7/2 - 8/22/21: Transitions and Meditations

MJ Benson (Portland, ME) / Shanna Fliegel (Byfield, MA) / Lana Vogestad (Kittery, ME)


Free and open to the public

Art 'Round Town reception: Friday, August 6 / 5-8pm / tasty bites provided by Mezzanine Catering

How are you feeling? How have you been? As a global community, and in our personal lives, it is a time of profound change. For some, the energy and excitement of a return to public spaces can’t be contained. Others are weary. Some of us are even wary.

The artists’ work featured in Transitions and Meditations offers both a literal invitation to meditation as well as an opportunity to reflect on nature as nurture and the power of creative expression to help us process events and emotions.

We are thrilled to welcome you back to indoor, in-person events at 3S Artspace and look forward to many opportunities to celebrate the joy of coming together through the arts. Please set your own pace, and please, take care.

MJ Benson

As an artist, I begin with the horizon, its ever steady line of delineation between the spaces of land, sky, sea. In between are layers and layers of light and color, sprung from my memory but unbound by realism. I use a framework, a few rules around composition or color, but it’s the tension between what I expect and what the work is telling me that dictates the flow and finish. I work, and wait, until the profound shifting between place and memory stills itself harmoniously into the work.

MJ Benson is a prolific artist, working in parallel with paint, fiber, and photography. Her work represents explorations of the elements around bodies of sky and water, particularly in Maine, the colors and moods. The ocean, in league with the sky and the land, has always fascinated her with its ability to soothe and terrify, its very solid, moving mass so easily shifted by the solid earth below it and the orbiting moon above. It’s always been home to her.

MJ’s work has been exhibited and collected nationally. MJ has a BFA from the School of the Musuem of Fine Arts, Boston, and an EdM from Harvard University, and learned painting through the Maine College of Art and Open Door at Haystack. More of her work and background can be seen at mjbenson.com, and @mjbensonartist.

Shanna Fliegel


Does every moment exist forever? What is it that compels us to preserve thoughts, memories, and events? Clay possesses the tender, yet powerful ability to record marks as it reflects touch, surface, and impression instinctively. It is alive as earth, and provides a conduit between the human experience and visual narrative.

Recurring themes in my work include discovery through the consideration of how the natural environment and built world shape and define how we navigate life. Conceptually, I swing from considering how heartbreak is felt through the impending and crushing imposition of humans on the planet, or the new epoch we live in, the Anthropocene, to the interior psyche/landscape of humanity and how we push through personal struggle, love, and loss. The tug between survival and joy and progress.

Ancient Sumerian culture used clay to keep track of items-- counting, tallying, creating civilization's first inventory. Clay has an innate ability to record marks, scratches, and impressions, and it is my intention to take part in that story through color, texture, and imagery. Preserving both personal and universal experiences on clay surfaces seems to legitimize and celebrate every moment.

I find comfort in physics, in that research is confirming that the multiple dimensions that surround us may very well support every moment in time. It seems both magical and a relief that each story we experience as humans may always exist forever, especially when change is the only constant.

Shanna grew up in New Jersey and attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA where she earned her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics.

Shortly after graduating in 2001 she accepted a year-long residency at the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, VA. Here she connected with potters and sculptors from Shigaraki, Japan and Seoul, Korea. These relationships strengthened her background in wood-firing, native clays, and surface.

She has since worked as a resident assistant at Greenwich House Pottery in the West Village, NYC; received her MFA in Studio Art/Ceramics at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL in 2008; worked as a resident artist, community outreach fellow, and instructor at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY; was awarded a summer residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT; and soon thereafter accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Art/Ceramics at Montana State University in Billings, Montana from 2010-2014.

Recent solo and two-person exhibitions at Arrowmont School of Art and Craft and Brumfield Gallery have featured her vessels concerning the anthropocene, a topic of research that has informed the creation of a panel at NCECA 2019.

Later she transitioned to teaching high school and worked at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, before relocating to teach ceramics and sculpture at Governor's Academy in Byfield, MA with her two boys and dog, Jersey.

She participated in a month-long residency at Guldagergaard International Ceramics Research Center in Denmark in 2019 and is looking forward to teaching workshops at Morean Arts Center, Gaya Ceramics in Bali and attending AIR Vallauris in France in summer of 2022.


Lana Vogestad


YNDI combines transformational yoga classes and guided meditations with custom composed soundscapes and cinematography, to create an immersive, multi-sensory experience. The clear instruction by Lana Vogestad and a minimalist art direction that eliminates distraction, facilitate a deeper, more direct connection, and hold ample space for healing. More info: yndiyoga.com.

  • YNDI Meditation • Stillness 7 min
    • Music by Ryan Wofford
    • Stark cinematography and soundscape all enhance a guided meditation into stillness. In stillness, you can let go deeply and rest in the present.
  • YNDI Meditation • Tranquility 15 min
    • Soak in the breathtaking wonders and sounds during a misty morning sunrise in this guided meditation to help you take a pause and feel peace.

Lana Vogestad, visual artist and E-RYT 500, makes ephemeral and phenomenological video and sound installations with conceptual references, where the imagery leaves the confines of a flat surface and begins to inhabit, morph and come alive in a space. Vogestad, from New York, has a MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and a BA from Bates College in Maine. She has shown her work in various venues, galleries and project spaces internationally, including New York City, Berlin, Iceland, Atlanta, and Portsmouth. Vogestad's project YNDI Yoga brings together her life's work as an experienced, international yoga teacher and her career as a visual artist. Collaborating with the award-winning filmmaker Brett Wiese Saunders, YNDI Yoga combines transformational yoga classes and guided meditations with custom composed soundscapes and cinematography, to create an immersive experience that touches all the senses. YNDI was in the Official Selection of the Reykjavík International Film Festival in 2020.


Stay connected to the Gallery from home: view the virtual Gallery!


2021 Gallery Reception Sponsor:

Generously supported by:


Thank you to our year-round Lead Sponsors: