the biggest artist in Maine
that you may not have heard of
Nancy Kureth is legendary to Maine artists, handing over inspiration and empowering leadership to any creative mind she encounters and continuously and fearlessly providing insight, activism and excitement into the creative scene around Southern Maine.
trash and smashing in windows of empty homes. In an area filled with unkempt buildings, drugs and poverty she embraced the neighborhood and set out to be a cog in the change and growth of the small city and soon Colette's Cup became a hub for many of the upcoming artists and art buyers during it's two-plus year reign but it certainly isn't all that Nancy has given Southern Maine...
The biggest surprise to many around her was that when Colette's Cup opened it's doors on Alfred Street, it was busy, the coffee poured and the art sold regularly.
Nancy says "While it was open, there was never a month that art didn't fly out the door."
of the the now monthly Biddeford-Saco Art Walk and is the former director of the well known Twin Cities Creative Council. She worked with Doug Sanford on growing the North Dam Mill into an art hub, curating shows and supporting many of the artists without asking for anything in return.
Many people have received free original art in the mail unexpectedly during Kureth's SNAIL MAIL REVOLUTION
Along with the business and achievements, there is also art. A message of peace and community pours from her and becomes infectious as she still regularly creates art as thoughtful gifts for people around her and gives her work away for free, she has spent summers sharing "seed bombs" and contributing insight into local food movements and spreading awareness of politics and practices.
Right now, Nancy is as strong as ever as a visual artist, currently showing work at KTP ArtHouse in Kennebunk, she mainly works in collage and assemblage creating dreamy, surreal, imaginative images that well describe the world she has created for herself, allowing us glimpses of a deep mind and thoughtful life that can become reality.
Behind the Alfred Street building that she now uses as her home, there is a (not so) secret garden that Nancy has built over the last 10 years, it's held in high regard by visitors and is said to be one of Biddefords most magical places. Residents of Biddeford and Saco regularly visit and sometimes contribute with an offering.
"People stop by the garden all the time, sometimes they pray or meditate, they leave treasures or notes…but always, they express gratitude for it being here, and that's what it's all about."
She expressed how well the building has served her over the last ten+ years, as recently as a few months ago she has held pop-up shows for her work and others including a recent showing of her work along side long time friend and artist Kelly Harrison, for art lovers in this area, the show was a true representation of art for art's sake and a refreshing wellspring in an area notorious for showing traditional art or edging out unrepresented artists.
The Alfred Street building is currently up for sale, a rare opportunity to own a unique property with a new history, in a great Southern Maine neighborhood…when asked what she's going to do next after the building sells, Nancy states very matter-of-fact…
"Go with the flow."
So what else is Nancy working on right now?
She is working on some art pieces on large paper, a commissioned diptych and she is searching for a welder that can help her execute a work in progress, if you are a welder and you can afford some time to throw her way, you will genuinely make back two fold of what you give.
Kureth's constant energy flow is something to behold, her studio/home/gallery is under constant change and motion, while she's working, it can look downright frightening...blink and it's one of the cleanest and well curated gallery spaces in Southern Maine...blink again and it's a warm inviting place to call home…the unique zoning has allowed her to both live, work and play in this space for 10 years, let's collectively and selfishly hope that after the sale of this building, we can keep Nancy Kureth in Southern Maine and all to ourselves.
written by: Erin Duquette
Art, Culture, Unity and Soul