Coming alive

Portland's art weathers the dead season
By KEN GREENLEAF  |  December 26, 2007

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COMBINED EFFORT: Collaborative works by Richard van Buren and David Moses Bridges, on view at Aucocisco in January.

Back in the day, winter and early spring used to be a dead zone in the Portland art year, but 2008 seems to be shaping up pretty well.

January will bring a show at Aucocisco by Richard Van Buren, of Perry, Maine, and New York City. He will be showing with his friend David Moses Bridges, a Passamaquoddy basket maker. Van Buren has had a long and distinguished career, although he has shown relatively rarely in recent years. He’s the sort of artist that other artists pay attention to.

Later on, Aucocisco will be showing the paintings of Elizabeth Cashin McMillen, a show curated by the dealer Rose Marie Frick, work by Grace DeGennaro, and some rarely seen pieces by Bernard Langlais.

John Bisbee, the sculptor who makes more things than you could imagine from nails, will have a big solo show at the Portland Museum of Art starting January 24 and running until March 23. There will be 25 works covering his career for 20 years. The museum will also be showing 55 vintage photographs by Lola Alvarez Bravo (1903–1993), Mexico’s first woman photographer.

Jameson will show a group of gallery artists in January, and for February will mount a show in collaboration with Bates College and with North Light Gallery in Millinocket that features 20 artists who mobilized to help raise awareness about Katahdin Lake and its subsequent inclusion in Baxter State Park. The Jameson part of the enterprise is called “Katahdin: The Lake and Her Artists”‘ and runs from February 1 to March 1. After that they’ll have two shows in which gallery artists invite another artist to show with, and in July will host a solo show by the veteran painter Charles DuBack.

Whitney Art Works starts the year with a special one-week show by the art collective CMS that involves silkscreen prints and small-caliber firearms, from January 21 to 26. In February they will have a three-person show that features two local photographers, Nathan Eldridge and John McNeil, along with Canadian David Ross. The March show will feature Matt Cote and Justin Richel, who share a “talent for creating intimate, colorful, expertly-rendered and quietly hilarious vignettes.” April will see a show called “The Diptych Collective” that pairs east and west coast encaustic artists. After Whitney the work will travel to Oregon.

Greenhut will keep its 30th-anniversary show up until the end of January, after which they will host a show called “Painters Who Teach,” co-curated by Greenhut owner Peg Golden and the quite busy Bruce Brown. They have assembled a pretty impressive roster of close to 30 artists, all of whom teach others. To name just a few, it includes John Walker, Jon Imber, Sam Cady, and Lois Dodd. The show opens on January 31 and runs until the end of February. Their March show is “Mementos,” paintings and graphite drawings by John Whalley.

In January June Fitzpatrick Gallery on High Street will show “MECA Painters Ten Years Later,” an annual event that tracks the careers of MECA graduates. February to April there’ll be prints by Karl Schrag and Leonard Baskin.

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Photography, Painting, Matt Cote,  More more >
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