The Arts in the Capitol program is one of the principal points of intersection that the Maine Arts Commission has with visitors to our state Capitol. The work that greets employees, legislators and visitors serves as a portal to the arts, a genuine reminder of how art enlivens our daily existence. The sheer pleasure of allowing oneself to be transported through the vision of the artist provides a small respite for those on their way to and from the weighty issues of the day.
The Arts in the Capitol program allows work to be exhibited throughout the Capitol Complex on a quarterly basis and is a means through which the Maine Arts Commission offers institutions and galleries an additional venue for their curated exhibitions. It is designed to expand audience for Maine artists or artists working in Maine on Maine based themes.
Below is an overview of the work that has recently graced the walls of the state Capitol.
Currently on Display
John Orcutt and Cynthia Orcutt are fine art nature photographers and avid outdoor enthusiasts. Following a distinguished career as an architect - landscape architect team they have pursued their interest in creating an awareness of the necessity for active preservation of fragile places. Through their photographic images, they express the inherent beauty of areas endangered by easy public access and frequent visitation. The Orcutt’s aspire to foster in our collective consciousness the need to tread softly on our natural and cultural heritage. Their work is a call for us all to participate in the act of preservation.
John and Cynthia Orcutt’s work has been exhibited widely and is in many public and private collections. They live in Kingfield, Maine. John is a member of the Board of Directors of Maine Huts and Trails, a non-profit organization and is a past member of the Wolfes Neck Board of Directors. Cynthia is active as the chair of the Kingfield Village Enhancement Committee, a member of the BikeMaine Organizing Committee and serves as the chair of the long range planning committee for Maine Huts and Trails. She is a former member of the Board of Directors for Waynflete School.
Hugh Verrier was born & raised on the rocky coast of Maine The artist’s long association with the sea inspires his work in this unique and original combination of media. Hugh worked for many years as a tugboat captain, commercial fisherman, and small business owner. Mr. Verrier now owns and operates his own gallery and studio on the shore of Flagstaff Lake in Eustis where he exhibits his watercolor sculpture formed of very heavy French paper into lovely birds and fish, brought alive with watercolor.
Hugh’s exhibition history includes a 2-month exhibition at Maine Audubon at Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, juried selection for Laudholm Trust Fall Show, Wells ME, selection for several Sugarloaf Artist in Residence programs, and at Memorial Hall Library in Andover, Massachusetts.
Hugh has been represented by Jameson Gallery, Portland, Alone Moose Gallery, Bar Harbor, and Mast Cove Gallery, Kennebunkport and his work has been selected by Maine Coast Artists for exhibition in two of their prestigious annual shows and most recently, selected for solo exhibition at Heartwood College of Art, Kennebunk, Maine.
His trumpeter swan was selected for the National Aqueous Exhibition (juried selection of 60 out of 1200 entries), Tubac Art Center, Tubac, AZ.
"Supper in the Cookshack" Alden Grant
an 83 year old Maine guide, logging camp clerk and artist, painstakingly captures the history of the men who work in the northern woods. From the timber cruiser who surveyed the territory for viability, accessibility and sustainability to the men on the capstan raft who towed the boom down the lake, each individual work is a study of life in the 1915 to 1928 logging camps of the Rangeley Lakes Region of western Maine.
"Back to the Lakes" Alexandra Tyng
began drawing and painting the Maine landscape as a teenager while staying at a nineteenth century rustic camp on one of Mount Desert Island’s lakes, and at her brother’s lighthouse home in Penobscot Bay. In the 1990s she began chartering planes so she could take reference photos of the glacially carved land formations of coastal Maine, which she uses as references to create large-scale paintings. She also paints panoramas from mountaintops, and closer, more intimate views of places. Every summer she spends several weeks painting outside on Mount Desert, Monhegan, Deer Isle and various other locations.
"North Norfolk Beach"
was born in the small fishing town of Brightlingsea, which is nestled on the east coast of England. He trained as a shipwright in the nearby town of Maldon before moving to London to study painting at both the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. Dodds, who is a frequent visitor to Maine, has exhibited his stunning paintings and prints of boats throughout England and here in Maine at the Dowling Walsh Gallery.
"RocksTo Climb On" Colin Page 2011
was raised in Baltimore, MD, and attended the Rhode Island School of Design. He transferred to Cooper Union with a concentration on painting. Upon graduation he lived in New York City for three years where he was an active member in the art world. In search of a more diverse landscape, Page moved to Maine where he found more time to devote to his art. Page creates all his work on site and focuses on capturing the atmosphere and light of a scene.
“Through painting, I share unexpected moments of beauty that I find in the space around me. Painting is how I share the poetry of experience.”
"Hay There" Jacobus Baas
was born in the Netherlands in 1945. He spent his early years in Rotterdam, surrounded by rich landscapes and cloud-laden skies made famous by the Dutch Masters throughout history. Baas arrived in the United States in his early teens with an interest in art already indelibly imprinted.
Baas has found the satisfaction he has been seeking…as a plein air artist. “Painting has become my full-time passion; there is no time to make jewelry. The act of applying paint to a canvas has always been intriguing to me. To transform a two-dimensional surface and give it a feeling of space with carefully arranged brushstrokes using the right colors and values is pure magic. Every time I paint on location, with each brushstroke I experience that magic again, and hopefully the viewer will experience it as well in the finished painting.”
Tub Trawler, A Long Way from Gloucester
Originally from Long Island, New York, Loretta Krupinski moved to southeast coastal Connecticut, and currently lives in midcoast Maine. After graduating with a BA in fine arts from Syracuse University, Ms. Krupinski worked for many years as an illustrator and graphic designer, but has chosen to pursue a dual career as a maritime artist and an author and illustrator of 27 books for children. She has won numerous awards for both and is a Fellow in the American Society of Marine Artists.
“Throughout my life, I have lived around the water. My love of boating and beaches has been imprinted on me since I was a child. My talent is with marine subjects, that is, water, boats, rocks and harbors. An artist does their best work when they really know their subject and my marine art deals with realism and detail in oils on canvas.
“My pleasure at exhibiting at the Statehouse came from the widely varied viewers enjoying my paintings and gaining more knowledge from the stories that told of Maine maritime history than they knew before. Another reason I was so pleased to exhibit at the Statehouse was that my art traveled outside of gallery walls. A gallery is the most popular venue for an artist to exhibit; it is also the most insulated. By participating in the Arts in the Capitol program, my art was seen by a much broader audience, many of which would not enter a gallery to view art.”)
All Arts in the Capitol events and free and open to the public; however, exhibitions are self-guided and may only be viewed within prescribed times: Maine Arts Commission Office 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; Maine State House 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday; and the Blaine House - 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Please call ahead at 207/287-2121). For more information on this and all programs available through the Maine Arts Commission, visit MaineArts.com.