The Star-Herald

DACF chooses Allagash Wilderness Waterway artist

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has announced the selection of Michael Vermette as the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Visiting Artist for 2020. 

DACF initiated its AWW Visiting Artist Program to celebrate the long-standing tradition of artists capturing the Allagash’s beauty and solitude.

Vermette, based in Old Town, is a full-time artist and part-time teacher. He holds a BFA in painting and has been painting in oil, watercolor, and pastel for over 45 years. He has won numerous awards, and his paintings are in private collections globally.

Vermette will spend two weeks immersed in the Allagash beauty at the Waterway’s Lock Dam Cabin. During his stay, he will hold an open studio session and a public program. His goal is to explore the Maine wilderness and paint it in plein air. In painting the bold and spectacular Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Vermette intends to capture imagery that would imprint itself on the Maine consciousness.

“We received world-class applications,” stated Amanda Beal, DACF Commissioner. “The quantity and breadth made judging a joy, and it was a privilege to be introduced to the work of so many talented people.”

“The response to our call for artists was truly amazing,” commented Matt LaRoche, AWW Superintendent. “We received 130 applications, many from Maine, from across the US and as far away as India.”

The artist selection process included a team of DACF judges reviewing each of the applications. Selection criteria included judging proposal thoroughness, quality of artwork samples, and open studio concepts. 

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