“THE PINE TREE STATEment” opens December 5, 2015, from 5-7pm at Engine, 128 Main Street in downtown Biddeford, and will show through January 23, 2016. The exhibition includes artists from Maine or with a connection to the state, and asks them to reimagine, reassign, reinvent, and take ownership of Maine’s iconography. “THE PINE TREE STATEment” was juried by Biddeford-based artist collective AUTUS. The opening will feature a performance by Waco Sparkler.
Participating artists: Darek Bittner, David Cadbury, Rachael Eastman, Helene Farrar, Tina (Guay) Johnson, Amanda Hawkins, Deborah Jellison, Samuel Johnson, Sarah Perea Kane, Michael Libby, Rachel McDonald, Sean O’Brien, Jill Osgood, John O’Shaughnessy, Savanna Pettingill, Gordon Pym, Kiera Reese, Roland Salazar, Ben Spalding, Hunter Wahl, and Catherine (Kitty) Winslow.
Maine is widely known as a tourist destination—a land of lighthouses, sailboats and seafood. From Thoreau’s idyllic Maine Woods, the noir scenes of Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption, and Robert McCloskey’s wholesome Blueberries for Sal, Maine is often portrayed as a bucolic destination for visitors near and far. Maine, deemed Vacationland, in its catering to appeal to the seasonal tourists, has become the lobster caricature, the pot buoys on the side of the garage, and all the moose-themed paraphernalia available for sale. “The PINE TREE STATEment” invites all Maine artists and artists with a connection to the great state to. How do you represent all that Maine has to offer: the ocean, forests, lighthouses, animal life, and culinary treats? How can we paint lighthouses and seascapes in a new, more progressive way? How do you represent Maine’s iconographic imagery?
AUTUS COLLECTIVE was founded in the fall of 2014 when the Biddeford Maine-based arts organization Engine brought together a small group of emerging artists to discuss how the cumulative energy of an artist’s collective might have a positive impact on not only the individual artists but also the community. Engine’s commitment to support AUTUS includes providing space for exhibitions with the goal of infusing new energy into Biddeford’s burgeoning art community.