Michele O'Keefe

"As the Vinalhaven Ferry grinds across Penobscot Bay into a breathtaking expanse of sky and sea; the silhouettes of islands take shape on the horizon.  And I am reminded of what a privilege it is to live and create art on the island of Vinalhaven-15 miles out to sea.  Being here brings the essentials of life and art into sharp focus-especially during Covid.  The working waterfront, the resilience of island families, the beauty of the environment, or perhaps a magnificent seagull, all come to the fore in my work.  To treasure, document, and preserve, glimpses of what makes this island unique, motivates the choice of my subject matter and my art.

Also, I recently purchased a new etching press.  Inspired by working with print makers at The Haystack School of Arts and Crafts, The Vinalhaven Press, and The Engine House Press since 2009; this Press gives me the ability to create a more contemporary image in my own studio.  The process of incising a copper plate with a drawing, etching it, inking the plate, is often very time consuming.  But, to send it through the press-and get a unified, cohesive image on the other side, is simply exhilarating.  The press unlocks endless possibilities for future work, and allows a richness of color, and variation of line that is seductive."

Michele's work is on display in the gallery as part of "Currents and Channels: Four Coastal Maine Artists" through September 25th. 

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