2011 Bangor Public Library exhibit by Tom Brennan in the Lecture Hall Gallery
Taking a break from his serious work of the past twelve years, the 2017 series of new works demonstrated the artist's talent for caricature. Tom's caricatures are unique in that while he always captures a solid likeness of his subject, he does so with a gentler-kindler mixture of exaggerated features than typicaly expeceted in this format. The high point of the Opening Night Reception was the very pertinent entertainment provided by Maine's preeminent humorist Tim Sample. Three local women were honored when their caricatures were simultaneously uveiled in recognition of their contributions to life in the St Croix Valley.
Down East Maine is as far east as you can go in the continental United States. The perennial changes of seasons here are very acute. Some of the hotest, muggiest Augusts take place after some of the coldest, windiest winters. Yet, one may also enjoy the most satisfyingly beautiful Spings and most peaceful relaxing summers of your life here as well. The 2016 art exhibit Tom Brennan produced succintly showed it all!
In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Indian Day Celebration at Sipayik (Pleasant Point) and Indian Township (Peter Dana Point), and with honor and respect to all elected tribal leaders, the 2015 exhibit featured large historicaly researched portraits of past governors (1775-1940's). Passamaquoddy tribal descendants of depicted chiefs were present and participated in the unvieling ceremonies.
Maine artists have included several world renown seascape painters. Maine's rugged coastline, lush forests and plentiful wildlife have been inspirational to many artists, writers, poets and others throughout our nation's history. For his 2014 artistic enadeavors, Tom chose seascapes as his theme. Inspired by the natural beauty of New England he created a whole series of pieces that capture the essence of Maine.
"SWEETS & TREATS"Candy-making in the St Croix Valleywas a very unique experience for art lovers of all ages for 2013. It showcased some of the most wonderful candy imaginable. Focusing on several historic local candy-making recipes, this exhibit surrounded the viewer with rather delectable choices. Not sparing the paint, some of Tom's candy still life's tantalizingly rose from the canvas. Although you are not supposed to touch fine art work, it was a miracle if some viewers were able to complete their viewing of this latest show without touching at least one! The high point of the Opening Night Reception occurred when Bryana Ganong and Diane Ganong unveiled the portrait of the Ganong Brothers, their ancestors, before an enthusiastic gathering of attendees.
Since a popular local dish includes a variety of scrumptious seafood, the title for Tom's July 2013 art exhibit at the Cloister Gallery in Marblehead, Massachusetts made a lot of sense. The high quality and interesting variety of pieces on display was especially appealing to many of the visitors from surrounding New England towns. Several pieces demonstrated the artist's fantastic drawing ability as he captured lobster fishermen at work, whale watchers on the high seas, and seascapes with colorful sunrises and sunsets. The Cloister Gallery is located in St. Andrews Episcopal Church at Marblehead, Massachusetts.
"CHILDREN of the ST. CROIX VALLEY"
Three dozen portraits of children greeted visitors to the annual show in 2012. A number of the subjects were on hand to see the sketches and paintings Tom had completed of them. Artwork included single subjects as well as of groups of children. Shining the light on our area's youth resulted in a very popular exhibit for them and the whole International Community.
"ALL CREATURES GREAT & SMALL"
Showcasing his ability to capture the nuances of various species, Tom's exhibit in 2011 included a great variety of animals, birds, sea and land species in their actual homes. Featuring two large triptychs, the Down East Maine artist demonstrated his uncanny ability to render realistically huge rather dissimilar settings in a very convincing style. Children attending the opening reception were treated to individualized responses and drawings with Tom to guide them.
"STUDIES & SKETCHES"
In March of 2011 an exhibit of drawings went on display at the Calais Library that included a number of previously unseen artwork by the Robbinston illustrator. Saved sketches and studies from his last several years' work generated interest and comment from attendees at the reception night gathering and in the official guest book. Many were gratified to see how the final paintings were developed through these preliminary drawings.
"MAINE LIFE AS IT IS"
The Bangor Public Library hosted a fifty-seven piece art exhibit in January of 2011 by Tom Brennan. The State of Maine's slogan "Maine: the Way Life Should Be" was envisioned by Tom as MAINE LIFE AS IT IS in his extensive collection of original works. The exhibit was also featured on television throughout the region when a well known and very popular news reporter interviewed the Maine artist in the Bangor Public Library's Lecture Hall. "LIFE ALONG PASSAMAQUODDY BAY" The Eastport Art Center hosts an extensive Tom Brennan retrospective of sketches, pastels, pen & inks and paintings in September-October of 2010. This solo exhibit included several new original seascapes drawn on site beside beautiful Passamaquoddy Bay. Through the years Tom has made a special effort to include the homes, places of work and means of livelihood of many friends and neighbors living along Passamaquoddy Bay in his work. He will be on hand to meet everyone attending the opening reception at 5:00 PM on September 10th.
"JAZZ LEGENDS" A special exhibit of world famous jazz performers is scheduled for the Blue Cafe on Congress Street in Portland July 2010. It features Tom Brennan's portraits of eight Jazz legends. He has recently completed new paintings of BILLIE HOLIDAY and SARAH VAUGHN. Also included in the show: LOUIS ARMSTRONG, ELLA FITZGERALD, WOODY HERMAN, DUKE ELLINGTON, ELVIN JONES, TONY WILLIAMS, and CHARLIE BIRD PARKER.
"SUMMERTIME" Tom's International Festival exhibit for 2010 focuses on the natural beauty of a New England summer. Breathtaking seascapes, children playing, rural homes, lazy afternoons, and family feasts on lobster, scallops, clams and blueberries will be featured. SUMMER BREEZE shows a coastal home surrounded by picket fence and wreathed in abundant wild roses. Old glory stirs with a slight seacoast breeze thus giving the piece its name. ANDREWS HOT DOGS and THE TEE HEE will feature two local popular eateries in the summer or anytime.
"BICENTENNIAL" In 2009 the City of Calais celebrated its two hundredth birthday with a fantastic series of events and festivities. The committee established by the Council to oversee the celebration commissioned Tom to do a set of ten large paintings. The paintings show the times when the community comes together to celebrate and socialize. All paintings were sold before brush touched canvas. "It was a very fulfilling experience to be charged with the responsibility to create art as a permanent memorial of the Bicentennial." Tom Brennan researched the themes for the paintings at the Calais Free Library and incorporated real community members into every piece. High school band students, basketball players and scout troops posed and were painted into several pieces. In one painting about the annual Santa Claus parade after Thanksgiving, he carefully rendered 176 recognizable faces of real community members past and present into a nostalgic small mural with downtown businesses alight with shoppers. All paintings are now on permanent public display in the main hall of the city building. "SALEM SERIES" Tom continues to do more pieces in this series. His paintings about historic Salem, Massachusetts are available as prints. Seven pieces are planned and are either in the painting or compositional stage of development. Four were completed in 2008: The HOUSE of the SEVEN GABLES, The CUSTOM HOUSE, KOSCIUSKO WALL, and DERBY WHARF LIGHTHOUSE. His latest pieceARRIVAL AT THE OLD MANSE which shows Nathaniel Hawthorne and his new bride Sophia Peabody arriving at the Old Manse in Concord after their wedding July 9, 1842 in Boston, was completed in 2010. It was unveiled at the House of the Seven Gables in Salem on July 4, 2010. A print-signing and opportunity to meet the artist immediately followed the unveiling.
"WORSHIP" Country Churches in rural settings A series of fifty landscapes with country churches and other houses of worship were created in pastel. The solo-exhibit was unveiled during International Festival and continued throughout the month of August 2008. Among the completed pieces were GRACE CHAPEL, BARING BAPTIST CHURCH, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH 1968, ADVENT CHRISTIAN CHURCH 1969, CHIAM YOSEF SYNAGOGUE 1970, CORNERSTONE BAPTIST CHURCH, BLAKEY METHODIST CHURCH and ST. ANN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH. Canadian churches made up a significant portion of the 16x20 framed pieces.
"MUSIC of the ST. CROIX VALLEY" Taking on a major research project as well as creative endeavor, his next solo exhibit received significant recognition in the media in 2007. The thirty-six piece show honored Canadian and US performing artists in music who entertained between 1912-1978. An overflowing reception, which was attended by many of the honorees, reunited many who had not been together in forty or more years. Most show paintings, pastels, and charcoals sold within hours of their unveiling. Significant interest continues in a follow-up show covering 1978-present.
"WINTERSCAPES" Following up on the successful January show, Tom was back in December of 2006 with a seasonably tuned set of thirty new creations and several first edition prints. Maine weather, vocations and characters insured something for everyone visiting the show. Several Maine winter landscapes provided an interesting focus for this one man exhibit. Prints resulting from the exhibit included: SNOWSTORM DOWNEAST, PAINTING the LOBSTER BUOYS, HIKERS' HIGH, FIRST RUN, SLEEPING SANTA, RIDING HIGH, COMFORTABLY WAITING, CHESTER GROOMING, YELLOW LAB, and KITTEN in a CUP.
"INCREDIBLE ILLUSTRATIONS" An assortment of artwork spanning his career in education made up the majority of pieces shown in January of 2006 at the Calais Library at Calais, Maine. His unique ability to capture personal characteristics on paper and canvas amazed visitors. Several pieces from this exhibit have been made into fine art prints including: ALONE WITH FRIENDS, LOUIS ARMSTRONG, ELLA FITZGERALD and WAITING for CHRISTMAS.
"MUSICAL GENIUSES" In 2005 a set of 16 x 20 canvases went on permanent public display in the Band Room at Calais High School. The series of traditional portraits touched upon the vast array of musical contributors throughout history. Included are: MOZART, BEETHOVEN, TCHAIKOVSKY, JOHN PHILIP SOUSA, LOUIS ARMSTRONG, ELLA FITZGERALD, DUKE ELLINGTON, WOODY HERMAN, PATSY CLINE, DOLLY PARTON, PAUL McCARTNEY and the most recent addition to this ongoing series CHARLIE BIRD PARKER.
"CAMPUS LIFE" Fourteen paintings and pen & ink sketches were in the body of work in Tom Brennan's first one man art exhibit. The theme was life on a New England college campus. It included faculty portraits, athletic compositions, dorm life scenes and other related topics. This first show was held at Kilburn Commons in Machias, Maine in May of 1975. Several of the pieces were also published in the annual college yearbook including the president's portrait.
INCREDIBLE ILLUSTRATIONS exhibit 2006
WINTERSCAPES exhibit 2007
WORSHIP exhibit 2008
In 1975 Tom had his first solo exhibit at Machias, Maine. Students and faculty are shown visiting the show at Kilburn Commons.
The paintings and drawings depicted students and faculty in very typical New England college settings.
Tom Brennan PAINTINGS & PORTRAITS ROBBINSTON, MAINE 04671 USA