March 3, 2010

The sole of an artist

If the shoe fits, Kelly Jo Shows will paint it.

By Bob Keyes
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Kelly Jo Shows at home in Kennebunk with some of her shoe portraits.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Artist Jamie Wyeth's shoes painted by Kennebunk artist Kelly Jo Shows.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

She hopes her painting of Wyeth's shoes conjures the same spirited excitement that Shows felt when she made the painting.

''I can just picture Jamie on the island painting in these shoes,'' she says. ''They have holes in them, paint on them and are really worn out.''

The idea is not entirely unique. Over the years, many artists have taken on this topic for the sake of their pursuit of non-traditional portraiture. Shows' approach is different because she is targeting Maine artists, or artists with ties to Maine, for her series.

Broadway performer Leslie Giammanco, who spends time in Maine in the summer, sent along the boots she wore on stage during a six-year run of ''The Phantom of the Opera.''

Gender-bending performance artist Goldie Peacock, who also has ties to Maine, sent a shoe from her female persona and another from her male persona.

Chris Dingwell, a tattoo artist from Portland, surrendered a pair of vintage roller skates.

When she is done with the painting, Shows sends the shoes back -- although Wyeth told her not to bother. ''Keep them,'' he wrote.

At this time, Shows plans to continue the series indefinitely, although she will pause soon to show the work she has completed to date in an exhibition titled ''Shoe In'' from June 16 to July 14 at Heartwood College of Art in Kennebunk.

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


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Additional Photos

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“A Portrait of Artist Norman West”

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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“A Portrait of Actress Marcy McGuigan”

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer


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