200 Years of Farming: A Bicentennial Celebration

200 Years of Farming: A Bicentennial Celebration

July 31, 2020


Rachel Keidan

The history of farming in Maine is rich, bountiful, creative, and diverse, as is the talent and variety of its artists. In celebration of Maine’s Bicentennial, Maine Farmland Trust’s virtual gallery exhibit focuses on the history, practices, and triumphs of farming in Maine over the last 200+ years--from early homesteading to dairy, potatoes, blueberries, the local food movement, and present day changes and challenges. This show encompasses 53 works from 18 artists in a wide range of media to depict the rich history of farming in Maine, including oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings, charcoal drawings, 3D wooden assemblage, ceramic vegetables, full color photography, plus black and white photographs and glass plate photographic prints on loan from the Penobscot Marine Museum. MFT is proud to partner with the Penobscot Marine Museum to exhibit seven glass plate photographic prints on loan from the Eastern Collection, of oxen, draft horse teams and scenes of the harvests of corn and potatoes. Also on display are six black and white photographs from PMM’s new collection by Kosti Ruohomaa, courtesy of Black Star Publishing Company, depicting crisp, clear images of hard working farmers in their daily lives.

Lynn Karlin’s exquisite full-color photographs of artfully arranged vegetables add vibrant color to the exhibit.

Deborah Flood and Kevin Mizner use illustrative and luminous compositions in their oil paintings to tell the stories of farm families working their draft horses on the land and at the fair. Textures and rich color are part of the appeal of the depictions of barnyard animals, tractors, and the bounty of harvested vegetables in the paintings of Joan Losee, Erica Qualey, and DiTa Ondek.

Sharon Yates and Frances Hynes share their interpretations of iconic Maine cows in colorful oils and pastels, while Kerstin Engman adds Belted Galloway cows, vegetables, bees, and Common Ground Fair scenes in her layered style of painting patterns and textured backgrounds.

Carol L. Douglas, Leslie Anderson, and Peter Walls depict colorful, sweeping, seasonal landscapes and scenes of farms, and blueberry fields in pastels, oils, and watercolors.

Thérèse L. Provenzano, with charcoal, and Leslie Moore, with sepia ink, crafted dramatic drawings of old farm scythes and a horse-drawn sulky plow.

André Benoit, Jr. is showing a wonderful large assemblage of a gardener picking flowers, made from repurposed wooden pieces and objects, and Anne Alexander has contributed three of her beautiful ceramic vegetables.

Because the gallery is not open to the public currently, please view the full virtual show by following the link to the MFT Gallery page to access all virtual 200 Years of Farming links.

There will be a Virtual Opening Reception, with artists talk and special guests, Friday, August 21, 5-6 pm via Zoom. RSVP HERE.

Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Bicentennial Commission

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