An ongoing film series featuring some of Maine’s most distinguished artists
sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists

 

More about the Stephen Pace DVD:

Stephen and his wife Palmina, the business mind behind Pace’s success, lived in Stonington, ME for extended summers since 1973 and became integral members of the Blue Hill Peninsula arts community. October 2007 was their last summer in Maine. Stephen and Pam retired to Stephen’s boyhood home of Indiana where they are now residing in a retirement community associated with the University of Southern Indiana (USI). The Pace’s contributed 200 paintings to the USI Foundation along with the funding to help create the McCutchan Art Center Palmina F. and Stephen S. Pace Galleries. The Pace’s also contributed their Stonington home to the Maine College of Art that is creating an art center and retreat for students and faculty. The home will also become a museum of works by Stephen Pace open to the public. (Contact the Office of the President of the Maine College of Art for more information 207-699-5012   lwoodbury@meca.edu.)

Producer/Director Richard Kane first met Stephen Pace at the New Harmony Gallery in New Harmony, Indiana in 1977 while on his first job in television in Evansville, Indiana. This was Stephen Pace’s boyhood home and the gallery where he had his first solo exhibition in 1937. At that 1977 exhibit, Kane promised himself that someday he would make a documentary about this extraordinary painter. More than 30 years later the dream became reality with the recent release.

The filming took Kane from the Pace’s home in Stonington, ME (including their last day in Maine), to their New York City apartment and studio, to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where Pace spent six months in 1946 on the GI Bill. Kane was in search of a government art school called Belles Artes where Pace studied and anyone who might still be alive who might have been there at the time. Remarkably, Kane found a 95-year-old former student, Leonard Brooks, who is still living and painting in San Miguel. Brooks appears in the film.

The following article by Carl Little is reprinted with permission from Maine Gallery & Studio Guide Summer 2008 edition:

Stephen Pace visited Stonington for the first time on a trip to Maine in 1953. The Missouri-born, New York City-based artist fell in love with the setting, engaged by that “shovelful of islands” that John Marin once mused God must have spread on the water. Pace and his lifetime muse Pam, returned to Stonington nearly every summer thereafter, eventually purchasing a turn-of-the-century sea captain’s residence overlooking the Deer Isle Thorofare.

Pace’s earliest paintings of Maine were non-representational, seeking spirit of place rather than detail. Over time, however, the Stonington landscape and people led him to take a different tack. While maintaining the dynamic brushwork, he came to relish the elements of his surroundings, from a box of blueberries and sunlit porch to lobstermen loading bait at the dock.

Last summer (2007) was the Paces’ final season in Stonington. From the morning walk to the lily pond down the road to the concerts at Kneisel Hall, they left behind a Maine coast regimen that sustained them like air and water. Yet they departed knowing that their house would continue to be the site of artistic activity, as a study center for students and faculty from the Maine College of Art. That’s the finest kind of legacy.
– Carl Little




Three Horses, 2006, by Stephen Pace.

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