[Excerpt from article]
Indulge in two exhibitions that are running concurrently at the OMAA with overlapping themes. “Shorelines: Coastal Sightings in American Art” is an exhibition of paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography that collect snippets of life on the coast and our relationship with the sea. Executive director and Chief Curator, Michael Mansfield, said, “‘Shorelines’ reflect the sea and the shore that has inspired artists to explore a host of formal, poetic, allegorical and conceptual subjects with profound introspection and creative expression.”
The surrounding geography — sandy beaches, jagged and ledgy rocks, the seagulls’ raucous cry, an occasional seal sighting, the serenity of the ocean waves — all act as a catalyst to spur generations of artists to create.
The “Shorelines” works on view are diverse with bits of unexpected delight. A piece titled “The Witchery of the Moonbeams” by Edward Henry Potthast, an oil on canvas, is richly colored and mysterious. The piece was created in 1906. Potthast, an American Impressionist painter, is known for his figure paintings of people at leisure in Central Park and on the beaches of New York and New England. This work offers a sneak peek into a romantic interlude as a couple with their backs to us leans on the deck railing of a ship and takes in the ocean as the moon glints off the expanse of marvelously delicious teal water that bumps up against an aqua sky. There’s a touch of Edward Hopper here in that the scene represents a short, isolated moment saturated with suggestion.