Downeast Institute (DEI) has acquired fifteen paintings depicting the people, places and occupations of Jonesport and Beals by renowned artist Robert Beck. The Jonesport-Beals Collection will be on permanent display in the Downeast Institute’s new conference room.
DEI’s Director of Research Dr. Brian Beal says Beck’s paintings of local trade, people, and events are an honest and caring depiction of life in our downeast coastal communities. “DEI isn’t simply about growing shellfish. We are helping to maintain and grow a way of life that has sustained coastal Maine for hundreds of years. Mr. Beck’s artwork serves as a visual reminder of all that we are working towards for Maine’s future. We are so happy to have acquired these paintings for all who visit DEI to enjoy.”
Beck, who is sometimes referred to as a documentary painter, has created more than a hundred images of life along the Maine coast, with a focus on Jonesport and Beals, a region that concentrates on fishing, not tourism. “This series examines the many aspects of how life is lived in the working towns and villages along the Maine coast,” said the artist. “The body of paintings as a whole reveals small truths about the individuals, the community, and each of us, regardless of where we are from.”
“Art is a language built on common human experiences and understandings, and it is the most powerful means we have of sharing ideas,” continued Beck. “I have an appreciation for the way of life here in Jonesport and Beals and painted people while they worked -in some cases getting the same fish spatter on me.” Beck painted a piece in the DEI hatchery to complete the collection. “The painting presents the research and education done at DEI as another facet of life on the Maine coast. The Downeast Institute and the fishing community are in it together, working toward a common purpose: that better life.”
Robert Beck’s paintings are part of many museum collections, including one at the Maine Maritime Museum in Searsport. His work has been included in invitational exhibitions throughout the eastern United States, as well as 30 solo art exhibits and 50 juried exhibitions. For more information see www.robertbeck.net.