Hauser’s ‘Alliance’ at PhoPa

Jun 07, 2017
The Album Series of South Thomaston artist Michelle Hauser will be featured at PhoPa Gallery in Portland. Pictured is “Ocean.”

Portland — PhoPa Gallery’s exhibition “Painting and Photography: An Alliance of Mediums,” featuring work by Midcoast artist Michelle Hauser, will run from Wednesday, June 14 through, July 15. The public is invited to an opening reception Thursday, June 15, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Hauser's solo exhibition explores the ways in which photography and painting can interact.  A selection of her paintings (many of which began during an immersive five-week residency on Monhegan) have been transformed into large groups of ziatype, cyanotype and gum bichromate prints as part of her ongoing Album Series. Hauser's Album Series amplifies the power and complexity of the print medium by creating compositions that rely on an interplay of pictorial structures between variant prints of the same image.

Her intention is to express the nonlinear way in which we recall time, its relentless repetition and endless variation. By reducing her paintings into an abundance of sequenced, simplified and toned photographs, a distillation occurs that brings forth an abstraction and a detailed truth of reality. The work in this exhibition has been funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 1981, Hauser made a lasting connection to Maine at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture while earning her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Having an extended time to spend painting in Maine was the catalyst for winning a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the impetus for leaving New York City to become a year-round resident. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Chicago and Maine.

In addition to her recent Monhegan Artists' Residency, Hauser has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, Millay Colony for the Arts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Hewnoaks Artist Colony. Funding from the Maine Arts Commission Project Grants for Artists assisted with her goal to transform a selection of her paintings from Monhegan into large-scale photographic compositions. From attending Maine Media Workshops to persevering through winter's isolation in her South Thomaston studio, Maine is germane to Hauser’s work.

PhoPa Gallery, 132 Washington Ave., is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.; and by appointment. PhoPa Gallery is a collaboration among photographer Jon Edwards, independent curator Bruce Brown, and Maine Media Workshops + College. The gallery divides its schedule between showcasing works by MMW+C students, alumni and faculty; and curated solo and group exhibitions featuring selected Maine artists. All profits from sales at PhoPa are donated to MMW+C, a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization.

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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