Originally published in Compass, November 21, 2012
Author to sign books at Courthouse Gallery
Author and art critic Carl Little will do a book signing for his new book The Art of Francis Hamabe at the annual Holiday Open House at Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth on Wednesday, December 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. Little will also present a slide talk based on the book at the Bangor Public Library on Thursday, December 6, at 6 p.m. The Library event is co-sponsored by Courthouse Gallery Fine Art.
The Art of Francis Hamabe covers the life and work of one of Maine’s most beloved artists, according to a news release. Born in 1917 in Orange, New Jersey, to a Japanese father and Swedish mother, Hamabe served in World War II and subsequently attended the Rhode Island School of Design. Moving to Maine in 1947, he established himself as a sought-after painter, printmaker, ceramicist, and puppeteer. He was the first art instructor at the Farnsworth Art Museum and later taught at the University of Maine at Machias. Hamabe also served as art director for Down East and Maine Life magazines and for the state’s first public television station in Orono.
In his talk, Little will offer a selection of Hamabe’s work, from modernist oil paintings and lively Sumi ink abstractions to his well-known screen-print posters of Maine villages. Vintage photographs and examples of Hamabe’s witty and stylish graphic work will also be featured, along with work by some of his contemporaries, including Vincent Hartgen, William Kienbusch and Margaret Manter.
Little has written a number of art books, most recently Island: Paintings by Tom Curry. His book Eric Hopkins: Above and Beyond won the first John N. Cole Prize from Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He contributes articles to ARTnews, Art New England, Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors and Island Journal. The Art of Francis Hamabe was published by Marshall Wilkes Publishers (Ellsworth, Maine 2012) and designed by Karin Wilkes, director of Courthouse Gallery. For information, call 667-6611.