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Unity Professor of Art Ben Potter Co-Curates Exhibit at CMCA

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Hawk & Handsaw: Twenty Who Know the Difference presents selected works by 20 contemporary Maine artists who have been featured in Hawk & Handsaw, the journal of creative sustainability published by Unity College since 2007. The exhibition is curated by Ben Potter, professor of art at Unity College and art editor of Hawk & Handsaw, and CMCA director Suzette McAvoy. There will be an opening artists’ reception at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport on Saturday, September 28, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

Hawk & Handsaw, the title of the journal and the exhibition, comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet (Act 2, Scene 2): I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly,
I know a hawk from a handsaw. In the first issue of Hawk & Handsaw, the editors wrote that, like Hamlet, they too know which way the wind blows. Living a sustainable life “can be messy and meaningful,” they acknowledge, and “it requires reflection, deep philosophical commitment, and (more often than not) a good sense of humor.” The creative work they choose for the journal “questions the status quo either in content or presentation. [It is] work that bumps up against convention and genre, and even gives either one of them a good nudge now and then," resulting in new ways to approach the crucial discourse about sustainable ways of being in the world.

The show is part of this fall's Maine Environmental Art and Design (MEAD) celebration — a collaboration among CMCA, Unity College, Waterfall Arts, and other mid-coast arts organizations. McAvoy said, “I have been very impressed with the range and quality of the art presented in Hawk & Handsaw. I approached Ben Potter about the possibility of CMCA hosting a collaborative exhibition as our contribution to MEAD, with the aim of fostering a conversation about the connections among visual art, aesthetic awareness, and our roles as stewards of our world.”

The 20 artists included in the exhibition at CMCA are Chris Becker of Lyman; Meghan Brady of Camden; Emily Brown of Freedom; Cole Caswell, Karen Gelardi, Adriane Herman, and Tanja Hollander of Portland; Meg Chase and Freddy LaFage of Belfast; Avy Claire of Blue Hill; Jobie Cole of Orland; Kenny Cole and Lisa Martin of Monroe; Lauren Henkin of Lincolnville; Mark Kelly and Susan Metzger of Rockland; Sandy Olson of Troy; Danica Phelps of Rockport; R. Keith Rendall of Wiscasset; and Andy Rosen of South Portland. The exhibition is on view through December 1, 2013. For a schedule of artist talks and more information about the exhibition, visit cmcanow.org. CMCA is grateful for support from its major media sponsor, Maine Home + Design magazine.

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art is a nonprofit organization advancing contemporary art in Maine through exhibitions and educational programs. It is located at 162 Russell Ave., Rockport, Maine. Exhibition galleries are open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, please visit cmcanow.org.

In recent years Unity College has gained national attention for a variety of achievements including: its focus on sustainability science, the leading-edge of 21st century ecological problem solving and the vanguard in the fight for the mitigation of global climate change; its groundbreaking “green” innovations such as the award-winning TerraHaus, the first student residence on a college or university campus built to the Passive House standard, the most energy efficient building standard in the world; and for being the first college in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels, igniting a growing national movement in higher education. Unity College has repeatedly received superior placement in the Washington Monthly magazine annual college rankings, including being named among the top baccalaureate colleges in 2013.

Unity College is a private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013