SKOWHEGAN — Fresh from a nine-day murder trial and the guilty verdict of Robert Burton in Bangor this month, Assistant Attorney General John Alsop on Sunday turned to another side of life, where an art show featuring some of his oil paintings opened with a reception in Skowhegan.

The show, Not Just Another Pretty Picture, will run through early December at the Central Maine Artists Gallery at 77 West Front St. in Skowhegan.

Alsop, a 1974 graduate with a degree in art from Colby College in Waterville, said he always wanted to become a lawyer. He joined the Attorney General’s Office three years ago and worked on high profile cases, but art has always been a part of his life.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing it; it’s been a lot of fun, but I don’t take myself too seriously,” he said of his artwork. “I like to paint and I enjoy my job and they seem to go together – it’s fun doing both.”

Other artists in the show are Bernie Beckman, Lynne Harwood, Kevin James, Abbott and Forrest Meader, Linda Swift and Wally Warren.

Abbott Meader, of Oakland, standing near his somewhat disturbing “Witness to an Event,” where a solitary, white-faced figure stares directly out from the canvas while other people point to some event off-canvas, said the painting is in keeping with the general theme of the show.

“I tried to suggest that something rather startling is going on over here,” he said. “It’s an old cliche where they say, ‘Oh, it’s just another pretty picture – nobody’s really working hard with deep ideas or challenges here,’ so we said, OK, let take some of our ugly pictures that nobody will buy and put them up.”

Meader pointed also to one of Alsop’s paintings, titled “Turn Back, Oh Man,” where industrial pollution and the three crosses of the Crucifixion collide with a diverse crowd of people assembled in the foreground.

Gallery owner Doug Corson, who opened more than 20 years ago, said this newest art show was inspired by the Meader brothers, Abbott and Forrest, who like to say the are like radio frequencies – AM and FM.

It kind of grew out from them, Corson said, and became a group show with eight artists from the central Maine area.

“Some of the pictures may be controversial or hard to interpret and understand,” he said of the theme. “The other aspect is that there are some works that they wanted to show which have seldom been on display. Some are not for sale and just that the artist wanted to get (them) out and have (them) seen because they haven’t been out for awhile.”

Gallery visits are Wednesdays 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through Dec. 2.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367, or at:

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Twitter: Doug_Harlow