WASHINGTON — The Family Tree Art Show by artist Cynthia McGuirl is on display through Saturday, Dec. 31 at Gibbs Library at 40 Old Union Road.

A reception to met the artist will take place 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, where McGuirl will give a short talk at 2:30 about the stories behind the paintings, according to a news release from Patti Forster at the library.

Artist Statement: Family Tree explores themes of place and personality. These oil paintings, created over the last year, started with old family photos of Armenian Genocide survivors and new photos of Maine locations where I like to hike. I think of myself as an expressionistic painter and work in an intuitive way combining real and imagined imagery.

The triptych “On the Roof” features portraits of my Grandmother, Great-Aunt and their maternal Aunt in Cuba in 1929. They were Armenian refugees recently arrived from central Turkey. After 10+ years of witnessing and surviving the brutal Genocide, they had arrived at a place of relative safety, Cuba, a small island halfway around the world. I tried to capture their variety of emotions at such momentous life changes.

McGuirl, a lifelong artist, has been creating in Maine over the last 40 years. McGuirl attended art school, which saved her life, moved to Maine, which saved her soul, and pursued a career as a functional hand weaver. A series of intense dreams about her ancestors lead McGuirl to seek a more narrative mode of expression which manifested as printmaking, book arts and oil painting.

Recent exhibits include a solo show, “Old Maid” at the Hedgerow Gallery in Tenants Harbor, and “Unspoken Word,” a group exhibit by Midcoast Maine Book Arts at the Blue Hill Library in Blue Hill.


In the winter 2020, McGuirl’s piece “Old Maid” was featured in the Union of Maine Visual Artists Journal. She teaches book arts and marbling at various
locations and at her studio in Thomaston.

Library hours are 4-7 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m.-noon and 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays, 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays.

For more information, contact Forster at 207-845-2663 or i[email protected].


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