Event Types: Gallery | Studio

Lucinda Bliss: Tracking the Border: An Interrogation of Political, Natural, and Interior Borders

Lucinda Bliss, Tracking the Border, Common Street Arts

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 19, 2017 4pm-6pm

Tracking the Border is the culminating event of a year-long project supported by a Kindling Grant from the Warhol Foundation. The project focused on the artist’s navigation of the 611 miles that make up the Maine-Canada border. The resulting work takes many forms, including installation, drawing, and photography, all of which will be represented in the Common Street Arts exhibit, alongside other, related bodies of work.

Several years ago, Bliss’ passion for running began to influence her drawings–GPS records of her runs became source material for works on paper. This process then began to inform a range of approaches to considering place, environmental concerns, and issues of identity. Though the Tracking the Border project was initially inspired by global politics–Lucinda was in Paris during the attacks in the fall of 2015–throughout the year, her exploration became increasingly linked to personal questions about gender and power.  Mirroring the conceptual shift, photographic processes became a more central part of the artist’s creative process.

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 19, 2017 4pm-6pm

Gallery Open:

Wednesday – Friday: 12pm-5pm, Saturday 10am – 1pm

CLOSED: Sunday-Tuesday


Artist Statement:

Tracking the Border: An Interrogation of Political, Natural, and Interior Borders

Lucinda Bliss

For the last several years, my creative work has sprung from the intersection of my life as an artist, academic, and runner. The work now takes many forms, but it began with a process of drawing the GPS records of my runs on print fragments (Daily Patterns­). This initial work led to my current project, Tracking the Border, for which I received a 2016 Kindling Grant from the Warhol Foundation. This project involved a year-long navigation of the 611 miles that make up the Maine-Canada border. My process included conducting interviews with a Passamaquoddy Council member, a Maine geologist, a former border patrol officer, and a forester, among others, and the stories and perspectives that emerged from these conversations led me to question assumptions about the nature of borders that had far-reaching and personal implications. Narratives that emerged from these dialogues guided me to specific points along the border, where I would run, reflect, write, build site-specific temporary installations (rock border walls, for example), as well as shoot photographs that have been reworked as mixed media pieces in the studio. Exploring remote areas of the border on foot, learning about the history of the land, experiencing its boundaries physically, as a woman alone—these navigations led me to an unexpected body of photographic work. I became interested in experimenting with strategies for representing the female body in nature—for depicting the physicality of my process in a way that would not obfuscate the complexities and misogyny in the history of such representation. The initial project was inspired by global politics, as I was in Paris during the attacks in the fall of 2015; over the last year, my concerns have been linked to questions about gender and power.


Lucinda’s studio practice consists of drawing, painting, photography, and installation. She is based in Maine and has shown widely in New England, Chicago, and the Southwest. Exhibition venues include the University of Arizona; the Tucson Museum of Art; Dinnerware Artspace; The Brattleboro Museum; Aucocisco Gallery; Whitney Art Works; Rose Contemporary; The University of New England; Space Gallery; The Center for Maine Contemporary Art; Bates College Museum of Art; Boston Center for the Arts; The Ross Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Gallery 312 in Chicago.


Bliss recently received a Kindling Grant through the Warhol Regional Regranting Program in support of her project, Tracking the Border. In addition, she has received two Maine Arts Commission grants and residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Hewnoaks, Shotpouch Creek, Anderson Ranch, and the Vermont Studio Center. Bliss’ career has led her to ancillary projects, including co-writing the chapbook Anatomy of Desire: the Daughter/Mother Sessions (Kore Press, 2000) and blogging about art and running (lucindasrunningblog.com). Her work has been featured in magazines and journals including Maine Farms, Terrain.org, Maine Magazine, The Saint Ann’s Review, and Hunger Mountain. She currently serves as Dean of Graduate Studies at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.