Dan Kany wrote a review of the exhibition “Darkness and the Light” at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art this summer. Of course, any artist who exhibits publicly is pleased to be reviewed, especially by a premier critic in a premier publication. And so, I was delighted to see Dan’s review Aug. 25.

But it goes far beyond that. First of all, it brought people into the gallery. Many Mainers and visitors alike said that they came into the gallery because of the review. Visual art can’t have an effect on people if it’s not seen, so one could say the the review did its job having accomplished only this.

Perhaps more importantly, though, it gave them a way of “seeing” the work that they would not have had without having read the review. As the curator, I can say that a major consideration in everything we did was to create an opportunity for viewers to enter the gallery, visit the work and leave with a different sense of the world. Dan’s review gave people some “tools” for looking at the work and for personalizing their experiences. After having seen the show, they might see the night sky differently, or think about clear-cutting differently, or encounter shadows in a more engaged way.

I’m very grateful to the Portland Press Herald for its continuing coverage of the arts in Portland and the state. It has long been a thread that stitches together the arts community and the greater Maine community.

Lissa Hunter


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