Levitt’s ‘Mawooshen’ at PhoPa

Oct 02, 2017
Photo by: Jonathan Levitt Jonathan Levitt’s “Clam Sled, Ducktrap” connects the 21st century with the harbor’s Red Paint People past.

Portland — PhoPa Gallery and Rockport’s Maine Media will open “Mawooshen: Life and Landscape of the Maritime Archaic,” featuring work by Jonathan Levitt of Lincolnville, Wednesday, Oct. 4. The exhibition will be on view through Nov. 11, with an opening reception Thursday, Oct. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The photographs featured in the exhibition are from Levitt’s recent book project of the same name. “Mawooshen” documents the geography of the Red Paint People, archaic humans of unknown origins that appeared among the islands and coastal mountains of Penobscot Bay 5,000 years ago. They thrived for about 12 hundred years and then suddenly disappeared. The “Maritime Archaic “refers to the wider North American archeological coastal and seafaring culture of the late Meso-Indian period along the coast of Newfoundland, the Canadian Maritimes and Maine.

Explorations into, and documentation of, the uncanny both in the physical landscape of Penobscot Bay and relevant subjects of academic study have revealed some of what remains of the distant past — clues to unraveling the mysteries of the Red Paint People. The alter-world of “Mawooshen” is informed by Paleolithic animism, western natural history and shadow archaeology.

Levitt is a graduate of Hampshire College, the Dubrulle French Culinary Institute of Canada and the master’s program in gastronomy at Boston University. His first monograph, the basis of this show, was published by Snail Press in 2016. He lives on an acreage near the village of Ducktrap.

PhoPa Gallery, 132 Washington Ave., is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. PhoPa Gallery is collaboration among photographer Jon Edwards, independent curator Bruce Brown and Maine Media Workshops + College. PhoPa maintains a focus on Maine related works and emerging artists, and divides its schedule between showcasing works by MMW+C students, alumni and faculty; and exhibitions organized by Brown and Edwards. A percentage of all sales at PhoPa Gallery are donated to MMW+C, a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization.

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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