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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Center for Maine Contemporary Art

The CMCA is housed in a wonderful old building in Rockport, on the harbor but high above it, like all the best houses in Rockport are. The back windows look down on the water, and I, philistine art lover, did too. The artist on show, Linden Frederick, is wonderful, with realistic paintings of iconically ordinary scenes around New England, but the view of the harbor competes, I'm afraid, with even the best of painters.

It was a special opening for members of the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, and thus was the best of Maine's culture on display within the space of an hour: beautiful paintings in a thrilling setting, land preservation as represented by the good staff and members of the CMLT, and a fine poetry reading by the Trust's development director Kristen Lindquist.

We were near the Center yesterday as well, but in not quite so dignified a way. Having been emboldened by the sight of the sun (first sighting all week), we decided to take one of our favorite walks through Rockport; two-thirds of the way along, black clouds boiled up in the west, and a leisurely walk along Mechanic Street became a power walk, then a race walk, and when the first drops started to fall around the vicinity of the CMCA, a trot. When people who don't ever run, try to - well, let's say it was not exactly poetry in motion. A Picasso or a Braque might be successful with our flailing angles, but any realist watching from the big open doors of the Center would collapse laughing. We got back to the car slightly soaked, greatly panting. No one saw. We were safe from posterity's view.

Except that the dog, panting but slightly, thought it was all great postmodern fun and grinned happily at us.

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