225 WATER ST • GARDINER, MAINE
Two sisters, two artists, two visions, one gallery.
Paloma and Sabrina El Costell have been painting together their entire lives, which is only natural as they come from a family of acclaimed artists stretching back generations. Born in New York and growing up in Montclair, New Jersey, they each came to Maine by different paths — but now, living within minutes of one another and as happy collaborating today as they were decades ago, they are embarking on their most ambitious project yet: their very own art gallery. Nestled in a beautifully renovated row of glass-fronted brick buildings, the gallery is a working studio as well as a place to celebrate the two women’s unique visions.
The young Costells working in plein air, c.1970
On painting Maine landscapes together:
“We can be at the exact same spot, walking the same path, but her glance to the left and mine to the right make all the difference in our artwork.”
A lifelong painter and multimedia artist, El’s cerebral, gorgeously executed pieces are a style she calls Abstract Realism — a perspective that challenges normal expectations of beauty and art. The result is art that invites engagement and, ideally, enlightenment:
“I want people to come up with their own interpretations.”
A graphic designer and illustrator by trade, Paloma is a self-taught painter. Working in oils and pastels, she creates beautiful and evocative scenes ranging from the mills of Lewiston to rocky coastlines, working harbors, and rolling blueberry fields.