materiality and tradition of formal photography. He received his BFA in Photography from the University of Southern Maine, and has held residencies at The Arctic Circle and aboard an Eimskip container ship en route for Iceland. Levesque has exhibited at PhoPa Gallery in Portland, ME, Midwest Center for Photography in Wichita, KS, Terrault Contemporary in Baltimore, MD, Hera Gallery in Wakefield, RI, and JanKossen Contemporary in New York City. In 2016, he received The Kindling Fund from Space Gallery and organized an exhibition of his works in a shipping container (ICELANDx207: Container) that traveled throughout the state of Maine. 

Sage Lewis is interested in the connections between concepts, processes and materials through a variety of media. She received her BFA from the Maine College of Art, and her MFA from The Ohio State University. Lewis has held residencies at the Stephen Pace House Residency in Stonington, ME and Project Space Residency, Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. She has recently exhibited at Able Baker Contemporary in Portland, ME, the Denison Museum in Granville, OH, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Hamad bin Khalifa University Art Gallery in Doha, Qatar.


Tessa Greene O’Brien: Disintegrating Systems

In her most recent body of work, Tessa Greene O’Brien explores the breakdown of recognizable forms as a reaction to the current socio-political climate. Beginning with elements from architecture and the built environment, the artist obscures these grounding structures with chaotic, churning atmospheres. O’Brien provides us with fleeting glimpses of specific sites that have been flattened by the pressures of color and texture. The forms can no longer uphold a logical sense of space or place, and any realistic structures are rendered into abstractions. 

Tessa Greene O’Brien is a mid-coast Maine native, and received her B.S. in Fine Art from Skidmore College and her MFA from Maine College of Art. O’Brien has exhibited her work at Able Baker Contemporary and MECA in Portland, the Firehouse Center in Damariscotta, and currently is making work for Barba Contemporary Art Gallery in Palm Springs, CA. The artist recently won the Joseph A. Fiore Painting Prize, and has completed residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Hewnoaks Artist Colony, and Stephen Pace House. O’Brien is co-founder of the Portland Mural Initiative, a public art project pairing contemporary painters with wall painting opportunities around the state.


Kimberly Convery: Jazz Paintings

Kimberly Convery uses the conversational, free-form arrangements of jazz as inspiration for her new series of gouache paintings on paper.  Transitioning from her previously tightly-rendered style to a looser application of paint, Convery allows herself to create spontaneous and expressive compositions of playful line and color. The natural urges of shape and form are given free reign, and the saturated layers of paint seem to dance on the page. Rather than a sidetrack, this series is a brave step for the artist, and is a carefully researched exploration of pure visual and audible emotion.



Elizabeth Fox: Candy Colored Cravings

The paintings of Elizabeth Fox are a paradox. At first glance they seem frisky and fun, brimming with glamour girls who evoke the pastel sensuality of a Botticelli goddess. Floating and unanchored in their surreal dreamscapes, however, these figures appear lost in their sexualized stoicism. Fox’s heroines long for something just beyond their flattened foregrounds — connection, understanding, purpose.


Jared Haug: Ice Cubes

For the inaugural winter show, Purkey Levine has selected a series of paintings by Jared Haug entitled Ice Cubes, in which the artist investigates how properties of ice and its melting point can be translated by paint. Haug dilutes acrylic paint with water, then freezes and places it on the canvas to leave its imprint as it melts, creating abstract fields punctuated by the pigmented residue of where ice once existed. In their cool tranquility, Haug’s paintings evoke the loss of natural forms via human manipulation. 

Jared Haug is an artist and educator living in Portland, Maine. Haug is a co-founding member of Ditch Projects in Springfield, Oregon. Previous exhibitions include Rocksbox (Portland, OR), Grammar Center (Medford, OR), Human Resources (Los Angeles, CA), Space 4 (San Diego, CA), and The Holland Project (Reno, NV).


Natural Geometry: Kelsey Haley Textiles   November 8, 2018

Natural Geometry: Kelsey Haley Textiles

November 8, 2018

In This Skin: Sophie Cangelosi and Chelsea Ellis   June 1, 2018

In This Skin: Sophie Cangelosi and Chelsea Ellis

June 1, 2018

Elemental States: Justin Levesque and Sage Lewis   December 1, 2017

Elemental States: Justin Levesque and Sage Lewis

December 1, 2017

Tessa Greene O’Brien:  Disintegrating Systems   October 6, 2017

Tessa Greene O’Brien: Disintegrating Systems

October 6, 2017

Kimberly Convery:  Jazz Paintings   July 7, 2017

Kimberly Convery: Jazz Paintings

July 7, 2017

Elizabeth Fox:  Candy Colored Craving s  April 7, 2017

Elizabeth Fox: Candy Colored Cravings

April 7, 2017

Jared Haug:  Ice Cubes   January 23, 2017

Jared Haug: Ice Cubes

January 23, 2017