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Whitney Art Works at the University of New England

Whitney Art Works presents
A Salon of Contemporary Drawing
for The Business of Art
at University of New England

Drawing has ceased to be defined by the result of a line on a page. The idea of surface(page) and that which acts upon the surface(line) remains essential but what can step in to play those roles has become infinite. Borders opened, solar systems explored, labor mechanized, space diminished, communication expanded-- of course our notions regarding this artistic process have changed/are changing. Obviously.

Humans are always drawing, in that we are always processing and altering our space. Our bodies are like boats, raking the surface; water running through and out behind us in gorgeous swirls and eddies. We live by constantly reacting, moving and altering. We arrange a friend�s hair, crowd around a street performer in a bulls eye pattern, our sheets tattoo our bodies at night while we sleep, and we draw by idly shredding and rearranging a piece of paper while listening.

There is a wide range of importance assigned to this mark-making, from casual to deliberate. What has made drawing so important, so relevant of late, is that we have grown more critical of and also increasingly moved by the actions encoded in everyday life. This wide open horizon of use and our newly found self-consciousness gives drawing license to effortlessly include collage, mass produced materials, printmaking and other acts of appropriation and cultural digestion.

Drawing is very tolerant of ambiguity. It exists as a mundane, unconscious activity or as a highly choreographed, exquisite process. Were prehistoric drawings spiritual tools, endeavors in beauty, or ancient almanacs? This mystery concerning their use has complicated our attitudes towards them, attitudes that have evolved from our particular location in history. Drawing retains some ancient, universal sense of purpose and also a sense of unrestricted possibility. Artist use drawing as way to knit together life and art. If drawing is capable of casting across the entire loom of life from banal to sublime, what is more honest and affirming as a tool for measuring the pulse of a place? This salon of drawings is an effort to celebrate some of the spectrum of thought that exists here in Maine in 2009.

-Celeste Parke

Jeff Badger is a multimedia artist based in South Portland, Maine. He has exhibited his works widely, including solo exhibitions at UMass Boston and the Essex Art Center in Essex, Mass, and group shows at University of Wisconsin, Massachusetts College of Art, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. Jeff is on the faculty of Southern Maine Community College. His work is often a humorous exploration of human problems.

Lydia Badger studied at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and at Maryland Institute College of Art. Her drawings and sculpture of wild and domesticated animals are often paired with man-made structures in ambiguous spaces. Her work explores the different ways in which animals and humans inhabit and leave marks on the environment. She currently lives and works in South Portland, Maine.

Melinda Barnes is recognized for her small, graphite renderings of ephemeral moments and peripheral objects and action derived from a fictitious narrative. Melinda was grew up in Austin, Texas, graduated from the University of Iowa, and now resides in Maine where her work is widely shown.

Stephen Benenson was born in Los Angeles in 1979. He recieved his BA form Wheaton College in southern Massachusetts and the SMFA in Boston, with a double major in Studio Art and Anthropology. He then studied painting in Florence at Studio Arts Center International. He is currently has a studio in the Artist Studio building in Portland, Maine.
"I am interested in the possibilities still open in portraiture. I wish to make images that are not clich�, and whose distortions and liberties are the result of felt responses to my subjects."

Lucinda Bliss is a Maine artist whose works have been widely exhibited in a variety of venues. Highlights include the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Space Gallery, Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, and the Tucson Museum of Art. Lucinda's works serve as metaphors for the act of healing, of reconciling the unnatural and the natural, the pure and the tainted, and the sweet and the strange.

Allison Cooke Brownhas exhibited at the Currier Museum of Art, the Portland Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and others, as well as in galleries across the country. Her work has been featured in American Craft, Fiberarts, and Surface Design magazines. Her artist' books are in the collections of Yale, Wellesley, Smith, and Bowdoin Colleges, the Maine Women Writers Collection at the University of New England, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, among others.
"What interests me most is the domestic world, using materials like clothing or vintage linens, and traditionally female activities such as sewing or knitting."

Clint Fulkerson is a Portland artist with a studio practice focused on drawing. He studied metalsmithing at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and teaches jewelry and metals classes for adults at Artascope Studios and Portland Pottery and Metalsmithing. His drawings have been shown at Four Walls Gallery, Space Gallery, Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance, and The Center for Maine Contemporary Art. His work is part of the Drawing Center's juried online Viewing Program, and also The Portland Paper Project at Whitney Art Works.
"I imagine that my drawing process is a biologically creative process. Working with this mindset, I hope to create drawings that capture some of the elegance and complexity I see in nature."

Tanja Kunz explores the energetic presence of seeds, buds, flowers and other natural forms. She creates hybrid forms that examine both uniqueness and the dynamics of swarms. Tanja was born in Frankfurt, Germany. She received her B.F.A. from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1998 and her M.F.A. from the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia in 2004. Tanja currently paints in Westbrook, Maine.

Sage Lewislives and works in Portland, Maine. Her work was included in recent shows such as the 2008 Biennial at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport and the Maryland Federation of Art in Annapolis. Her work will be exhibited at the Whitney Art Works in Portland in 2009. She says, �I choose to depict architectural forms using flexible, delicate materials like thread and paper to serve as a metaphor for ideas about strength and weakness. . . Questioning perceptions of what may be strong or weak, reliable, or tenuous in our daily lives is at the heart of the inspiration for this work.� Sage holds a degree in Painting and Art History from the Maine College of Art.

Brian Lynch received his M.F.A. in Printmaking from the University of Iowa. He is the recipient of multiple awards and honors including "The Materials Award" at The Boston Printmakers 2007 Print Biennial and "The Print Prize" at the 2007 Cambridge Art Association National Prize Show. Brian is based in New York City and has shown in New York venues including the International Print Center and in Maine at The University of Maine at Machias Gallery and Whitney Art Works as well as national and international venues.

Elianna Mesaikos is a recent graduate of Maine College of Art. Her work was most recently included in Stratum at Whitney Art Works. Her free-handed drawings are elaborate and symmetrical constructions built from exquisitely rendered animals, plants, motifs , and flourishes. Both delicate and bold they reward a patient viewer with a wealth of information. She is currently based in New York City but retains a strong connection to the Maine arts scene.

Yeshe Parks' work is rhetorical and intimate. Collages, drawings and detailed patterns spill over the edges of antique book covers and records. His work combines acute attention to detail with decay and the soft warmth of aging. Parks has shown his work all over the Northeast and on the West coast. His work in private collections across the country as well as the Portland Museum of Art. Parks currently resides in Portland, Maine.

Aaron T Stephan received Marguerite Zorach fellowship to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the 2005 Louise Bourgeois fellowship at YADDO in Saratoga Springs, NY. His work was featured in the 2003 Portland Museum of Art Biennial and the 2006 Center for Maine Contemporary Art Biennial as well as in an extensive list of national venues. Stephan has completed 5 public commissions to date including LIFT sited in the new Joel and Linda Abromson Community Center in Portland and the current public commission for the city of Portland, ME titled BOOM.
"I question usual ways of seeing and understanding by recontextualizing the world and prompting a different way of experiencing the everyday."

Kevin Oster
Using 1960's knitting catalogs as a resource - Kevin Oster has created a world of action figures and formal portraits, evocative in their illustration of societal views of femininity from another point in history.

More information about The Business of Art at www.une.edu/artgallery


Jeff Badger, <i>Thinking Tree</i>, 2009, ink on paper, 22
Jeff Badger, Thinking Tree, 2009, ink on paper, 22" x 30"

Lydia Badger, <i>Wlarus</i>, pencil on paper, 11
Lydia Badger, Wlarus, pencil on paper, 11" x 14"

Aaron T Stephan, <i>Grass Map 3</i>, grass on paper
Aaron T Stephan, Grass Map 3, grass on paper

Melinda Barnes, <i>Enter</i>, 2008, graphite on paper
Melinda Barnes, Enter, 2008, graphite on paper

Yeshe Parks, <i>Cronotype</i>, mixed media
Yeshe Parks, Cronotype, mixed media

Stephen Benenson
Stephen Benenson

Lucinda Bliss, <i>Bandaged IV</i>,2009, graphite pencil, watercolor, and gouache on paper
Lucinda Bliss, Bandaged IV,2009, graphite pencil, watercolor, and gouache on paper

Allison Cooke Brown, <i>Doily Mom</i>, embroidery on vintage doily
Allison Cooke Brown, Doily Mom, embroidery on vintage doily

Clint Fulkerson, <i>Vergence</i>, 2008, graphite and ink on paper, 6
Clint Fulkerson, Vergence, 2008, graphite and ink on paper, 6" x 6"

Elianna Mesaikos, <i>Pungent Crown</i>, 2008, ink on paper, 9� x  8.5�
Elianna Mesaikos, Pungent Crown, 2008, ink on paper, 9� x 8.5�

Tanja Kunz, <i>Apis Eyes</i>, 2009, mixed media on paper, 23�x30�
Tanja Kunz, Apis Eyes, 2009, mixed media on paper, 23�x30�

Sage Lewis, <i>Untitled</i>, 2009,  screenprint, thread, and colored pencil on paper
Sage Lewis, Untitled, 2009, screenprint, thread, and colored pencil on paper

Brian Lynch, <i>Bank Statement</i>
Brian Lynch, Bank Statement

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