Monthly Archives: April 2012

Interview with Margaret Burgess and Earle Shettleworth Jr.

Co-curators of the current exhibition “From Portland to Paris: Mildred Burrage’s Years in France,” Margaret E. Burgess, The Susan Donnell and Harry W. Konkel Associate Curator of European Art, and Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Maine State Historian discuss the exhibition, how it came to be, and the young artist’s adventures in France.

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Artist Intervention: Shoshannh White

By Julia Einstein
Coordinator of Youth and Family Programs

On Friday, April 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Shoshannah White will host the fourth installment of Artist Interventions, a series of events planned by PMA’s new team of Maine artists. Portraits Re-presented is Shoshannah’s way of getting to know the Museum’s entire collection of portraits—to study and find relationships between them. She has designed a way to bring us all on a virtual trip through the Museum’s archives. Her look into what the Museum has collected over time will be projected on the Museum walls for visitors to see and discuss! I recently had the pleasure of talking with the artist.

Please introduce yourself and your art.
I’m a photographer and I work in many media. My personal work involves painting with encaustic over photographs and my public work tends to incorporate photography into a more sculptural form. I’m currently working on a series of portraits—something that’s been on the back burner and now coming to the forefront.

What you are planning for your Artist Intervention
I am going through the Museum’s collection of portraits, acquired over time to make selections of what’s currently not on exhibit, to pull out some works that are unexpected and present them to the public for one evening. As sort of a behind the scenes look at “the vault.”

What is the inspiration—the goal—behind the design of your Artist Intervention?
It’s really just educational and exploratory—to get to know the collection and to see what the Museum has been interested over time. The discussion aspect came about by the guessing game that I’ve been going through with images that are only titled by acquisition date. I’ve been more and more curious about the story behind each portrait and it’s brought up more questions about what the nature of a portrait is and why we connect with certain portraits over others. What are the stories we make up about images or people without any solid information?

What is your favorite work at the PMA?
That’s a really hard question! I mean, I love the Sargent; I think about it outside the Museum. And, also, the Greg Parker piece. The Anselm Keifer was my favorite for a long time. I also love the Steichen painting, it’s pretty gorgeous.

Shoshannah White has a studio in the Artist’s Studio Building on Congress Street in Portland, Maine and keeps a blog about her most current work.

Mark your calendars for upcoming Artist Interventions:
May 11: Karen Gelardi
June 15: John Knight

“What Were You Thinking?” A Discussion Between the Bowdoin Photography Club and Artist Tanja Hollander

The impetus behind an artist’s work is sometimes never known. What inspired the artist to follow a specific path or subject matter? Why was a certain media used? How did the artist know his subjects? On Wednesday, March 7, the Bowdoin College Photography Club had the opportunity to ask artist Tanja Hollander these questions and more during their tour of her exhibition, Tanja Alexia Hollander: Are You Really My Friend?, on view through June 17 at the Museum. The video below is an excerpt from the discussion, highlighting Tanja’s initial thoughts about the project and how it came to be an exhibition at the PMA!

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