Rockland, Maine, October 14, 2016 – The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockland will open its 2016 Biennial Exhibition showcasing the work of twenty-five artists from across Maine, with a public opening reception on Friday, November 4, from 5 to 8pm. The exhibition will remain on view through February 5, 2017. As the first Biennial in its new home, CMCA will be dedicating all 5,500 square feet of display space in the three galleries to the exhibition.
The twenty-five artists whose work will be included in the CMCA 2016 Biennial are: Phoebe Adams (Phippsburg), Sachiko Akiyama (Skowhegan), Marcia Annenberg (Boothbay Harbor), Steven Baines (Portland), MJ Blanchette (Kittery Point), Sarah Bouchard (Arundel), Philip Brou (South Portland), Emily Brown (Montville), Cole Caswell (Peaks Island), Scott Davis (Rockland), Morris David Dorenfeld (Spruce Head), Lynn Duryea (Deer Isle and South Portland), Carly Glovinski (Berwick), Tonee Harbert (Portland), Richard Iammarino (Rockland), Kayla Mohammadi (Walpole), Ann H. Mohnkern (Yarmouth and Phippsburg), Paul Oberst (Freedom), Kate Russo (Portland), Claire Seidl (Rangeley), Gail Skudera (Lewiston), Richard Van Buren (Eastport), George Wardlaw (Portland), Kathy Weinberg (Morrill), Andrew White (Union).
“We are excited to be working with this remarkable group of artists,” says Associate Curator Bethany Engstrom. “The new galleries open up possibilities for exhibiting a wide diversity of work in terms of scale and medium, providing an engaging reflection of what is happening in contemporary art in Maine now.”
The CMCA Biennial Exhibition typically takes place in the fall of even numbered years. The concept of an open juried competition at CMCA dates back to 1978, when then director Ben Goldsmith presented the first Annual Juried Exhibition. It was the only continuing statewide juried exhibition until the Portland Museum of Art introduced its first Biennial in 1998. Since then, CMCA and the PMA have presented Biennials in alternating years.
The jurors for the 2016 Biennial were Christine Berry, director of Berry Campbell Gallery, New York City, and John Yau, noted writer, poet, and art critic for Hyperallergic. Seven hundred and eighty artists submitted work for this year’s CMCA Biennial.
Berry says, “The artistic community in Maine has a long-standing tradition of excellence and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art will continue to tell this important story with the 2016 Biennial. John Yau and I had the difficult task of narrowing down a large stellar group of artists to a finely curated few. The review process took much longer than I anticipated because of the quality level of the applicants. It has been a wonderful experience for all involved and I look forward to seeing our selections in CMCA’s new building this fall.”
In describing the review process for this year’s Biennial, Yau states, “I thought about the many different artists who have lived in Maine while I was looking at this year’s submissions. The many marvelous portfolios that I saw made it extremely difficult to winnow down the selection. … I think the Center for Maine Contemporary Art will do much to change the culture of the state, and the Biennial is one of the ways it will do this, as it brings together as well as celebrates members of the Maine arts community.”
In conjunction with the exhibition, CMCA will host a series of talks entitled, “Who Do You Love,” in which Biennial artists will speak about the work of other artists who inspire them. The talks will be held at 3pm on Sundays, November 20, and January 8 and 22. The talks are free with admission.
Support for the CMCA 2016 Biennial is provided by sponsors Allen Insurance and Financial and CHUBB. Their generous gift made it possible to waive entry fees for the 780 artists who submitted work for this year’s CMCA Biennial. CMCA is located at 21 Winter Street, Rockland, Maine.
CMCA is a contemporary arts institution presenting year-round exhibitions as well as dynamic educational programs and special events for all ages. Hours: June through October: Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday 1 pm to 6 pm, and First Fridays 10 am until 8 pm. November through May: Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Closed Federal Holidays. Admission $6; Children under 12 free; Members free. For more information, call 207.701.5005 or visit cmcanow.org.
Above: Paul Oberst, Banded Measure, 2015, video, 5:13 min.
Below: Sarah Bouchard, Potent, 2015, site-specific installation of 50 handmade paper orbs, dimensions variable
Philip Brou, Cold Was the Ground, 1, 2015, oil on panel, 36 x 48”
Lynn Duryea, Insert #2, 2014, slab-constructed terracotta and staples, 5 ½ x 13 x 6”
Kate Russo, Paintings by Men, 2015, oil on panel, 50 x 31 ½”
Cole Caswell, Source Plate #4, Peaks Island, ME, 2016, tintype, 8 x 10”