August 28, 2011

Ever the innovator

The art of pioneering York painter Beverly Hallam is examined in a new documentary.

By Bob Keyes
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

“Tulips on Carpet” is one of Beverly Hallam’s trademark flower paintings.

Images courtesy of Maine Masters

click image to enlarge

Artist Beverly Hallam in a 1988 photograph by Christopher Ayers.


"BEVERLY HALLAM: ARTIST AS INNOVATOR" is the 11th film in the Maine Masters series. Other artists profiled include Robert Hamilton, William Thon, Dahlov Ipcar, Alan Magee, Harold Garde, Olive Pierce, Clark FitzGerald, Lois Dodd, Stephen Pace and David Larson.

RICHARD KANE, director and producer, said several films are in the works. They include profiles of Fred Woell, David Driskell, Ashley Bryan, Yvonne Jacquette, William Irvine, Cabot Lyford, Emily Nelligan, Joe Fiore and Carlo Pittore.

IN ADDITION TO scheduled screenings across Maine, the films can be seen at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays on MPBN. The network's September schedule includes Harold Garde, Sept. 1; Alan Magee, Sept. 8; and David Larson, Sept. 22.

TO LEARN MORE about the project, visit

"That's why we called this movie 'Artist as Innovator,' " he said. "Even now, she is exploring new work on her computer. That's Bev in the 21st century. When her peers are fading into the sunset, she is doing this incredible work."


Crusan said Hallam's importance to the Ogunquit art scene cannot be overstated. Her presence in Ogunquit dates to the 1950s, when she began offering workshops in acrylics.

"She did workshops and classes, and introduced the whole concept of painting with something other than watercolors or oils. How amazing was that?" he said. "And then she got into airbrush, and people were asking, 'What the heck is an airbrush?'

"Artist as innovator -- that is her story. It fits her."

As part of their legacy, Hallam and Smart have set up a foundation that will turn their York home into a retreat for artists, scholars, critics and historians after both women die.

The Surf Point Foundation will operate as an artist-in-residence operation, allowing artists and others whose expertise relates to the field of visual arts to come to York to work and study. Hallam and Smart built their home as a residence and studio, so it's appropriate to ensure it continues in that manner after they die, Smart said.

Seated in a wheelchair, Hallam greeted visitor after visitor at the museum, shaking hands and engaging in quiet conversation. She rolled her eyes and laughed when asked if she liked all the attention.

She'd rather be back home working, she said -- although she very much appreciates the attention and kindness.

"I still work sporadically, when the spirit moves me," she said.

Her eyes sparkled at the thought.

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

Twitter: pphbkeyes


Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)



More PPH Blogs