MIDCOAST – Twenty painters will be seen outdoors in and around Camden from July 30 to August 1, participating in a new event, Camden on Canvas, worthy of this summer’s reopening.
The event and fundraiser is being hosted by the Camden Public Library and will bring well-known artists to the area to paint outdoor scenes.
The completed paintings will be on display at the Camden Amphitheater on Sunday, August 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. there will be a paid reception and a live auction of the paintings to benefit the library.
Colin Page, artist and owner of the Page Gallery on Bay View Street, was involved in inviting artists and organizing the event. As an outdoor painter himself he participated in outdoors events held across the country and knows many Maine artists who love to paint outdoors.
Page, a library administrator, works with trustees Kristen Smith, who brings experience in organizing numerous auction fundraisers, and Marti Wolfe, who brings energy and organizational skills that Page compares to an organizer of wedding.
Due to uncertainties related to the pandemic earlier this year, the library was unable to host its annual Harbor Arts event, which requires many months of planning. The loss of this important fundraiser for the library led its board of directors to create Camden on Canvas.
Page is renowned for his landscape and cityscapes paintings.
He has lived in Camden since his visit on a whim in 2003, and never wants to leave. At the time, he was already doing most of his painting outdoors.
He loves the beauty and the challenges of this job. âThere is so much more richness of color when you see things with the naked eye,â he said. The artist has to paint faster because the sun is changing, or something in the painting is moving, he explained.
In Camden, he found the outdoor painting âto be a fun way to meet a lot of people in the community. Everyone wants to see what you are doing. It’s a great way to be part of the community quite quickly, âhe said. It also helped his career.
As a painter and now a gallery owner since 2019, Page knows that community members and visitors will also want to see what great artists coming to the area will paint on their canvases.
Artist Alison Hill eagerly awaits Camden on Canvas. She loves painting outdoors, knows most of the artists and can’t wait to see them again. âThey are amazing people and artists. Everyone will have a great time together, âshe said.
She paints outdoors whenever she can, even in winter. Hill lives and owns a gallery on Monhegan Island, and in Camden is represented by the Camden Falls Gallery.
Hill moved to Monhegan 20 years ago with artist Ted Tihansky, her former husband, and has lived there ever since. She received a minor in art as an undergraduate and has a master’s degree in art therapy and education, but it was her love for portraiture that led to her career. While studying, she started drawing pastel portraits at fairs to earn extra money, and found that she was good at it and could do it quickly. Tihansky was instrumental in learning landscape and oil painting.
Painting outdoors suits him well. âThe light is changing, you definitely work faster,â she said. âYou have to be quick and precise. Hill doesn’t like to paint slowly. âMy paintings come out best when I paint fast – starting with a lot of energy, big strokes and filling the canvas,â she said.
She loves painting the schooners in Camden Harbor, which she finds “really stimulating and fun at the same time.” She takes inspiration from the beauty of these boats and admires the artists who painted them before her, she says.
From July 30 to August 1, a Camden on Canvas information tent will be located in Harbor Park, where the public can find more information on participating artists, as well as a map of where they could paint. The August 1 painting exhibition is free and open to the public.
Proceeds from the auction will be shared equally between the artists and the Campaign for the Future of the Camden Public Library. âThe campaign helps ensure that the library remains the vibrant center of our city’s public life, in times of need and in times of plenty,â said Nikki Maounis, director of the library.
Tickets are $ 75 for the live auction and August 1 reception with music from Windfern Ensemble and light appetizers from Stone Cove Catering. Auctioneer Kaja Veilleux of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries will launch the auction at 5 p.m.
For more information on Camden on Canvas, a full list of performers and supporters, and to purchase tickets for the auction and reception, visit librarycamden.org/CamdenOnCanvas or call 236-3440.
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