MAJcoverW24 final2 copy

umva logo

The Maine Arts Journal: UMVA Quarterly

Play

Winter 2024

The Maine Arts Journal celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Surrealism with this issue on Play. As Betsy Sholl writes, “[m]aking art and allowing art to make us is perhaps one of the most serious and necessary kinds of play.” Maine artists, writers, and educators show us in their contributions how vital play is to the human experience.

 

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


The Union of Maine Visual Artists is proud to produce the Maine Arts Journal, with generous contributions from the Rabkin Foundation, Judith Glickman Lauder, and other donors. The MAJ helps us promote and advocate for the visual arts, artists, and all arts supporters. Learn more and become a UMVA member here. The MAJ is dependent on UMVA membership dues.

Maine Arts Journal Winter 2024 cover (Charlie Hewitt, neon sculptures inside NeoKraft sign shop in Lewiston).

Véronique Plesch – Introduction Winter 2024: Play

Véronique Plesch – Introduction Winter 2024: Play

As we put the finishing touches to the Winter issue of the Maine Arts Journal, Maine is recovering from a devastating storm and just two months ago, mass shootings took place in Lewiston. Although traumatic, what we experienced since our Fall issue came out pales in...

read more
Stuart Kestenbaum – Pretend for Real

Stuart Kestenbaum – Pretend for Real

I was once the star second baseman for the New York Yankees. It didn’t matter that I was nine years old and only had a pink rubber ball that I would throw repeatedly against the brick wall of our house and that the infield was our driveway—I could field every grounder...

read more
Kenny Shapiro – On the Search for Joy

Kenny Shapiro – On the Search for Joy

Growing up I was always pitched a vision of artists as free and uninhibited eccentrics. I hate to say it but I’ve found myself plodding through a much more pedestrian life. I work very slowly, easily falling prey to self-doubt and indecisiveness. The discomfort that...

read more
Charlie Hewitt

Charlie Hewitt

I am an artist of many minds and I have two studios to prove it. One is a painting/printmaking studio, fully equipped with the tools to produce prints and paintings. The other, an old greenhouse, is a studio of limitless possibilities. My painting studio is haunted....

read more
Edgar Allen Beem – Alison Hildreth: Darkness Visible

Edgar Allen Beem – Alison Hildreth: Darkness Visible

The Fall of Alison Hildreth Alison Hildreth’s exhibition The Feathered Hand at the University of New England Art Gallery in Portland back in 2011 is the best one-artist show I have seen in the 21st century, well conceived and perfectly articulated. Hildreth’s UNE show...

read more
David Isakson

David Isakson

Play is serious business. Watch a basketball player giving 100 percent. There is no hesitation or self-consciousness. If there is, it is a broken play, and all can be lost. This is not to say that there is no place for reflection in play, there is, but it goes...

read more
Judy LaBrasca – Drawing Games

Judy LaBrasca – Drawing Games

The first time I taught the class called Drawing Games, I was at Haystack as a visiting artist. I’d been asked to do a demonstration, but being inexperienced in doing demonstrations, I decided to do something interactive instead. The reason I could offer Drawing Games...

read more
Susan Webster – The Art of the Unexpected

Susan Webster – The Art of the Unexpected

You probably know that there are simple methods to create Exquisite Corpse writing and drawing pieces. Make your marks or write your words, fold the paper and pass it on. No one knows what’s gone before or what comes after. My husband Stuart Kestenbaum and I have been...

read more
Islesboro Long Ledge Retreat – Exquisite Corpses

Islesboro Long Ledge Retreat – Exquisite Corpses

A community of women artists meet annually for a regenerative week of art making and support on the magical island of Islesboro. Organized and hosted by Brita Holmquist, the Long Ledge retreat is a joyful suspension of daily life allowing for serious work and serious...

read more
David Stankiewicz – Poetry

David Stankiewicz – Poetry

Maybe play is a kind of respite from fear, from living in a world with intractable problems and rigidities. Dreams are one kind of play in which our psyches loosen the bounds of rational waking life. David Stankiewicz brings to us another kind of play in his Night...

read more
Carl Little – Poetry

Carl Little – Poetry

One way we play is to talk about the little consternations of life and befriend them, allow ourselves a little amusement at our own minor predicaments. Carl Little brings us the pocket comb, that—can we call it an instrument?—we misplace, take for granted, never find...

read more
Gibson Fay-LeBlanc – Poetry

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc – Poetry

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc gives us several kinds of play in his Hockey Poem. There is the playing of the game itself with its delicious vocabulary. Then there is the playfulness of the banter in the locker room. There is the play of music in lines like “twitch and switch and...

read more
Claire Millikin – New Snow Game

Claire Millikin – New Snow Game

When I heard about the shooting, I was in the rented room where I stay when I teach, two hours from home. Couldn’t hold it together in that rental with all that would come down the pike, remembering my cousin shot and killed by my uncle when I was four years old....

read more
Véronique Plesch – Playing with the Marvelous

Véronique Plesch – Playing with the Marvelous

Around 1925, members of the Surrealist group decided to play a game. Known in French as “petits papiers” (“little papers”), it consists in writing a word, hiding it by folding the paper, and passing the sheet to the next participant. In French, you would write the...

read more
Cory Bucknam – A Sense of Play in the Classroom

Cory Bucknam – A Sense of Play in the Classroom

I’m fascinated with the continuous opportunities I’m offered to interact with educators, and to learn how art intersects with their teaching and the development of their students’ learning processes. Even after a long career teaching in middle schools, visiting...

read more
Reed McLean – The Movement of Our Irregular Spirits

Reed McLean – The Movement of Our Irregular Spirits

Before our eyes open there are dreams in which we first see the world not as it truly is, but as we imagine it to be. By these passing lights and shadows we conceive the many games of our lives. As a child I woke and ran out into the morning yard to gather the lights...

read more
UMVA Is on the Move — David Estey

UMVA Is on the Move — David Estey

The UMVA Board of Directors held a second management retreat on 28 October at the Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland for an aggressive, day-long discussion of a detailed strategic plan for 2024. With forward momentum, the board approved: Belfast painter David Estey as...

read more
Join the UMVA

Join the UMVA

The Union of Maine Visual Artists is in the midst of an exciting renewal to bring together artists, art lovers, and organizations for camaraderie, exhibitions, and mutual support. Whether you are an artist or simply love art, we’d like you to join us. Member benefits...

read more
David Estey – How to Show Your Work

David Estey – How to Show Your Work

This is the first installment of a four-part series on how to exhibit, prepare and promote your work, plus how to think about curators judging it. I have drawn on lectures, workshops, research, gallery owners and nearly thirty years of twenty-four solo exhibits and...

read more
UMVA Midcoast Chapter Report – Winter 2024

UMVA Midcoast Chapter Report – Winter 2024

The Midcoast Chapter has a combined zoom and in-person meeting set for 11:30 a.m. at the Belfast Public Library, 106 High St., on Saturday 13 January. On the agenda will be reports from members on exhibit venues for 2024. Those attending are asked to bring their own...

read more
ARRT! Update: Winter 2024

ARRT! Update: Winter 2024

ARRT! (The Artists’ Rapid Response Team!) 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....

read more
LumenARRT! Update Winter 2024

LumenARRT! Update Winter 2024

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...

read more
Pat and Tony Owen – I Walk the Line

Pat and Tony Owen – I Walk the Line

Here in County Kerry (Ireland) on the Dingle Peninsula, there once lived a dolphin. Every day, rain or shine, tour boats would head out into the harbor to get a glimpse of him. In fact, the people who ran these tours made you a promise of your money back if the...

read more