TOM HALL Congress Street Gallery

LISSA HUNTER Congress Street Gallery

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Tom hall is a respected painter of Maine landscapes who has been exhibiting throughout New England since 1989. His work is included in numerous private and public collections including The Boston Globe, The Prudential Life Insurance Co., Boston, MA, the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, the Farnsworth Museum of Art, Rockland, Maine and the Walker Art Museum at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. He is a 2002 recipient of a Maine Art Council Fellowship.

Lissa Hunter, highly regarded for decades in the respected realm of fine craft, moved to drawing during a residency in Vallauris, France, last fall and intensified the shift this past summer at Haystack Mountain School for Crafts on Deer Isle, Maine. She has exhibited internationally and has received numerous honors & awards during the past 30 years. She resides and maintains a studio in Portland.

The two artists have been close friends and were studio neighbors for many years. This is their second joint exhibit at June Fitzpatrick Gallery.

Tom Hall statement
I don't have much to say about these paintings other than I like them, primarily the Saco River pieces. I have sketched the river for a number of years but have never painted it. So the forms and colors and patterns and space and light...and water...are all new, in a way. The river is a rich dark mysterious place. Ancient. These Saco River paintings are the first of many to come, I hope. The Jackman and Morse Mountain landscapes are places I know by heart, and whether sketching on the hillsides of Moosehead Lake or watching the sunset on Sequinn Light, always humbled by the beauty of it all. And how big it all is. This new body of work is mixed media on canvas. All rural Maine landscapes, with a majority from the Saco River, in Fryeburg. Also included are Morse Mountain and Jackman landscapes.

Tom Hall resume

Lissa Hunter statement
Drawing is relatively new for me. Actually, I have always drawn, mostly for note-taking and designing, but drawing as the main means of expression is new. After a short workshop in January, 2009, I flirted with it, still feeling as if it were a foreign language and I could only say please and thank you. But then in November and December of 2009, I used my time at a residency in Vallauris, France to concentrate on drawing and began to feel the thrill of speaking in whole sentences. This summer, after taking a class at Haystack, I feel as if I am fluent. I am beginning to think in Drawing as one might think in French or Japanese. It allows a new means of expression and a more immediate and direct response to the world around me. New materials...charcoal, paper, oil stick, wax, ink, shellac...offer a different set of aesthetic choices to add to my vocabulary. And I am just beginning to explore what it is I want to say with the possibilities. As always, I come back to nature, the most eloquent of subjects. Coiled forms still play a role and I imagine that will continue.

About the friendship with Tom

Tom and I have known each other for 11 or 12 years. We met when I rented studio space at East End Studios. His was the door directly at the top of the stairs on the second floor and mine was two steps to the right. I tapped on his door after a few days of occupancy to introduce myself and he asked me in for coffee. That began a friendship that has been very important to me and, I believe, to him. Though he no longer occupies the studio next to mine, we meet often to talk about our work and our lives. His deep knowledge of art and artists and his commitment to his work have been inspiring. We have similar points of view about our aesthetics and what we value in our work. But most of all it is his passion about art that continues to lead me or maybe I should say, "to push me."

Lissa Hunter resume
More work by Lissa Hunter: www.lissahunter.com

Excerpted Maine Sunday Telegram review by Philip Isaacson, Date, 2010

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