Mckenna and her Camera Exhibit Press Release

The Penobscot Marine Museum and Waterfall Arts Present: The Midcoast Maine Art Scene: 1987 – 2002 An Exhibition of Rare Photographs and Iconic Artworks

Belfast — June 5, 2024 — In collaboration with the Penobscot Marine Museum, Waterfall Arts, located at 256 High Street, Belfast, Maine, is delighted to announce the opening of a unique and captivating summer exhibition, “McKenna and Her Camera: The Midcoast Maine Art Scene, 1987 – 2002,” on view from June 27 to September 2, 2024, and showcasing Peggy McKenna’s previously unexhibited photographs of nationally known artists who made Maine’s midcoast their creative haven beginning in the late 1950s.

McKenna’s work—alongside paintings, sculptures, and quilts—reveals a recent chapter in Maine’s long history of attracting artists. This exhibit also pairs two visual art realms: never-before-shown photographs of nationally known artists alongside works by the artists themselves.

 “McKenna and Her Camera” embodies an extraordinary opportunity for collaboration between two pivotal cultural institutions in midcoast Maine. Drawing on the extensive photographic collections of the Penobscot Marine Museum and the artistic connections of Waterfall Arts, the exhibition brings together a large team of artists and community members throughout the region. While midcoast Maine is brimming with creative talent in all areas of art, the history of these artists’ migration to the area remains largely untold.

McKenna’s body of work helps to fill this gap—her archive of over 100,000 pieces, including negatives, slides, prints, contact sheets, CDs, and published articles, was entrusted to her long-time friend Wendy Rowland, who donated it to the Penobscot Marine Museum. The museum, home to the largest archive of historic photos in Maine, has the expertise and facilities to organize, re-house, digitize, and permanently store this vast collection. For the past seven years, volunteers have worked diligently under staff direction to ensure the McKenna Collection is safely housed and accessible to the public. These remarkable photographs are compelling both as individual works of art and as a significant documentary record of an important chapter in the history of American art.

McKenna moved to Montville in 1972 and soon became a vibrant and beloved part of the community. Her specialties in photojournalism and portraiture earned her the respect of many artists, who often chose her to create their portraits. McKenna’s archive brilliantly documents the faces and personalities of key figures in the Midcoast Maine art scene, which had a considerable impact on the history of American art. This exhibit will include 34 of her artist portraits, featuring notable names such as Alex Katz, Katherine Bradford, Lois Dodd, Linden Frederick, Yvonne Jacquette, and Rudy Burckhardt. Each portrait will be paired with a work by that artist.

“The exhibit is designed to be educational and inspirational for all ages, showcasing some of the nationally-known artists who chose to create their best works in Maine. As a destination for youth camps across the state, engaging a wide range of young people in visual thinking strategies and discussions, encouraging critical thinking, close observation, and shedding light on issues of identity and stereotypes, is always our goal” says Amy Tingle, Program Director at Waterfall Arts.

OPENING RECEPTION: MCKENNA AND HER CAMERA The opening reception for the summer exhibition, “McKenna and Her Camera: The Midcoast Maine Art Scene: 1987 – 2002,” will be held on June 27 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm EDT. This event is free and open to the public.

To find out more and RSVP, visit Waterfall Arts.

For more information, please contact: Waterfall Arts 256 High Street, Belfast, Maine info@waterfallarts.org (207) 338-2222, or visit https://waterfallarts.org/experience-art/exhibitions/

About Waterfall Arts:
Waterfall Arts is a community arts center dedicated to creating community in harmony with nature through the transformative power of the arts.

About Penobscot Marine Museum:
Penobscot Marine Museum, founded in 1936, is Maine’s oldest maritime museum, offering a variety of exhibits, programs, and educational activities centered around the state’s rich maritime heritage. Visit https://penobscotmarinemuseum.org/traveling-exhibits/ to learn more.

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