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News from the Homefront, Recent Works by Jeff Morin
Thursday, May 4 through Sunday, June 11
Public Reception: Thursday, May 4 | 6-8 PM
News from the Homefront contains stories from the momentous to the everyday. The exhibition presents narratives about the Maine landscape juxtaposed with people from other times and other locations. It memorializes seismic events like the murder of club patrons in Orlando, Florida. It introduces the viewer to friends and students with whom I have come in contact during thirty years of teaching. It represents visually what might be contained in letters home – wherever home might be at the moment.
Home has been Madawaska, Philadelphia, Rome, Madison, Lindsborg, Chattanooga, Flintstone, Stevens Point, and Milwaukee. Having relocated to Milwaukee two years ago, I am more conscious of home and the variants on the idea of home. I am also conscious of the fluid definition of family and its connection to the idea of home. When talking about home, I am often referencing Madawaska, Maine, which is remote and exotic by nature of the Acadian French culture permeating everything from food to slang.
After moving from isolated Madawaska to bustling Philadelphia to attend Tyler School of Art, I had a memorable conversation with one of my professors in which I confessed envy because another student had the surname of a famous artist. He pithily stated, “If you knew a bit more, you would realize that your name and home have similar art historical markers.”
Jean Morin is a 17th century French painter, printmaker, and publisher (I share his vocation across these three disciplines). John Marin, a variant spelling of my surname in the recent family tree, is an American modernist painter inspired by the rocky Maine coast (this exhibition contain my first landscapes of northern Maine). And Marsden Hartley, also a modernist painter, is known in part for his painting titled “Madawaska, Acadian Light-Heavy” and his desire to be known as “the painter of Maine” (I’ve coopted his title to put my wrestling figures in context). Thanks to a first year faculty member, I now have a constant internal conversation with art history while working in the studio.
Dominic with Peppermint Zebras