2020 VISION: PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE
ABOUT THE SHOW
Artists responded to the theme 2020 Vision by sharing a personal interpretation of a moment in Maine’s history. They reflected on how we are changing, where have we come from, what have we learned or accomplished, and most importantly -- where do we want to go?
Diane Dahlke, “Innocence and Experience”, acrylic on canvas, 44" x 33"
Diane Dahlke lives in Cumberland, ME. From 2000-2020 she enjoyed teaching painting through the Continuing Studies program at The Maine College of Art.
In myths and visions, fish are magical creatures who bring up objects and messages from their deep, watery world below, up into our world of air and light. I see their world as one of eternal innocence, where they exist in an environment not well suited to humanity. When they emerge from it, experience is gained. Now there is wisdom with the knowledge of death. For me as an artist, the seas are like the intuitive, mysterious murk of ideas, the fish a symbol of the transformation of those ideas into things of beauty, attractive but mortal.
André Benoit, Lost in the Fog, Wooden Assemblage, 47" x 42"
A plein air painter since 1973, I began seven years ago,assembling representational sculpture from interesting pieces of shaped wood that I had collected for years from various sources. This haiku is telling of the genesis of my work:
One piece speaks loudest
In my representations
All will play a part
At a time when there is so much global and regional uncertainty that threatens our national unity and previous way of life,the status of fishing as a resource and occupation is but another unknown. Depicting men in a dory lost in the fog hoping to be able to return a signal from their schooner on their horn while resting on their oars,nseemed tenable as a allegory fitting so many of our current circumstances where there is a feeling of being without clear direction into the future but with hopeful waiting. This representation therefore seemed pertinent to the theme of this exhibition.
Rachel Church, Cyanotype Impressions, Cyanotype diptych, 40" x 27"
Rachel E. Church is an intermedial artist, book artist, and printmaker. She earned a B.A. in Art with a concentration in Printmaking and Entrepreneurial Studies in 2009, and a B.F.A. in Studio Art with a minor in Book Arts in 2017, both from the University of Southern Maine. She will receive her M.F.A. in Intermedia from University of Maine in August 2020. In 2008, she was an intern at the Engine House Press, on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine, and in 2009 she spent a year printing with the Peregrine Press in Portland, thanks to the Kate Mahoney Memorial Scholarship. More recently, she was honored to be selected as the Baxter State Park 2018 Artist in Residence. She is a current member of Running with Scissors Studios in Portland, Maine, and teaches printmaking and bookmaking workshops.
Inspired by Anna Atkins' 1843 Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, the very first book that had photographic illustrations, this work is a modern take using sea vegetation and plastic trash found on the Maine shoreline today. She used the same process as Atkins to produce these cyanotype photograms, which highlight the similarities and differences between seaweed and plastic trash in the ocean.
Julien Coyne, Equality In the Future of Maine, Hand-tufted rug with acrylic yarn, 24" x 48"
Julien Coyne grew up in Orono, Maine and now lives in Westbrook, after spending time in Limestone, England, Boston, Australia, and Slovenia. Julien works across a range of media, including painting, textiles, and ceramics, and writes about the creative process in a monthly newsletter.
"When thinking about the past and future of Maine, I thought about how as a young person growing up here, I never really knew any other LGBTQ people around me. Things have changed a lot since then, and today I know a lot of spaces in Maine where queer identities are visible and celebrated. I wanted to make a hopeful piece symbolizing that change and my hope that people will continue to become even more open and accepting in the future."
Christian Farnsworth, Scarborough Winter Marsh Rachel Carson Signed Edition #4, Multiperspective Archival Print, 16" x 32"
Norajean Ferris, In a Little Place, Oil on Canvas, 60" x 72"
Norajean Ferris is a visual artist that works through a vast array of subject and medium. Her work varies from bold realism to complex abstraction, and the materials for her creations are pencil, pastel, ink, charcoal and paint. Her subject matter is based in landscape, cityscape, animals, abstracts and social and political activism.
The painting In a Little Place, tells the narratives of the recent influx of immigrants in Portland Maine. Many individuals within this ever escalating populations are from countries in Africa and the Middle East, regions of the world, that have been over ruled by political unrest and mass bloodshed. This large scale painting, highlights my urge to ask the question of “who is an immigrant?” in the complex melting pot of modern American societies, telling viewers to get to know these diverse populations within their communities, for this action will make the world a better place.
Janice L. Moore, Paper Mill, Rumford, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 24"
Janice L. Moore grew up in northern Maine in the last days of the school calendar revolving around the potato harvest. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College she worked in both the art and fashion industries in New York for almost a decade, moving back to Maine for her family, to finally see a straight horizon line on Casco Bay, and to paint full time.
With abating tactile sensation, her art making is a clumsy and inelegant process. Brushes drop. Things fall down and tip over. It’s a slow ritual of making marks and erasing marks, layer by layer. The point is always simply to do the work and for that work to be as specific and honest as possible. Moore says of her practice, “It’s never been a choice or a decision really; just something I’ve always done and needed to do.” Her industrial pieces are about the effect on our landscapes. Factories get erected for work. The construction rarely has an aesthetic driver. Buildings adapt and evolve. The changes are always practical to solve a problem. There’s an abstraction that occurs as the structures get modified by use and purpose. I’m interested in that story of the abstracted and evolving landscape over time, knowing there are real people and a real history that goes with each piece and finding out what that is through the work."
Sara Perea-Kane, Growing Local, Mixed Media (acrylic, gouache, pencil, paper, washi tape, and crayon on paper), 39" X 31"
C.T. Rasmuss, Longboat, Acrylic, 40" x 60"
A Portland Resident for four years, C.T. Rasmuss was born in Los Angeles, California, and spent most of his childhood between Flint, Michigan and Cincinnati, Ohio. He went on to serve his country in the U.S. Army and in 2004 he graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in Business. This is where and when he discovered a love for music, writing and the theater, which introduced him to scenery painting. He hasn't put down the brush since.
“I wish to inspire the imagination of anyone who views my paintings. This determination stems from desire to seek meaning and real purpose in the 21st Century. I’ve come to realize that paint and sculpture are my best forms to communicate through; my biggest artistic influences are Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt… the more I search, the longer the list. I’m constantly studying new and old techniques, while inventing new ways to create my work in an endless search for knowledge, history, beauty and morality-- the concepts I hold most dear within these paintings."
Abbeth Russell, You Will Find Me at The Jaws of Endlessness, acrylic on wood panel, 36" x 48"
Abbeth Russell is a painter, performer, and teacher based out of Portland, Maine. Abbeth shows her art locally and nationally and curates interactive events with her art collective. She also juggles, and plays a variety of instruments with her band.
'My work evaporates the watery layer between reality and the spirit realm. This lifting of the veil is activated during my painting process and illustrated in the resulting narratives. Ghostly faces and figures emerge in the layered washes of the sky. Life force leaves the body as iridescent mist. Characters are reborn with wings of paint drips. Tree stumps bleed revealing dark secrets of history. My surreal narratives exist in the fourth dimension. The mythology of landscapes and the ancestors of characters rise to the surface. When I paint, space and time becomes fluid. The worlds I create are born in sketchbooks and raised on wood panels, imbued with the magical life force of acrylic paint. I build up, sand down, and glaze over layer after layer. At some point in the process each painting transforms from an image into something that holds life. My finished paintings have souls."
Gail Skudera, Tell It To The Trees, Woven Mixed Media, 30" x 24"
Jaime Wing, Depression, Relief carving on wood & ink, 33" x 24"