Belfast Art Gallery and Studio offers an immersive experience

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BELFAST, Maine (WABI) – Many are familiar with the Mainely Pottery store on Route 1 in Belfast.

He has a new name… and a new purpose.

“Mainely Pottery had been here for, I think, 30 years. Mainely Gallery and Studio is all about creativity, sourcing artists, it’s Made in Maine and it’s truly the best of the creators doing stuff here,” said Brian Frus.

Brian Frus and his wife, Stephanie Natale recently moved here from Florida with their two young daughters. Both artists themselves, Frus says they chose Belfast because of its creative community, seeing the city as a canvas of artistic opportunity.

“And so there are a lot of ideas here, but we’re also cultivating relationships in the community where we can cross-pollinate studios,” Frus says.

Main Gallery offers glassware, ceramics, carpentry, textile arts, paintings, jewelry, metals and more. There is also an exhibition space as well as a cafe serving coffee and pastries.

“This is our patio,” Frus gestures as he opens the back door to the gallery into a spacious space with wrought-iron tables adorned with colorful umbrellas. “We have all kinds of events that are openings, we always have food, we often have live music.”

Just beyond the bridge are the Gallery Gardens. They started decades ago. Frus says they work with the owners’ family members to maintain the expansive beds.

“People sometimes come to the property just to see the gardens because they have new surprises in store for us every day,” Frus said.

Before coming to Maine, Frus was a glass artist and educator. It was important for him to offer experiences at the same time as exhibitions. That’s why there is an art studio right next to the gallery.

Frus offers collective and private workshops in hot glass, stained glass and fusing.

Courses in precious metal painting and clay are in preparation.

Part of the gallery section includes exhibition space. The couple shoot shows about once a month. Their current model features old-world glassblowing techniques infused with modern 3D printing. Artist Clint Burbridge was part of a residency program at Mainely Gallery.

“He’s making these copper cages and then setting them up so he can blow the glass bubble in, and it pushes through the copper,” Frus said.

Frus says he and his wife recognize that the Belfast community wants to have art in its DNA. They are honored to be part of this process.

“Our gallery finds homes for artists who nurture the works to continue making art. and it just keeps growing and growing and growing, we’re thrilled to be here,” says Frus.

Mainely Gallery and Studio is also a partner of Waterfall Arts in Belfast.


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