The Unique + Often Untold Stories of Maine Towns

1Original artwork by photographer Heath Paley

The Maine Arts Commission is honored to announce the opening of its newest Art in the Capitol exhibit, open to the public on the ground and second floors of the statehouse from now through July 15, 2016. This newest in the series of rotating exhibits features the work of photographer and master digital printer Heath Paley.

The selection of 19 images is curated from his series “Downtown: Patterns of Life in Maine’s Villages, Towns and Cities,” and show a cross section of Maine’s communities from Caribou to Kennebunk, Rumford to Machias. Each town’s portrait is made up of a combination of dozens of photographs Paley has taken from the same view point over a period of hours, days or weeks.

“It’s a particular pleasure to exhibit art that celebrates the uniqueness and beauty of our Maine towns,” said Julie Horn, the Maine Arts Commission’s Director of Visual Arts Programs and the show’s curator. “Keith’s work is visually stunning and we hope it attracts the attention of legislators, citizens, and visitors as they go about their daily business in our state’s capitol.”

Paley’s envisions Maine through its fundamental public spaces. Each community has a history, and Paley’s captured moments provide visually attentive clues to those unique and perhaps untold stories. The large scale and saturated colors of the images invite viewers to add to the narrative. The photos in the exhibit differ from straight forward documentary photography, representing instead “a curated amalgam of time.” In describing his process, Paley says, “I ‘stitch’ these shots together into a single, large scale composite image, much more finely detailed and carefully composed than traditional photographic techniques allow.” The result is a dense environment, whether filled with buildings and people, or showcasing the enormity of Maine’s natural world.

Heath Paley currently lives in Portland. He has a MA from Northeastern University and MFA from Emerson College, both in Boston. His work is part of prominent collections in Maine including the Portland Museum of Art, and he has shown extensively throughout Maine’s southern and midcoast regions. Photographs from this show along with others from the series will be on display in “Heath Paley / Picturing Downtown Maine” at the University of Maine-Orono Art School’s Lord Hall Gallery in July. More information on Paley and his work can be found at heathpaleyphoto.com

The Art in the Capitol program features work throughout the Capitol Complex and offers Maine artists an additional venue for their work. It is designed to expand the audience for Maine artists or artists working in Maine on Maine-based themes. All Art in the Capitol exhibits are free and open to the public. Exhibitions are self-guided and may be viewed during the building hours where the exhibition is on display. Building hours: Maine Arts Commission Office 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; Capitol and Burton M. Cross Buildings 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To learn more about the Art in the Capitol Program please contact Julie Horn at julie.horn@maine.gov or 207-287-2713.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state. Additional information is available at mainearts.com.