July 2017 Exhibitions: Anne Ireland, Anita Clearfield, Max Miller


Before the Flood – Anita Clearfield, Spiegel Gallery

Anita Clearfield creates figurative abstractions, combining paint, video and found objects. In Before the Flood, Clearfield’s paintings and video installations reflect on the end of times:  Biblical, climate change, and personal mortality. Her works mirror the disconnection for many people between one’s mundane life and Big Picture events. Her paintings and their ironic  titles  ask how does one conduct oneself with doom in mind? Will we know when we’ve eaten our “Last Fried Egg?” Will you choose to be “The Last Guy to Get His Pants On?”   Clearfield holds a BFA in film from Syracuse University  and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art & Design at Provincetown.  Her paintings have been displayed throughout New England. Her films  have been distributed  nationally and internationally  and her film awards include  a Silver Hugo and an American Film Institute  (AFI] Independent Film­ makers  Grant.  She is a founding member of Lumen ARRT!, a project of the Artists’ Rapid Response  Team, which creates large-scale video projections for progressive non-profits.

Within the Landscape – Anne Ireland, Fineberg Community Room

A graduate of Bowdoin College and the Maine College of Art, Anne Ireland is a native New Yorker whose ties to Maine began with her father who grew up on the Eastern Promenade, Portland.  Today Ireland divides her time between her Maine and Sarasota Florida studios. Ireland has been the recipient of several residency fellowships, in California, Maine and Florida.  Her work has been shown in exhibitions throughout New England, most recently at St.Botolph Club, Boston and Greenhut Galleries, Portland. Ireland was profiled in Maine Home and Design in 2013 and has had her work selected for two LLBean catalog covers. She is represented by The Gallery at Somes Sound in Somesville on Mount Desert Island.   In her latest work, primarily of Maine where she still lives half the year on her family’s saltwater farm in Bath, Ireland explores nature as a place deep within self. Her palette has shifted, becoming more organic and naturalistic even as her brushwork relaxes, allowing for a hint of abstraction and a greater embrace of intuition. She seeks to create the landscape she wishes to inhabit, moving away from earlier work – horizons pursued, the long view sought – in favor of something more intimate and immediate. Her intention is less to render landscape than open it and invite one to enter it.

Final Mourner’s Kaddish: 333 Days in Paintings- Max Miller, 3rd Floor Space

Though the form varies, humanity’s expression of mourning transcends time, society, and culture.  In “Final Mourner’s Kaddish: 333 Days in Paintings,” Max Miller’s grief provides the inspiration for a vivid, moving and cathartic account of his year spent saying Kaddish, the Jewish mourning prayer, for his father.  This exhibit includes watercolors, each accompanied by a written record of Miller’s experience in the synagogues he visited – in New York, Vermont, Ohio, and Florida.  Together with each painting is commentary based on his thoughts, feelings and experiences with those he met during that time.  While honoring the tradition of memorializing a parent, he comes to learn a great deal about his father and the Jewish tradition from which he came.   Miller is known for his vibrant paintings of both human and animal subjects and has had exhibitions in New York City and throughout the East Coast.  He received his MFA from Yale and has been awarded numerous fellowships including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1991, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 1990, the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1989 and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1987. Michael Ross is a native of Maine who has lived in London since the 1960s. He is a graduate of Deering High School and Syracuse University.