Maine has a legacy of inspiring diverse forms of visual art, with representations of varied landscapes and culture in paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, fibers and other media playing a significant role in how the state is viewed by the world. In many cases, artists have been responsible for shaping and maintaining Maine’s historical and cultural identity.
That’s why, in the run-up to Maine’s bicentennial in 2020, considering some of the ways contemporary artists represent Maine in their art is a critical piece of celebrating the state’s history.
An exhibition, “Framing Maine: Artists’ Perspective on Place,” opened Oct. 4 and runs through Nov. 15 in Lord Hall Gallery at the University of Maine. The more than 50 works in wide-ranging media, formats and subject matter share a strong personal connection to, or vision of, Maine. As do the 34 artists from throughout the state, some of whom were on campus to share their perspectives in a panel discussion as part of the opening reception.
The panelists spoke with art historian, critic and author Carl Little about their art and experiences. The conversation focused on the importance of art in Maine’s history and emerging cultural identity, as well as how the state has influenced the images and forms these artists create. The panel discussion was recorded and is available on the Framing Maine series website, framingmaine.com.
The exhibition co-curators are Laurie Hicks, UMaine professor of art and director of Lord Hall Gallery; Carl Little; and Kreg Ettenger, director of the Maine Folklife Center and Maine Studies Program at UMaine.