After decades painting in private, Bowdoinham artist readies his first exhibit


A painting by Bowdoinham artist David Mann, who at age 72 will show his do the job for the 1st time. Courtesy of Merrymeeting Arts Heart

BOWDOINHAM – David Mann has been building artwork for decades, but he’s however a bit unpleasant contacting himself an artist.

He may well need to have to relent right after this 7 days.

At age 72, Mann will exhibit his paintings for the first time, beginning Friday and by means of mid-June at the Merrymeeting Arts Middle in Bowdoinham. The gallery is open on Saturdays and by appointment. The exhibit, titled “The Turning Level,” characteristics a dozen acrylic-on-canvas paintings and one sculpture. The paintings are abstract, loaded with vibrant hues and methodically prepared geometric designs and patterns that permit viewers to interpret the compositions nevertheless they want.

“It’s a small unusual, sure,” Mann said about the prospect of exhibiting his operate to a wide viewers. “But I had no entry into galleries. I wasn’t a recognised amount.”

Mark Dube, board chairman for the Merrymeeting Arts Center who also oversees gallery reveals, reported Mann is far also modest about his potential.

“The to start with time we sat down to converse and I saw his paintings, I mentioned, ‘This is a display that is ready to be seen. Exactly where have you been hiding?’ ” Dube reported.


Bowdoinham artist David Mann in his dwelling studio. Image courtesy of David Mann

Though he does not have any educational background in artwork, Mann stated it was the thing he most appeared forward to in university. He grew up in Michigan and spent lots of of his youthful adult a long time in the display-printing company, which bundled graphic artwork.

Not prolonged soon after his son was born, Mann and his spouse, who is also from the Midwest, made the decision they desired a alter of surroundings. A friend suggested Maine, and in advance of long, the youthful family members moved to Bowdoinham. That was 32 years ago.

Mann did not know it at the time, but Bowdoinham had a tiny-however-strong artist local community, led by Bryce Muir, Carlo Pittore and Carter Smith. The Merrymeeting Arts Heart was influenced by Muir’s perform and his dedication to setting up and marketing the arts group.

Mann acquired to know each Muir, who was finest known for his animated wood portraits and mythic sculptures, and Pittore, a prolific artist identified for his portraits who experienced moved to Bowdoinham from New York Town in the 1980s. Pittore founded an artist academy in the smaller Sagadahoc County town and also hosted drawing lessons weekly. Mann, a continue to be-at-property dad at that position, was among the the typical attendees.

From there, he began with drinking water colours and landscapes, but realized it wasn’t for him. There had been too several landscape artists by now. In its place, he graduated to acrylic paints and his function became far more abstract.


Yet another portray by Bowdoinham artist David Mann that will be portion of an show at the Merrymeeting Arts Middle. Courtesy of Merrymeeting Arts Heart

“I wished to come across a little something that was genuinely my own,” he claimed.

However, few folks outdoors his family members and friends ever noticed his items.

“David was form of performing in the shadow of these other well-known artists,” Dube reported. “There are heading to be individuals in town who know him and have no thought.”

Mann’s get the job done is methodical. He transformed his now-developed son’s bedroom into a studio but admitted it’s an environment that probable only works for him. He sketches every piece out with colored pencils and then operates from people sketches. Mann does not use an easel and as an alternative prefers to lay the canvas flat and paint from higher than. He also commonly rotates the canvas as he’s doing the job, which signifies that when every piece is done, it can be considered no make a difference how it’s hung.

In simple fact, for the approaching show, Mann even fashioned a mechanism for each individual portray that will allow them to be rotated, 90 degrees at a time, so they can be considered four different approaches.


Dube claimed though Bowdoinham has transformed and grown about the very last a number of a long time, the town even now has a solid contingent of creatives.

“You just can’t throw a paintbrush without hitting an artist,” he stated.

As soon as the exhibit is reside, Mann will acquire his location between them, officially.

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