Collaborative Mural Project

February 16, 2024

On View Now at Page Gallery

Collaborative Mural Project After Janet Fish’s Cartwheel

Tables wrapped in brown paper, a rainbow of paints, and a selection of brushes, scissors, glue, and collage materials greeted twenty young artists gathered in the warmth of Page Gallery’s collaborative studio space at 23 Bay View Street in Camden. Each February, the gallery gives its walls over to the children of the community for its Youth Art Exhibition. This year’s prompt is to create a piece of art depicting those ordinary objects around us in a still life.

Prominently displayed on a wall of its own, measuring more than 4 feet high and 8 feet wide, the mural is a featured work in the show. As children settled around long work tables, the gallery’s owner, Colin Page, distributed panels and provided an overview of the artist and work selected this year. The children, ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old, would recreate a mural after Janet Fish’s painting, Cartwheel. Born into a family of artists, Fish’s mother was a potter and sculptor, her grandfather an Impressionist painter, and her uncle a woodcarver. Janet always knew she wanted to be an artist. Growing up in Bermuda, she was surrounded by light. Fish’s father would dig up old glass bottles and place them in the windows of her family home. Fish has noted that these early influences led to the vibrant paintings of commonplace items, rendering reflective objects with light and color for which she is best known. Fish’s work can be found in the permanent collections of major museums nationwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and Farnsworth Art Museum.

Over two Sunday sessions, each child worked on a section of Fish’s Cartwheel painting, a colorful scene of oranges spilling out of a richly textured plaid bag, potato chips and pinwheels strewn across a picnic table with neighborly figures in the background, and a girl mid-cartwheel bringing movement and energy to the scene. Like pieces of a puzzle, once complete, their individual efforts would be hung together to reveal the full painting.

The atmosphere in the gallery was welcoming and fun as the artists got to work. The children would break from time to time, gathering ideas from their peers and noticing the shapes, colors, and textures repeated throughout the painting. Daunted by Fish’s meticulous handling of a mesh bag full of oranges, several young artists searched the collage supplies and found treasure – a clementine bag to collage over their richly painted fruit! “I look forward to hanging this show every year,” says owner Colin Page. “We hope projects like this inspire creativity and empower the young artists in our community for years to come.”

The text accompanying the exhibit encourages visitors to explore the Farnsworth Art Museum in neighboring Rockland to see Fish’s 2005 Fruit Juice Glasses painting in person. “The Farnsworth’s collection is a resource and asset to our community. It is always a pleasure to partner with Page Gallery, support their efforts for Youth Art Month, and have work on view to inspire their participants.”

The Youth Art Exhibition will be on display through February 29th. Gallery visitors are invited to participate in activities stationed throughout the exhibition, including a community collage, weaving, shadow tracing, and paper-cutting activities. In collaboration with the Camden Public Library, the children’s librarian will convene a Creative Art Afternoon in the gallery from 4:00-5:00 pm on Thursday, February 22nd. This program is free, and the public is welcome to attend.
image credit:
row 1: Ruben Van Hoewyk, Avery Redfern, Alex Johnson, Madison Surbey, Izzy Allen
row 2: Margaret Holland-McCabe, Marcelline Bernardo, Ada Bok, Nyima Smith, Kathleen Porter
row 3: Lucy Morgenstern, Deacon Seyfried, Finley Holland-McCabe, Dakota Surbey, Nell Porter
row 4: Angus MacDermid, Audrey Page, Hazel Page, Catrina Smith, Helen Bok
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Header Image Courtesy of 16 Bay View

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VISIT US INRockland
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VISIT US INCamden
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Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.

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