At contemporary galleries, documenting the Maine resident remained a popular concern. TANJA ALEXIA HOLLANDER's photography exhibition at Whitney Art Works skillfully captured the Mainer in his or her home. Her work was especially memorable for its refreshing realism; the kitchens and living rooms of her subjects bursting with a personality bordering on untidiness. Her show really stuck out: Maine portrait photography has been bloated by a recent trend of clean, uniform glamour shots that seem to capture the Mainer careering in high style; Hollander sees people pretty much how they really are. From that same show, DAVID CARAS managed to make pictures of abandoned Cuban boiler rooms into stunning, painterly works.

Individual artists made major strides as well. Local NOA WARREN, last exhibiting his illusory, graphed paintings at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery, is currently displayed in a Manhattan showroom, while scene veteran and Harpswell resident KATE BECK recently exhibited her majestic poured-oil and graphite works to live performance at New York's Pelavin Gallery. It doesn't require a nod from the Big Apple to measure artistic growth, but it's probably not a bad sign either.

Nicholas Schroeder can be reached

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