UNE's Biddeford Campus Art Gallery presents 'Lost Landscapes' by Charles Thompson, featuring “before and after” representations of local landmarks

Bay View Beach; Saco, Maine; 30 x 40; oil on canvas
Bay View Beach; Saco, Maine; 30 x 40; oil on canvas

April 20, 2017

Cataract Falls (Saco Island); Saco, Maine; 40 x 30; oil on canvas
Cataract Falls (Saco Island); Saco, Maine; 40 x 30; oil on canvas

The UNE Art Gallery in the Jack S. Ketchum Library on UNE’s Biddeford Campus is pleased to announce a new exhibition of plein air paintings by Charles Matthew Thompson, M.F.A., UNE professor of art and founder of the university’s Department of Fine Arts. The exhibition, titled Lost Landscapes, contrasts early black and white photographs of landmarks in the Biddeford-Saco area with Thompson’s contemporary paintings of those same landmarks. Lost Landscapes will be on view through August 1, 2017, with an opening on Wednesday, April 26th, at 2:00 p.m., which is free and open to all. 

While visiting the Dyer Library in Saco, Maine, Thompson came upon a book from the turn of the 20th century that was filled with black and white photographs of the Saco and Biddeford area.  Fascinated by the changes that had occurred in the landscape of the local community, he realized that many of these photographs were taken at locations he had visited and painted over the years and was struck by the changes that had occurred to many of these landscapes through development activity.  The seed was planted for this visual project that documents the landscape of Saco and Biddeford as it once was and what it has now become.

Thompson selected seven locations with corresponding photographs to create a body of work, completed over many months, that provides a historical record of the original locations and an artistic rendering of the locations as they now appear. “The original landscapes have been largely lost to the insatiable human demand for possession and development,” Thompson stated. “Time and progress stand still for no one.”

UNE’s Biddeford Art Gallery in the Jack S. Ketchum Library is free and open to the public. Hours of operation are Sunday–Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. through May 21. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (207) 221-4324.

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