OCT/NOV 2019

A native of Maine, Melanie Tornberg created her first oil painting at the age of twelve while taking after school art classes with the Western Maine Art Group. Melanie learned the basics of realistic painting from WMAG founders Lajos Matolcsy and Lee Bean.  Focused on art, after high school Melanie entered the BFA program at the University of New Hampshire, where she studied with painters John Laurent and John Hatch. 

Over the years, Melanie's painting style has evolved into something looser and reflects the hills and mountains of the area near her home in Bethel.  Melanie has claimed top prizes at local juried art exhibitions, including the Mahoosuc Land Trust Art Show in Bethel and the WMAG Summer Art Show in Norway.  For the past three years, she has served as the President of the Western Maine Art Group. 



I am not at one with the cult of the artist and do not stand in front of my work to which I see myself as incidental. I could on the other hand rhapsodize about how the paper (cold press, hot press, rough, BFK rives) responds to the ink, the water, the paint, about expensive brushes when one can afford them and fine pen nibs when one can find them. As far back as I can remember, I made pictures and over the years have been sustained in my commitment to the process by William the Silent because from him I learned that hope is not necessary to act and success in not necessary to persevere. I see life as the creative and an artist as the receptive. I was born at Boston City Hospital in 1943, the second of seven children. I had a younger sister who died in 2011 (Cry Sorrow, Sorrow) and have five brothers, one son and five grandchildren.


JUNE 2019

Art is the manna that feeds my soul.

In this whacky world, one needs a refuge. Through my painting, I seek to create a world more beautiful, whimsical, fanciful and colorful. It’s in this land that I live, and move, and have my being which I am glad to share with others some of whom might resonate with my vision or, at least, find it interesting.

Most importantly, painting is a deeply spiritual experience, allowing me access to God’s greatest gift, a higher state of consciousness which enables me to “see” brighter colors and rhythmic patterns morphing and flowing.

As I continue with my painting, I hope to better express that which I see with my inner vision as I dream into being a world of beauty and wonder.


MAY 2019

The Western Maine Art Group (WMAG) was founded in 1962 by fine arts Professor Lajos Matolcsy, a Hungarian immigrant, and two of his students to provide opportunities for artists in the western foothills of Maine to come together to develop their skills and to display and sell their artwork.  Headquartered in a 150-year-old schoolhouse in Norway, Maine, WMAG is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting local artists with exhibits, classes, scholarships and innovative opportunities to market their works. A new generation of creative people in the group has helped drive a resurgence of the arts in the area, with our artists coming from an area that encompasses towns as far away as Auburn and spanning all the way to Albany Township joining in on the fun.





APRIL 2019

Dennis Dreher in his own words…

I am a visual person and I can feel things with my eyes. If an intellectual concept doesn't reach me physically and emotionally, then it's not working for me. When I am succeeding as an artist, my audience will respond to my work on a primal level. As an artist I want to give a message of joy or ecstasy, the uplifting experience. Some artists are very political, very message oriented. I don't have that. I don't do art work that portrays pain and suffering. There's plenty of that around. Joy and ecstasy only last a moment. It is that moment that I am trying to create in my art work.

I started building color spaces as three-dimensional paintings. These 3-D paintings have the same emotional impact on me as my two-dimensional pieces. So, what I am trying to say is that my work has come full circle. I got into geometry originally as a tool to understanding color as I used it in two dimensions and ended up with a whole new medium of painting in three dimensions.

When some people look at these color sculptures, these 3-D paintings, they are just plumb fascinated by the wires and the weavings. I tell them I'm not in it for that. They're only there to hold the colors where I want them. 

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Marian Laroche has been creating all her life and still has her first cross stitch sampler completed at age 8. Her interest in quilting grew later in life after her children had flown the coop and she had finished her advanced degree. While many quilters have a specific style or technique they use, Marian enjoys working in many different fabric styles and varies between traditional piecing, paper piecing and applique. She works on projects as small as coasters and as large as king-sized bed quilts. Sometimes the pattern speaks to her and sparks her into creating a quilt for that pattern; more often, it’s the colors and designs of the fabric that leads to her inspiration in showcasing it in the final design.


DEC '18/JAN '19

Gary Polonski earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts where he studied under the late famed American Expressionist John Grillo.  Polonski had the good fortune to work under Grillo when he produced his famous “Circus” series which continues to impact Polonski’s style to this day. Gary is a self-described “Colorist” endeavoring to produce works that delight viewer’s senses through unique arrangements of color, texture and composition.  In 2008, Polonski and his family moved full-time to Newry, Maine where he completed the construction of his 700+ sq.ft. studio to focus his time on painting and enjoying the outdoors.

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Becky Robbins grew up in the Sebago Lake Region of western Maine, and received her Bachelor of Environmental Sciences degree in Wildlife, with a minor in Art, from Unity College in Maine in 1996. She has spent her life celebrating, exploring, and studying the
natural world and sharing her insights and understanding through her art. Becky has shown her paintings at numerous juried shows throughout New England, and has won multiple awards for her portraits of wildlife. She was a member of the Gallery 302 artists’ cooperative in Bridgton, Maine from 2005-2008, and is currently a member of the Western Maine Art Group and an exhibiting member at Main Street Gallery in Norway,



Sue Dunn moved to Maine 22 years ago from Arlington. Texas.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Public Relations from Texas State University.  After moving to Maine, she discovered a passion for all things outdoors.  Being inspired by its beauty, she decided it was time to follow in her mother’s footsteps and try her hand at painting.  After dabbling with several mediums, she settled on acrylics (at least for the time being) and began painting what she loves–landscapes.



“Being an artist is a privilege and a great deal of fun. Art is magic, a force of nature that comes with a dream or inspiration. I enjoy giving something back to the world that is positive. I hope you enjoy what I produce.” - Suzanne Hardy

Suzanne Hardy has been an active artist in the western mountains of Maine and member of Western Maine Art Group for over twenty years. Her art work is displayed at TRAC in Bethel, Maine and she is a co-founder and displaying artist at Main Street Gallery, 

Norway, Maine. She has participated in many local exhibitions, juried shows and fairs and served as judge at the Norway Arts Festival. As a starting point for her creative process, Suzanne paints en plein air and uses photographs she has taken. She primarily works in watercolors and acrylics, but also creates in colored pencils, graphite, gouache, pastels and mixed media. Her work continues to be displayed in homes and businesses in Maine, as well as in Montana, Connecticut, Florida, Vermont, New York and Georgia. Her commercial artwork appears on a variety of beer labels and goods for Glacier Brewing Company in Polson, Montana.

Fine giclee reproductions are also available, commissions accepted.




Will is happiest when learning, whether it’s reading a new book, trying a new recipe, meeting a new person, or visiting a new place. He is at his best when he is moving and outside, preferably among mountains and trees. This past year, he fulfilled a lifelong dream and moved to the mountains of Western Maine where in the past he has spent many vacation and weekend days biking, hiking and cross-country skiing. His paying job is as a grant writer for a national nonprofit that teaches entrepreneurship to high school students. His nonpaying job is working on a novel, several screenplays, a TV pilot, and a stage play—all currently in various stages of development. He has had a love for photography since he received his first camera at age 10. He especially likes capturing an image of something his eye caught in order to freeze a moment so it can be shared with others. Will grew up in Scituate, MA and studied the Great Books at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM. He has lived in seven states but is happy to now call Bethel, Maine his home, where he lives with his rescued—and now plump—cat. He has two remarkable adult sons.



Brendan Leitch is a self taught artist, who has been drawing and painting since the age of 2. At 23, he is currently focused on his art, and writing, full time. His art style is never done evolving, but the works often center around fashion and the human form. His colored pencil drawings incorporate fabric textures, because he
likes every piece of art to be stylish, as well as raw and personal. His struggle with mental health has pushed him to create beauty out of ugliness, and to pursue his passion of art full time. He does art for his own inner peace, but also loves to create and spread beauty in any way possible.

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Quentin Stockwell is a theatrical lighting and scenic designer. His theater career started at Gould Academy, Deertrees Theater in Harrison, and at many venues in Portland, Maine. He was awarded a BFA in Lighting Design from Ithaca College and then went on to study at NYU. Quentin has designed lights and scenery throughout New England, mostly in the seacoast region of southern Maine and New Hampshire. While working as an electrician for various theaters, he started re-wiring practical lighting fixtures (chandeliers, sconces, floor and table lamps) to prepare them for the productions. That started his art form of re-purposing lights, antiques, and illumination devices. Quentin’s love of history, Victoriana, industrial equipment, early electronics, tinkering and mechanical time pieces, inspire him to create. Frequently using up-cycled components or reclaimed parts, his Light-Q Creations range from repairing interesting light fixtures to re-purposing antiques AS lighting fixtures, industrial lighting, found-object sculptures, and steampunk.



Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright grew up in Rhode Island and studied photography early on, before earning literary/writing degrees at Emerson College and University of Arkansas and going on to publish translations of German contemporary poetry. Although she has kept her photography largely private, a few have appeared on the covers of books published by Oberlin College Press and Marick Press. When taking pictures, Elizabeth concentrates on the inside and/or outside to within a few feet of her home, wherever she may be living, enjoying the inner silence of visual perception. New to Western Maine and recovering from major loss, she has immersed herself daily in photography while falling again for the beauty of the world. Positive response to exhibiting in Bethel several times in 2018 has encouraged her to continue sharing her work publicly.



I grew up in Southern California (Balboa). My grandfather, who was an artist lived nearby.  When I was young I would go to his house at the beach and we would draw and paint together. My pictures were always of horses and the ocean.  Two things I loved. In my teens I moved to the East Coast. (Madison, CT) I attended Plymouth State College where I majored in art with a concentration in printmaking.  While at Plymouth I fell in love with the mountains and ski life.  I also met my husband.  We moved to the sea coast of New Hampshire where we raised 3 sons. While the kids were growing up my art was primarily cake and cookie decorating.  I took an oil painting class with Todd Bonita about 5 years ago. He is an amazing artist from sea coast.  I loved the process of layering and glazing he taught.  I started out mainly painting pictures of my children, then moved on to ocean and mountains, and snow scenes. I like to use light and reflections in my paintings. I like to paint the things in my life that I love. Sunday River is our second home and our “happy “ place.  We’ve been coming here for 20 years. It’s been a huge part of our lives.



Kevin Winsor, a resident of Bethel, Maine began his fine furniture and homewares woodworking 20 years ago. As a registered Maine guide, he has a special connection to the outdoors, particularity the rivers of Maine that he has enjoyed flyfishing for many years.

As a wood worker, Kevin is self-taught. His designs are inspired by the beauty and character of the wood he works with. Every piece marries traditional hand-crafted skill and clean, sculptured lines that will bring unique style to your home.



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