December 3, 2012

The art doctors

Fine-art conservators Bonnie and Domenico Mattozzi treat each of their 'patients' with equal care, be it a high-priced work by a famous painter or one man's beloved hunting camp heirloom.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

click image to enlarge

Project MEAC founders Domenico and Bonnie Mattozzi, whose nonprofit conserves 200 to 300 paintings a year. Some come from museums and libraries, but most belong to private citizens.

Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Senior conservator Katrina Jacques cleans a painting at the Maine Project for Fine Art Conservation, a painting restoration and conservation nonprofit in Portland.

Additional Photos Below

MAINE PROJECT FOR FINE ART CONSERVATION OPEN HOUSE

WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday as part of First Friday ArtWalk

WHERE: 142 High St., suite 420, Portland

HOW MUCH: Free

INFO: projectmeac.org

That changed last year when they became a nonprofit entity. As a nonprofit, they were able to apply for grants.

Both the Davis Family Foundation and the Quimby Family Foundation awarded grants. The Quimby grant stipulated that the Mattozzis provide a certain amount of public education. The open studio for the art walk satisfies part of that requirement.

Project MEAC is also committed to educating young conservators. Currently, they have two interns.

It's an old-world trade with roots that go back centuries. The Mattozzis enjoy passing their skills on to a new generation.

One of their interns, Aubin White, is from Freeport. She studied environmental science at the University of Maine in Farmington, and is working toward a degree in art history at USM.

White was thrilled to be able to study this field so close to home. She assumed she would have to move to Boston or another big city to do this work.

But mostly, the Mattozzis enjoy the sense of discovery that occurs when someone brings in a painting.

Like the portrait of a client's ancestor that came in a few weeks ago.

The old man was propped on an easel, looking dignified but tired. The painting had been neglected. The colors were dull and muted.

Bonnie Mattozzi could hardly wait to get started.

"Let's see what we can do for him," she said. "He's really important to his family. He deserves special treatment."

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

bkeyes@pressherald.com

Twitter: pphkeyes

 

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Katrina Jacques cleans a painting in Project MEAC’s quarters in the State Theatre Building on High Street in Portland.

click image to enlarge

Katrina Jacques cleans a painting in Project MEAC’s quarters in the State Theatre Building on High Street in Portland.

click image to enlarge

Katrina Jacques cleans a painting in Project MEAC’s quarters in the State Theatre Building on High Street in Portland.



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