Strand screens 'Maine Masters' docs

Jun 17, 2014
The late Jon Imber, whose work is on display now at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, is pictured with his wife Jill Hoy.

Rockland — The “Maine Masters” series of documentaries on Maine artists, sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists, will screen three new films Sunday, June 29, at 2 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.

The event will include conversations with producer Robert Shetterly, painter and president of the Union of Maine Visual Artists;  Richard Kane, director of the Maine Masters Project; June LaCombe, an independent art consultant specializing in sculpture; Anna Abaldo, Maine Farmland Trust gallery director; and David Dewey, curator of the Falcon Foundation.

“Jon Imber’s Left Hand,” directed by Kane, is a moving portrait of the late painter as he dealt with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Filmed in Stonington and Somerville, Mass., the film is a testimonial to the live-giving force of art. Imber’s courageous and darkly humorous response to a diagnosis of ALS is a celebration of life and art in the midst of tragedy. The film premiered at the Maine Jewish Film Festival in March to a standing-room-only crowd at the Portland Museum of Art.

“Joseph Fiore: The Nature of the Artist,” also directed by Kane, premiered at last year’s Camden International Film Festival. Fiore was part of a remarkable contingent of New York City artists who made their way to Maine in the 1950s. The film shines new light on the life of this painter who came into prominence teaching art at the pioneering Black Mountain College in the western hills of North Carolina. Alongside Josef Albers, Willem deKooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Ben Shahn and other artists, Fiore helped create an incubator for new art that helped define 20th-century American aesthetics. Artist-friends Alex Katz, Lois Dodd, Charles DuBack, Rackstraw Downes, David Dewey and Paul Resika offer insights into his aesthetics.

“Cabot Lyford: Portrait of a Man as Artist,” directed by Dale Schierholt, will premiere at the screening event. This intimate portrait offers the reflections of a master sculptor.  Filmed primarily in his studio in New Harbor, Lyford is shown sculpting in wood, using mallet and chisel, chainsaw and sander. The film includes visits to his graceful “Dolphins” in Portland and the monumental black granite “My Mother the Wind” on the Portsmouth waterfront. Lyford received the National Academy of Design’s Sculpture Prize in 1990.  His sculpture is found in private and public collections including the Portland Museum of Art, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Colby College Museum of Art and the Portland Public Arts Collections.

Tickets are $7.50. For more information about Strand Theatre films, live concerts, HD broadcasts or other events, visit rocklandstrand.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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