Fair and Square (or Rectangle)

There's something a little creepy and a little good about state fairs and festivals. Blame it on the ferris wheel. Blame it on the footlong sausages. Blame it on the fried dough. But for some reason, these sorts of things attract quite a cross-section of humanity.

For germ freaks, dieters and people who hate crowds, there's nothing worse. But for people-watchers — especially those who look at the world through a camera's lens — nothing could be better. Case in point: On and Off the Midway, an exhibit of photographs on view through June 13 at Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport.

This collection was assembled by one of our favorite Maine curators, Bruce Brown, and as usual, he has pulled together old favorites and people we've never heard of. The Maven's former colleagues Bridget Brown and Kate Collins of the Bangor Daily News are on the list (woo hoo!), and we're especially fond of Hope artist Dee Peppe's black and white midway images. They're classic and nostalgic and tinged with the slightest hint of sadness. They have a certain Miss Havisham quality about them — once glorious, now eccentric and faded.

In other words, they embody everything we love about fairs and festivals. Now, off to find some cotton candy.

Center for Maine Contemporary Art is located at 162 Russell Ave. in Rockport. For information, click here or call 207.236.2875.

Above image, detail from "Old Orchard Beach, 1995/2003," Dee Peppe.


Alice Goldsmith said...

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I make beautiful quilts.

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