Schoodic celebrates Solstice with art, film, poetry, crashing surf

George Wardlaw

The Schoodic Education Research Center (SERC) is set to kick off its summer programming on the first official day of summer June 21, with a
Summer Solstice celebration and opening of a major art installation by renowned east coast painter George Wardlaw. A two-hour Artists’ Reception will feature a poetry reading by art writer Carl Little, a talk by BDN staff writer Dana Wilde and a short film on Stonehenge. The Schoodic Solstice Celebration will take place 5- 7 p.m. Friday, June 21, in the Moore Auditorium on the SERC campus and is free and open to the public.

Titled “Cycles: Time, Light, Life,” the exhibition is composed of a series of eight monumental canvases that were inspired by Wardlawʼs visits to Ogunquit, Maine. The visual information used as reference material was collected along the Marginal Way during the 24 hour solstice period in June 2000. Each canvas measures 6ʼ x 6ʼ and depicts the changing sea and sky at three-hour intervals beginning at 3 a.m. Times of day are indicated by the quality of light and rotation of each painting.

“Cycles: Time, Light, Life,” detail

Cycles marks the first such formal presentation of fine art since the transformation of the campus from a U.S. Naval base in 2010, as well as the first time that Wardlawʼs Cycles series has been shown as a complete installation. The solo exhibition is in keeping with the stated mission of Schoodic Institute to become a meeting ground for the inextricable relationship between science and the arts. Wardlaw, whose work in Geometric Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism draws much of his inspiration from the forces of nature, was formerly assistant chair of the art department at Yale University, and subsequently served as chair of the art department at UMASS Amherst for 17 years. Wardlaw is represented
by the Courthouse Gallery of Fine Art in Ellsworth.

The Schoodic Solstice Celebration, set amidst the backdrop of crashing seas, dramatic rock formations and the exquisite landscape of the Schoodic Peninsula and newly renovated SERC campus, will include an informal discussion by Wardlaw of his installation; a reading of selected poetry by noted author and art critic Carl Little; a talk titlled “Motions in the Sky” by Dana Wilde, who will explain astronomical activities taking place at the time of the solstice; and a screening of National Geographic Televisionʼs “Stonehenge Decoded,” the definitive documentary on the worldʼs most beloved megalithic site.

Schoodic Institute is located in Acadia National Parkʼs Schoodic Section in Winter Harbor. The exhibition and reception are sponsored by a grant from Acadia Trust. For further information about Schoodic Institute and its arts program, please contact Mike Soukup at 288-1310.