New Exhibition at Maine Historical Society Explores Contemporary Creative Expression in Maine
October 20, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Katie Clark firstname.lastname@example.org 207-774-1822 x223
PORTLAND, Maine —Maine has always been a home and a haven to artists and creative makers.
From the earliest projectile points created by Wabanaki people from Mount Kineo rhyolite stone to contemporary artists who flock to Maine for our light, people are inspired to creativity by Maine’s natural beauty and unique lifestyle. A new exhibition opening in November at Maine Historical Society — Spark! Maine ART Stories — explores creativity in Maine and features sixteen contemporary Maine artists.
“Spark! Maine ART Stories explores the varied and diverse ways people in Maine express themselves today” says exhibition curator and MHS Outreach Curator Tilly Laskey. “The artists featured in this exhibition are diverse in their geography, their artistic mediums, and in what compels them to create. We're exhibiting everything from snowshoes to neon artwork!”
The sixteen artists featured in Spark! Maine ART Stories are:
- Titi de Baccarat (Portland) Originally from Gabon, Africa, de Baccarat moved to Maine in 2015. MHS will feature de Baccarat's sculpture and jewelry artworks.
- Gina Brooks (Fredericton NB) is Maliseet from St. Mary’s First Nation in Canada. A multi-talented artist, MHS will feature a painting by Brooks which discusses theoretical borders and how they have separated people from their homelands.
- Brendan Bullock (Bowdoinham) is a freelance photographer; he specializes in mashing up new technology and antique processes like cyanotypes and ziatypes to create unique prints.
- Barbara Burns (Cundy's Harbor) is a tapestry designer and weaver who "creates images in cloth". We will display a large tapestry weaving.
- Katharine Cobey (Cushing) is an innovative and experimental sculptural knitter. MHS will display a 6-foot tall artwork knit from black plastic.
- Decontie and Brown (Bangor) are spouses Donna Decontie Brown and Jason Brown, members of the Penobscot Nation. MHS will display an outfit of their haute couture fashion and jewelry designs, which pay tribute to their Wabanaki heritage.
- Ayumi Horie (Portland) is a potter who grew up in Lewiston-Auburn. Her father's family were first-generation immigrants from Japan. MHS will display Horie's ramen bowls, which pay tribute to her Japanese family.
- Hector Jaeger (Bath) is a large-scale rug weaver who hand-dyes his yarn. He was a co-founder of Halcyon Yarn in the 1970s.
- Karen Jelenfy (Washington) is an abstract oil painter that works on large scale (4- to 5-foot) canvases.
- David Johansen (Portland) a.k.a. ‘Neon Dave’ creates neon artworks and sign commissions in his Portland studio.
- Daniel Minter (Portland) is a painter and teacher whose artwork focuses on Maine as the throughway to Canada for Black people escaping slavery.
- Geo Neptune (Indian Township, Princeton) is a Passamaquoddy basket maker and cultural preservationist whose work has gained national attention.
- Edmond and Brian J. Theriault (Fort Kent Mills) The Theriaults are self-taught snowshoe makers from Aroostook County (where snow was invented!).
- Ian Trask (Topsham) is a scientist-turned-artist who creates multimedia art from things that are either discarded or donated by others.
MHS is actively preserving the stories of the Spark! Maine ART Stories artists by incorporating extended My Maine Stories (www.mainememory.net/mymainestories) components alongside the artists’ physical works. By exhibiting the work of Mainers from all walks of life, all parts of Maine, and all media; MHS encourages visitors to “see themselves” in the art and stories and to also contribute their own creative Maine story to the My Maine Stories online story collective.
Spark! Maine ART Stories opens to the public on Friday, November 3 during the First Friday Art Walk and is free to visitors that evening. Many of the artists will be in attendance for the launch. The exhibition will then be on view through March 31, 2018 during regular museum hours, and is included in regular museum admission.
What: Spark! Maine ART Stories When: November 3, 2017 through March 31, 2018 Where: Maine Historical Society Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
About Maine Historical Society:
A growing museum, incomparable library and statewide educational resource, we are located in the heart of Portland’s downtown cultural district. Founded in 1822, Maine Historical Society is the third oldest state historical society in the United States. MHS strives to serve the entire state through its education and outreach programs and through the Maine Memory Network digital museum. MHS is comprised of the Wadsworth–Longfellow House and Longfellow Garden, the Maine Historical Society Museum and Store, the MHS Research Library, and Maine Memory Network. www.mainehistory.org
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The Maine Historical Society promotes the understanding and enjoyment of Maine history.