A painting of Prouts Neck, part of a stop motion animation, by artist Zach Horn. Zach Horn

Inspired by famous Maine artist Winslow Homer, UMass Boston art professor and artist Zach Horn has created an exclusive contemporary art exhibit for the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, opening this Saturday.

“We are honored that Zach Horn has created these works specifically for the Maine Maritime Museum to exhibit,” wrote the museum’s new Executive Director Chris Timm in a press release. “Horn’s paintings capture the essence of Winslow Homer while adding his own unique twist. Horn’s approach to his art is grounded in the everyday experiences of being in nature but does not forget all the little things that go into making a visit to Maine’s coast so special.”

Having first visited Maine as a child, then as an art student and now as a father, Horn said his show is about love and Maine.

“I come to Maine with people that I care about. We joke, eat and swim. This artwork is trying to capture the essence of those experiences,” said Horn in a press release.

Horn combined his love of Maine and his desire to re-imagine the work of American painter Winslow Homer, by visiting Prouts Neck, Maine, where Homer’s art studio still resides.

A still of Prouts Neck, from a stop motion animation by artist Zach Horn. Zach Horn

Regarded as one of the greatest American painters of the 19th century, Winslow Homer is best known for his nautical landscapes.


“The work I’m most inspired by is the work he did at the end of his life. The last bunch of paintings are really elemental, with waves smashing into rocks,” said Horn.

After spending days studying the waves on the cliffs of Prouts Neck, Horn said Homer’s version of Maine “didn’t exist.”

With further study, he found Homer had manipulated the time and point of view in most of his paintings. Horn said the waves’ point of impact, sea spray and water drainage are happening simultaneously in Homer’s paintings, which Horn said is impossible.

This manipulation motivated Horn to create four stop motion exhibits using oil paintings, plexiglass, photographs and digital animation to show the movement of Maine’s oceans and forests.

Using 80,000 separate frames in a seven-minute long stop motion video, Horn said it took him a year to complete the work.

To make the stop motion experience feel more authentic, Horn made his installation 20 feet tall and added original audio he collected from walking in the woods and on the beaches of Maine.

A still of the Maine woods, as part of a stop motion animation by artist Zach Horn. Zach Horn

“There is a certain amount of abstraction. I’m hoping that I made it as immersive of an experience as possible, so people can feel like they are staring at the ocean and walking through the woods. If people can get lost in it or suspend their disbelief long enough, then I did my job,” said Horn.

The exhibit will be on display at the Maine Maritime Museum from June 25 through November 27.

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