Original Proposal

This is my initial proposal to the project. This represents the general ideas I wish to accomplish over the summer.


Student: Evan Farley 2011

Professor: Wiebke Theodore

Summer 2010

Having been deeply involved in the visual arts program at Bowdoin College, I have come to make academic course choices and career-related summer and semester decisions that reflect my passion for drawing, painting, and architecture. At Bowdoin I have taken some very influential courses in Painting, Public Art, Architecture, and am currently enrolled in Portraiture related to identity of the individual, and an independent study involving the preservation of a 19th century freight shed. Just this past summer, I was accepted into the Career Discovery Architecture Program at Harvard University, which consisted of a vigorous 6-week architecture and design curriculum. This program allowed me to explore the design process and receive critical feedback about my work.  Directly following this experience I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, under the Danish Institute for Study Abroad where I was enrolled in a program focusing on architecture and structural design. Studying in this historical city introduced me to a whole new level of architecture first hand.

Project Proposal:

Maine has a significant heritage of traditional industries along its many hundreds of miles of coastline. Though the state has a postcard reputation as the “Vacationland,” what is less understood is the progressive deindustrialization and current threat to livelihoods of local coastal communities. Along with the loss of coastal job opportunities, the buildings essential to these industries are too losing their structural integrity and community importance. These buildings in themselves possess an interesting character that alludes to their functional histories. Growing up in Maine I have often been exposed to these structures having close ties to the coast as my family derives from Tremont and Southwest Harbor, Maine. My grandfather was a great craftsman, working in similar building types as a carpenter, as well as a shipbuilder. The final product of this project will ultimately be a series of paintings portraying these structures in a new light.

Project Goals:

• Connect the public with building preservation – cultural heritage- connection to one of Maine’s largest watersheds, through painting.

• Analyze quality of place.

• Gain experience and academic advancement; by bringing together my passion for fine art and architecture with a real world application of my major.

• Interview and receive feedback from local Maine artists engaged in landscape/structure painting; Specifically Connie Hayes and Sally Loughridge.

• Connie Hayes’s book, Painting Maine: The Borrowed Views of Connie Hayes embodies a series of paintings of homes that acquire interesting views. She “borrows” their view by painting in rich vibrant colors, ultimately creating her own view/identity. Hayes lives and works in Rockland, Maine where I was recently lucky enough to observe some of her works from her Borrowed Views series.

• Sally Loughridge shares her love for the Maine coast through different paint media, each creating different appeals. She strives to capture the changes in weather and season, and is recently focusing on the Kennebec Estuary.

Project Methodology:

• Identify old, abandoned structures that have had a historically significant presence in the community.

• Create concept sketches to develop careful analyses of the form, shape, structure, and configuration of each building, including the relationship each has to its surroundings.

• Gather information from local community members as well as historical articles and newspapers.

• More crucially, Engage the community, as their unique connections and interpretations act as my scope into the identity of the abandoned structures

• Photograph each Community member for my final presentation, allowing me to visually connect the community with their appropriate building.

• Paint a series of different aspects of each building that allows me to thoroughly capture its identity

An Exhibit of this work will bring together local artists, community members as well as those engaged in the preservation efforts including local land trusts.

Project’s Place in a Larger Body of Works

• Meant to contribute to preservation of in town buildings that are in danger of being torn down due to new development, while farm land and structures protection are also being threatened by sprawl. The paintings and interviews will lead to a greater understanding to the quality of place in our coastal communities linked specifically to the Kennebec River and hopefully lead to the preservation of them.

• Tying me back to my own working class family heritage, this immersion of beauty and environmental significance will have the potential to make a contribution to the communities.

Future Preparation

• The project will inform my future final advanced studio project next fall, which will be the culmination of my focus on architecture and painting Visual Arts at Bowdoin.

• Non-conventional study of buildings through painting will also allow me to understand architecture at a different level for future architectural graduate studies.