Kennebec Downtowns: Judith Schuppien



“Kennebec Downtowns,” by Pittston painter Judith Schuppien, is on exhibit August 7 through August 30 at the Harlow Gallery in downtown Hallowell. This one-person show features new paintings of the cities along the Kennebec River, from Richmond to Bingham.  Opening Reception is Friday, August 7, 5 – 8 PM.

According to the artist, the inspiration for this exhibit came from the experience of painting Richmond last summer with some friends from the Kennebec Valley Art Association.  The historic buildings, remarkable side streets, picturesque businesses, and even the cars and trucks, were interesting to observe and challenging to reduce and simplify.  Schuppien had the idea of following the Kennebec River north to see what else might be found among the other old downtowns that line the river.  The artist said, “I discovered wonderful old buildings and bridges in Gardiner, Hallowell, Augusta, Waterville, Skowhegan, Madison.  Then there was the Laundromat in Randolph on a snowy night, major bridge construction in Norridgewock, a great little diner in Anson with a motorcycle parked out front.  And, way up there, the famous Solon Hotel, and Bingham, gateway to the great North Woods.”  Schuppien relates that finding enough subject matter for this project was never a problem.  In fact, she found the reverse was true.  The artist was so inspired by these old river towns that she could have filled the Harlow Gallery with paintings of any one of these cities alone.

About the Artist:

Judith Schuppien grew up in a small town in Washington County, Maine, and attended the local three-room high school.  After that, she went away to the University of Chicago, where she studied art and received a BFA, and some years later, an MBA.  For a long time, she worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst, but in recent years has returned to art full time.  She lives with her Chicago-born husband on the Eastern River in rural Pittston, with two cats, a small flock of chickens, and a large garden.  One of her greatest delights is painting outdoors with friends on a fine summer morning.