Southport artist Ed Parker's new show, "All in the Same Boat," at Gleason Fine Art opens Aug. 3 and runs through Aug. 29, with a reception for Ed on First Friday, Aug. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Ed Parker likes a good story, one with a twist or one that might be called a tall tale. He also loves pretty much anything to do with the sea; animals, exotic ones like sea serpents and more ordinary ones like dogs, cats, and moose; and history, especially the 19th century, otherwise known as the Victorian era. Ed is also a terrific artist. In fact, he's one of America's leading marine painters.
Mix these many interests and talents together and the result is "All in the Same Boat," Ed Parker's summer show at his Boothbay Harbor gallery, Gleason Fine Art. Ed's show abounds in critters large and small, and stories that run the gamut from actual moments in history to real head-scratchers.
In the head-scratcher category is the painting "Mount Katahdin Royal Hunt Club, 1898." A group of four eager, if perplexed, moose ridden by folks in formal fox-hunting gear accompanied by a pack of savvy-looking hounds is in hot in pursuit of a fox. The fox, in a perfect Ed Parker depiction, is sitting calmly behind a shrub watching all of the oblivious hunting group race by. Is the painting based on a true story, or not? You'll have to ask Ed.
With "Great Serpent, 1836," we are hopeful that the subject, a gigantic, incredibly fierce sea serpent wrapped around four hapless ships, is entirely made up. We might wish for the opposite with "Duck, Duck, Moose," in which a Maine guide paddles a canoe loaded with a peaceable kingdom consisting of a guileless moose, on top of which rest two mallards. Oh, and the other canoe passengers are two bears, two raccoons, and a golden retriever, all looking like they are right where they belong.
Parker’s experience and education are extensive, including a lengthy stint as art director for Boston Magazine. “In person, Ed Parker is like his paintings: within the careful, measured man, lurks a sense of humor, and delight in the fantastic. He is tied to coastal Maine through both his own experiences and family lore—‘some true, some not, but all running through my veins’ ” (J. Bennett, MBH&H, 2021, p. 57).
Please join us on Friday, Aug. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m., and share a glass of wine with Ed Parker, the Southporter who’s both a gifted artist and an enthusiastic storyteller. Gleason Fine Art is at 31 Townsend Ave. in the center of Boothbay Harbor. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Phone us at 207-633-6849; email us at email@example.com, or visit our website, info@gleasonfineart to view Ed Parker’s show and the gallery’s inventory of contemporary and estate art.