“Nothing is more abstract than reality.”
–Giorgio Morandi (1890 – 1964)
My work reflects a sense of place, the worlds I live in – New York City and the coast of Maine. In these distinct environments, I’m equally moved by weather, light, and atmosphere, and their effect on forms both natural and manmade.
The poetry and beauty I encounter in the urban landscape, otherwise littered with the debris of humankind, is as transformative as the subtleties and spectacle of nature that surround me in Maine. Studying at Pratt in the late seventies, I “grew up” as an abstract painter but slowly gravitated to landscape, using nature as a vocabulary. A challenge at first, living in the city, but then I began spending time on the water, sometimes working with my husband on his tug in New York harbor. I was astounded to discover how nature intrudes itself in even the most gritty, inhospitable, industrial landscapes.
The natural beauty in Maine, by comparison, is so spectacular that the challenge here is to find a very personal way to distill and record this experience. In my work, I attempt to present the nuances of nature and thought, to tread that fragile edge between description and invention.
B.F.A. Painting, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
Turtle Gallery, Deer Isle, Maine 2011
Turtle Gallery, Deer Isle, Maine 2009
Grace Institute, New York, N.Y. 2006
Mary Delahoyd Gallery, New York, N. Y. 1999
Mary Delahoyd Gallery, New York, N.Y. 1995
Mary Delahoyd Gallery, New York, N.Y. 1992
Mary Delahoyd Gallery, New York, N.Y. 1991
Selected Group Exhibitions:
Turtle Gallery, Deer Isle, Maine 2013
Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, N.Y. 2013
Turtle Gallery, Deer Isle, Maine 2012
Shaw, Northeast Harbor, Maine 2012
A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, N.Y. 2011
Rotunda Gallery/BRIC Arts, Brooklyn, N.Y. 2011
Arsenal Gallery, New York, N.Y. 2010
Turtle Gallery, Deer Isle, Maine 2010
Blum Gallery, College of the Atlantic, Mt. Dessert, Maine 2009
Turtle Gallery, Deer Isle, Maine 2008
Moss Gallery, North East Harbor, Maine 2008
DFN Gallery, New York, N.Y. 2008
Turtle Gallery, Deer Isle, Maine 2007
Girls Club, New York, N.Y. 2007
DFN Gallery, New York, N.Y. 2007
DFN Gallery, New York, N. Y. 2005
DFN Gallery, New York, N.Y. 2004
Poughkeepsie Art Museum Gallery, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 2004
Bonnie Andretta Fine Art, Hudson, N. Y. 2004
DFN Gallery, New York, N. Y. 2003
DFN Gallery, New York, N.Y. 2002
r squared gallery, New York, N.Y. 2002
Atlantic Gallery, New York, N.Y. 1998
Atlantic Gallery, New York, N.Y. 1996
La Perla Gallery, New York, N.Y.
Mary Delahoyd Gallery, New York, N. Y. 1993
Washington Square East Galleries, New York, N.Y. 1990
Mary Delahoyd Gallery, New York, N.Y. 1989
Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, N. Y. 1986
Editorial Director, Universe Books/Rizzoli
Universe Series on Women Artists
FRAGILE ECOLOGIES: Artists Interpretations and Solutions
VOICING OUR VISIONS: An Anthology of Writings by Women Artists
VOICING TODAYS VISION: An Anthology of Writings by Contemporary Women Artists
LORNA SIMPSON: For the Sake of the Viewer
WOMEN WORKING Grace Institute, New York, N.Y. 2008
WHAT DO WE LOOK LIKE?; A Photography Exhibit Celebrating Diversity VCS New York, N.Y. 2005
Born and raised in New York City, Alan Fishman has been an artist for more than forty years. He received a BFA from Cornell University, with further study and years of residence in Italy. Fishman’s works are continually exhibited in group and solo exhibitions, and can be found in many collections around the world.
His bright acrylic paintings are bold, direct, and filled with a distinctive musical energy. With a love of color, texture, and form, Fishman’s lyrical paintings reflect and refract the natural world, the realm of ancient myth, the tangle of human relationships, and the complexity of the human spirit. It’s no small coincidence that his work is so often described as lyrical: Alan Fishman is also an accomplished classical musician, who has been playing the piano since the age of five.
As Steven May wrote in a featured article in Portland magazine in 2004, “Fishman traces his artistic roots mainly to Europe, citing as examples Klee, Matisse, Monet, and Picasso. And while his art may start with recognizable forms, it primarily reflects his interest in light, movement, color, and abstraction.”
A professor emeritus of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Fishman now lives with his wife and their son in a converted barn on the coast of Maine.
Alex Katz is one of the world’s most important artists. He has addressed the concerns of abstraction while keeping his art rooted in the real world. With an economy of line and color, he conjures indelible images: landscapes and portraits. This is one of his signature portraits, a woman glamorous and distant, as much a study of form and light as it is a likeness. In the last few years, Katz has had museum shows at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Albertina in Vienna, in Bruges, Madrid, Hanover and Dortmund, Germany, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Alison Hildreth’s masterful prints layer color, pattern, and texture, playing bold form against subtle patterning. She deploys multiple printmaking techniques to achieve complex images that hint at the specific then spin away. Last year she had a solo show at the University of New England and group shows at Bates College, Tufts University, and the Portsmouth Museum of Fine Arts in New Hampshire. She shows regularly at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery. Her work is in the collections of many institutions, including the New York and Boston Public Libraries, the Metropolitan Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Portland Museum, the Smith, Wellesley, Bates, and Colby College museums, and the Farnsworth.
Alison Rector’s poetic and quietly ordered paintings – interiors and still lifes – hint at vital disorder outside their windows and beneath their serene surfaces. Her work has been included in multiple Biennial exhibitions at the Portland Museum and at CMCA. She graduated from Brown with a degree in studio art and took courses at Rhode Island School of Design. She has shown throughout Maine at galleries including Åarhus in Belfast, Ten High Street in Camden, and at Greenhut Galleries in Portland. Her work has hung in Senator Olympia Snow’s office in Washington, DC.
Allison Cooke Brown’s work ranges from small hand-held book structures to larger scale sculpture. She uses old linens and women’s clothing as a materials source, with domesticity/female issues as subject matter. She wrestles with what she feels society has proscribed as the ideal feminine behavior of being a compliant “good girl,” versus her own need to “act out,” to become her own person.
Sewing and knitting, commonly associated with women’s work, have not for the most part been historically considered art. In her case, she intentionally uses these activities as a personal language to describe her particular point of view of being female.
Allison has shown widely, including at CMCA, the Currier Museum of Art, the Farnsworth, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and University of New England, as well as two Portland Museum of Art Biennials. She has appeared in such publications as Lark Book’s 500 Handmade Books series, and Fiberarts, American Craft, and Surface Design magazines. Her work is held in many private and public collections, including Yale University; Parson’s School of Design; Smith, Bowdoin, and Wellesley colleges; University of New England; and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
I’m a painter and collage artist with an obsessive need to record and arrange whatever’s in front of me. Landscape and forms found in nature are particularly appealing. I work in a variety of genres. My oil and watercolor botanicals depict a narrative arc of biological existence, from bud to bloom to ripeness and ruin.
My collages vary in size and content. The smaller oils reference a place or experience of Maine culled from my memory. I crop and modify discarded paint palettes until images emerge that suggest landscapes. They are named after familiar places: Sunday River, Ragged Mountain, Route 52, Maid’s Beach. Residue from one painting becomes the core of another.
My larger collages explore the balance of nature, depicting elements that teeter between order and chaos. My intent is to balance a fluid dynamic of natural elements within a somewhat formal composition. Manmade materials are juxtaposed with natural elements and scraps of my personal history.
Amy Lowry divides her time between Chicago and Maine; she studied at the University of Vermont and lived in Beijing for four years, studying with Chinese artists, and her work illustrates her mastery of brushwork, with bold gestures and meticulous layering. She has also written and illustrated several children’s books. Her paintings have been shown in in Hong Kong, Beijing, Milan, New York, Boston, Texas, and Michigan; and throughout Maine. In Chicago Lowry’s work has been in solo and group exhibitions including shows at the Loyola University Museum of Art Field Museum, Peggy Notebaert Museum, and at ART Chicago. She recently had a residency in Italy and a solo show at Dowling Walsh Gallery.
Learning to pay attention and appreciate the details and nuances of the natural world is possibly the most important thing I have learned as an artist. It is also a never-ending lesson. I studied the complex processes that are involved in making art while getting a BFA in printmaking at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) in Philadelphia. Later, developing a passion for painting, I found myself focusing on close-ups and details. Gradually my images have become more and more abstract as I combine the visual world and my inner response to it. It is the universal quality of the landscape that I am interested in: the line and shapes that repeat in nature and create an intense and personal response.
Gallery 75, Portland Maine, February-March 2014
Thomas Moser, Group Show, Freeport, Maine 2013
Featured Artist, The Gallery at the Grand, Kennebunk, Maine, Ongoing 2013-2014
The Gallery at Somes Sound, Mt. Desert, Maine, Ongoing 2013-2014
Here on Earth, Stable Gallery, Damariscotta, Maine May-June 2013
Featured Artist, Donna Gordon Gallery, St. Petersburg, Florida 2013
BEACH, BEACH, BEACH, Donna Gordon Gallery, St. Petersburg, Fl.2012
JURIED SHOW Backus Museum, Ft. Pierce, FL. 2011
OH BE STILL, Donna Gordon Gallery, St. Petersburg, FL.2011
PAINTING MAINE II, Damariscotta River Grill, Damariscotta, ME 2011
COLOR CRAZY, The Stable Gallery, Damariscotta, ME 2011
BY LAND OR BY SEA, Donna Gordon Gallery, St. Petersburg, FL, 2011
GIVE ART, Damariscotta River Grill, Damariscotta, ME, 2011
OUTSIDE, River Arts, Damariscotta, ME, (Juror Lois Dodd) 2010
Winner: Outstanding Acrylic Painting, Bold Brush Painting Competition, July 2011
THE GALLERY AT THE GRAND, Kennebunk, Maine
THE GALLERY AT SOMES SOUND, Mt Desert, Maine
DONNA GORDON GALLERY; St. Petersburg, Florida
HARVEST GOLD GALLERY, Center Lovell, Maine
STABLE GALLERY, Damariscotta, Maine
Co-owner/Director, Swan Galleries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Co-founder/member of Muse Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Arcadia University (Beaver College), Glenside, Pennsylvania, BFA
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, BA
Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
Maine Home and Design Magazine, February 2014, Canvas Artist Feature
Art Collector Maine Annual Book: 2013, 2014
Ann Tracy is a native New Englander who grew up in the Maine towns of Fryeburg and Cape Neddick before her family moved south to Massachusetts and then west to Colorado in 1969. After decades of living in Colorado, Wisconsin, and California, Tracy is now calling Portland, Maine, home with her husband, dog, and two cats. She is also a member of Constellation Gallery in Portland.
She has only been exhibiting work since 1998, but while she’s pursued other artistic endeavors – writing, acting, directing, and making video – she’s been making art. And it was the encouragement of artists like Esteban Villa (member of the RCAF-Royal Chicano Air Force and former CSUS art professor) and photographer Art Luna that pushed her even further into making more art and getting it out there.
“In calling myself a digital alchemist,” Tracy said, “I reference both Dada philosophy and the mutability of imagery. We take base metal in the form of images with one meaning, and then by adding or subtracting data we create something with new meanings, sometimes readily apparent, other times not. My work also explores identity issues (in self-referential imagery that further implicates my view of the world) and chance as an element in art and life. Strong colors fuel the emotions behind the worlds I create in art.”
Her fine art has been exhibited from Japan to Maui to New York City. In 2003 her work “Stop” was included in the catalog of the Violence Against Women exhibition, Group 78 Amnesty International, Tokyo, Japan. Her digital paintings “The Power of Romania Lies in its Artists” and “Message 3” were juried into the 2010 and 2008 editions of American Art Collector. She presented a creativity workshop to feature writers at the Sacramento Bee, a daily newspaper, in 2008. Tracy has also worked as an art expert for KVIE CH 6 (PBS Sacramento) for the 2010 Art Auction and was featured in Sacramento Magazine in November 2010.
Recent exhibition highlights include solo shows: The Art of Light: Ann Tracy: Lights, Camera, Art, Lumens Light + Living and the Center for Contemporary Art, Lumens Gallery, Sacramento CA (11/11); Inside Out, Cherie Hacker & Ann Tracy, photography and mixed media, E Street Gallery and Studios, Sacramento CA(10/11); Luna’s Café (2011) and Enotria Annex (2009). Recent group shows include: Women’s Wisdom Portrait Project with George Streng, Tangent Gallery, Sacramento CA (6/10); Nada Dada Motel, El Ray Motel, Reno NV(2010); Synthesis: Art & Science, Escondido Municipal Gallery, Escondido CA (Invitational-2009); NadaDada Motel, El Cortez Hotel, Reno NV (2009); The All Saints Show, Barton Gallery, Sacramento CA (2009); Greetings From Nada Motel, Barrick Museum, UNLV, Las Vegas NV (Invitational-2009); Urban Legends and Country Tales, International Juried show, Bonita Museum & Cultural Center, 4355 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA (2008).
During the past few years I have been making plastic, inflatable sculptures that slowly deflate and flatten. With these forms I observe transitions between two- and three-dimensional states, revel in both, and achieve neither. I am intrigued by the convergence of opposites evident in this work and the restlessness of the finished objects.
My prints and drawings evolve from these sculptures. The seams on my inflatables or the gestures and planes of my small ceramic forms map an intuitive process of decision-making. Later I fix those lines in prints, or photographs in order to honor the serendipitous nature of the original effort. I wonder then — am I getting closer to the center of things?
Anna Hepler imbues her studies of shapes and volumes with mystery; she finds the emotion in geometry. She studied at Oberlin and the University of Wisconsin and moved to Maine in 2001; she has taught at Bowdoin and the University of Southern Maine. She has exhibited widely throughout the country and internationally. In Maine her work has been on exhibit at Space Gallery, Portland and Icon Contemporary Art, Brunswick, and she had a solo show at CMCA in 2013. Her work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Tate Gallery in London, the Portland Museum, the Bowdoin, Mills, Oberlin, Wellesley, University of Vermont, and University of Wisconsin museums, and the DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park.
Although raised in the suburbs of New York City, Anne Ireland spent summers on her family’s saltwater farm in mid-coast Maine, observing the broad vistas and changing skies of the surrounding landscape. She now works from her studio in Falmouth, Maine, where she is still inspired by the beauty of her surroundings.
After receiving a BA from Bowdoin College, Ireland moved to New York City to work as an associate producer for CBS NEWS, while attending painting courses at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. After returning to Maine, she earned a BFA with honors from Maine College of Art in 1994, working with Connie Hayes, Glenn Rennell, Johnnie Ross, and Honour Mack. Today, In 2009, she was included in Maine Home + Design magazine’s “artists to watch” list.
Anne Kilham has lived in Rockport, Maine, since 1970, and her views of gardens and fields and Penobscot Bay have become synonymous with midcoast Maine. Her work exudes a timeless sense of place. Her graphic work reflects her connection to the natural world and her sophisticated handling of pattern. Kilham studied at Colorado College and the Rhode Island School of Design. Her popular line of notecards, calendars, and prints is published by Pen & Ink of Concord, New Hampshire, and she has her own gallery, Anne Kilham Designs Gallery, in Rockport.
A first generation American, Anneli Skaar has a strong connection to her ancestral home in Scandinavia. Fluent in Norwegian. Anneli moved to Norway from California at 18, to attend the National Academy of Arts in Oslo where she received her B.A. After living and working in Oslo, Norway for over a decade, she returned to the Northeast and has since made midcoast Maine her home.
Common themes in Skaar’s work include solitude and a yearning for connection and the sacred through natural landscapes and seascapes, very often represented by arctic vistas which are informed by her frequent study trips north to Norway, Iceland, and Greenland. The paintings are observational studies re-imagined to a dreamlike world, often set in the twilight hours between light and darkness, where future resolutions and possibilities are ambiguous and undefined.
What excites me about the encaustic practice is that it requires you to exist so deeply in the moment—to be so entangled in emotion, embroiled in physical process, and to be so absolutely involved in creation—that all else leaves your consciousness. The encaustic process puts you in a corner and begs you to fight your way out. It requires dynamic response; each moment challenging the artist: Can you make a decision? Are you willing to risk failure? Can you commit to your next move? All frightening questions in everyday life but terribly exciting in art.
Selected 2016 Exhibits
U.S. Embassy, Vilnius, Lithuania
The Discerner Gallery, London, England
Office of the President, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine
Yarmouth Frame and Gallery, Yarmouth, Maine
The Press Hotel, Portland Maine
Antonia Munroe’s closely observed and meticulously constructed paintings turn still lifes into jewel-like vignettes. A graduate of the San Francisco Institute of Fine Arts, she has exhibited her work throughout New England and New York. In Maine she has shown at the L. C. Bates Museum in Hinkley and at CMCA. She has regular solo shows at Caldbeck Gallery. In addition, she is a well-loved teacher, and for several years she traveled to Guatemala to work with at-risk children.
I strive for a spare representation. I am interested in what the paint is capable of doing. The color comes and I focus on if it is dark or light; is it dense or full of air? Acknowledging the process is important to me, especially the efficiency in the gesture of a brush stroke.
Avy Claire has straddled the built and natural landscapes throughout her life, focusing on many different projects and inspirations. She describes her multi-faceted work as “projects,” whether painting, installations, video, or the gardens she designs and executes. The human relationship to nature is a primary directive in all of her practices. Her work has been exhibited in Maine, including CMCA and the Portland Museum of Art.
Barb Cone of Spruce Head, Maine, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a professional exhibiting artist working in video, installation, painting, mixed media, printmaking, and photography. At present her interest is in the ancient medium of encaustic, which is formulated from beeswax, resin, and pigment, heated and worked while in its molten state.
Why does anyone make art? If artists had any sense there would be no art. Someone I knew once said, “So, you buy the materials and you make the art, then you pay to frame it and ship it to a show, and may or may not get any money after all that? That’s crazy. Why would anyone do that?” Why would anyone, indeed?
An artist statement like this one is meant to illuminate the artist’s inner process for the reader, to give a context for the work as it is seen. But I want to set that aside for the moment and get back to some basic questions: Why does any human being in her right mind make art? Why are you taking the time right now to look at the artwork in the CMCA Artist Directory and read this statement or any statement? Maybe we are both crazy in the same way: I have something to say in a visual language and you have a need to hear what I have to say. You may not understand what I’m saying or like the work or like me as an artist but we’re stuck with each other in this wordless, elemental, and most human of encounters. Aren’t we the lucky ones?
Barbara Sullivan’s shaped frescoes celebrate ordinary household objects and tools. Chairs, frying pans, cans of soap powder acquire character, shaped not only with plaster, but also with affectionate irony. In 2007 Sullivan received a Pollock/Krasner Grant; she had received two Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Support Grants. She has been included in the Portland Biennial, and she has shown at CMCA, at Caldbeck Gallery, and the Morgan Rank Gallery, East Hampton, New York. She is committed, Sullivan says, to keeping “fresco alive as a medium in contemporary art practice by teaching workshops.
In her paintings, Betsy Eby fuses the line between the musical and the visual composition. A classically trained pianist, she seeks in her work what Rothko described as ‘the place where music lives’. The layers and gestures of her paintings evoke musical spaces and rhythms while drawing on patterns found in nature. From her early childhood, musical and natural rhythms blended in Eby’s sensibility. She spent her first years of life in a small town on the Oregon coast, practicing at the family piano by the age of five. Today her work reveals that interconnected sensitivity: her delicate, organic compositions become synesthesias of sound and image.
Betsy Eby: Painting with Fire features the artist’s recent paintings that utilize the technique of encaustic, which means ‘to burn’. The process is an ancient one by which layers of pigments, sap, and wax are fused together by the flame of a torch. Eby has slowly refined the technique to her own language, composing dynamic surfaces and deep, luminous spaces. Her paintings are visceral, yet for Eby they shimmer with something more of the mystical, hovering between material and immaterial worlds as do the worlds of sight and sound.
Betsy Eby received her BA from the University of Oregon. She and her husband, painter Bo Bartlett, split their time between studios in Columbus, Georgia, and Wheaton Island, Maine. She savors the spaciousness and light of both of these studios, and her paintings evoke the atmosphere of the vast ocean that surrounds her small island residence in Maine. Her work has been shown and collected by the Georgia Museum of Art and the Columbus Museum, and she has shown frequently with Winston Wachter Fine Art in their Seattle and New York galleries.
–Suzette McAvoy on Betsy’s Painting With Fire exhibition
I love the physical, sensual, nature of paint as a means for exploring how we look at ordinary things. For me it is very much a process of “making” in response to that looking. I have chosen certain images because within the commonplace there is often “all the wonder one needs”. At the core of these images is the ever-present force of light as the source of all we see, indeed, at the source of life itself. The ever-present companion of light is shadow and the form given by the play of these two. The painting “Work Space” is from a series dealing with the patterns that every day work and work structures create in my favorite locations.
Bjorn Runquist paints vivid, atmospheric landscapes and seascapes; his subject is the continuing colorful surprise of the Maine coast. The artist, born in Stockholm, was educated in the United States, France, and England. He has exhibited widely in galleries on the east coast, including Caldbeck Gallery and Gleason Fine Arts, at Bachelier Cardonsky Gallery in Kent, Connecticut, the Horton Hayes Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Allan Stone Gallery in New York. His work is in many private collections, as well as in the Farnsworth Museum. This year he has one-person exhibitions at Landing Gallery in Rockland and Oceanview Grange in Port Clyde.