Brooklin artist Alison Dibble paints outdoors year-round. ALISON DIBBLE PHOTO

All in the family: Pop-up art show features sisters and a daughter

BROOKLIN — Two sisters and a daughter, whose collective artwork ranges from abstract and landscapes to digitally altered photos on wood and canvas, are currently featured at Bay Road Gallery. The Pine Tree State binds together the sisters and daughter who live far away from each other in Brooklin, Hawaii and British Columbia. The pop-up art show has briefly drawn them back together.

“Falls Bridge,” oil on panel, Alison Dibble

In “Brighten The Day!” Alison Dibble and Annie Coan, whose late mother, Barbara Coan, lived in Lamoine, Ellsworth and Stonington in the 1970s-1990s, are showing their respective landscapes, seascapes and colorful abstract paintings. Alison’s daughter, Claire Dibble, completes the trio with her vibrant photo transfers. Their works are on view in the Bay Road Gallery next door to Brooklin Candy Company on the Bay Road.

Barbara Coan, a painter who trained at Boston University and New York’s Art Students League, lived with her family in the Penobscot County town of Lincoln and Hancock County. From a young age, making art was a big part of Alison and Annie’s life. Predeceased by her husband Edward — they were married for 61 years — Barbara retired to Hawaii. She died in 2018.

Retired from working as an ecologist at the University of Maine and consultant, Alison devotes much of her time to her artwork. She paints almost daily, often outdoors — in all seasons. Her teachers include Olena Babak of Hartland, Marsha Donahue of Belfast and Frank Sullivan of Littleton.

Alison brings a loose, bold style to her subject matter.

“The underlying design is the heart of the painting. I want to tell a story or evoke an emotion by using a few brisk strokes,” she says. “It’s like tight-rope walking and when it works, I’ve entered another realm.”

Alison paints almost daily since she retired from her work as an ecologist at the University of Maine and her own consulting firm. Among her featured paintings is a portrait of the 1926 Falls Bridge in South Blue Hill, where site work has begun for the multi-year project. Her “Jazz Improvisation” abstract series also is on view.

“More Bubbles,” acrylic and collage on panel, Annie Coan

“Nostalgia is a real thing; it’s hard for some of us to let that bridge go,” Alison said, referring to the South Blue Hill Bridge. “But a painting helps us remember the way it was.”

Annie Coan, a working artist for much of her life, lives in Kauai, Hawaii. She retired there after a career teaching K-sixth grade at Lehman College’s Arts Learning Center and schools in New York’s Bronx for more than 20 years. In New York City, she studied art and arts education at Bank Street College of Education and through dozens of educational programs offered by museums. Her most paintings represent her serious study of a squared-off oval shape. The resulting pieces are abstract, brilliant with color, and richly layered.

Alison’s daughter, Claire Dibble, a photographer and project-based artist who lives in Golden, British Columbia, has created an homage to her home state for the pop-up show. Her multi-layered pieces involved transferring a digital image of Maine subjects atop multiple layers of bright paint.

“Brighten the Day” is meant to be fun, relaxed and uplifting for visitors.

“We want to give people a chance to find a unique, colorful piece of fine art for their walls,” Alison said. “We think of art as a way to lift the mood, give hope, and encourage each other to create, to play, and to reach out to each other.”

The gallery is located at 103 Bay Road in Brooklin. Visitors are asked to wear masks. For more info, visit Alison Dibble’s website at and her Facebook page.



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