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Talking Art in Maine, Intimate Conversations: Mark Bessire

Talking Art in Maine is a series of intimate, one on one conversations between artist, Jane Dahmen, and notable artists and curators who have made a substantial contribution to the arts in the state of Maine. They are offered free to the public.

Great changes are taking place in the Portland Art Museum! In 2015, all the art was removed from the walls and rehung by its dynamic director, Mark Bessire (Director of the Portland Museum of Art since 2009). "Museums help tell us where we’re going as a culture,” says this humble and immensely likable man.

Bessire offers provocative exhibitions at the PMA, including the opening of Winslow Homer’s studio in Prout Neck in 2012 and the blockbuster show, Weatherbeaten which has given PMA a higher national profile. In 2017 Bessire added new galleries, a study room and an outdoor sculpture garden.

"Rarely do you get to have an unmediated experience with anything in your life anymore,” says Bessire, "but museums give you that.”

About our host, Jane Dahmen. Jane is a contemporary realist artist whose recent landscapes explore the forests and coastal regions of mid coast Maine. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows both in the U.S. and abroad. One of her paintings hung in the White House in Washington D.C. during George H W and Barbara Bush's tenure, and several of her paintings were part of a show at the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia Herzegovina. Prints and posters of her paintings have been widely distributed around the world by UNICEF and Grafique de France of Paris, France. Dahmen was Maine Audubon's signature artist in 2005, and was a featured artist in the September, 2009 issue of Maine Home + Design magazine, and the Artists' Issues of 2011 and 2012.

Dahmen's work is part of numerous private and corporate collections in the United States and the UK. She has lived and worked in Newcastle, Maine since 2005. Her website is

Free and open to the public.

Presented in partnership with:

Show Dates + Times
Thu, Feb 8 @ 7 pm

Lincoln Theater