Ones to Watch
ARTIST LISTING-April 2009
A look at Maine’s emerging artists commanding attention
The work of Yeshe Parks is rhetorical and intimate. Collages and detailed patterns spill over the edges of antique book covers and records. His work combines acute attention to detail with decay and the soft warmth of aging. In addition to his private collections across the country and in the Portland Museum of Art, Parks has shown his art throughout the Northeast and on the West Coast. He is 26 years old and currently resides in Portland.
Two by Two, 2007, acrylic and collage on panel, 24” x 48”
For more Yeshe Parks: Whitney Art Works, Together Gallery
Richard Keen has exhibited throughout the United States. His abstracted seascape paintings and sculpture reflect a deep connection to the ocean and nautical objects. Keen’s artwork has been selected for numerous regional, national, and international exhibitions by jurors such as Tracey Bashkoff and Lisa Dennison (Guggenheim Museum), Phyllis Braff (New York Times), and Bruce Brown (Center for Maine Contemporary Art). Keen has had his artwork published and reviewed by local and regional publications including Art New England. His most recent award was a 2008 “Good Idea Grant” from the Maine Arts Commission.
Ocean Hull No. 45, 2008, encaustic on panel, 36” x 36”
For more Richard Keen: richardkeenstudio.com, Leighton Gallery, Elizabeth Moss Gallery, Whitney Art Works
Landscape painter Robert Pollien earned his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania under the noted artist Neil Welliver and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has been an artist-in-residence at Acadia National Park, was awarded a Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in painting, and was a Carina House resident on Monhegan Island. His work was included in Art of the Maine Islands by Arnold Skolnick and Carl Little. Pollien’s paintings are also in numerous corporate, public, and private collections. He is represented by Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland.
Hunter’s Beach, Seal Harbor, 2009, oil on board, 6” x 9 “
For more Robert Pollien: pollien.com, Dowling Walsh Gallery
Nicole Duennebier received her BFA from Maine College of Art, where her thesis research was influenced by Maine’s coastal ecosystems. In 2006, she was awarded the Monhegan Island Artists’ Residency, where she continued her work on sea life. Duennebier saw a connection between the darkness and intricacy of undersea regions and the aesthetic of sixteenth-century Dutch still-life painting. She produced a series of paintings depicting various organisms in life and death, which was exhibited in 2007 at Aucocisco Gallery.
“I am most compelled by the form of objects that I am physically repelled by but intellectually attracted to.”
Bird Replaced by Siphonophore Apparition, 2009, acrylic on panel, 10” x 8”
For more Nicole Duennebier: duennebier.carbonmade.com, Aucocisco Galleries
David Graeme Baker
David Graeme Baker’s Dutch-genre style is what most first-time viewers recognize immediately. Moving closer, however, the subtle details of modern life stand out and the realization sets in that Baker is a contemporary artist. A career artist and graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Baker moved to Maine in 2000. The slower pace and the domestic surroundings created by his young family (Baker and his wife, Sarah, have two young sons) have influenced his work. Baker’s inventive content combines figure, still life, and landscape into compelling narrative paintings that invite the viewer to create his or her own story.
Late October, 2009, oil on linen mounted on panel, 14” x 18”
For more David Baker: davidgbakerpainting.com, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art
Colin Page studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design and Cooper Union, receiving his BFA in 2000. He recently had solo shows at the Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland and at the F.A.N. Gallery in Philadelphia and has also participated in numerous group shows up and down the East Coast. For several years, Page has been living in Maine focusing on painting the landscape, looking for the poetic in everyday scenes. Just recently, he was part of a panel discussion at the Farnsworth Museum of Art.
Silos, 2009, oil on canvas, 36” x 36”
For more Colin Page: colinpagepaintings.com, Dowling Walsh Gallery
Hilary Irons began drawing as a child in Barrington, NH, where she lived without electricity or running water. Themes of nature and technology recur in her work, and her recent paintings address problems of abstraction: How can modernist painting techniques be deployed to challenge our constructed perceptions of the natural? What human geometries can re-picture natural patterns? Irons has held residencies at the Albers Foundation, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, American Academy in Rome, and the MacDowell Colony. In 2008, she received her MFA from Yale University and an Al Held Prize. Irons is an adjunct art instructor with a studio in Portland.
Dark Noon, 2008, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40” x 40”
For more Hilary Irons: Aucocisco Galleries
Monica Kelly of Camden studied painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art and Bowdoin College. Kelly finds inspiration in the natural landscape and uses her knowledge and experience with music to create works that are moody and mysterious. She has exhibited throughout the state, including the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and Leighton Gallery, and will have a show in September 2009 at Greenhut Galleries, where her work can be seen year-round. In These Things Happen, pictured here, Kelly has laid down a musical score on a wooden panel. Then, through a process of painting, scraping, sanding, and repainting, she integrates the music with the landscape.
These Things Happen, 2008, oil on gessoed board with music, 16” x 12”
For more Monica Kelly: Greenhut Galleries, Leighton Gallery
Dudley Zopp is a painter and installation artist with strong interests in environmental projects and the geological forces that formed our contemporary landscape. She has received an Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the Maine Arts Commission, has exhibited at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and the Portland Museum of Art, and has work in the collections of the Farnsworth Art Museum and NoxBox (Mainz, Germany). A native of Lexington, Kentucky, she lives and works in Lincolnville.
Jasper Stones, 2004, oil on canvas, 60” x 96”
For more Dudley Zopp: June Fitzpatrick Gallery, dudleyzopp.net
Aaron T. Stephan
Aaron T. Stephan’s work covers a wide range of materials. Through simple alterations, he questions ways in which we view everyday objects and images that surround us. His work has been featured in venues throughout Maine including Whitney Art Works, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art. Outside of Maine, his work has been exhibited at Quint Contemporary Art in La Jolla, CA; DUMBO Art Center in Brooklyn, NY; and the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI.
Mapping Girl with Pearl Earring, 2005, collaged anatomy book, 36” x 24”
For more Aaron T. Stephan: aarontstephan.com, Whitney Art Works, University of Southern Maine Community Education Center
Jeff Badger is a multimedia artist based in South Portland. He has exhibited his works internationally, including recent solo exhibitions at UMass Boston and the Essex Art Center in Essex, MA, and group shows at Qasam Sabti Gallery in Baghdad, Iraq, the University of Wisconsin, Massachusetts College of Art, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. He is cofounder of the design company Small Victory Studios and records music under the name Barnacles & Bandages. Jeff is represented by Whitney Art Works in Portland and is on the faculty of Southern Maine Community College.
The Flood, 2008, acrylic on panel, 48” x 59”
For more Jeff Badger: jeffbadger.com, smallvictorystudios.com, Whitney Art Works
Elizabeth Cashin McMillen
Elizabeth Cashin McMillen’s paintings are conceptually spare. Body parts drift through with calligraphic swoosh into the lustrous field of paint. Almost like musical bars, horizontal strips divide the paintings into high and low and flow. With blunt force, random fragments acquire presence without attachment to story. Story is entrusted to the viewer. Maine artist Dennis Pinette says, “Just sitting here thinking of Frank Sinatra and Annie Lennox reincarnated as painters…frankly your new paintings are like Annie Lennox singing. Sinatra and Edward Hopper are cruising the bars in heaven.”
Hand, 2008, oil on canvas, 12” x 12”
For more Elizabeth Cashin McMillen: Aucocisco Galleries
Michael Reece’s paintings “convey a strong sense of the kind of solitary winter life one dreams of developing in an exceptional and isolated place,” writes Alan Crichton. Reece, who has devoted himself entirely to painting since he moved to Maine in 1979, has created this “isolated place” for himself and his art. He has lived and painted in various towns around Maine, currently residing in Searsmont. Reece received his BFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Winter Birch, 2007, oil on canvas, 54” x 54”
For more Michael Reece: Caldbeck Gallery
Philip Frey paints a sophisticated, yet joyful portrayal of Maine coastal life. His rich colors, painterly brushwork, and sense of movement awaken us to his (and our) amazement of the phenomenal world around us. “Frey has a dynamic style and high-pitched palette which derive from a keen admiration for the fauvists,” writes Carl Little. Frey’s work is in numerous private and public collections. This year, he will be honored with solo exhibitions at Courthouse Gallery Fine Art and the Firehouse Gallery.
Lemon and Blue (Fish Beach), 2009, acrylic on canvas, 20” x 30”
For more Philip Frey: philipfrey.com, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, The Firehouse Gallery, Maine Art Gallery, Thos. Moser
Gregory Dunham’s watercolors explore the boundary between realism and abstraction. He is drawn to the way mass and space interact and to the visual complexities of shadows, harbor clutter, or barren shrubs. Abstraction comes into play with his subtle use of pattern in the overall composition and the tension he creates by the juxtaposition of color and form. His work is included in collections at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, and the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.
Fish Houses, Monhegan, 2008, watercolor, 22” x 30”
For more Gregory Dunham: gregorydunham.com, Gregory Dunham Studio, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Dowling Walsh Gallery, Guild of Boston Artists, Rockport Art Association, The Banks Gallery
Alison Rector paints oil paintings in her studio in Belfast, ME. She is continuing work on a series of interiors, currently painting quiet spaces in low light. Carl Little says of her work, “as the subjects of fully realized paintings they become unusual, extraordinary… exquisitely rendered and instilled with the quality of found poetry.” Rector has had four solo exhibitions in the past decade, as well as many group shows. She was the featured artist in the autumn 2008 edition of the Gettysburg Review.
Beacon, 2008, oil on linen, 21” x 24”
For more Alison Rector: alisonrector.com, Greenhut Galleries, Clark Gallery
Jeff Loxterkamp earned an MFA at the University of Iowa in 1989. He finds inspiration and subject matter in the diverse Maine landscapes, inhabitants, and strange juxtapositions. In 2006, Jeff was selected for the book Paintings of Maine: A New Collection by author, art lecturer, and poet Carl Little. Little has said of Loxterkamp’s work, “He paints with a wonderfully fresh eye for the landscape, in a very appealing stylized manner that can be quite striking.” Loxterkamp’s paintings are in collections around the country and in the University of Iowa Museum of Art.
Two Red Sheds, 2008, oil on canvas, 36” x 48”
For more Jeff Loxterkamp: Turtle Gallery, Susan Maasch Fine Art
Kevin Beers, SUNY graduate and Brooklyn, NY, resident, discovered Monhegan Island twenty years ago, and the island—remote, rugged, and untouched—has drawn Beers back every summer since. Beers is well trained in the basics and has a genuine affection for the people and places he paints. This, combined with his love of slanting light, brings a sincere quality to his work. “Monhegan is a dazzling place with incredible light. That light—bouncing off brilliant white buildings, weathered cliffs, and cobalt-blue seas—is what brings me back to Monhegan time and again.”
Manana Panorama #2, 2008, oil on canvas, 14” x 48”
For more Kevin Beers: Gleason Fine Art Galleries, Allen Sheppard Gallery, Smith-Killian Fine Art
Amy Pollien studied printmaking and industrial design at the Philadelphia College of Art. Some of her most striking pieces “portray houses, some abandoned, some seasonal, that are being swallowed up by the land and the trees around them. They’re a visual record of nature and neglect that is at once wistful and breathtakingly beautiful,” writes Kristen Andresen of the Bangor Daily News. Since 1978, Pollien has exhibited at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, Rutgers University, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, among others. Her work is included in The Art of Maine Winter by Carl Little and Arnold Skolnick. Amy is represented by Turtle Gallery on Deer Isle.
Maple Avenue, 2009, pastel on board, 18” x 24”
For more Amy Pollien: amy.pollien.com, Turtle Gallery
R. Scott Baltz
R. Scott Baltz is a self-taught painter working mainly in oil, though he has worked in watercolor and large format photography as well. His paintings evoke a mythic essence of the Maine landscape. Currently, he is examining transitional light and allowing his experiences in nature to gestate, filtered by memory and imagination, before translating the image to canvas. His work is widely collected by private individuals throughout the country. Currently, Baltz represents his own work through his studio on Mount Desert Island, though he has exhibited in various galleries and exhibitions throughout the state.
February’s Fire, 2006, oil on panel, 24” x 20”
For more R. Scott Baltz: rscottbaltz.com, R. Scott Baltz Studio, Mount Desert Historical Society
Anne Ireland is a native New Yorker who has lived in Maine since 1984. She earned her BA from Bowdoin College in 1976 and BFA with honors from Maine College of Art in 1994. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the Northeast, and her work can be found in both private and corporate collections in the United States and Europe.
“My paintings are the result of observation informed by imagination—a place where the iconic is seen in the emotional context of mystery and surprise. There is a powerful energy when sky meets ground. To intensify that connection, I strive to create a psychologically nuanced atmosphere with unexpected color, giving it depth and consequence.”
Dusk—Martin’s Point Bridge, 2008, oil on canvas, 8” x 16”
For more Anne Ireland: Cygnet Gallery, maineartcollectors.com