USM Art Galleries Gorham and Portland

Daniel Minter Exhibition: Malaga Island

Exhibition Dates: October 4-December 9 at the USM Art Gallery in Gorham. Panel Discussion: Oct 18, 4:30-6:30 pm, 10 Bailey Hall, followed by a reception at Art Gallery. Gallery hours: Wednesday and Thursday: noon-6 pm, Friday-Sunday: noon-4 pm. More Gallery info

Malaga Island is a small island on the coast of Maine that in 1912 the State purchased, ordered the mixed-race fishing community to leave, removed the buildings and exhumed the cemetery. USM Artist-in-Residence Daniel Minter, known for his visual storytelling, recalls this complex story with paintings, assemblage, and a small house in the gallery filled with historical photographs and archeological artifacts relaying a sense of place, loss, emptiness, and wholeness. Minter states: I imagine that the people of Malaga Island were able to maintain the sense of an inner home even at a time when every outward representation of home was being taken away. The image of the person standing in the water; the turbulent calm of the body and visage are reminders that in the face of eradication we may disappear but our spirits are not diminished. Our physical home is shallow whereas the depth of our inner home cannot be measured. This exhibition is part of Daniel Minter’s USM artist residency during the fall of 2018. We thank The Warren Memorial Foundation for their sponsorship of this residency.

Minter's artwork reflects abiding themes of displacement and diaspora; ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home. Minter’s paintings, carvings, blockprints and sculptures have been exhibited both nationally and internationally at galleries and museums including the Portland Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Bates College, Hammonds House Museum, Northwest African American Art  Museum, Museum Jorge Amado and the Meridian International Center.

Minter also lived in Chicago and New York before moving to Portland, Maine where  he now resides. From his base in Maine, Minter uses his art as a tool for dialogue with hiscommunity. He is the co-founder and creative visionary of the Portland Freedom Trail,a system of granite and bronze markers that constitutes a permanent walking trailhighlighting the people, places and events associated with the anti-slavery movement in Portland. Minter was selected by The Partners of the Americas, having been chosen for their artist exchange program with Natal, Brazil in 2012. Minter’s additional recognitions include the James Washington Jr. sculptor-in-residence (Seattle, WA) and the Sapelo Island artist-in-
residence (Sapelo Island, GA).

Daniel Minter has public studio drop-in hours on Wednesdays 12:30-4:30 pm in the Artist-in-Residence studio in the Academy Building on the Gorham campus until the end of his residency on October 23.