Wallenda paintings at Ocean House
Port Clyde — At the Union Fair in 2010, Angela Anderson Pomerleau saw The Flying Wallendas for the first time and that was it — she has been making paintings of Aurelia, Alex and Tino, as well as other members of the seventh generation family circus, since.
The public can share her fascination Friday, Sept. 14 during a 4 to 7 p.m. opening reception at the Ocean House Gallery at Ocean House Hotel, overlooking the harbor, where the paintings will be on view through the end of the month. In October, the paintings will be shown on the walls of Rockland’s Amalfi’s Restaurant.
Pomerleau trekked to the Deerfield Fair last autumn and met the performer, toting paintings across the fairgrounds and sharing them backstage. She interviewed Aurelia and gained permission to use the performers’ images and photograph them for the series.
In January, the painter and independent art and music instructor took off for Sarasota, Fla. to see them under the Big Top in the Wallendas’ hometown. Circus Sarasota provided an interior space with dramatic lighting and breathtaking shadows.
“I’ve lost count of how many paintings are complete in the series”, she told Ronald Frontin, mentor and studio partner in the Thomaston Academy where they both offer art classes.
Meeting the Wallendas backstage again in Sarasota — and exchanging notes and recipes — has added to the experience of painting this daring circus troupe. Seeing Aurelia in her high heels and leather jacket holding her miniature dog showed a part of personality not seen on the highwire.
“Aurelia embodies everything I’ve always wanted to paint — the form of a figure, movement, skies, flying and beauty. The legacy of circus family history is a new study that is connected to the series and adds meaning, as the titles of the paintings tell,” Pomerleau said.
For example, a large painting titled “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Flying Wallendas never use a net, but the orchestra does!” came out of the Sarasota trip where choruses and orchestra performed live as the troupe performed. “Daddy’s Girl” shows Aurelia standing tall on Tino’s shoulders as they walk the wire. Trust and faith are ever present in the Wallenda’s story.
Pomerleau said she keeps saying the series is complete, and then she starts another group of paintings. To see more in the series, visit angelaandersonpaintings.com.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.