If you’re unaware of the exhibitions and events frequently occurring at the Barn Gallery on Shore Road (home to Maine’s oldest artists’ group, the Ogunquit Art Association) – then we suggest you acquaint yourselves by making your first visit this Saturday (8/15/2015) between 5 and 7:30 PM during their mid-season exhibition reception featuring work by two accomplished artists with strong Ogunquit ties: Printmaker Don Gorvett and Painter Norman E. West.
Earlier tonight, the Barn Gallery hosted a very well attended Gallery Talk with Gorvett and West – and the freewheeling discussion was an absolute joy to participate in.
Both artists touched on their personal Ogunquit history…
‘I’ve been just about all over the world with my work and Ogunquit is my favorite place. In Perkins Cove the light is magic, it’s not like any light anywhere else. That’s inspired a lot of artists across the years and that’s why there’s such a legacy to this place.’ — West
‘I came to Ogunquit in 68, right out of high school – and I spent my first summer doing nothing but painting here…and thereafter, every summer.’ — Gorvett
They spoke about their early influences and subject matter:
‘When I was in the 5th grade I watched a 35 millimeter video of Matisse painting a lady with a white blouse, and I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life.’ — West
‘There’s a lot of Perkins Cove in my art because I work with what’s around me when I draw and paint. This is where I’ve been.’ — Gorvett
There were some thought provoking comments on the artistic process:
‘If you look at my palette, it’s not bright, it’s really dull, but that’s what nature is. When you go out, and you see something really bright and then just walk right up to it, watch how it changes and you’ll see all the tones are there. You look at green, and it’s yellow-green, orange-green, blue-green, violet green, red green – all of those greens are there. So you get the whole palette working with that one color.’ — West
‘As artists, it’s our job to reveal to others the things that we’re seeing…and maybe they haven’t seen.’ — Gorvett.
And there were some musings on the current state and limitations of the Ogunquit art scene:
‘I love the contemporary-abstract world – and I create works in that vein, but I do those for me, or for my color workshops…but in Ogunquit, to communicate, in order for people to really see it and share it, you have to put things in there that people can identify and be enticed by.’ — West
‘Opportunities exist for young artists in Ogunquit, but many young artists don’t believe that. They think this is a high-priced area, there’s no place for them to be able to stay, no place they’re able to rent – and it is expensive here, but there are surrounding areas, not far away from here which make it easy to get here to work. Still, the art legacy of Ogunquit is always in danger of being swallowed up by the commercialism.’ — Gorvett
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