January 13, 2013

The new flat-earth society

Two friends from Portland have taken the theme of Thomas Friedman’s book 'The World Is Flat' and applied it to an edgy trans-Atlantic art show.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Jeff Badger, in his studio on the SMCC campus in South Portland, has put together an exchange of work by American and Spanish artists that he hopes will foster “meaningful, real-life connections toward a more peaceful world.”

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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“Overlooking the Edge of Earth” by Anne Buckwalter of Maine, 2012, gouache and pencil on paper.

Courtesy photo

Additional Photos Below


WHEN: Feb. 6-23, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 8

WHERE: Rose Contemporary, 492 Congress St., Portland


INFO: rosecontemporary.com; tetraprojects.blogspot.com

This show is perfect for his present mind-set because of his interest in what he calls dynamic interactions between artists and within communities.

What has been most appealing is that this exhibition has come together mostly seamlessly. There have been a lot of details to attend to, but not a lot of angst.

McCreight made a poster for the show, which is being sold to raise money to cover the cost of shipping art overseas. He arranged the gallery space in Madrid, and Badger approached his SMCC colleague Virginia Rose about using her gallery, Rose Contemporary, for the Portland show.

They both recruited artists by talking among friends. It's very DIY, McCreight said.

For Badger, the show has been rewarding because it allows him to continue his work as an art ambassador. While this is the second international show he has coordinated, it's the third exchange he's helped promote in Portland.

In 2011, he and an artist friend from Santa Fe, N.M., put a show together that reached out to artists in six communities across the United States. Each city had a different vibe and feel. In Detroit, it was hung in a former meat-packing plant. In Santa Fe, it was a high-end gallery. In Portland, Badger arranged the show at a small waterfront gallery.

The show spurred Badger to create an umbrella organization that he calls Tetra Projects. It supports collaborative experimental art and media projects between diverse artistic communities.

That led to the Greece show and now to "This Flat Earth." Badger is talking about a 2014 show in Japan with Portland's sister city of Shinagawa, and he would like to pursue art projects with Portland's other sister cities in Russia and Haiti.

The goal is simple, he said.

"We have such a great artistic community here, but oftentimes it can be a bit of a closed circle -- artists presenting their work to the same audience," Badger said. "I wanted to share our art scene with the rest of the U.S. and the world, and I wanted to bring the artwork of other communities to Portland, with the hopes of an exponential benefit through exchange."

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


Twitter: pphbkeyes


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Additional Photos

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“Une Catastrophe Passant a l’Atelier” (“A Catastrophe Passing a Workshop”) by Justin Richel of Maine, 2012, mixed media, gouache on cut paper and ink jet collage.

Courtesy photo

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Jeff McCreight has put together an exchange of work by American and Spanish artists that he hopes will foster “meaningful, real-life connections toward a more peaceful world.”

Courtesy photo

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“Totem” by Eduardo Bertone of Spain, above, 2012, mixed media.

Courtesy photo

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“Masa Fina” (“Thin Crust”) by Tono of Spain, 2012

Courtesy photo

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“After, After” by Jeff McCreight, aka Rubicon1, of Maine and Madrid, 2012

Photo courtesy of Fernando Escribano

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