Art in the Capitol Archive
Art in the Capitol Archive header image


2023 Exhibitions



Opening Minds Through Art Program | The Cedars

All Artists are Residents at The Cedars and OMA participating artist

It is never too late to make art.
Abundant evidence shows that arts participation improves the emotional well-being of older adults, supports good health, strengthens social bonds, and brings a heightened experience of purpose and joy to our lives as we mature.

The Cedars, a non-profit continuum-of-care community for older adults located in Portland, Maine, embeds that belief in their programming. Founded in 1929 as the Jewish Home for Aged, The Cedars offers many healthcare options including independent living, assisted living, memory care assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, long-term care, and community-based services.

Their Memory Care services include innovative programs in singing, gardening, storytelling and artmaking. Opening Minds though Art (OMA) is a failure-free abstract art-making program, grounded in person-centered care principles. OMA was founded by Dr. Elizabeth Lokon at the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. People with dementia (artists) are paired with volunteers (students, families, caregivers) who are trained to rely on imagination instead of memory and focus on the artists’ remaining strengths instead of lost skills. OMA enables people with dementia to assume new roles as artists and teachers and leave a legacy of beautiful artwork.

OMA has been implemented at The Cedars in partnership with the University of Southern Maine and the University of New England. This collaboration has provided attentive volunteers for the artists, a real-world learning experience and course credit for students, and a unique opportunity for bonding between residents and students. The Cedars’ Life Enrichment Manager Nicholas Viti and Teaching Artist Pamela Moulton started the program in 2015, enabling creativity to flourish among this older population.

You can view Opening Minds Through Art at the Cross Building 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more about The Cedars




2022 Exhibitions



Maine Veteran Artists

Artist: Denis Boudreau
Title: Coastal Trail
Artist: Roland Rose
Title: Biddeford Textile
Artist: Cabot Lyford
Title: Pemaquid Light House

Artwork by Maine veterans was proudly on display in a free, public exhibition that ran throughout the state capitol complex. Most of the art works where displayed in the Burton M. Cross building, all were presented by the Maine Arts Commission in partnership with the VA Maine Healthcare Systems of Togus.

Artists included: Denis Boudreau, Lori Bryant, Tim Byrne, Becky Conley, Jeremy Drews, Jax Guay, Amy Heiderscheidt, Charles Kniffin, Edward Kurasz, Valerie Lovelace, Cabot Lyford, Jennifer Morris, Michelle Nelson, Daryn Rockett, Roland Rose, Cassie Sano, Edmond Theriault, Lisa Vermette, and Terry Wescott



Norma Randi Smith

An indigenous artist from Down East Maine, Norma “Randi” Smith is a member of the Passamaquoddy tribe and is a child of the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes of North Dakota. With lineage from both tribal regions comes a rich cultural history that keeps Norma busy, as she delves into family trees and learns about her ancestors. From here she paints what she draws inspiration from, which also includes profound dreams, ideas and impressions. In addition to heritage, Norma also likes to convey the beauty of the world around her, recreating those favorite places she has visited among her journeys of outdoor adventures in the beautiful state of Maine. It is also from

this privilege of freedom to live life the way one chooses, in her particular case of being an artist, managing a homestead with her husband and animals, raising and processing their own food, having worked in the food service industry, exploring and participating in nature and life that Maine has to offer as well as life experiences that shape Norma’s artistic motivations.

 To find out more information of Norma’s current artistic endeavors check out her website at where you can find her artwork for sale, including prints of paintings here, and consult for commissioned artwork.

You can also follow her on her Instagram @emerald_forests for current artwork posts and snippets of life.

Artist: Norma Randi Smith
Title: The Protectors And Guides
Artist: Norma Randi Smith
Title: Poor Wolf



Woven Works of the Universe  | Sarah Haskell

Haskell is an award-winning artist and educator who has been weaving and teaching for over fifty years. She has a BFA in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design and MA in Arts/Healing from Wisdom University. Sarah has exhibited at museums and galleries and has been published in FiberArt Now magazine. She is a member of the American Craft Council and the Surface Design Association. In 2021, Haskell was named the Maine Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellow.

The works in this Art in the Capitol show, which were viewed as a free, self-guided exhibition, are located the ground floor of the State House and are available to purchase. For sales inquiries, please contact Sarah Haskell at moc.lleksahharas@haras, 207-475-7083. To learn more about Sarah visit her website at

Artist: Sarah Haskell



Maine Excellence in Arts Education Exhibition

this featured the installation of the 2022 Maine Excellence in Arts Education Exhibition at the State Capitol Complex in Augusta. Visual art teachers from schools throughout Maine submitted one piece of two-dimensional artwork that represents artistic excellence from a K-12 student. The work showcases a wide range of ages, media, and styles, with many counties represented. Selected works are installed in various locations around the Capitol Complex: the State House, the Cross Office Building (second floor), and the office of the Maine Arts Commission, 193 State Street, this showed from Feb 2022 - June 2022.



2021 Exhibitions



Maine Veteran Artists

Artwork by Maine veterans was proudly on display in a free, public exhibition that ran throughout the state capitol complex. Most of the art works where displayed in the Burton M. Cross building, all were presented by the Maine Arts Commission in partnership with the VA Maine Healthcare Systems of Togus.



Abstract paintings  |  M.J. Benson

International Artist MJ Benson “The paintings featured at the Maine State House are from my most recent series of large- scale landscapes, my response to the tumultuous past few months of life,” Benson said. “My style is very painterly, with thick layers and broad movement with the brush, knife or other objects I use to apply or remove the paint.”

Originally from Massachusetts, Benson has been living and working in Maine since 2006. After earning a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University, and an Ed.M. from Harvard University, Benson moved to Maine to raise a family in South Portland.

Photo Courtesy: M.J. Benson



2020 Exhibitions



Maine at its Mid-Point   |  Photo Exhibition

The photographic exhibition was presented by the Maine Arts Commission in collaboration with the Penobscot Marine Museum. The show ran from January through June 2020 on the ground floor of the Maine State House.

“Maine at its Mid-Point” provides historical and artistic context for our state’s bicentennial anniversary, drawing upon the research and writing conducted for the book Maine on Glass: The Early Twentieth Century in Glass Plate Photography. In the book, State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. describes Maine as a “big state in bustling times.”

The book features 200 pages of photographs selected from glass plate negatives by photo archivist Kevin Johnson from the Penobscot Marine Museum’s Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. collection.

The exhibit was presented in part by the Maine Arts Commission and sponsored by Tilbury House Publishers. The photos are printed on fine art paper provided by Innova Art Ltd.

Photo Credit: Maine on Glass: The Early Twentieth Century in Glass Plate Photography



Ashley Bryan | Virtual Gallery

The Ashley Bryan virtual exhibition has been organized by the Maine Arts Commission with the cooperation of The Ashley Bryan Center.

Born in 1923, Ashley Bryan grew up in the Bronx during the Depression. His parents emigrated from Antigua in the Caribbean and settled in New York after the First World War. Bryan began making books at the age of six and has never stopped. Trips to the public library—where he sought out folktales, fairy tales, novels, biographies, and poetry—fueled his passion for storytelling. There were, however, few opportunities to identify with African Americans: “At that time I knew very little about books by or about black people.”

View Virtual Gallery >>

Artist: Ashley Bryan
Title: Head of Woman
Artist: Ashley Bryan
Title: Figure with "door"



Maine Excellence in Arts Education Exhibition

This featured the installation of the 2019-2020 Maine Excellence in Arts Education Exhibition at the State Capitol Complex in Augusta. Visual art teachers from schools throughout Maine submitted one piece of two-dimensional artwork that represents artistic excellence from a K-12 student. The work showcases a wide range of ages, media, and styles, with many counties represented. Selected works are installed in various locations around the Capitol Complex: the State House, the Cross Office Building (second floor), and the office of the Maine Arts Commission, 193 State Street, this showed from December 2019 - May 2020.



2019 Exhibitions



Maine Veteran Artists

Artwork by Maine veterans was proudly on display in a free, public exhibition that ran throughout the state capitol complex. Most of the art works where displayed in the Burton M. Cross building, all were presented by the Maine Arts Commission in partnership with the VA Maine Healthcare Systems of Togus.



Abstract series by Michel Droge

Presenting the color attentive work of Maine painter Michel Droge as a part of the Art in the Capitol program at State House Capitol Complex. This abstract body of work is on display on the ground floor of the Maine State House the exhibition ran from September through December 30, 2019.

Michel Droge is a painter, printmaker, and an educator who resides in Portland, Maine. She creates works that employ the sociology of both humans and environmental ecosystems alike. When describing her works, the artists states “They embrace a layering of scientific research with inspiration from literary and poetic sources. The results are colorful atmospheric landscapes.” The current body of work in the State House draws inspiration from Mythology to the present day cultural and ecological exploitation on environmental and social ecosystems. Learn more here>

Artist: Michel Droge
Artist: Michel Droge



The Laws of Nature | Katharine Cartwright

The Laws of Nature exhibition is a selection of 18 watercolors inspired by Cartwright’s life as both artist and scientist. Cartwright is an internationally recognized artist whose paintings are included in over one hundred private and corporate collections. 

The Laws of Nature series has earned Cartwright international acclaim, with several of the paintings touring in China for two years as well as notable arts venues around the United States. Cartwright’s works also appear in publications such as A Walk into AbstractsBest of America Watermedia Artists, and Professional Artist Magazine. Most recently, one was featured as a full-page in the journal American ScientistLearn more here>

Artist: Katharine Cartwright
Title: Weaving the Fabric of the Universe
Artist: Katharine Cartwright
Title: Entropy



Coastal Waters  |  Christopher O'Connor

This exhibition featured the work of international painter Christopher O’Connor as part of a selection of 22 paintings from his series “Coastal Waters.” O'Connor  explores the subject of Maine’s rugged coastline on various size canvases through the use of vibrant coloring and rigorously constructed compositions.

O’Connor’s work will be on display as a free exhibit through April 31, 2019 in the Maine State House. Works are available to purchase. Learn more here>

Artist: Christopher O'Connor
Artist: Christopher O'Connor



Maine Excellence in Arts Education Exhibition

this featured the installation of the 2018-2019 Maine Excellence in Arts Education Exhibition at the State Capitol Complex in Augusta. Visual art teachers from schools throughout Maine submitted one piece of two-dimensional artwork that represents artistic excellence from a K-12 student. The work showcases a wide range of ages, media, and styles, with many counties represented. Selected works are installed in various locations around the Capitol Complex: the State House, the Cross Office Building (second floor), and the office of the Maine Arts Commission, 193 State Street, this showed from December 2018 - April 2019.



Other Past Exhibits:

Maine Veteran Artists - On display through November 2018

Artwork by Maine veterans is proudly on display in a free, public exhibition that runs through November throughout the state capitol complex. Approximately 40 art works by 39 artists, a majority of which are hanging in the Burton M. Cross building, are presented by the Maine Arts Commission in partnership with the VA Maine Healthcare Systems of Togus. 

Visitors, state employees, and legislators are encouraged to view the Veterans Art in the Capitol exhibition during normal building hours. Each piece of art is accompanied by an artist statement that includes quotes and stories about how art plays a key role in the quality of life for many Maine veterans.

EVENT DETAILS: In addition to honoring the Veterans in the Arts and Humanities Appreciation Day, designated by the Maine state legislature as November 1 every year, the Maine Arts Commission is hosting a special celebration for veterans on November 30, 2018, the final day of the exhibition, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Maine State House in the Hall of Flags. This event is also free and open to the public.  Learn more here>

Stunning Photographic Still Lifes by Lynn Karlin- on display at Maine State House through Dec. 2018 

Maine photographer Lynn Karlin is currently on display for the Art in the Capitol program in Augusta. The selection of 19 images from Karlin’s “The Pedestal Series” will be on display as a free exhibit, open to the public from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, in the Maine State Capitol Complex from September 1 – December 31, 2018.

 “The Pedestal Series” illuminates food in still-life compositions that at times expand past the pictorial frame. Karlin’s food assemblies use striking design elements as the artist carefully considers and chooses form, texture, patina and color. She uses only natural light for her photographs, giving her work a more painterly than photographic aesthetic, inspired by works of 17th century Dutch master painters.

Lynn Karlin lives in Belfast and specializes in photographing gardens, interiors, and food for nationally recognized magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens and This Old House. She is a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and has received many noted awards including Outstanding Achievement in Still Life and Best in Show at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, CO.

The works in this Art in the Capitol show, which can be viewed as a free, self-guided exhibition, are located on both the ground floor and second floor of the State House and are available to purchase. Learn more here>

"Four" - May 1- August 30, 2018 

 The Maine Arts Commission is proud to present an exhibition of four talented Maine artists, who in 2016 embarked on a year-long collaborative project entitled “Four”. They joined together to support, stimulate and challenge their individual creative belief systems to delve deeper into the unknown.

They live as career artists, educators, and friends, but together have committed to a goal to generate a collaborative process-driven visual and tactile dialog, exploring the theme of the four elements (air, fire, water, earth) through the lens of the Maine environment. Their primary concerted function is to work researching and building new visual vocabulary together.

Holly Berry, Very Late Afternoon, linocut 


Holly Berry- Lives and works in Waldoboro, ME. Her work is, “…influenced by the patterns and structures found in folk-art and the decorative arts.” For her, printmaking stems from a love of making things by hand and respect for craftsmanship.

For more information about Holly and her work, visit

Marguerite Lawler – Lives and works in Portland, ME. In 2017 she began and body of work that focused on the impact of shadows and light on the interior landscape of Maine, but most recently it has evolved to include the coastline and islands.  

For more information about Marguerite and her work, visit

Molly Mains- Lives and works in Bridgton, ME and states that her creative process “involves a progression of focusing in and simplifying rather than a literal interpretation of nature.” Recently she’s been experimenting with gelatin monotypes to emphasize the translucency of color.

For more information about Molly and her work, visit

 Marguerite Lawler, Underneath, oil

Wendy Newcomb- Lives and works in Sebago, ME where she prefers early morning and late afternoon light for its golden hues and long shadows. She states that by recreating her visual experience, “…she wants to give the viewer a sense of being in that moment with her.”

For more information about Wendy and her work, visit

Works in this exhibition can be found on both the first and second floors of the State House.   Wendy Newcomb, Spring Gorge, oil 

Molly Mains, Mountain Serenity, multimedia

If interested in purchasing any of the artwork, please contact the artist directly through their website.

Maine Veteran Artists Showcase 

January 2 - April 30, 2018 

  The Maine Arts Commission is proud to present an exhibition of Veteran’s work in partnership with The VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus. These artworks on display are created by Veteran Maine artists. A majority of the work can be viewed throughout the Capitol Complex, hanging predominantly in the Burton M. Cross Building.

The Togus facility provides a variety of outpatient and adaptive therapy programs for Maine’s Veteran population including visual arts, poetry and performance. This therapy is individualized, incorporating a Veteran's past, present and future interests and lifestyle.  Weaving the concept of healthy living into treatment ensures improved functioning, enhanced independence and successful involvement in all aspects of life. Their goal is to promote lifelong health and well-being through regular participation in meaningful leisure pursuits, regardless of disability.  This exhibit serves to recognize veterans' service, showcase their art or craft, and encourage them to pursue their passion. It is the Art Commission's hope that every veteran feels that he or she has a place to promote their art, no matter their skill level or their passion. Please take the time to read the wall labels accompanying the work to learn more about these talented and dedicated individuals, including quotes about how art plays a key role in their health and quality of life.

This program asks that you show your support for those that have served by purchasing and displaying their art. If Interested, please contact Courtney Oliver at vog.av@revilO.yentruoC.   Photo: San Pao I Left the WAR,  16 x 20. 

EVENT INFORMATION:  Join us in celebrating veteran artists of Maine who are participating in the current Art In the Capitol Show at the Maine State House. The Veterans Art Appreciation Ceremony  will convene at the Hall of Flags from 1-3 p.m. on January 18. 

Artists of the Forest

September 19 - December 31, 2017 

Artists of the Forest is based on the words, works and images of traditional artists who live and work in the largest expanse of intact forest in the eastern United States- The Northern Forest. 

This region is America’s oldest working woodlands and is also home to a remarkable range of traditional artists. Whether shaping snowshoes, building birch bark canoes or crafting twig furniture, these artists artfully balance skill with traditional knowledge – keeping alive an important part of this region’s heritage.

Many of these art forms continue because they fit into a self-sufficient lifestyle that is an essential part of living in the region. Such practices continue because their makers choose to keep them going, adapting them to fit contemporary circumstances and new markets, while at the same time, affording them the freedom to live and work in a place they love.

Being able to rely on one’s own talents and utilize nearby resources has great resonance for these artists who make this region their home, requiring a strong sense of purpose, resourcefulness and ingenuity. Featuring portraits of such traditional artists as Woodcarver Tom Cote, Canoe Maker Steve Cayard, Furniture maker Melvin Roy and Snowshoe maker Bill Mackowski, the touring exhibit explores these artists deep connection to the woods and the work they create.

 Organized by Cultural Resources, the exhibit toured the Northern Forest region for two years and featured the work of participating artists. It was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Quimby Family Foundation and the Maine Community Foundation.

Woodcarving by Tom Cote, Limestone, photo by Peter Dembski 

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).

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

Heath Paley, Picturing Downtown Maine

The Maine Arts Commission was honored to show the work of photographer and master digital printer Heath Paley. The selection of nineteen images from his series “Downtown: Patterns of Life in Maine's Villages, Towns and Cities” shows a cross section of our State’s communities from Caribou to Kennebunk, Rumford to Machias. Each town’s portrait is made up of a combination of dozens of photographs Paley has taken from the same view point over a period of hours, days or weeks. He describes his process stating, “I ‘stitch’ these shots together into a single, large scale composite image, much more finely detailed and carefully composed that traditional photographic techniques allow.” Not meant as straightforward “documentation” the photographs act more as a curated amalgam of time. The result is a dense environment, whether filled with buildings and people or showcasing the enormity of Maine’s natural world. Paley’s vision of Maine through its fundamental public spaces is both awesome and alarming. Each community has a history and Paley’s captured moments provide visually attentive clues to those unique and perhaps untold stories.

Heath Paley currently lives in Portland and has earned both his MA and MFA. His work is part of prominent collections in Maine including the Portland Museum of Art and has shown extensively throughout the south and midcoast.

Photographs from this show along with others from the series will be on display in Orono and the University of Maine Art School's, Lord Hall Gallery in July for “Heath Paley / Picturing Downtown Maine”.

This wonderful exhibit was on display from April 20- July 15, 2016. You can learn more about Heath and his work at

    Heath Paley
     Northeastland (Presqe Isle), 57.6" x 29"
    Digital Sublimation onto Aluminum


Celebrating Acadia National Park's Centennial

The Maine Arts Commission is proud to announce a new exhibit of paintings and photographs celebrating the centennial of Acadia National Park. The park was conserved 100 years ago to preserve its beauty and natural wonders for the enjoyment of all. That wonder and beauty served as both subject matter and inspiration for this show, which will be on display through the end of March 2016.More about Acadia's Centennial Celebration is at

We are pleased to feature the works of the following artists in the show: 

Brad Betts—An artist for over 20 years, Brad connects daily with classical maritime scenes that most inspire him. See more of Brad's work at

Tom Blagden—A professional photographer since 1980, his work is devoted to creating a unique sense of place as both a celebration of, and a catalyst for land protection and conservation. Visit for more of Tom's work.

Mary Byrom—Working mostly from life, Mary is outdoors year round, painting on location and using these field sketches to develop her large studio paintings. To find out more about Mary and her work, visit

Gail Cleveland—A third-generation artist, Gail has studied art and nature for over 40 years. She uses these firsthand experiences to create award-winning work in watercolors, oils, acrylics and limited edition prints. For more about Gail and her work, visit

Howie Motenko—A resident of Mount Desert Island, Howie lives surrounded by ANP, which provides endless opportunities to explore the art of landscape photography. Find out more about his work at

Wini Smart—An award-winning artist, her paintings have been shown in major museums and galleries along the East Coast and are in international collections. For more about Wini and her work, visit 

   Howie Motenko
   Cobblestone Bridge
   Color Photograph, 20.75" x 20.25"
   Mary Byrom
   Blue Hill Overlook, Cadillac Mountain
   Oil, 6" x 6"


Caren-Marie Michel

A lifelong Maine resident, Michel is a devoted plein air painter working in acrylic and pastel on locations all over Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. Her work explores the urban, industrial, and pastoral images of Maine and documents the ever-changing landscape in paint. Michel often portrays a location through series, capturing different seasons or times of day with changing light and color. 

Michel states “My main interest is color in the landscape. Living in Maine, one cannot help but be amazed with nature and the effects of light, time, season, place and color. I also am interested in the manmade landscape and have set out to document how our urban landscapes continually change. I see the world as a painting, whether it is the old mill downtown, the fire station, golf course, mountain or beach.”  

   Caren-Marie Michel
   Booth Quarry Vinalhaven, 12" x 16"
   Acrylic on canvas

Jeffery Becton

One of Maine’s most talented contemporary artists, Jeffery Becton’s work utilizes familiar visuals from the ocean, the sky, and other natural scapes found in and around Becton’s Deer Isle home and homes of others on the Atlantic coast. Poetic and illusory his work combines “…primarily elements of photography as well as painting, drawing, and scanned materials, the techniques I use foster and give form to visual ambiguities, reexamining the boundaries of mixed media and creating altered realities that merge into images rich in symbolism both personal and archetypal.” 

   Jeffery Becton
   Winter is Coming, 23.5" x 28.5"
   Digital montage realized as archival pigment


Barbara Applegate

Applegate permanently relocated from Philadelphia to Penobscot Bay in 1996 and now maintains her studio/gallery in the beautiful village of Bristol Mills on the Pemaquid Peninsula. Describing her work, Applegate says, "I paint air. The color and texture of the air and how to recreate it with daubs of oil paint on canvas is the driving influence in my artwork." Her award-winning canvases are represented in galleries throughout the country and have been featured in numerous publications, including American Art Collector, American Art Review, and American Artists.

   Barbara Applegate
   Morning Mist, Monhegan (study), 8x10, oil


Traditional Arts Apprenticeship

The Maine Arts Commission began the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program in 1990 with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Folk and Traditional Arts Program.

Since its inception, the Apprenticeship Program has supported over 100 apprenticeships in Maine, ranging from Somali Bantu basket weaving to Downeast wooden boat building. Based on experience and commitment to their art, master artists select an apprentice to teach for an extended period of time, usually a year. More than just one-on-one instruction, apprenticeships help communities maintain and celebrate their cultural traditions.

   Apprentice, Shannon Secord
   Photo: Peter Dembski

North Light Gallery

represents the artists who paint the interior of Maine, with an emphasis on Katahdin. Many of the artists in this exhibition are also included in the publication TheArt of Katahdin. Mount Katahdin has been a source of inspiration for well over a century, as is well-documented in the book, written by David Little and published las year by DownEast. Included in the contemporary section of the book is North Light Gallery in Millinocket, Maine.

   Northlight Gallery
   Spirit of Katahdin Lake

Brian Krebs

employs various layers of geometric abstraction to achieve a sense of realism that has developed over the years into a colorful and striking vision of the Maine landscape. His work can be seen online at and at Landing Gallery, located at 8 Elm Street in Rockland. Krebs, who lives in Warren, earned a bachelor's degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, where he studied philosophy and mathematics. His work has been exhibited throughout the midcoast and is included in many collections locally and abroad.

   Brian Krebs

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.

   John Orcutt
   Deer Park Lodge

Hugh Verrier

was born and raised on the rocky coast of Maine. He worked for many years as a tugboat captain, commercial fisherman and small business owner. This association with the sea has inspired his artistic work and he now owns and operates a gallery and studio on the shore of Flagstaff Lake in Eustis. Here he exhibits his unique watercolor sculptures that are formed from very heavy French paper into lovely birds and fish; these sculptures are then brought alive with watercolor.

Small Bald Eagle
   Hugh Verrier
   Birds in Flight

Alden Grant

is 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. 

aerial view of valley
   Alden Grant
   Supper in the Cookshack

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.

aerial view of valley
Alexandra Tyng
Back to the Lakes

James Dodds

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.

Dodds Boat
   James Dodds
   North Norfolk Beach


Colin Page

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.”

Rocks to Climb
Colin Page
Rocks To Climb On



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.”

Jacobus Farm
Jacobus Baas
Hay There


Loretta Krupinski

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 Art in the Capitol program, my art was seen by a much broader audience, many of which would not enter a gallery to view art.”

Krapinski Dock
Tub Trawler
A Long Way from Gloucester