Darkness and the Light

On view from July 12 – September 20, 2019
Exhibition Opening: Friday, July 12, 2019, 5:00–8:00pm
Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art
ICA Gallery hours: Wed–Sun, 11:00am–5:00pm, Thurs, 11:00am–7:00pm, Friday, 11:00am–5:00pm, (FFAW until 8:00pm)

This exhibition is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art, Interim Director of Exhibitions Nikki Rayburn, and Guest Curator Lissa Hunter.

When I was a child, my mother would say, “Be in before dark”, as I ran out the door to play in summer. We lived in that kind of neighborhood. It was the fifties, in the Midwest, on a short block with dozens of kids and no fences. “Before dark” became a particular designation of time, between outside in daytime and the inside at night. It held a kind of magical conversion, a sliver of time that signaled a shift in energy and focus.  

When the sun fell below the horizon, colors flattened and lost definition. The sky looked lighter than the treetops below, which became a single mass of darkness. Houses were Monopoly pieces, with no definition of windows or porches, just outlines and dark interiors until the lights within were turned on, creating golden rectangles.

The air became cool. The earth smelled moist. And the fireflies became apparent, flashing lights against the gathering dark, adding to the sense of separation from the real world. It didn’t last long. Maybe ten or twenty minutes.

— Lissa Hunter

Dark and light. The space between. The moment of change. The necessity of one to identify the other.  Hope. Fading.  The opportunities to explore the theme seemed so many and varied that the idea of a group exhibition was born. Invited artists have created work addressing the psychological and/or physical implications of light and/or dark. All are Maine artists with established careers and reputations for fine craftsmanship and artistic excellence. Because of the size of the Institute of Contemporary Art, participants were encouraged to undertake large-scale work, if they wished, in order to take advantage of the unusual opportunity to use this vast, beautiful space.

Exhibiting Artists include: Lynn Duryea, South Portland; Rebecca Goodale, Freeport; Tom Hall, Raymond; Joe Hemes, South Portland; Alison Hildreth, Portland; Lissa Hunter, Portland; Jamie Johnston, Portland; George Mason, Nobleboro; Julie Morringello, Stonington; Jan Owen, Belfast; Warren Seelig, Rockland; Carol Stein, Kittery Point; Todd Watts, Blanchard TWP; Susan Webster, Deer Isle

In conjunction with the exhibition, the ICA will host a series of lectures and performances exploring the topics of darkness and light, as well as gallery talks from the artists. Click the button below to learn more.

Lectures and Peformances

— Friday, August 2, 2019: 5PM
Artist Gallery Talk featuring Curator Lissa Hunter and exhibiting artists Lynn Duryea, Tom Hall, Jamie Johnston, Julie Morringello, Jan Owen, Todd Watts, and Susan Webster. 

— Thursday, August 8, 2019: 6PM
Darkness and the Light Lecture featuring Bernard Reim, Adjunct Professor of Astronomy, University of Southern Maine, vice president of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England, and co-host of WMPG’s live weekly radio program “Scientifically Speaking”

— Thursday, September 5, 2019: 6PM
Darkness and the Light Performance featuring jazz musician Barry Saunders, Artist Faculty, University of Southern Maine, and General Music Instructor MSAD 51 Greely Middle School.

— Thursday, September 19, 2019: 6PM
Artist Gallery Talk featuring Curator Lissa Hunter and exhibiting artists: Rebecca Goodale, Joe Hemes, Alison Hildreth, George Mason, Warren Seelig, and Carol Stein.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a printed catalog, to be released on August 2, 2019.

This project is made possible in part by the gracious contributions of the following donors, who have allowed Darkness and the Light to live on through an exhibition catalogue archive: Jo and Ed Bradley, Timothy Ellis, Gregory W. Boulos, June Michel McCormack, Angela Adams and Sherwood Hamill, and additional anonymous donors. 

Additional support provided by Dean’s Sweets. Join us for the Opening Reception of Darkness and the Light on Friday, July 12, 5-8PM and enjoy the delicious tastes of Dean’s Sweets chocolate bringing our theme of dark and light to life.

Featured Image: Susan Webster, Remembrance Diptych (detail), 2019