CMCA presents ‘Collage’ at Portland library

Feb 26, 2014
Karen MacDonald’s “Days (Red Cross)” is made from collaged newspaper, colored pencil on paper and grommets.

Portland — “Collage x 10,” an exhibition featuring 10 contemporary Maine artists, will open at Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery during the city's First Friday Art Walk March 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibition is sponsored by the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport and is curated by CMCA curator emeritus Bruce Brown.

Participating artists are the Midcoast’s Daniel Anselmi of Belfast, Stew Henderson of Northport, Karen MacDonald of Stockton Springs and Abbie Read of Appleton; as well as Gabriella D'Italia of Newburgh, David Driskell of Falmouth, Charlie Hewitt and Noriko Sakanishi of Portland, Dan Mills of Lewiston and Shannon Rankin of Rangeley.

While suggestions of landscape and figuration can be found among the works in the exhibition, particularly in the collages of D’Italia, Driskell and Hewitt, much of the work is abstract in nature, with the artists less interested in creating recognizable objects than in referencing the essential vocabulary and tools of art itself — line, light and shadow, color, texture, volume and space.

Collage, from the French coller, to glue, is a technique of art making that dates back to the invention of paper itself, circa 200 B.C.E. in China. Its current popularity as an art form, however, emerged only about a century ago, thanks largely to the French cubists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, who introduced bits of newspaper and everyday ephemera into their paintings to allude to contemporary life. Today, collage is a broadly used term encompassing a great variety of mixed media works with the common denominator usually being found paper, cut, torn or repurposed in some way to create a new whole.

The exhibition will continue through March 29, and is open free of charge during the library's regular hours: Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library is located in the city's center at 5 Monument Way. For further information, call the library at 871-1700 or CMCA at 236-2875; or visit cmcanow.org or portlandlibrary.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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