Faculty duo show at Hutchinson Center

Feb 23, 2013
Kerstin Engman’s oil on panel “Lobsters Plate 1” is part of the show she will share with fellow UMaine faculty member Dina Petrillo at Belfast’s Hutchinson Center.

Belfast — “Exquisiting in the Ordinary,” a faculty show of paintings, prints and works in mixed media by Kris Engman of Liberty and Dina Petrillo of Belfast, will open with a 5 to 7 p.m. reception Friday, March 1, at the University of Maine's Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave./Route 3.

This show of more than 100 pieces will include work in a wide range of materials by both Engman and Petrillo, with a focus on a large body of oil paintings in still life by Engman and prints that combine photography and etching press emboss by Petrillo.

For the past decade, Engman has worked directly from the Waldo County landscape that is her home. She said she feels connected to the woods and waterways of Midcoast Maine and believes that by painting the “ordinariness” of these surroundings, “my community and I can be reminded of how beautiful it is in its natural state.”

As a teacher and artist, Engman uses any opportunity she can to speak out about preserving the wild world. She has collaborated with the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine and served on the board of Waterfall Arts, the Belfast arts organization, whose mission it is to create community in harmony with nature.

Engman was educated at the Maine College of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Pennsylvania. She has traveled throughout Europe, living for a time in Eastern Europe while teaching in the Hungarian Public Schools and, in 1997, founding Project Kalocsa, a cultural exchange between Kalocsa, Hungary and Belfast, Maine.

Petrillo’s show “Creature Botaniche: Piante e Forme Umane Congiunte” of 40 works in print, encaustic and mixed media opened in Crevalcore, Italy, last April at Castello di Galeazza. Petrillo mainly uses what is around her, beginning by freely garnering materials, ideas and images; then she begins to confidently combine and layer them into compositions of bees wax and papers, photographs, ink, paints and plant material from her surroundings.

“It’s a perceptual experience that’s ambivalent — tentative, shifting between revealing and concealing something about the human and botanical forms,” Petrillo said of this work, adding she has an urge to fuse humans and plants as if mending and healing in printed prayer.

“I imagine the ink, images and paper pressing a warp and weft making a tapestry celebrating and cautioning our conjoined fates,” she said.

Petrillo runs the Post Office Studio Workshop in downtown Belfast. She holds a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic; an MA in Arts and Art Education from Columbia University; and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. This year, she and her husband Ryan started Belfast Bay Shade Company and exhibited their botanical collagraph and fine art lampshades in the competitive Designer Maker Handmade division of January’s New York International Gift Fair at the Javits Center in New York City.

All are welcome to the opening reception, which will include refreshments. The show will run through the end of April, available for view during regular business hours. For more information, contact Andrea Rouillard at 338-8049.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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