PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library is showcasing the works of two Maine artists and will honor both during a special reception Saturday, June 16, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Andrea Peterson of New Sweden and Jorge Pena of Wiscasset are the Turner Library and Cultural Centre’s first biennial 2016-18 Artists of the Year. Their exhibit, “Duet: Matching Excellence,” opened on May 25 and will run through Aug. 17.
Both will receive recognition during a ceremony Saturday at the library, located at 39 Second St.
Peterson discussed her work recently, noting her appreciation for the library’s gallery director, Clifton Boudman.
“It is a great honor to have my work hung in the Akeley Gallery with Jorge Pena’s,” she said. “The dynamic of color in that space is incredible. I am humbled to be a part of this exhibit, and am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Clifton Boudman again.”
Peterson explained that some of her new works evolved from local art competitions.
“Over the last year, I have discovered an interest in art battles. I have competed in three of them since last summer,” she said. “The first was at Farm Fest at Maple Meadow Farms.
“The premise is a competition in which a number of painters are set up in close proximity. The audience mills about and interacts with the painters. We have exactly one hour to complete a piece of art,” she said.
“During that time, audience members are welcomed to submit votes for the People’s Choice award. Once the hour is up, the paintings are auctioned off.”
Her enjoyment of the experience led to more local contests.
“I found the adrenaline rush of fast painting exhilarating. This was a sped-up version of my normal process and I found it helpful in extracting a purer image,” Peterson said. “I was also surprised that I enjoyed the performance and interaction aspect of it. I went on to compete in Brews and Brushes at Wintergreen Arts in October, as well as the Taste of The North at The Forum in April.”
The library exhibit includes some of her most recent paintings.
“They are an exploration of abstract imagery focusing on my relationships with the landscapes in the area of my home, as well as some work I’ve been doing on my own inner growth,” the artist said. “There is a deep connection for me between the two.
“In these pieces, I examine overlapping shapes and colors of tangible earth and the force that ties me to it,” Peterson said. “The paintings are representative of how my experience of living in a remote rural area has developed my perseverance, love of the land, and personal spirituality.”
Pena, a member of Plein Air Painters of Maine, has exhibited in the past at the library, including his show last April entitled “Images From My Heart.”
The public may view the exhibit “Duet” during library hours, which are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library will be closed Saturdays from July 8 to Aug. 12.