Art in the Capitol

Art in the Capitol

The Art in the Capitol program features work throughout the Capitol Complex and offers Maine artists an additional venue for their work. It is designed to expand the audience for Maine artists or artists working in Maine on Maine-based themes.

All Art in the Capitol exhibits are free and open to the public. Exhibitions are self-guided and may be viewed during the building hours where the exhibition is on display. Building hours: Maine Arts Commission Office 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; Capitol and Burton M. Cross Buildings 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information about Art in the Capitol, contact Julie Horn, Visual Arts Director at vog.eniam@nroh.eiluj.



Works from The Bangor Art Society

    Michael Vermette
    Waiting on the Market, oil on canvas

The Maine Arts Commission is honored to show the work of The Bangor Art Society who boasts the oldest, continuous art society not only in Maine but in the nation! They were established in 1875 as a small group of artists who joined together to form an association for the purpose of promoting art and extending art education in Bangor. In the beginning they offered programs that stressed exhibitions of Arts and Crafts, Paintings, Photographs and Prints. Its membership has been distinct and diverse including that of Marsden Hartley, who conducted painting classes for the society during the winter months in the 1940’s. In the 1950’s their name changed from Bangor Art Association to the Bangor Society of Arts and then to the Bangor Art Society. One hundred and forty one years later they are still an alliance of artists of all ages who are dedicated to promoting art and encouraging the creative spirit through a variety of programs, events and scholarships to art students.

Works in this exhibition can be found on both the ground floor and second floor of the State House and are for sale. The work will be up through September 15, 2017. For any questions about the artists or purchasing their work please contact Teddi-Jann Covell, president of The Bangor Art Society at

James Linehan, Maine Artist

    James Linehan
    Woods Walk, acrylic on paper 42" x 62"

James Linehan is a Maine artist currently living in Bangor. He has been with the University of Maine since 1983 working in both capacities as an art professor and chairman of the Department of Art. Linehan’s academic accomplishments include chairing committees that led to the renovation of Lord Hall Gallery and the addition of a BFA degree to the Art Department’s curriculum. Additionally, Jim participated in the planning, design, and fundraising for the Wyeth Center for Studio Art, which came to fruition in September of 2013.

His education includes a BFA, MA and MFA and his work has been exhibited extensively in New York City and throughout the United States, as well as one solo show in Tokyo, Japan; two in Sapporo, Japan; Finland and Jordan. He has completed twenty public commissions including fifteen in Maine. James’s work is represented in thirty public and corporate collections including L.L. Bean, Bank of America, The Portland Museum of Art, Bates College, US Department of State Art Bank, Texaco, UNUM, Eaton Vance of Boston, MBNA and the Farnsworth Museum.  He is currently represented by Littlefield gallery in Winter Harbor, ME. You can also view his work online at

The work will be up (now) through January 1, 2018 and is located in the Governor’s reception area (2nd floor).

Recent Exhibitions

Works by Olena Babak and Judy Taylor

The Maine Arts Commission presented the work of two of Maine’s most talented painters, Judy Taylor and Olena Babak. After meeting at a plein air class several years ago, Judy and Olena have continued to inspire each other and have combined their talents on several projects.   At the Met

Judy began her artistic career with an intensive education in New York and Chicago. In 1996 relocated to Maine as the Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park. She currently maintains her studio and teaches there while also conducting workshops in Austin, New York, Italy and France. Her work is in many public and private collections including: Johns Hopkins University, the United States Park System, Friends of Acadia, and the Jackson Laboratory.

Olena Babak is an award winning, classically trained artist, whose landscapes and figurative works can be found in numerous galleries and collections in the U.S. and abroad. Some of her selected awards from 2016 include: Best Representation of Rockies National Park, Artist’s Choice Plein Air Richmond, 1st place Quick Draw & People's Choice Award Finger Lakes Plein Air. She was also a recipient of the Hudson River Fellowship in New York. Formerly she taught at the Academy of Classical Design, but now offers private workshops and classes in her studio on Great Moose Lake in central Maine. About her work she states, “Trained in the academic traditions of the French and Russian schools, I strive to push the limits of lighting and color in the process of capturing mood and enchantment in ever changing light and surroundings.”

You can learn more about Olena’s work at and more about Judy's work at 

Painting Islands: Uniting Community with Art

    Howie Montenko
    Swan Island Quarry

The Maine Arts Commission announced the opening of a special exhibit in its Art in the Capitol program. “Painting Islands: Uniting Community with Art” by Maine photographer Howie Motenko explores collaborative art using the photographic technique of light painting on all 15 of Maine’s un-bridged, year-round islands.

“We selected these photographs to showcase Maine’s rich island heritage, and the ways in which the arts can bring communities together,” said Julie Horn, the Visual Arts Program Director for the Maine Arts Commission and the curator for Art in the Capitol. “These photos are lush with color and light and bring attention to one of Maine’s provincial regions, which make them a perfect fit for the Governor’s Reception area.”

Motenko’s mission in the “Painting Islands” project, funded in part by the Maine Arts Commission, was to create participatory art with each island community through the medium of light painting photography. The result is 15 highly color saturated, archival pigment prints that represent Maine’s island community’s choices of images that best represent them. For a full year beginning in June of 2015, Motenko, working in partnership with the Maine Seacoast Mission and the Island Institute, visited, discussed and documented each island. The artistic collaboration began with island residents selecting a subject that resonated most strongly with their community. Next, at dusk, island volunteers “light painted” their self-selected scene with flashlights to complete the artistic collaboration: they illuminated the most significant image of their community while Motenko created a long-exposure photograph of it during the blue hour. The relationship of the artist’s vision and the islanders’ combined illumination created a glowing image reflecting each island’s unique identity and collective values. The project is designed to create a stronger sense of community for each island. To learn more about this project please visit

Maine: A Continuum of Place 

    Jude Valentine
    West Quoddy Head Light

Maine Governor Oakley C. Curtis declared April 19, 1916, to be “Maine Postcard Day,” imploring all Mainers to mail a postcard of their home state to friends and family from away. It is said the cards were primarily used as a tool to communicate our exclusive qualities to the outside world.

2016 marks this centennial which has been especially highlighted by the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport. The PMM houses a vast glass-plate collection of many of these original postcard images which visually boast of Maine’s towns and unique environment.  Inspired by the card’s anniversary, art writer Carl Little was asked to pair vintage photographs from the PMM’s remarkable collection with paintings of similar subjects by contemporary Maine artists. The results of which are this show consisting of twenty-five paintings created by seventeen artists from across our state. The exhibit explores changes overtime to those locations and images formerly used to describe Maine. Carl Little states this show highlights “…what I call the “continuum of place.” Kids will always leap from docks, though their outfits may change. Ships will find harbor, but they may depend on computers to find their way. And certain iconic vistas—the harbors of Monhegan and Stonington, for example—seem almost eternal even as a new building might go up or lobster traps change from wood to metal.”

Works in this exhibition can be found on both the ground floor and second floor of the State House. We invite you to spend time with each work and postcard image to find your own visual connections and memories of place.


Ed Buonvecchio, local Manchester Artist

    Ed Buonvecchio
    Docked at Union Wharf, 9.125" x 8"
    Oil on Panel

Local Manchester artist Ed Buonvecchio spent most of his life growing up in New York where he later earned his BFA at SUNY Buffalo. After moving to Arizona in 2004 he was so inspired by the “raw beauty” of the desert he anxiously began his career as a fine artist focusing on the historic en plein air painting technique. This style of capturing the landscape, concentrated on working outdoors to quickly record what the eye actually sees as mixture of natural light and air. It was highly popular in the nineteenth century giving birth to such renowned artists as John Constable and Claude Monet. Buonvecchio states, “My love of art, nature and the outdoors unite through painting en plein air.” His passion and talent were quickly recognized by winning the first Plein Air competition he entered in 2010.

Since relocating to Maine four years ago he has entrenched himself in the fine art community, participating in some of the State’s top painting festivals such as the Ocean Park Plein Air Festival and the Stroke of Art festival in Boothbay Harbor. Ed was recently featured in a solo show at the Winter Harbor Public Library and then curated a related group show for the Reed Gallery in Presque Isle. He is an involved member of well-known groups such as the Plein Air Painters of Maine, Kennebec Valley Arts Association and the New England Foundation for the Arts.

You can learn more about Ed and his work at

Please click here to view past exhibitions.


Fri, Jul 28 - Fri, Sep 29   brunswick, ME
Call for Art: The Extinction Event View »
Sun, Aug 27 - Sun, Oct 15   Penobscot, ME
2nd Annual Sound Installation Festival View »
Mon, Aug 28 - Fri, Dec 8   Portland, ME
Why We Fought: American WWI Posters and the Art of Persuasion View »

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Press Release

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