2012 CMCA Biennial Exhibition

September 29 2012 to December 02 2012

The 2012 CMCA Biennial Exhibition includes work by seventeen artists. CMCA director Suzette McAvoy and Daphne Anderson Deeds, an independent curator from Connecticut, chose ten artists from the open subissions and invited seven others to participate. There were 415 artists who submitted more than 3,350 individual works in a wide range of mediums.

The seven invited artists are: Tom Butler, Rockland; Luc Demers, Falmouth; Lauren Fensterstock, Portland; Cassie Jones, Brunswick; Lisa Kellner, Rangeley; David Stess, Cherryfield; and Kitty Wales, Vinalhaven. The ten selected artists are: Kenny Cole, Monroe; Grace DeGennaro, Yarmouth; Lynda Litchfield, Cape Elizabeth; Robin Mandel, Cushing; James Marshall, Brunswick; Jonathan Mess, Jefferson; Benjamin Potter, Belfast; Kate Russo, Rockland; Aaron Stephan, Portland; and Erik Weisenburger, South Portland.

The vision for this year's Biennial was to present a balance of concepts, volume, color, and texture for the exhibition as a whole. The jurors agree that the creativity and level of quality they saw in the art submitted were exceptional, and spoke to the vitality of the state’s contemporary art scene.

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 29, 4 to 6pm

For more information about Daphne Anderson Deeds, visit her website, daphneandersondeeds.com

Major Press/Reviews
November/December 2012 Artscope magazine; review by Suzanne Volmer
Art Review: "Biennial backs up good looks with visceral subtext," by Daniel Kany, Maine Sunday Telegram, Oct. 21, 2012

CMCA is grateful to its major media sponsor, Maine Home + Design magazine.

Participating Artist Bios

TOM BUTLER, Rockland, Maine

“My studio practice conspicuously conceals found images of people by incorporating personal symbols such as hair, hoods, mirrors, and masks and in the process attempts to reveal aspects of imaged inner personalities.”

Born in the UK, Tom Butler now resides in Rockland, Maine, with his wife Kate Russo. He attended Southampton University and Chelsea College of Art and Design, and he received an MFA in sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. His work is widely exhibited in the US and the UK, most recently shown at Charlie Dutton Gallery, Victoria House, and Charlie Smith in London, and at CMCA. He has won several prizes in the UK and was invited to the Elsewhere Collective Residency this coming year in Greensboro, North Carolina. Butler is presently art director at The Community Schools of Camden and Opportunity Farm in Midcoast Maine.

KENNY COLE, Monroe, Maine

“To create art as hand-drawn text becomes, for me, a declaration of art’s function as a static archival, architectural object, with the potential to transform and illuminate language’s structure and content eternally, without evaporating after the power has been turned off.”

Kenny Cole is a politically and socially active artist residing in Monroe, Maine. He has won awards twice from the Maine Arts Commission, the Maine Community Foundation, Artists Space Grant, and the Ford Foundation. He has been teaching at “Branching Out” Waterfall Arts in Belfast, Maine, for several years, before which he taught in New York City. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions. This year, his work was shown at the Perimeter Gallery in Belfast, the Leonard R. Craig Gallery at Unity College, Aucocisco Gallery in Portland, Aarhus Gallery in Belfast, The Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and SlopLand Effluence Express. Kenny works in various media, including works on canvas and gouache and ink works on paper.

GRACE DEGENNARO, Yarmouth, Maine

“My studio practice is one of identifying resonant images that are both iconic and numinous. This vocabulary of images includes: concentric circles, diamonds, crosses, and the vesica piscis shape. The symbolism and myriad meanings associated with these images throughout history provide a context for my practice.”

Grace DeGenarro studied at the Sir John Cass School of Art in London, Skidmore College in New York, and Columbia University in New York. She has taught often throughout her career, including at the Maine College of Art and Southern Maine Community College. Her work is in many collections throughout the country, including Goldman Sachs, the Heckscher Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has won awards from the Hudson River Museum, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Maine Arts Commission, and the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland. DeGennaro lives in Yarmouth, Maine, and works in her studio in Fort Andross in Brunswick.

LUC DEMERS, Falmouth, Maine

Luc Demers is a photographer who resides in Maine. He studied at the University of Southern Maine and received an MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has shown extensively throughout his career, in solo, feature, and group exhibitions. Most recently, Luc exhibited in group exhibitions at Rose Contemporary in Portland, Maine, and at The International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Anchorage, Alaska. Last year he presented solo exhibitions at the University of Maine at Augusta; Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, Maine; and the Rawls Museum Arts in Courtland, Virginia.


Lauren Fensterstock is a woman of many talents. Throughout her career she has been an artist, editor, director, educator, critic, curator, and author. She has published numerous essays, catalogs, and monographs. She has an extensive curatorial background, as well as several years of experience teaching throughout Maine, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. She served as director of the Hay Gallery in Portland, Maine; associate editor of Arts Guide Portland; Maine state editor at Art New England; interim director at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art; and academic director of MFA in studio arts at the Maine College of Art. She has received several awards and honors, and her work is in the collections of Tiffany & Co internationally, as well as at the University of Maine Museum of Art, the Ogunquit Museum of Art, and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Her work is exhibited throughout the nation and was most recently shown in Ireland, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Texas, and Maine – all in the last year.

CASSIE JONES, Brunswick, Maine

Artist Cassie Jones lives in Brunswick, Maine. She received her MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BA from Bowdoin College. Her art has been shown in solo exhibitions at Space Gallery in Portland, Maine, and Coleman Burke Gallery in New York, as well as in group exhibitions at Art Chicago, Gallery 808 in Boston, the Portland Museum of Art, Fountain NY, CMCA, and others. She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, the Vermont Studio Center, and the MacDowell Colony. She is represented by Aucocisco Galleries in Portland, Maine, and Coleman Burke Gallery in New York.

LISA KELLNER, Rangeley, Maine, and Hanover, Virginia

“History, itself, is my primary focus. The capacity to interpret and digest historical notions--within the subject matter, its geographical and chronological place, and the formal presentation on the surface plane--are the constants in my work.”

Artist Lisa Kellner has been coming to Maine for several years, spending her time in Rangeley. She attended Boston University, the School of Visual Arts in New York, and the Art Institute of Boston, where she received her master's degree. She is a founding member of G.O.A.T., a “collaborative group of artists,” whose name stands for Group of Artists Talking. She completed several residencies, including at Jon Imber Studios in Stonington, Maine, and at Accademia Caerite in Rome, Italy. Her work has been widely exhibited and was recently on view at Bravin Lee Programs in New York City.

LYNDA LITCHFIELD, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

“Most of these paintings begin with several translucent layers of pigmented wax and paint, often followed by inlaid or drawn lines to suggest an elemental geometry. This structured emptiness creates a space and a scaffold for intuitive marks and invented paradoxical forms.”

Artist Lynda Litchfield resides in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and is represented by June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland, Maine, and McGowan Fine Art in Concord, New Hampshire. She is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Her work has appeared at CMCA, the Portland Museum of Art, and in many shows throughout the northeast, as well as at Cain Schulte Gallery in San Francisco.

ROBIN MANDEL, Cushing, Maine

“My work is concerned with the ways in which familiar objects can be transformed, effaced, or dematerialized through motion and light.”

Robin Mandel is an artist working in sculpture, installation, and photography. His recent exhibition venues include the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts; Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut; and the Freedman Gallery at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. He also has exhibited in Portland, Boston, New York, Montreal, Venice, and Barcelona. He has received grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the St. Botolph Club Foundation in Boston, and residencies at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado, the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. His teaching credits include the Rhode Island School of Design, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he was a visiting assistant professor of art in 2007-2008.

JAMES B. MARSHALL, Brunswick, Maine

“Beginning with the most ignoble of disposable cultural icons, the brown paper bag, and working through a process that extends my personal exploration of graphite as material, my goal is to create works that are full of interpretive possibilities and layers of meaning.”

James Marshall, a graduate of The American University in Washington, DC, and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, is an accomplished sculptor, painter, and photographer residing in Brunswick, Maine. Marshall’s work is in the permanent collection of the Portland Museum of Art, as well as in several private collections in Maine, New York, London, and Washington, DC. He has published several photography books and exhibited throughout the East Coast. Most recently, he had a show at Addison & Woolley in Portland, Maine.

JONATHAN MESS, Jefferson, Maine

“My recent work has involved several series that visually and metaphorically reference land, maps, strata, geology, and geography. Process and its evidence have emerged as essential aspects of this work.”

An artist and an educator, Jonathan Mess has made his mark throughout the United States. He studied at the University of Toledo, Ohio; the University of Montana, Missoula; Ashland University in Ohio; and at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He has been teaching for more than a decade in Maine, New York, and Massachusetts. He has received several grants and awards, including a Maine Arts Commission for site-specific installation for Maine’s Creative Economy Conference at the Bates Mill in Lewiston, and he completed two residencies and workshops earlier in his career. His work is in private and public collections throughout the country, and most recently he has had exhibitions at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia and the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.


“I am interested in the oscillation between representation and abstraction, and the connotations conveyed by everyday materials reworked.”

Benjamin Potter studied fine art and biology at Williams College before receiving his MFA in painting and drawing from California College of the Arts. Since 2006, Benjamin has been working at Unity College in Unity, Maine, where he serves as professor of art and director of the Leonard Craig Gallery. Prior to teaching at Unity College, Benjamin taught at numerous colleges and universities in Vermont and Wisconsin. He has received several grants and fellowships, including the Good Idea Grant by the Maine Arts Commission in 2010. His work has been shown across the country. Most recently, he exhibited at June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland, Maine; Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica, California; Samson Projects in Boston; and the Aarhaus Gallery and Waterfall Arts Gallery in Belfast, Maine.

KATE RUSSO, Rockland, Maine

“When working on graph paper, the grid becomes a template or skeleton for an infinite number of variations in pattern and color. My drawing practice is consumed by what can live within this predetermined, man-made environment.”

An international artist, Kate Russo is a resident of Rockland, Maine, but has spent much of her time in the United Kingdom. She attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine, then received her MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Since then, she has received many awards from the United Kingdom, as well as from Colby College. She exhibits across the two nations, and has most recently exhibited her works at Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland, Maine, and at the University of Maine, Farmington.

AARON STEPHAN, Portland, Maine

“I approach each drawing as a still life by reproducing Vermeer’s painting as if it were a component of a three-dimensional composition. This process allows me to explore my relationship to both art history and contemporary culture.”

An artist, performer, and educator, Aaron Stephan is a two-time recipient of the Good Idea Grant by the Maine Arts Commission and also was awarded a Yaddo Artist Residency and the Zorach Fellowship at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He studied abroad in Amsterdam before attending SUNY Purchase College and the Maine College of Art in Portland. He has received several commissions from schools throughout the country, including in Maine. He has shown from coast to coast, and most recently he had a solo exhibition at Aucocisco Gallery in Portland, Maine, and group exhibitions at Sienna Gallery in Massachusetts and Pace Galleries at Fryeburg Academy in Fryeburg, Maine. He was recently featured in an article in the Boston Globe and is currently a studio instructor at the Maine College of Art in Portland.

DAVID STESS, Cherryfield, Maine, and New York, New York

“[My work] is humanistic, lyrical, and autobiographical in nature. I continue to be inspired by the great documentary and human photographers of the last century.”

Photographer David Stess spends much of his time in Maine. His work is featured in permanent collections of the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the University of Maine at Machias, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle. He has been featured in several magazines, including Maine Home + Design and Yankee. His works have been exhibited throughout the state, most recently at Jean B. Chalmers Gallery at the Lincoln Street Center in Rockland, Maine; the University of New England in Portland; and at CMCA. His work has also been included in several Biennial exhibitions at the Portland Museum of Art.

KATHARINE “KITTY” WALES, Vinalhaven, Maine, and Boston, Massachusetts

“I am interested in connecting the viewer to an unexpected place and often modify the appearance of a space to present an altered context to the gallery setting. The material used to fabricate much of my sculpture is salvaged from domestic life and has a recognizable history.”

A graduate of Boston University in sculpture and art education, Kitty Wales also holds an MFA from the University of Arizona. Wales is recognized in Massachusetts for her Pine Sharks at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park. Her work can be seen in the permanent collections of the Duxbury Art Complex Museum, the New England Bio Lab in Beverly, Auburn Park in Cambridge, and the Meditech Corporation. Represented by The New Era Gallery in Vinalhaven, Maine, her work has been widely exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the US and in Paris. She has been a professor of sculpture and drawing at colleges and universities throughout New England, and currently she teaches sculpture at Boston University.

ERIK WEISENBURGER, South Portland, Maine

“My work is a continuation of my exploration into patterns and community, drama and subtlety, while creating an image that will mingle with personal memories, including the anthropomorphization of the natural world [I] encountered as a youth.”

Erik Weisenburger attended the Parsons School of Design in Paris and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and he earned his master's degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work is in several collections in Wisconsin, including the Madison Art Center, the Racine Art Museum, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Weisenburger has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the country, including the Perimeter Gallery in Chicago, in 2011; the Betty Rhymer Gallery at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his alma mater; and at CMCA.