Zillman Art Museum announces Summer Exhibitions

  • Date: May 22, 2024 - September 7, 2024 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
  • Time: 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Location: Zillman Art Museum - University of Maine, Bangor

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The Zillman Art Museum - University of Maine, located at 40 Harlow Street in Bangor, ME, opens two new exhibitions that will run May 17 - August 2, 2024 and May 17 - September 7, 2024. ZAM is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am - 5 pm and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 21 original exhibitions each year. Admission to the Zillman Art Museum is free in 2024 thanks to the generosity of Birchbrook.

May 17 - August 2, 2024

Living Here Feels Like I am In My Homeland, Finland features paintings and works on paper by Finnish-born artist Vaino Kola. After serving as a professor at Wheaton College in Massachusetts for 26 years, Kola settled in Deer Isle, Maine in 1994. Seemingly untouched picturesque locations in and around Deer Isle have provided an endless supply of inspiration for Kola’s landscapes. Many of the oil on canvas paintings in the exhibition are inspired by locations in Maine—in fact, some are but a stone’s throw from the artist’s studio. Kola has a great affinity for his remote island which, with its terrain, flora and climate, reminds him of his Finnish homeland.

While Kola’s paintings appear to be exacting representations of a specific location, he takes considerable liberty in rendering the environment. A particular boulder may be depicted in different positions in multiple compositions. The artist then manipulates lighting and environmental conditions on the canvas for creative impact. Kola states “Nature is very beautiful, but nature should be changed when making art. In my works, I eliminate things, add things, and move things around, so it works for me artistically.”

Also included in the exhibition are a stunning assortment of etchings that showcase Kola’s skill as a draftsman. A number of these works capture the beauty of winter. For example, the artist has depicted snow-lined trees in wooded environments on the outskirts of Oslo, Norway, near the home of the artist Edvard Munch. Winter in Maine inspired Kola’s series Deer Isle Suite, which reflects quiet days when mounds of snow cover the weighted branches of majestic evergreens. Norton Woods, 1976, a large-scale etching from the Zillman Art Museum collection, reflects Kola’s masterful approach to drawing and use of sensitive lines to render a forest of bare-branched trees lined with snow. The work is technically complex, in part due to the sheer size of the 36” x 47.5” copper plate, which pushes the limits of the etching process.

May 17 - September 7, 2024

When first entering James Linehan’s exhibition one may have an initial impression that the bodies of work in the two galleries are from two different hands and poles apart in terms of approach. How can an individual artist produce such seemingly different work?

In one gallery, Burning Down the House, a mammoth wall installation of bold, non-objective paintings is arranged from the floor to the top of the wall. Various-sized colored canvases, each with bold gestural marks, dominate the field of vision. In the adjacent gallery, the viewer next encounters an array of somewhat realistic landscapes depicting Maine environments, from verdant woodlands to rock-bordered seascapes.

What unites the abstract and landscape works are the artist’s brushstrokes, surface treatment and, importantly, how these elements remain linked when subjected to shifts in scale. For instance, when isolated sections of Linehan’s landscapes are magnified, there are visual connections to the scaled-up brushstrokes in his abstract compositions.

While the exhibition features a number of realistic landscapes, a style of which Linehan is most known, it also includes a new series of landscape paintings that are more loosely rendered. These spirited paintings, recently completed in 2023 and 2024, are on display for the first time in this Zillman exhibition. Inspired by a spontaneity that emerged through creating his abstract works, the new landscapes reflect an unbridled energy, lively color, and a freedom in mark-making. Linehan states, “My canvases from 2024, such as Old Soul, are willful and combative, but also wide open, suggestive and playful.”

A focal point of the exhibition is a large wall that offers a glimpse into Linehan’s sources of inspiration, along with demonstrating the convergence of art-making and collecting. Tree Tower features a salon-style hanging of antique and modern etchings and prints depicting trees by other noted artists and collected by Linehan. Hanging next to this grouping is the artist’s nine-foot-tall painting ARBOR MAGNA MAGNA. He shares, “When I conceptualized this show I was determined to recognize some of the artists and ideas behind my own art. Many of the authors of these prints are magnificent masters of line.” This pairing celebrates the artistic achievement of others while offering a contemporary contemplation of a familiar subject.

James Linehan received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught painting and drawing for 45 years, including 40 years as a Professor of Art at the University of Maine. He retired from University of Maine in 2023 and is now Emeritus Professor of Art.


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Zillman Art Museum - University of Maine

40 Harlow St.
Bangor  ME  04401 


Zillman Art Museum - University of Maine

Kathryn Jovanelli