This summer, The Pemaquid Group of Artists offers an opportunity for art lovers to view and purchase the group’s art through its expanded website, www.pemaquidartgallery.com.
The PAG Board decided not to open its physical gallery space this season due to COVID-19 risks and instead the public is encouraged to survey its art online.
Two of the Pemaquid Group of Artists, both with vastly different visions, are illustrative of the wide range of styles among the 30-member group. Debra Arter’s dynamic and colorful multi-media work and Stephen Busch’s apparently simple but mysterious narrative and realistic paintings in acrylic and oil are highlighted here.
Arter is a well-known Maine artist and art educator recognized for her printmaking and collage, but she also enjoys painting and assemblage. Sometimes travel and location dictate which medium she uses. She also favors those mediums that allow layering and have a textural component. She is continually inspired by the Maine landscape but interprets it in a free manner, working outdoors in the summer and in the studio in the winter. The end result is a restless and colorful mix of abstraction and realism.
She earned a BA degree in art education and a master’s degree in Fine Arts. She has taught printmaking extensively in the mid-coast area. She also teaches printmaking at the Mid Coast Printmakers and is leading instruction on her sun porch for travelers and groups.
Busch, in contrast, has a clear storytelling approach to his painting in oil and acrylic on canvas. His knowledge of ships and ship construction and his abiding respect for the sea is evident in many of his paintings. His subjects include tales of the sea, often depicting historic scenes of whalers and fishermen at work, and he also paints present-day fishermen, people going about their daily activities and landscapes. But even his landscapes have a narrative quality about them, suggesting a story and pulling the viewer in to enjoy that story and a certain mystery.
Busch was raised in a family rich in art and a connection to the sea and sailing. He graduated from the Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, New York, and spent eight years at sea in the merchant marine and holds an unlimited U.S.C.G. Masters license. He pursued art studies informally at the Silvermine Guild of Artists and Norwalk Community College, both in Connecticut, and later at Round Top Center for the Arts in Damariscotta. He has provided artwork for the covers of several books, and his work has been in solo and group shows in many midcoast Maine locations.