CMCA announces upcoming exhibitions

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockland has announced an exciting and diverse lineup of exhibitions to launch the 2018 season. Opening in February is the exhibition, Boundaries, a recent collaboration between photographer Jacob Hessler and Presidential Inaugural poet Richard Blanco, followed in March by solo exhibitions of painters John Moore  and KJ Shows.

Jacob Hessler, Dreaming a Wall, 2017, photograph on aluminum

Jacob Hessler, Dreaming a Wall, 2017, photograph on aluminum

Jacob Hessler + Richard Blanco | Boundaries 

February 17 – May 27, 2018
Sunday, February 18 | Reception 1-4pm, reading by Richard Blanco at 1:30pm; public welcome

Boundaries is a recent collaborative project between Obama Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco (b. 1968) and contemporary landscape photographer Jacob Bond Hessler (b. 1985). Blanco’s poems and Hessler’s photographs together investigate the visible and invisible boundaries of race, gender, class, and ethnicity, among others. Together the artists and their work challenge the physical, imagined, and psychological dividing lines—both historic and current—that shadow America and perpetuate an us versus them mindset. In contrast to the current narrowing definition of an America with very clear-cut boundaries, Blanco and Hessler cross and erase borders. As artists, they tear down barriers to understanding by pushing boundaries and exposing them for what they truly are—fabrications for the sake of manifesting power and oppression pitted against our hopes of becoming a boundary-less nation in a boundary-less world. The exhibition is accompanied by a limited edition fine art book published by Two Ponds Press of Camden.Jacob Hessler is a fine art photographer specializing in the contemporary landscape. He is a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, CA, and holds an MFA from Parsons The New School for Design, NYC. He lives in Camden, ME, and is represented by Dowling Walsh Gallery, Rockland, ME.

Richard Blanco is the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. In 2015, the Academy of American Poets named him its first Education Ambassador. Blanco lives in Bethel, ME.

John Moore, Six O'Clock in Mill Town, 2014, oil on canvas

John Moore, Six O’Clock in Mill Town, 2014, oil on canvas

John Moore | Resonance 
March 3 – June 16, 2018
Saturday, March 17, 5-7pm | Artist’s reception; public welcome

Resonance is a survey exhibition of paintings and drawings by artist John Moore (b. 1941), featuring work primarily completed in his Belfast, Maine, studio in the past decade. The paintings are derived from drawings, on-site visits, sketchbook notations, photographs, and other source material. Moore’s mid-west origins, and the remembered working class culture of his upbringing affect the choices that inspire his poetic, multi-faceted paintings. Marked by personal experience and by the “weathered weight of time,” the subjects of Moore’s art range from a mill town in eastern Pennsylvania and a manufacturing site in Philadelphia, to urbanized locations from Bangor to Belfast in mid-coast Maine. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an introductory essay by Christopher B. Crosman.John Moore was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and received his BFA from Washington University and MFA from Yale. He has had 42 solo exhibitions since 1970, and has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Old Lyme, Ct. His work is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Chicago Art Institute, the Yale Art Gallery, the Colby College Museum of Art, and the Portland Museum of Art, among others.

Artist KJ Shows in her studio, Kennebunk, Maine

Artist KJ Shows in her studio, Kennebunk, Maine

KJ Shows | Portrait of an Artist
March 3 – June 3, 2018
Saturday, March 17, 5-7pm | Artist’s reception; public welcome

The exhibition, Portrait of an Artist, presents a nearly ten-year project by artist KJ Shows (b. 1965) of Kennebunk, Maine. In 2008, Shows began working on a series of oil paintings paying homage to a variety of contemporary artists worldwide. Connecting with them personally by mail, Shows asks each artist for a pair of shoes that they feel best represents them, from which she creates paintings that are unconventional and non-judgmental portraits. With continued positive response from participants, the series has come to include the shoes themselves along with a growing collection of ephemera, correspondence, and photos. To date, Shows has painted over 100 shoe portraits of both world renowned and obscure artists, including Jamie Wyeth, John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, William Wegman, Judy Chicago, and Annie Sprinkle…and the list keeps growing.

Born in Seabrook, Texas, KJ Shows attended the Art Institute of Houston for Visual Communications. After living in San Francisco for a number of years, Shows moved to Kennebunk, Maine, in 2001 to devote more time to painting. Shows has participated in a numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the country.

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CMCA is a contemporary arts institution presenting year-round exhibitions, engaging events, and educational programs for all ages. Location: 21 Winter Street, Rockland, Maine. Hours: November through May, Wednesday – Saturday10am to 5pm; Sunday, 12 to 5 pm. For more information visit cmcanow.org

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