Artists’ Reception Held at Calais Free Library

By Lura Jackson

The three featured artists for the month of May in the gallery of the Calais Free Library came in for a reception on Saturday. Left to right: Ryan Cross, Patrick Cormier, and Crystal McCaslin. (Photo by Lura Jackson).

On Saturday May 31st, the Calais Free Library held a reception for the three local artists whose work had been on display in its gallery throughout the month of May. The artists were on hand to discuss the techniques and inspirations used to create each of their works while attendees indulged in the provided homemade hummus and guacamole.

Each artist has a distinct style and sense of composition that they utilize in their art. Crystal McCaslin has a skilled eye for drawing and painting from life in addition to a demonstrated aptitude at creating intensely colorful kaleidoscopic images. She uses reclaimed canvases and everyday materials like pizza boxes to create unique repurposed art, often with natural themes. “Anything is an inspiration—it’s about finding some way of communicating in a visual form. Sometimes there isn’t as much thought involved as there is play.”

Four acrylic paintings by Patrick Cormier were on display, each portraying vivid and surreal landscapes with skies swirled by dramatic clouds and lighting. “I wanted to tell a story with these paintings,” Cormier says, describing how he was inspired by the many changes the Earth is undergoing. Three of the paintings were completed over the past winter. “Winter is the time to be creative; it’s a good time to rest your body and use your mind.”

Ryan Cross had three examples of his acclaimed wood-burning technique on display, including an eye-captivating symmetrical piece titled “Galactic Time Clock” and a repurposed mirror with a well-detailed frame. Cross began working with wood a few years ago when he decided that he wanted to utilize driftwood in a form of art. “I like the three-dimensional quality of wood.” From there he developed the esoterically-themed style that characterizes many of his pieces (some of which can be seen online at

The well-received variety exhibit will next be moving to the Outlet Gallery in Eastport (at 62B Water Street, above the coffee shop).