“Maine: Work & Play Opens At Bowdoin’s Smith Student Union, March 4th

an invitation from Tuesday 207 contributor Jessica Ives (formerly Jessica Stammen)

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BRUNSWICK, February 24, 2014 — In “Maine: Work & Play” Jessica Ives (formerly Jessica Stammen) explores the interior and exterior landscapes where she lives, works, and plays. Over thirty works will comprise the exhibit. The artist will be present to speak about her work at an opening reception on Tuesday, March 4th from 4 to 6pm in the Blue Gallery at David Saul Smith Union, located on the Bowdoin College campus at 3725 College Station.

Ives received her BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art and her MA from New York University. She was a New York One Hometown Hero, among Eileen Fisher’s “Women Who Change The World Everyday,” named one of Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women of 2003, and received multiple awards, grants, and public speaking opportunities because of her work as an artist in residence at Ground Zero after 9/11. In 2008 she returned to Midcoast Maine and collaborated on the startup of Jo Ellen Designs in Camden while establishing her studio practice. Her work is represented by Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay Harbor and Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth.

Ives is an athlete and adventurer. She has cycled across the state of Maine from west to east in three days; she has climbed Acadia’s Otter Cliffs with North Face athletes; she has challenged the Islesboro Ferry in a three and a half mile Penobscot Bay swim. In this exhibit her paintings of play portray outsiders — her dad and brothers fly fishing on the Rapid River and Grand Lake Stream, and her friends who swim, canoe, and kayak alongside her during summertime adventures. Also included are paintings of surfer friends who escape with her to Costa Rica for a spring break experience as integral to her winter life in Maine as the pond hockey she plays.

Ives’ paintings of work depict the staff and apprentices of The Carpenter’s Boat Shop in Pemaquid, where her husband works and where the construction of Monhegan Skiffs takes place in a brilliantly lit post and beam workshop. Her visual exploration of this landscape of craftsmanship and Maine tradition is a recent development in her work. Her paintings highlight the windows of The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, linking these new images to her window paintings of the past. Her characteristic repurposing of previously painted panels also continues to play a significant role in this new work. Old outdoor recreation and adventure images peek through layers of workbenches and sawhorses at the boat shop, asking, “In this life of wonder and beauty that we live here in Maine, where does play stop and work begin? Or work stop and play begin?”

Almost all the paintings in “Maine: Work & Play” are water-centric. Individually and collectively they flow back and forth, into and out of each other as they ask the work-play question. They are not comprehensive in any one answer; instead they tease the memory, day dream, and desire of viewers.

Under her maiden name Jessica Stammen, Ives is editor of The Maine, an online publication about the wonders of the state. She contributes as The Outsider and has selected several essays to accompany her paintings in this exhibition.

“Maine: Work & Play” will run through Saturday, March 29th. For more information please visit www.jessicastammen.com or contact Bonnie Pardue, Art Coordinator for the Smith Union, at 207-725-3902 or bpardue@bowdoin.edu