“Sanford Sitting in The Sirius” by Lee Bowman. Tri-X film, archival inkjet print. Contributed / Cove Street Arts

Six photographers are exhibiting works that represent their perspectives of the Maine coastline in all conditions at Cove Street Arts in Portland this month.

“Along the Coast,” curated by Bruce Brown, one of the state’s foremost art collectors and curators, runs through May 4. Brown has been curating since the 1970s and has been a fixture at the Center for Contemporary Art in Rockport for over 20 years.

For this show, he toured exhibitions around the state and met with artists, getting to know their work. He then selected a theme and a handful of photographers to showcase, and collaborated with them to choose which pieces to display and arrange them.

“Everyone involved has a Maine connection,” he said.

“December Storm, Frenchman Bay” (1997) by Gifford Ewing. Contributed / Cove Street Arts

The show so far has been popular, he said. “The first night we had six sales by four of the artists.”

Exhibiting photographer Gifford Ewing is local to Denver, Colorado, but photographs in Maine, specializing in fine-art black and white photos. Much of his work focuses on nature scenes and landscapes. He and Brown have worked together for 40 years.


“The show as a whole represents a lot of different themes of coastal Maine,” Ewing said.

“I love photographing when it’s something other than a pretty blue sky,” he said. “I like weather, mistiness and hazy snow themes. I also love the peaceful images I get from fog and the stillness of that,” he said.

“Alger and Ernie Fishing” by Lee Bowman. Color negative film, archival inkjet print. Contributed / Cove Street Arts

Ewing said his work is “very traditional,” and he still works out of a darkroom and shoots on film.

“During my time, starting back in the 1970s, I’ve stayed on the same track,” he said. “It’s an older style, not with big splashy color and sunsets, but there’s more of a mood to it.”

Another photographer in the show, Lee Bowman, has been taking photos since he was 11 years old. After working in commercial photography in Boston, he moved to Chebeague Island where he worked as a lobsterman and captured photos along the way.

“I’ve never really stopped doing photography,” Bowman said. “I was driven by it all my life.”


Bowman was approached to do the show and said that while he’s glad to showcase his work, the act of creating and capturing photos is what motivates him.

“I’m an artist at heart and I love to create … I love it just the same as I did at 11,” he said.

“I like the feeling when you create something. It puts you in a world that’s non-egotistical,” he said. “I’m just in the moment. I’ve stayed in that place most of my creative life.”

Some of Bowman’s photos capture images of fishing and lobstering.

“Lobsters on the coast are in bad shape because the water is so warm,” he said. As the water warms, it becomes lower in oxygen, so “the lobsters will be moving farther north all the time.” He said that as time goes on, lobstering will become more of a deep sea activity.

“Surge, Ram Island Ledge Light” by Paula Laverty, archival pigment print. Contributed / Cove Street Arts

Photographer Paula Laverty also draws attention to the changing climate and importance of protecting Maine’s coastline with her work featuring more stormy seas and crashing waves.


“We have 3,500 miles of coastline and it desperately needs to be protected,” said Laverty, who was born and raised in Maine. “We’ve had horrible storms that have decimated much of the coast. It needs to be preserved in any way we can.

“I live on the ocean, and when I think of it, I think of motion and the tides coming in and out,” she said.

“I was really thrilled to be a part of the show and everyone’s work was exceptional,” she said. “Some people captured the humanity, which is wonderful, and I think I captured the motion.”

Other participating photographers are Deb Dawson, Richard Hackel and Kelli LK Haines.

More on the exhibit can be found at covestreetarts.com. The gallery is located at 71 Cove St. in Portland.

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