The eleven artists in “Eastern Argus: One Hundred Eyes” explore real and imagined worlds with a mythological slant and a guardianship of ancient forms of art making.
Inspired by intriguing tales in the Eastern Argus, a now defunct Portland, Maine newspaper, the exhibit was planned with work reflecting themes familiar in myth and created with materials used across centuries. The mix includes primordial, abstract, or stark designs; figurative or embellished visions, bursts of light and sudden threatening darkness.
Similar to the many-eyed perspective of Argus the mythological giant with 100 eyes, the artists depict their own ideas of myth and its relationship to true experience or invented truths, much like ancient storytellers who gave their own spin to the folkloric tales they told.
Most of the selected artists have roots in New England either through hometowns or schools attended, with a preponderance from Downeast Portland and the Rhode Island School of Design. They are Timothy Powers Wilson and Jeremy Enecio, Jessica Towns George, Morgan Blair, Pat Corrigan, Jasper Goodrich, Heather McPherson, Shon Mahoney, Nicholas Bach, Nathan Schiel and Meghan Howland.
The Arcadian Argus was called All-Seeing, a giant who was watchful and alert. Today his name is attached to a camera, a surveillance system , a DC comics character, a bionic eye, a computer game, and monitoring software. The artists selected for EASTERN ARGUS: ONE HUNDRED EYES share in this watchfulness, monitoring carefully what they see with a mere twenty-two eyes.
Peter J. Ketchum
August 24, 2013