SOUTH-WEST PORT – Poet and photographer Martha Andrews Donovan, a teacher at the College of the Atlantic, spent three years collaborating with her longtime friend, painter Tracy Baker-White, on a project that has become Light, Sky, Land and Edges: A Collaboration Between Painter and Poet. This exhibition is now on display at the Wendell Gilley Museum until October 30.
Using one of Andrews Donovan’s photographs of a coastal or wooded location in Maine as initial inspiration, the two took up a brush and a pen to interpret what they felt and observed. Baker-White rendered the scenes in oil while Andrews Donovan distilled his reaction into poems that accompany each painting.
Andrews Donovan is a published poet, award-winning essayist, and writing teacher. After many years of teaching writing at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, she now teaches writing at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. She’s also a photographer who made the decision in 2016, when she moved to Mount Desert Island, to photograph something beautiful every day.
“There is such beauty, such savagery, here on this island where the sea tells its story and I rush over the granite and the changing light, changing days draw me in,” said Andrews Donovan.
Baker-White devoted herself full time to painting after a long career teaching art museums. Her paintings focus on the landscapes of Maine, the Berkshires in western Massachusetts where she lives, and France. She has exhibited in juryed exhibitions in Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island, and her work can be seen in Maine at the Gilley and the Somes Gallery Sound.
There will be an online event with the two artists on Saturday, October 9, starting at 7 p.m. The event is free but registration is required at www.wendellgilleymusuem.org/events.
Conversation at the end of the day
Through Martha Andrews Donovan
How calm the end of the day is, the addiction
to hear the soft voice of the other –
the water meets the quay, the wrecks
and a jet of clouds pouring into the night.
The sailboats turn towards each other –
such tenderness, such stillness, at the end.
The earth teaches us this: listen carefully.
Can I be as still as this hushed evening?
I hear the sound of desire in the sea.