The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, 162 Russell Ave., will present a gallery talk Sunday, July 10 at 3 p.m. with artist Steve Mumford and Portland Museum of Art’s deputy director and chief curator Thomas Denenberg. They will discuss the legacy of Winslow Homer, contemporary American realism and Mumford’s own art, which is on display at CMCA in an exhibition titled “Embedded: Recent Drawings from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Homer chronicled his firsthand experiences at the front during the Civil War. His debut in oil painting was “Sharpshooter” (1863), which shows a soldier aiming his rifle from within the branches of a tree. Art such as Homer’s allowed the nation to see what life was like for soldiers on the front line in the 19th century. Mumford revives this tradition as an artist who has recorded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He first entered Iraq on April 9, 2003, the day the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad. He has been back to the region several times, producing drawings and watercolors on site that document the daily lives of local citizens and U.S. soldiers.

Denenberg has a doctorate in American and New England studies from Boston University and an undergraduate degree from Bates College. He has 20 years of experience interpreting fine and decorative arts in museum and gallery settings and in historic houses. Part of his work at PMA is to oversee the restoration of Homer’s studio, a registered National Historic Landmark acquired by the museum in 2006 and scheduled to open to the public in 2012.

Mumford, a teacher and author as well as an artist, received a BFA from the Boston Museum School and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. His works have been shown in many one-person and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe.

Admission to the gallery talk is $5, free for CMCA members. Seating is limited; to reserve a place, call 236-2875. Mumford’s “Embedded” show is part of the 2011 Maine Drawing Project and one of four CMCA exhibitions that run through Sunday, July 10. For more information, visit

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to