In the Moment

Eleanor Kipping, Center for Maine Contemporary Art

The zeitgeisty show has a little of everything. Pictured: Eleanor Kipping’s Strange Fruit (installation).

At the CMCA Biennial, a snapshot of Maine’s buzzing arts scene.

An arch of bent ladders spans the center of a room. A photo shows a burning candle balanced on a banana that a cocktail umbrella holds upright. Five microphones, converted into speakers, hang upside down and emit a low gurgle of gospel music.

Submission rules for the Center for Maine Contemporary Art’s Biennial exhibitions are open-ended. Works must have been produced in the past two years, and artists must have a meaningful connection to the state. Besides that, anyone can apply, with works in any medium, exploring any theme. “It’s a snapshot of what’s happening right now in Maine,” associate curator Bethany Engstrom says.

Adam Ekberg’s Lawn Chair Catapult (archival pigment print)

Tad Beck’s Bicycle Crash 3 (archival pigment print)

Tom Flanagan’s Wave After Wave (acrylic on canvas)

Alicia Eggert

Alicia Eggert’s All That Is Real Is Possible (lenticular print mounted to aluminum Dibond)

Becky Jane Rosen’s Beached (oil on canvas)

More than 600 artists applied. CMCA staff hadn’t been familiar with many of them, and that’s part of the point of the Biennial. “There are always a lot of artists we get introduced to this way,” Engstrom says. “I always tell people to just submit. Even if you’re not chosen, somebody sees your work.” Ultimately, 43 made the cut, with works that range from a quiet painting of a bedroom interior to an installation of hundreds of dangling gilded hair picks. Through March 3. 21 Winter St., Rockland. 207-701-5005. cmcanow.org 


Will Grunewald

Will Grunewald is a senior editor at Down East magazine.