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Art and Artists of New England Islands | Drawn to Islands

Art and Artists of New England Islands | Drawn to Islands
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Eric Hopkins grew up on North Haven Island in Penobscot Bay. His soaring, simplified aerial visions of the islands and the bay have become icons of contemporary Maine art. For many years he maintained a gallery next to the island ferry dock, but it’s now located on the mainland in downtown Rockland.

Over the past three years, Hopkins has been spending much of his time on Mount Desert, connected to artists such as Thomas Cole and Frederic Church through the sense of awe that island landscapes can inspire–a sense of living on the very edge of the land, sea, and sky. “Growing up, I was totally surrounded by and submersed in wonder,” Hopkins explains, effectively summing up the magical attraction of island life–not just for artists but for all of us. “There’s a sense of place … Sometimes I didn’t even know where I was, but I knew [that] if I walked in a straight line, I’d come to the shore and find my way. Islands are finite places. The Earth is just an island in space.”

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Edgar Allen Beem


Edgar Allen Beem


Take a look at art in New England with Edgar Allen Beem. He’s been art critic for the Portland Independent, art critic and feature writer for Maine Times, and now is a freelance writer for Yankee, Down East, Boston Globe Magazine, The Forecaster, and Photo District News. He’s the author of Maine Art Now (1990) and Maine: The Spirit of America (2000). In 1988, he won the Manufacturers Hanover Art/World Award for Distinguished Newspaper Art Criticism for his coverage of the 1987 auction sale of Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises. Ed says, “My credo as an arts writer has long been: ‘The work of art is the search for meaning.’ I believe art is not only a form of personal expression but also a form of inquiry, every bit as much a quest for truth as scientific research.” Ed Beem’s newest book, Backyard Maine: Local Essays, has just been published by Tilbury House, Publishers, of Gardiner, Maine. It’s not about the meaning of art; it’s about the meaning of family, community, and life in general. Edgar Beem is currently at work on a new book about contemporary art in Maine to be published in the fall of 2012.

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