Down East marks 60th with Art of Giving Gala

Run for covers

Aug 01, 2014
The current issue of Down East magazine honors Maine's long history as a destination for artists with six inside covers of work-to-be-benefit-raffled by, clockwise from top left, Alex Katz, William Wegman, Angela Adams, Barbara Ernst Prey, Renée Bouchard and Eric Hopkins.

Portland — Five iconic Maine artists — Angela Adams, Eric Hopkins, Alex Katz, Barbara Ernst Prey and William Wegman — and Maine College of Art alum Renée Bouchard have agreed to participate in a fundraiser gala commemorating Down East Magazine’s 60th anniversary. The gala is upcoming but the artists’ donated work is already on display on newsstands around the world.

Each work is portrayed on an inside cover of the August anniversary issue, and each artist has identified a nonprofit charitable partner to receive proceeds from the Art of Giving Gala. Funds for the charities are being raised through the sale of $100 raffle tickets, and six attendees will leave with one of the original pieces.

“Down East Magazine is guaranteeing at least $60,000 will be donated to the six charitable organizations; a minimum of $10,000 will go to each — in fact, we’re hoping for more,” said Down East Enterprise President, Publisher and CEO Bob Fernald.

The Penobscot Bay YMCA in Rockport is the Art of Giving’s community outreach sponsor and is managing the process of distributing the donations to each charitable organization. The artists are known in their own rights for their incredible work, said Kathleen Fleury, editor in chief of Down East, who talked about the process of selecting the artists for the anniversary issue.

“They are tied to the legacy of Maine and have helped Maine achieve recognition for its beauty, strength of character and creative talent, all of which are important elements to Down East’s own mission of celebrating Maine,” she said. “We are extremely honored by their willingness to contribute to our anniversary celebration.”

About the artists

North Haven native Adams began her career by earning a degree in interior design from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and establishing the angela adams design house in Portland in 1995. Together with designer Sherwood Hamill, the angela adams brand has expanded to include rugs, tapestries, bedding, totes, scarves and furniture. Adams’ bold graphic patterns have caught the attention of numerous national publications and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens, Coastal Living, Dwell, Real Simple and more. The donation will go to The Locker Project/Good Shepherd Food-Bank.

Bouchard lives and works in Bennington, Vt. She graduated from the Maine College of Art in 1999, having attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Phoebe Flory Watercolor School prior to MECA. Bouchard has received awards and honors from the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Studio Center, Cooper Union, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Montana Artist Refuge and the Kate Millet Art Colony for Women. McDaris Fine Art in Hudson, N.Y., and Moberg Gallery in Des Moines and Chicago currently represent her work. Her work was selected to be included in the Art of Giving by Fleury, MECA and Hopkins. The donation will go the MECA Scholarship Fund.

Hopkins captures the beauty of Maine in a variety of media including watercolors, oils, blown glass, and photography. He grew up on North Haven, graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and has spent his career sharing his distinctive vision of the Pine Tree State. Hopkins has taught at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle and shown his work at the Portland Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Art Museum and several U.S. embassies across the globe. He also is represented in the corporate collections of Maine companies such as L.L. Bean, Central Maine Power and Idexx Laboratories. The donation will go to the North Haven EMS.

Since 1951, Katz’s bold painting and prints have been shown in than 200 solo exhibitions and are included in more than 100 collections worldwide including those of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institute, and Rockland’s Farnsworth Art Museum. Katz is a native of Brooklyn and a graduate of Manhattan’s Cooper Union Art School. In 1949, he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Since then, images of Maine have featured prominently in his vast collection of dramatic portraits and striking landscapes. In 1996, the Colby College Museum of Art opened a 10,000-square-foot wing dedicated to Katz and featuring more than 400 works donated by the artist. He is a longtime summer resident of Lincolnville. The donation will go to the Colby College Museum of Art.

Prey has earned widespread acclaim for her landscape watercolors, which frequently depict Maine. A New York native with degrees from Williams College and Harvard University, Prey maintains studios in Maine, New York and Massachusetts, where she is an adjunct faculty at Williams. Her work been commissioned by NASA and the White House and is included in collections of the Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She currently serves on the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board to the National Endowment for the Arts. Prey’s annual exhibition runs through the end of the month at Blue Water Fine Arts in Port Clyde. The donation will go to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Wegman is best known for cleverly posed photographs of his Weimaraner dogs that have been exhibited worldwide for more than 40 years. After earning degrees in painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Wegman began teaching at California State University, Long Beach. That is when he got his dog Man Ray, a Weimaraner that would become the central figure of his owner’s art. Since Man Ray’s death in 1981, Wegman has continued to work with the dogs, featuring them in videos shown on “Sesame Street,” “Saturday Night Live” and Nickelodeon. They also have inspired nearly 20 children’s books. Wegman lives in Maine and New York. The donation will go to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA).

Ticket information

Tickets to the Art of Giving Gala are still available and can be exchanged inside the event for one raffle ticket at no additional charge. A limited number of additional raffle tickets for the works of art may be available at the event for $100 each. The gala will take place Thursday, Aug. 14, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Portland Company, 58 Fore St. Tickets are available online at downeast.com or via Brown Paper Tickets. The Art of Giving is made possible through the support of Maine businesses including Aurora Provisions, Transformit and Vena’s Fizz House; and event sponsors MEMIC, Pequot/Cellmark Paper and Brown Printing Company.

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