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Blue Hill Library May Art Show: Kaityln Metcalf
May 1 - May 31
Starting Saturday, May 1, the Blue Hill Public Library will be displaying the paintings of local artist Kaitlyn Metcalf in the Britton Gallery and Howard Room for the month of May. The exhibit will feature paintings from Kaitlyn’s newest collection, Nudibranchs, as well as select pieces from her Century One: Acadia series – two very unique and distinct bodies of work that showcase the artist’s talent and range of painting abilities.
So what is a nudibranch? Nudibranchs are sea slug-like animals. Typically measuring no larger than 3 inches, Kaitlyn has painted these creatures using acrylics, gold leaf and an array of glass glitter on large canvases, allowing the viewer an enhanced perspective of these small, yet powerful beings.
According to the artist, “When COVID-19 began spreading, I found myself on a boat, diving off the shores of Thailand and Indonesia. Diving is an otherworldly experience. Underwater ecosystems exist even if we are not there to witness them. On this trip, I couldn’t help but feel the contrast of these two worlds, above and below. Neither feeling dependent or concerned about the other, but in reality, critically intertwined.
“As I would float through the water the creature I searched for most is the nudibranch, a tiny, difficult to find, brightly colored sea slug; these animals intrigue me beyond their beauty. Nudibranchs consume toxic creatures like jellyfish and anemone, from which they derive their vivid color. A nudibranch can store their victim’s venom, transferring it from their gut to their skin, sometimes increasing their own toxicity, but often only giving the illusion of harm. It seems extraordinary that they can ingest poison from another and turn it into something beneficially beautiful.
I am inspired by their ability to absorb the dangers in their environment, quietly converting it into something sensational. By observing nudibranchs on a large scale, the viewer can feel as if they are floating with these small but powerful creatures. As a painter engaging in an ever-changing environment, I choose to use the negativity that seems so prevalent in the world right now to create something bizarrely beautiful as a sign of hope that toxic transformations are within our reach.”
In addition, a selection of paintings from the artist’s Century One: Acadia series will be on display, giving viewers a chance to travel back in time and explore the rich history of Acadia National Park. To celebrate Acadia’s 100th birthday, Kaitlyn created 100 paintings inspired by objects and images found in local archives, including those of Acadia National Park. The paintings showcase well known scenes, along with hidden gems from the park’s history that viewers are sure to find surprising and intriguing.
All are welcome to visit the exhibit in the Britton Gallery and Howard Room, but it will also be available for viewing online in the library’s virtual gallery at www.bhpl.net/exhibits.
For more information about Kaitlyn Metcalf and her paintings, visit: www.MossKeepStudio.com.