|Rockland, ME, March 8, 2019—The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) will reopen to the public on Saturday, March 23, with two new exhibitions for the spring season. A reception celebrating the exhibitions will be held that evening from 5 to 7pm, with a gallery talk by artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen preceding the reception at 4pm. The public is invited to attend the reception and gallery talk free of charge.
CMCA, located at 21 Winter Street in Rockland, was closed for repairs following a water main break on January 19 that flooded the 11,500 square foot structure. “Happily all repairs to the building have been completed and we are back on track to reopen as scheduled,” says CMCA director Suzette McAvoy. “We are grateful to everyone in our community for their assistance and support throughout the recovery period.”
Artists Wade Kavanaugh (Bethel, ME) and Stephen B. Nguyen (Portland, ME) were selected as the first recipients of the highly competitive Ellis-Beauregard FoundationFellowship Award in the Visual Arts from a pool of more than 200 applicants by jurors Jeffrey Peabody, Director, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York City, and Alison de Lima Green, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. As part of the award, the recipients receive a solo exhibition at CMCA.
Working as collaborators for more than a decade, Kavanaugh and Nguyen have distinguished themselves with an approach to installation work that is highly inventive, immersive, and fully in command of their materials. For their exhibition in the main gallery at CMCA, the artists have created a large-scale environment that draws inspiration from the Maine landscape. Kavanaugh says, “Our current idea came from a visit to the [Winslow] Homer studio, partly from the sea, but more from the landforms along the water’s edge.”
Also opening on March 23 is the exhibition, Melt Down, featuring stunning photographs and videos by ten distinguished Maine artists whose work addresses climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. “Melt Down” has been organized by CMCA curator emeritus Bruce Brown, and includes the work of artists John Paul Caponigro, John Eide, Ella Hudson, Jonathan Laurence, Justin Levesque, Jim Nickelson, Jan Piribeck, Peter Ralston, Shoshannah White, and Deanna Witman.
Through their experiences recording and responding to the visible and visceral markers of irrefutable change in the Polar Regions, the artists in “Melt Down” bring these physically remote places and the compelling need for action to a wider audience. Their work provides a route for inspiring awareness and response when overwhelming data and science have failed to motivate. As photographer Peter Ralston states, “Climate change is obviously not a ‘hoax;’ the core questions we must all ask ourselves pertain to what extent are we actually culpable, as well as what we as species can do about our contribution to it all. To do nothing is unconscionable.”
“Melt Down” will be on view at CMCA through June 9; the Kavanaugh and Nguyen installation will remain on view through June 19. For further information about the exhibitions and accompanying programs, please visit cmcanow.org.
CMCA is a contemporary arts institution presenting year-round exhibitions, engaging events, and educational programs for all ages. Location: 21 Winter Street, Rockland, Maine. Hours: November through May, Wednesday – Saturday, 10am to 5pm; Sunday, 12 to 5pm; June through October, Monday – Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday, 12 to 5pm. Closed Federal holidays. Admission $8; Seniors (65+) and students with ID $6; children under 18 free; CMCA members free.
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