Schirmer and Lennox:
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We are delighted to present an exhibition by Maine artists Mary Lennox and Phil Schirmer. The show, entitled Close Encounters, will opens on Friday, July 6th with a gala Artists’ Reception from 5 – 8, featuring live music by Steve Lindsay and Friends. The exhibit will run through August 1.
The two artists, who are married to one another, are exhibiting in the Midcoast for the first time, in Mary’s case, and after a hiatus of several years, in Phil’s case. Mary has exhibited regularly at Blue Hill’s Leighton Gallery and Phil, formerly a Rockland resident, exhibited at the Nan Mulford Gallery, where his shows frequently sold out.
Mary Lennox, who has also exhibited at the Touchstone Gallery in New York City, presents a series of large oils on linen, each depicting a young girl’s close encounter with a wild creature. The images evoke ancient fables. “I have carried an old photograph with me since I was a little girl,” says the artist. “In the photo I am crouching by the edge of a pond, reaching out to a beautiful white swan. This is where this series of paintings began. I realized it was the old story of the ugly duckling – the plain little girl reaching for beauty. In these paintings, the girl faces her fears both literally and figuratively through the use of fairy tales – the old stories every little girl heard as a child. I have had close encounters with each of the animals in the paintings…Now as I approach sixty years, the stories speak to me more than ever.”
Phil Schirmer has been painting in the demanding and ancient egg tempera medium for over twenty years. He has shown his work in numerous solo shows and has participated in several exhibitions of egg tempera artists from around the world. In 2009, his painting The Secret Gardener was a finalist in the Outwin Boochever portrait competition and was one of fifty paintings chosen from over three thousand entries nationwide to hang in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. For the Jonathan Frost Gallery show, Phil presents four recent paintings of familiar birds – seagulls, a Canada goose, and a pigeon – encountering man made structures. He says, “A gull might be aware of a strange structure on an island but wouldn’t question why it had no windows or doors. Likewise, it’s hard to imagine a pigeon having an opinion of a yellow and red fire hydrant. These paintings explore the interface between human and animal consciousness.”
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