The Way Life Is?
A new exhibit in Portland challenges our perceptions of the real Maine.
We've all seen the sign on the Maine Turnpike: "Maine. The Way Life Should Be." Depending upon your experience living here, the statement either resonates or rankles. Making the case against the idyllic view of Maine is a new exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art. Maine: The Way Life Is, Contemporary Photographs from the Collection collects thirty-four contemporary photographs that grapple with issues of poverty, urban blight, degradation of the rural landscape, declining middle-class gentility, and the life of working-class Mainers.The images — from photographers Paul D'Amato, Olive Pierce, David Brooks Stess, Tonee Harbert, and others — are by turns shocking, moving, and funny. But do they really show the way life is in Maine? Decide for yourself. The exhibit runs through November 26. www.portlandmuseum.org