FEATURED ARTIST AT THE FRANCIS – MJ BENSON
Portland has such a vibrant art community, and we’ve chosen to showcase some of the local talent here, in Maine, through a rotating gallery in common spaces at The Francis. Each exhibit will either feature an artist or subject from Maine. Our third exhibition features MJ Benson and her recent works.
As a painter, I love the balance of the horizon, its ever steady line of delineation between the spaces of land, sky, sea. It’s the first stroke I make on the surface, and often the last. In between are layers and layers of light and color, sprung from memory but unbound by realism. I start with a framework, a few rules around composition or color, but it’s the tension between what I expect and what the painting is telling me that dictates the flow and finish. I work, watch, and wait, until the ever fickle shifting between place and memory stills itself harmoniously on the canvas.
I grew up on the New England Coast, running along the edges of the water, swimming in its balmy waves, and sailing on its moody surface. I started my art practice as a photographer, working with alternative landscapes and materials, and moved into painting after moving to Maine in 2006. The ocean has always been my elegant muse, a balance point in the upheaval and ennui of a curious life.
BFA – School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University
EdM – Harvard University
Courses – Maine Photography Workshops, Haystack Mountain School of Fine Craft, Maine College of Art
You can find more information about MJ and view some of her works on her website: www.mjbenson.com
We will celebrate MJ’s ‘Recent Works’ with a public reception during Portland’s First Friday Art Walk on September 7, 5-8pm. Visitors can meet artist MJ Benson, wander among the works and enjoy cocktails & hors d’oeuvres from Bolster, Snow & Co., The Francis’s on-site restaurant. ‘Recent Works’ will remain on display until December with its 30 pieces available for purchase, ranging from $800 to $3,500.