Our Cover Artist: Philip Barter

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth will present a solo exhibition for Philip Barter from June 21 to July 22, 2017. The Gallery will also host a book launch and signing for Philip Barter: Forever Maine on Wednesday, July 12, from 4-7pm. 

When, in his twenties, Philip Barter discovered Marsden Hartley, he felt a calling: to further the vision of the great American modernist. This was an ambitious undertaking for a brash, self-taught artist from Boothbay, Maine, but Barter’s passion for Maine and its fiercely independent people gave his work a unique, unencumbered vision. Barter spent the next half-century painting the landscape of his home state, becoming the “painter laureate” of the region.

By the early 1990s, Barter had come into his own, and was receiving widespread critical acclaim. He was given a twenty-five year retrospective at the Bates College Museum of Art in 1992. A feature in Down East magazine followed, and Barter went national when, in January 1995, Tim Sample highlighted Barter’s life in one of his “Postcards from Maine” segments on the CBS Sunday Morning program hosted by Charles Kuralt. Barter’s work has been widely collected throughout his career and is included in numerous private and public collections, including the Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, and Bates College Museum of Art.

Philip Barter: Forever Maine by Carl Little highlights a selection of masterful works that reflect Barter’s increasingly abstract inclinations in depicting Maine landscapes. Of his narrative paintings Barter says, “The narratives I paint are historical documents of the characters of Maine and the places they frequent, a roguishly, independent people whom I seek out, and try to be with, and who make this place I know the one-of-a kind place it is – forever Maine.”

Courthouse Gallery is housed in Ellsworth’s historic courthouse, built in 1834 and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Owners Karin and Michael Wilkes represent established artists whose work can be found in major collections nationally, emerging artists, and selected estates, including Deer Isle artist Emily Muir.

For gallery hours, call (207) 667-6611 or visit www.courthousegallery.com.