‘Art of the Bard’ Art Show

Opening: Friday, June 1st
Show Run: June 1st – June 10th, 2018
Reception: $6.00 (includes champagne toast & light hors d'oeuvres)

Intimate and powerful exhibition adding artistic dimension to the Shakespearean play

The next exhibit in the art gallery is Art of the Bard to accompany the upcoming theatre production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (June 1-2-3/8-9-10). The show opens on Friday June 1 immediately following first performance.

The exhibition explores themed works by local Maine artists, cast and members of the production crew who were inspired by the ethereal stories of the characters within the renowned Scottish play. The art show showcases a variety of mediums and is curated by Melanie Willey of Bath in partnership with Shakespeare on the Kennebec. 

List of artists displaying their work include: 

Cecelia Cox – Oil Painter, Cecelia studied art at the Atlanta College of Art and is a Signature member of oil Painter of America and American Women Artists
Keith Plummer – Sculptor, recently received the 2nd Annual Leonardo DaVinci Award in Florence, Italy First Place Award             
Julie Cyr – Oil Painter with a background as a musician. 1st Place Award at The Boston International Fine Arts Show, 2013 and 2014 Member, River Arts, Damariscotta and  Belfast Arts, Belfast
Mike Hanley – Painter, Author, Songwriter, Composer, Independent Film maker. Specialized in Sound Art at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Tyler Door – Mixed Media.  Rooted in heritage and values the knowledge of history. Influences of the Pre-Raphaelites can be seen in his portrayal of beautiful ancient stories. Royal portraiture from the Renaissance to the Edwardian eras
Henry Lavender – Rustic Renditions. Custom artisan specializing in leather and metal work. School-trained blacksmith and Bladesmith, Rustic Renderings has won 3 best in show awards at Portcon, Maine
Melanie Willey – Oil Painter, Bath ME. Member of The Chocolate Church Art Gallery since 2016
Clay Hawks – Oil, Cast of Macbeth (Macbeth) Local community actor, musician and artist

Other works included by Macbeth Cast and Crew members.

‘A Woman’s Place’ Art Show

Opening: April 13th from 5–7pm
Artist Panel: April 28th from 2–4pm

This engaging collection of work created by women in response to the sensational #metoo movement is a powerful statement of the times, and premiered in Boston to rave reviews.

Film Screenings: 

'Who Does She Think She Is' 
April 22nd from 2:00-4:00pm

'Packed In A Trunk' 
May 5th from 2:00-4:00pm

What does it mean to be a woman in the 21st century? This question was explored by a group of 17 artists who created a deeply nuanced and thoughtful body of work. With a gentle severity these pieces bring an intelligent awareness to the issues of gender inequity.  

Kimberly Becker, a past resident of the Midcoast, is the driving force behind this collection. Her own work, 'The Housedress Project' is a show within this show, highlighting Ms. Becker's mastery of storytelling through thread. Each delicately crafted dress has a house painted on its front with the story of the woman who lives there stitched down its back. Often painful to read, these poignant tales are true to life accounts of injustices perpetrated against women.

The opening will be held in the CCAC gallery space and the three spin off events are also planned in the gallery and light refreshments will be served at all events.

Artists will always strive to tell the story through their craft and this collection is a powerful example of that. Showing, and viewing, this work is one way we can break down the barriers and allow for thoughtful conversations to grow between the us.

Gallery Hours






2018 Member Art Show

Show Run: February 9th through March 16th

Members of the Chocolate Church Arts Center feature their artistic work in our art gallery. Visit the art gallery to experience just how talented our members are!

Members of the Chocolate Church Arts Center feature their artistic work in our art gallery. Traditionally this exhibit is curated among members who submit their work created through different mediums from woodwork to clay to acrylic and oil paintings. 

2018 Member artists include: Joseph Arsenault, Donald Carter, Cory Gardiner,  Robert Howe, Amy Puleo, Kenneth Putnam, Diane Racine, Wayne Robbins, Judith Schuppien, Melanie Willey, and Cheryl Young. 

Milena Banks

Show Run: November 4th through December 22nd

Nostalgic, full of color and vivid scenes which express a sense of longing.
— Art Collector Maine

Milena Banks paints scenes around Bath—from old houses, recumbent dogs, and the sea, to still lives and farm animals. Her favorite approach involves the use of thick oil paint and lots of color to highlight the dynamic between light and shadow and the resulting mystery.

She started off doing a masters degree in Photography but her desire for texture and depth led her to take formal painting classes in NYC and to then study for several years under the tutelage of Enzo Russo, master painter and student of Giorgio de Chirico.

Milena is also a writer of the Kirkus acclaimed novel, Riding the Tiger, an historical thriller. She runs a horse and hound rescue with her husband in Bath and her paintings are represented by Portland Art Gallery.

“Feel the Weight”

Textile Artists Explore Memory and Material in Eclectic, Colorful Show

Opening Reception: Friday, August 11 from 5-7pm
Show Run: August 11 through September 23  

Concrete and artificial flowers, cotton and luxurious silk are a few of the unique materials displayed within the “Feel the Weight” art exhibit curated by mother-daughter duo Nika and Salley Knight. whimsical and thought-provoking end-of-summer show opens August 11 (reception from 5-7pm is open to the public) and continues until September 23.

 The “Feel the Weight” art exhibit features three Maine-connected textile artists exploring the weight of personal memory, history, culture, and identity through a wide and eclectic variety of materials. On the floor, sculptures by Veronica A. Perez make use of often overlooked or maligned materials—fake flowers, wig hair, concrete—and combine them to create inventive, thought-provoking new forms.  On the walls, Portland-based textile artist Isabelle O’Donnell uses a variety of cloths and dyes to create intricate, considered textile works inspired by the colors, patterns, and textures of the materials at hand. Finally, an expansive, hand-dyed silk wall installation and colorful silk paintings by artist and co-curator Salley Knight explore memories of childhood in Maine and Virginia. Like O’Donnell and Perez, Knight derives inspiration from her materials. 

Colors, patterns, textures, and weight: in “Feel the Weight,” the limitations and potential of physical materials inspires wild, beautiful, and entertaining artworks.

“Far Away/Home”

‘Light, Mystery, Magic’: Maine Artists Explore Home and Identity

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 10 from 5-7pm
Show Run: June 10 through July 30  

The Chocolate Church Arts Center is excited to announce its first summer art exhibition, "Far Away/Home," curated by Bath-based writer and critic Nika Knight, features the work of three young contemporary Maine artists exploring questions of home and identity in disparate mediums. 

Photographs by Alex Nelson capture a lesser-seen side of Kennebunk, Nelson's hometown and one of Maine's most popular summer vacation destinations. In these beautiful, haunting images from her series Old Roads Unknown, Nelson, who lives and works in New York, comes back home and captures a Maine vacation town when summer homes are locked up, winter waves are fierce, and a thick fog lingers.  

"I found myself in the dark, needing directions on roads I'd traveled many times before," explained Nelson. "The place where I grew up had become increasingly unfamiliar. The photographs trace transformations in the landscape of my coastal Maine hometown by exploring the mysteries of nightfall and seasonal change." 

Like Nelson, Tessa Greene O'Brien evokes the harsh beauty of a Maine landscape and humanity's attempt to create a home within it. In O'Brien's series of "structure paintings," houses are stripped to their bones, and the simple wooden frames soon give way to abstracted shapes and bright, daring colors. The viewer begins question the boundaries between the world and the inventions of the artist's mind. 

"My paintings begin with compositions observed from my immediate surrounding, drawing inspiration from the natural world and the built landscape. From there, the painting becomes a more formal investigation of color and material," O'Brien, who lives and works in South Portland, said. "I often find myself in the studio saying, 'I wonder what would happen if...'"

New work by Jenna Crowder, an artist living and working in Portland, Maine, on the other hand, doesn't examine the world on the ground but instead gazes up at the stars. Crowder's monoprints explore humanity's unending fascination with the firmament, and demonstrate Crowder's interest in "the mutable edges between science and mysticism (visualized here as astronomy and astrology)," Crowder said. 

Crowder's delicate, shimmering constellation prints together form an archive that "hopes to promote a conversation of friction and tenderness," the artist explained. 

"I am always thinking about light, mystery, and magic," O'Brien said, in a statement that seemingly could apply to all three artists' work.


2017 Annual Member Art Show

Past Art Shows


 See all the shows with reserved seating. Tickets make great gifts to offer to friends and family!

See all the shows with reserved seating. Tickets make great gifts to offer to friends and family!

 You may purchase a gift certificate in any amount you choose. A great gift for friends and family.

You may purchase a gift certificate in any amount you choose. A great gift for friends and family.

Located At: 804 Washington Street, Bath, ME 04530
phone: (207) 442-8455 • email: info@chocolatechurch.com
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 252 Bath, ME 04530