Art in the Capitol: Paintings by Jorge Peña

  • May 10, 2023

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Art in the Capitol: Paintings by Jorge Peña

On display from May to August at the Maine State House Gallery in Augusta

AUGUSTA, ME - The Maine Arts Commission is currently presenting an exhibition of paintings by Jorge Peña, showcasing his exploration of two distinct worlds. One world represents his ancestral roots in Africa, Spain, and Indigenous cultures, while the other reflects his experiences of living in Maine for the past 20 years. Peña's art draws inspiration from personal memories, images, and the shapes and colors of both his past and present surroundings. The exhibition is part of the Art in the Capitol program and will be on display from May 1, to August 31, 2023.

Peña has been expressing himself through drawings and paintings since childhood and has evolved into a figurative and abstract painter over the years. He notes that his current work shares similarities with his earliest pieces, which predominantly featured figurative and realistic expressions.

Originally from Colombia, Peña has been residing in Wiscasset, Maine since 2015. He describes his ongoing discovery of Maine as an exotic world, appreciating its vegetation, water bodies, rocks, distinct seasons, and diverse people. Despite his different country of origin and ethnicity, Peña believes that Maine shares many similarities with his birthplace, and he aims to showcase the equal exoticism of both locations through his art.

In some of his paintings, Peña pays tribute to the newly discovered Chiribiquete National Park in the Amazon Forest of Colombia. Although he has not visited the park personally, its recent revelation has deeply impacted him, leading him to dream about its rocks, vegetation, water, fauna, and the indigenous people who have artistically depicted the cosmic world of Chiribiquete.

The Art in the Capitol program is an initiative that showcases artwork throughout the Capitol Complex, providing additional exposure for Maine artists and artists working on Maine-based themes. All exhibits in the program are free and open to the public, allowing visitors to explore the exhibitions at their own pace during business hours.

Administered by the Maine Arts Commission, the Art in the Capitol program aims to increase accessibility to Maine artists focusing on themes related to the state. For more information about the program, please visit


Jorge E. Peña has exhibited at the Damariscotta River Arts Members Juried Shows in 2016, 2021, 2022; Maine Art Gallery, Plein Air Event, 2016, Maine Art Gallery, Members Exhibit, 2019, 2020 [virtual], 2021; Invited artist, Acquired Symbols Exhibit, Maine Art Gallery, 2021; Juried Member Show, Harlow Gallery, Hallowell, ME, 2021, 2nd Place Award, 2022; Juried Member Show, Cambridge Art 2019, Cambridge, MA; Juried Member Show MJ2, Concord Art 2022, Concord, MA; Invited Artist, Akeley Galleries, Presque Isle, Maine, 2017, 2018, 2022. He is also a retired entomologist. 


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Ryan Leighton

193 State Street
SHS 25
Augusta  ME  04333