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Rose Marasco is perhaps Maine’s most-prolific living photographer, having lived and photographed in Portland and its surrounding communities for more than 35 years.
The photographs in Rose Marasco: index are stunning and display extraordinary range, encompassing everything from her images of the urban environment to her unexpectedly poetic response to the natural world, and her exhaustive, thought-provoking examination of the domestic world of women, in which she layers historical objects with contemporary materials. It’s this diversity of both subject and technique that has long characterized Marasco’s artistry, and visitors of all interests and backgrounds will find something special to immerse themselves in.
Throughout her career, Marasco has remained uninterested in genres such as documentary, landscape, and portraiture. Instead, she has consistently mined concepts of framing, point of view, and orientation to make images with a complex relationship to the everyday image of the world.
The works on view include her comprehensive series of photographs of Maine’s Grange Halls and the images made in her own home as part of the decade-long series called Domestic Objects. Also included are photographs made in and around Portland during the past 35 years, which form a visual chronicle of the city—albeit unintended—that will engage locals and regional visitors alike.
The exhibition is organized by PMA Chief Curator Jessica May. Working with the artist for almost a year, the two have carefully culled Marasco’s photographs—more than four decades worth—for Rose Marasco: index. The result is a significant exhibition, both in volume and, most important, in the context it provides for a consummate artist and photographic career that continues to thrive to this day.
This exhibition is part of the Maine Photo Project, a statewide photography collaboration in 2105. The Maine Photo Project is organized and supported by the institutions of the Maine Curators' Forum and is generously sponsored by the Bates College Museum of Art, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and the Colby College Museum of Art, fiscal management provided by the Maine Historical Society. The Maine Photo Project is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
In this touching episode of The Backstory, photographer Rose Marasco narrates the moments that brought her to Utica, New York in 1988 to photograph the Saint Rosalie Feast—and how that project affected her life and photographic career.