MAJ W23 2 copy
The Maine Arts Journal: UMVA Quarterly

Absence/Presence?

Winter 2023

 

Absence and presence are notions at once separate and indivisible; perhaps even interchangeable. As our contributors tell us, the recognition of absence is a presence in its own right.

From the Editors: Natasha Mayers, Nora Tryon, Véronique Plesch, Betsy Sholl (poetry editor), with the help of Colby interns Audrey Loo and Mads McDonough.

The MAJ is supported by the UMVA and by the generous contributions from the Rabkin Foundation and other donors. You can support us by becoming a UMVA member here.

Maine Arts Journal Winter 2023 cover (Suzanne Theodora White, Time Out, archival pigment print, 25 x 20 in., 2021).

 

 

 

    

Suzanne Theodora White – The Weight of Memory

Suzanne Theodora White – The Weight of Memory

It was thirty-one years ago that I was sitting in a tree in Manu National Park, Peru. I was participating in a survey of birds in the lowland Amazonian forest canopy. A black hawk eagle landed on the same branch ten feet away from me. It merited only a glance before...

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Shoshannah White – Setting a Pulse

Shoshannah White – Setting a Pulse

Setting a Pulse pairs photographs of lightning with cameraless prints depicting magnetic force—making energy visible between the lines and distilling multiple events of a storm into a single frame. In recent years, earthen materials and weather systems have become a...

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Claire Seidl

Claire Seidl

I am very interested in how we see (or don’t see) what is right in front of us, and I am also keenly interested in how the camera sees, especially over time or in the dark. My photographs show more than the unassisted eye can see. The camera can hold multiple layers...

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Gideon Bok

Gideon Bok

I’ve been doing portraits lately using a system of scumbling opaque, high-intensity color over contrasting color to hopefully achieve neutral tertiary color worlds that are also vibrant. Before the person comes to sit for the portrait I paint the room, the chair, and...

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Libby Sipe

Libby Sipe

My practice exists for the sole purpose of self-expression. It's a space of personal exploration where I process a traumatic past and, at times, debilitating anxiety. I strive for clarity in the world and the relationships that have touched my life, whether past or...

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Kathleen Noyes

Kathleen Noyes

I have a spontaneous tendency to see recognizable images, shapes, and patterns within unrelated forms. My unconscious is aware of visual elements that appear in contrasting light and dark, color, and abstract shapes embedded in the surrounding environment; for...

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Carl Little – Remembering Erasure

Carl Little – Remembering Erasure

On a visit with family in Charlottesville, Virginia, in late October, the winter 2022–23 Maine Arts Journal writing prompt kept swirling around in my head. A question from that provocative nudge nagged me: “How do you engage with remembering and forgetting, erasing,...

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Christopher Crosman – Jeffery Becton: Passages

Christopher Crosman – Jeffery Becton: Passages

The late, beloved American painter, Andrew Wyeth (1917–2006), once mused about his most famous work, Christina’s World (1948, collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York), that if he had been “any good” as an artist, he would have left Christina entirely out of...

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Garry Mitchell

Garry Mitchell

Where to begin? A shape, a notion of color? The great thing about making art is that when you reexperience something you have the chance to resolve it, to make changes based on what has gone before. Working the way I do, I build upon initial moves to influence the...

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Véronique Plesch – Making Absence Visible

Véronique Plesch – Making Absence Visible

“L’unica presenza era l’assenza” (“The only presence was absence”). —Claudio Parmiggiani   Re-Presenting Presence The dichotomy absence/presence is central to representation, which is, simply put, to re-present, that is, to present again, to allow something or...

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Stuart Kestenbaum – Adrift

Stuart Kestenbaum – Adrift

Some mornings the locker room feels like the anteroom to the afterlife. I’m shedding my clothes and music is playing loudly, as if to get me ready for the next step on my mortal journey—music from elementary school, high school, college, from when my children were...

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Alan Crichton – What’s Here and Beyond?

Alan Crichton – What’s Here and Beyond?

When I compare what is right here, right now, to what was right there, right then, the biggest absence is the expectation of a dependable future. That’s a tough one, and I hate the thought that my granddaughter, so sweet with her bright eyes of innocent expectation...

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Edgar Allen Beem – Barbara Sullivan: Retro Fresco

Edgar Allen Beem – Barbara Sullivan: Retro Fresco

In his catalogue essay for her 2007 Everyday exhibition at Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, artist and Waterfall Arts founder Alan Crichton aptly described Barbara Sullivan as “Maine’s hip sister of fresco, elbowing and joking the medium out of the Middle Ages and into...

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Jefferson Navicky  –  Poems

Jefferson Navicky – Poems

These three prose poems are taken from Jefferson Navicky’s upcoming book, Head of Island Beautification for the Rural Outlands, a novel in prose poems, exploring art and artmaking, the legacy of forebears, both absent and very present. Navicky’s work is luminous,...

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Claire Millikin – Burying the Moon

Claire Millikin – Burying the Moon

Claire Millikin explores loss and the aftermath of loss in “Burying the Moon,” a beautiful poem that feels a little like magical realism, giving us an utterly vivid experience we can both identify with and experience as a rich mystery. The moon here illuminates a...

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Pat Ranzoni – Keeping Her We Keep Them

Pat Ranzoni – Keeping Her We Keep Them

This poem by Pat Ranzoni uses the communal experience of quilting to help a young woman deal with the loss of her home and family while at the same time being stitched into a new family and country. The tradition of quilting often pieces together fragments of the past...

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Iva Damon – Arts Gala Week

Iva Damon – Arts Gala Week

It was to be the twentieth year—the twentieth year of having visual artists, poets, dancers, jugglers, performers, and other community members working in collaboration across all content areas to celebrate the arts at Leavitt Area High School. Many hours were spent...

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Peter Bruun and Jean Noon – Members’ Showcase

Peter Bruun and Jean Noon – Members’ Showcase

Peter Bruun  Peter Bruun is an artist, writer and curator living in Damariscotta, Maine. In this article, he introduces and shares excerpts from Bibliography, his 2022 online project tracing his emotional journey from pain to healing in the aftermath of his daughter’s...

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ARRT! Update – Winter 2023

ARRT! Update – Winter 2023

ARRT! works with progressive groups and organizations throughout Maine, providing images that can help to distill and clarify their important messages about issues that matter to people in Maine and the world beyond our borders.   ARRT! has had an active fall....

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LumenARRT! Update – Winter 2023

LumenARRT! Update – Winter 2023

LumenARRT! is a project of the Artists’ Rapid Response Team (ARRT!). We work through the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA), a members’ organization that advocates for artists and furthers the work of progressive non-profits in the state of Maine. Our video...

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UMVA Portland Chapter Report – Winter 2023

UMVA Portland Chapter Report – Winter 2023

Quarterly Update UMVA Portland Chapter This fall the Portland Gallery hosted several shows. In September, PRESSTO, featuring work from the artists Kris Onus, Jo Ann Bianchi, and a collective exhibition from the Monotype Guild of New England. Two solo exhibitions of...

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UMVA Midcoast Chapter Report – Winter 2023

UMVA Midcoast Chapter Report – Winter 2023

The newly energized Midcoast UMVA (Union of Maine Visual Artists) Chapter* will blossom in 2023 with a show at the Camden Public Library, 55 Maine St., Camden, from 4 January 2023 to 29 January 2023. An artists’ reception is scheduled on 7 January 2023 from 1:30 p.m....

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