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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
CURRENTLY ON DISPLAY
M.J. Benson | September to December 2021
This fall experience the vivid abstract paintings of internationally known artist M.J. Benson. This solo show is produced by the Maine Arts Commission’s Art In The Capitol program. It can be viewed as a self-guided tour through the Maine State House, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show is free and open to the public.
“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.
For Benson, Maine’s landscapes impact her background and career as an artist.
“The Maine landscape is my muse,” Benson said. “The effect of living on the coast, walking by the ocean, swimming in it, sailing on it, and experiencing the ever-changing relationships of the sky, earth and sea, factors in every painting I make.”
M.J.’s work has been exhibited and collected internationally. She is represented by Portland Art Gallery.
For sales inquiries, please contact Portland Art Gallery at 154 Middle St, Portland, ME, 207-956-7105, or moc.yrellagtradnaltrop@rotceridyrellag.
To learn more about MJ visit her website at mjbenson.com.
Ashley Bryan | July to December 2020
The Ashley Bryan virtual exhibition has been organized by the Maine Arts Commission with the cooperation of The Ashley Bryan Center.
As a celebrated teacher, author, and artist, Ashley Bryan is committed to filling the void of black representation, creating children’s books about the African and African-American experience.
Bryan’s art is as varied as his stories. His accomplished draughtsmanship is evident in his paintings that range from the family portraits to the still-lives and celebrations of the natural world on view. All these works exude vibrant celebrations of linear movement and energy. He also fashions colorful paintings from his block prints that impart a similar visual intensity. Bryan also creates puppets from found objects and returns to one of the earliest forms of visual narrative in the stained-glass windows he fashions from sea glass and papier-mâché. He has scavenged all the materials for these creations from the island.