The Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport reopens this week with the 2010 Biennial Juried Exhibition. The show features the work of 41 artists who are from Maine or have strong ties to the state.

The exhibition is the first at CMCA since it laid off most of its staff and closed its doors for the winter amid the blizzard of a financial crisis. The exhibition opens Saturday and runs through July 17.

Also on view at CMCA will be photographs by Meggan Gould. Her exhibition, “Verso/Recto,” consists of two interrelated groups of conceptual photographs that examine the presence of words and phrases on surfaces. Gould has been teaching photography at Bowdoin College since 2006.

Her work has been exhibited in Vancouver, Bangkok, Seoul, Leipzig, San Paulo, and coast to coast in the United States. It also previously appeared in the 2008 Biennial Juried Exhibition at CMCA.
The center is at 162 Russell Ave., Rockport.

The three jurors for the biennial were New York gallery owner George Adams, Boston-based independent curator Rachael Arauz and Belfast artist Dennis Pinette. They considered more than 2,500 pieces of art submitted by 654 artists.
About half of the artists will make their debut at CMCA.

Bruce Brown, curator emeritus at CMCA, curated the show. In a preface to the show catalog, he wrote, “The concept of open juried competitions for Maine artists is a hallowed one at CMCA, harkening back to 1978 when director Ben Goldsmith presented the first Maine Coast Artists, as CMCA was first known, annual juried exhibition.”

Painting is the most prevalent medium in this show. Visitors will see paintings by Janice Anthony, Elizabeth Awalt, Bill Barton, Christopher Baker, George Bayliss, Thomas Connolly, Rebecca Daugherty, Nicole Duennebier, Deborah Ellis, Jessica George, April Hannah, Connie Hayes, John Lorence, Ann Mohnkern, James Mullen, Linda Murray, Alison Rector, Ken Sahr, Claire Seidl, Bridget Spaeth and Heather Thayer.

Other media represented include paper, photography, fabric, installations and sculpture.

Case Conover, Kenny Cole, Susan Cooney, Kenneth Deprez, Cassie Jones, James Marshall and Scott Reed are represented by works on paper. Michael Alpert, Richard Barnett, Tillman Crane, Linda Griffith, Robert Rainey and Todd Watts are the selected photographers. Fabric, on-site installations and sculpture are represented by Carrie Dickason, Gabriella D’Italia, Jay Gibson, Robin Mandel, Shannon Rankin, Justin Richel and Celeste Roberge.

CMCA has scheduled two panel discussions. At 2 p.m. June 20, Roberge of South Portland, Cassie Jones of Brunswick and Todd Watts of Blanchard will lead the discussion. At 2 p.m. July 11, Jim Mullen of Brunswick, Carrie Dickason of Deer Isle and Jessica George of Peaks Island will discuss how the landscape informs their approaches to making art.

Gould will discuss her work at 2 p.m. June 27.

A reception for the artists will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, at which time the jurors will announce the Juror’s Choice Award. This gives the winning artist an opportunity to have a solo exhibition at CMCA in 2011.

After Saturday’s opening, CMCA will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

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