July 29 – September 19

“Inside/Outside: Works from the Skowhegan Archives”


“Since its founding, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture has nurtured an expansive vision of art, maintaining a commitment to wide-ranging, often contradictory, artistic views” notes Sharon Corwin, the Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator at Colby College Museum of Art. Yet fundamental themes have been ongoing throughout the history of the School, reflecting the interests and concerns of the artworld and our culture at large. One such theme is painting’s continuous affinity toward representing the changing nature of appearances. “Inside/Outside: Work from the Skowhegan Archives” brings together a collection of work that examines the alluring flux of observation and the mutability of vision as depicted in traditional genre.

Landscape and the translation of the natural environment into a spirited visual language are evident in the work of Sylvia Snowden, Wade Frame, and Bruce M. Gagnier. Painters Kristina Branch, Gail Campbell, Janet Fish, and Charles Lassiter, turned their focus to the interior world where the architecture of the School’s studio became the subject of pictorial inspiration. Barry Shils large canvas explores the School’s social structure in the routine of group portraiture while Thomas Monahan’s large canvas scrutinizes concepts of representation through symbols and shallow space. Dating from 1951-1979, these works will be juxtaposed with a selective group of works culled from 2015 participants who share with their historical counterpart a similar concern with the vibrant nature of representation. Also featured will be a single-channel video by 2012 participant Itziar Barrio titled, “WE COULD HAVE HAD IT ALL” and a selection of observational portraits by Sam Jorgenson depicting individuals in the 2015 School community.

Michelle Grabner is a currently a resident faculty at Skowhegan School of Painting and Scultpure. She is an artist, writer and professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Grabner co-curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial and is the 2016 curator of the Portland Biennial.

About Skowhegan School of Painting & SculptureFounded in 1946 by artists for artists, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture is one of the country’s foremost residency programs. The intensive nine-week summer session, held on our nearly 350-acre campus in Maine, provides a collaborative and rigorous environment for artistic creation, risk-taking, and mentorship, by creating a flexible pedagogical framework that is informed by the School’s history and responsive to the individual needs of each artist. Skowhegan summers have had a lasting impact on the practices of thousands of artists, and the institution plays an integral role in ensuring the vitality of contemporary artmaking.

Skowhegan maintains a need-blind application process, which ensures that artists are accepted based on demonstrated commitment, ability, and potential, not financial circumstance. Over 94% of participating artists receive scholarship support thanks to Skowhegan fundraising initiatives.

Skowhegan summers have had a lasting impact on the practices of thousands of artists, and the institution plays an integral role in ensuring the vitality of contemporary artmaking. Notable alumni include: Korakrit Arunanondchai, Sanford Biggers, Ross Bleckner, Lee Bontecou, Lois Dodd, David Driskell, Mark Grotjahn, Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, William King, Liz Magic Laser, R. H. Quaytman, Laura Owens, Jason Rhoades, Jacolby Satterwhite, Dana Schutz, and Gedi Sibony, among others.

Distinguished faculty members include those mentioned in the lecture archive section (above), as well as Janine Antoni, Kathy Bradford, Yvonne JacquetteRobert Gober, Guillermo Kuitca, Jacob Lawrence, Brice Marden, Judy Pfaff, Ben Shahn, Amy Sillman, Jessica Stockholder, Carrie Mae Weems, and Fred Wilson.

Art Review from the Portland Press Herald: