An artist guided by themes

Grandmothers have been an important influence on many of our local artists. Port Clyde artist, Angela Anderson ranks among them. When only five-years-old, she recalls overhearing her grandmother, who lived across from the general store in Port Clyde, say to a friend, “Oh, Angela’s going to be an artist!” Anderson says this remark sparked a realization that she would become an artist.

Known for her works in oil, Anderson works thematically. Her close relationship with the famous Flying Walenda family gave her the opportunity to create a series of dramatic paintings based on the beauty and dizzying grandeur of their acrobatics. She has explored other themes such as World War I, animals, bridges and, more recently, a reinterpretation of Marshall Point Lighthouse and buoys. Her distinctive style is immediately recognizable and sparks the imagination.

During her teens, Anderson’s family moved from St. George to Manchester, N.H., where she attended Central High School. The school had a “great art department,” according to Anderson, and “this was when I realized that performing music was scary but painting was not!” So, with her parents’ encouragement she focused on the visual arts. The family relocated for a year to Holland, where she was inspired to sit at home and draw still lives nearly all night. When the family returned to New Hampshire, Anderson was accepted into the University of New Hampshire to study studio art and was awarded a degree in 1986.

After graduation, Anderson’s career path led her from coast to coast in this country and also abroad. She was a professional model for several artists in California, and again in New York for famed artist, Philip Pearlstein noted for his Modern Realism nudes. While in New York, Anderson participated in group exhibitions, but opportunities in New York were not what she had hoped for so she left for Europe. At this point, Anderson was creating large scale stain paintings in oil in the Romantic genre, and managed to land a solo exhibition in Munich, Germany where her work was well-received. The gallerist there helped Anderson gain a residency in France which led to a second residency with famed German artist Martin Kippenberger, a primary member of the German enfants terribles. Under Kippenberger’s instruction, Anderson’s work matured. “He made me question what I was doing and why I was doing it.” As her work advanced, the famed artist included some of her work in one of his own exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art Paris among many notable venues in Europe.

Returning to New York in 1991, Anderson had the opportunity to join 15 other artists to stage an exhibition entitled “Hit and Run.” An art patron from Germany purchased one of her paintings, but, more importantly, opened another door that led to a solo exhibition in Germany, which led to another exhibition in Vienna.

While her work found success abroad, the American economy was depressed enough to negatively impact the sale of fine art. To support herself, Anderson worked as an associate editor of “Museum Magazine.” Although she was able to paint in her apartment, she longed for a roomy studio. So, in 2001, Anderson moved back to Maine and once again launched her art career while supporting herself as a “sternman” on a lobster boat. Eventually, she bought land in Tenants Harbor and built a house roomy enough to have adequate studio and display space. Newly reestablished on our peninsula, Anderson has built-up her career as a successful artist once again. In 2008 she married Joe Pomerleau. The couple resides in Florida during the winter, where Anderson is a member of the Naples Art Association and the Art Center of Bonita Springs. Here in Maine, Anderson is represented by the Port Clyde Art Gallery, the Kelpie Gallery, and the Sylvia Murdock Gallery. She also teaches painting for fun every Wednesday evening during July and August at The Barn in Port Clyde.

You may read more about this wonderful artist on her website:
­­—Katharine Cartwright

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