Both artists have known each other and admired each other’s work for decades. As show curator June Fitzpatrick explains, “both artists create work that is strong and extremely forceful. Manning’s sometimes drenched with color – Sakanishi’s not.”
William Manning is one of Maine’s foremost abstract artists. Manning initially started drawing and painting while hospitalized with polio as a boy. His work is inspired by the abstract expressionist and cubist movements of the 20th century and also Maine roots, particularly Monhegan Island. Manning is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts award and many others, and his work can be found locally and nationally in collections and museums. He taught at Haystack School of Crafts, the Portland School of Art, and co-founded the Concept School in Portland.
Noriko Sakanishi’s three dimensional wall constructions, drawings, and collages provide space for release within strictly defined geometric boundaries. Her collages reflect on personal history using scraps of fabric from her and her mother’s clothing, and bits of printed materials. “Sakanishi has enormous power in her work yet shows enormous restraint” said Fitzpatrick. “All of her works are vessels to contain things. She creates the most wonderful containers for things to come and reside in them. Her 3-dimensional works and are empty, but waiting.”
“The exhibition helps us look forward and keep the fabric of the arts community together” said Blainor McGough, founder and Executive Director of Mayo Street Arts. “We’ve had a steady stream of visitors to the pop-up gallery, providing an outlet for artists and arts audiences, and excellent visibility for our organization.”
Mayo Street Arts is a community arts center located in East Bayside presenting visual and performing arts and working with a diverse neighborhood constituency. The center is currently under renovations and pausing all live events due to Covid-19, but has launched the pop-up gallery on Washington Avenue in the former Nissen Bakery Building at 67 Washington Avenue.
MSA Pop-Up Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday 12pm – 5pm. Please note that the gallery is limiting the number of guests to 5 at a time, follows all CDC requirements, and requires all guests to kindly wear masks and maintain appropriate social distancing.