Art in the Lobby

Abbott Meader - In the Stream
Variations on Flowing Water 1980-2018

Railroad square cinema
JuLY 25 - August 31, 2018

Artist's Statement

One of my earliest memories involves my mother taking me, probably at about the age of three, across the fields in Albion to a place on 15 Mile Stream where I would play at the edge of the water while she relaxed close by with a book. The world was still new to me. Everything was mysterious and wonder-full, and I was alive in the midst of it. Moss covered stones and shiny pebbles. Silver minnows, wriggly tadpoles, and dancing water skippers. The water could be crystal clear near me but could also flash with moving imagery—colors and forms reflected from above, or shifting patterns of things below. And further out in the unknown depths the water became very dark. Highlights might dance on the surface, but I couldn’t see down below. I didn’t know what might be down there, and would feel both intense curiosity and a touch of fear. And all the time the water would be in motion, flowing on past me. Where did it come from? Where did it go? And why?

In the many years that have followed I have spent a lot of time around flowing water— fishing, swimming, and canoeing, as well as drawing and painting. And while flowing water as a visual phenomenon is clearly characterized by its movement and change in real time, my paintings and drawings were inevitably inert frozen moments. What to do about this problem? Over many centuries and longer, artists from many cultures have sought to solve it—to find the means to somehow depict, express, or evoke the flowing nature of rivers and streams. I’ve tried many approaches at differing levels of representation, and here in the show I offer a variety of pieces that span about 34 years. All of them in differing proportions feature flowing water as an important element. Some of them are on-site drawings while others are either studio inventions or works that may have begun from observation but were expanded upon in some manner.

Thousands of years ago the philosopher Heraclitus observed, “No one can step into the same river twice.” So it should follow that neither can anyone draw or paint it twice. Or maybe even once, since it changes constantly as one works. And I’m reminded that he also said, “The only constant is change.” I’m certainly not that three year old any more—but I can still remember being him.

 "In the Stream"; Abbott Meader, 1985; Oil on panel

"In the Stream"; Abbott Meader, 1985; Oil on panel


About Art in the Lobby

The Call for Art in the Lobby 2018-19 is currently open! We will be accepting proposals through September 2018.

Proposals should be sent to and must consist of the following:

  • Artist's full name, phone number, and email address.
  • 5 high-quality images (JPG preferred) of works proposed for exhibition.
  • Artist's statement, a brief biography, and a list of prior exhibitions (including dates) where the proposed work has been shown.

Art in the Lobby provides an opportunity for Maine visual artists of various ages, media, and styles to exhibit their work in a high-profile venue. We are committed to the promotion and incorporation of visual arts into our programs and venues, and we are excited to pursue new, multi-disciplinary programs and partnerships.

Each year, a Call to Artists will be open to artists residing in Maine. All work must be original and ready to be presented in a professional manner to the public at the time of delivery.

The Maine Film Center will retain a 30% commission on all sales. All sales of works on display must go through the Maine Film Center. All sold works must remain on exhibit until the end of the show.

Artists are responsible for delivering their work to Railroad Square Cinema and picking up their work at the end of the show. The Maine Film Center will be responsible for the insurance of work on the premises, and Railroad Square Cinema is equipped with an alarm system.

The Maine Film Center will promote each exhibition via the Maine Film Center and Railroad Square Cinema websites (, Facebook pages, and various marketing materials. All press releases and marketing done by the artist must be approved by the Maine Film Center Executive Director.

Images of all selected works will be considered available for promoting both the exhibition and the Art in the Lobby program as a whole and may be used in all of Maine Film Center's marketing and communications. The Maine Film Center will host a reception for the artist at Railroad Square Cinema if the artist is interested.