The first installment of our 2017-’18 Salon series features Portland, ME visual artist Ted Arnold, who will discuss the role that relationships, family, and rituals play in his work.

The Capitol Center for the Arts is pleased to welcome visual artistTed Arnold for the first Salon presentation of 2017-’18 season. Arnold will discuss the role that relationships, family, and rituals play in his work.

Arnold grew up in Southern California and received his BA in Visual Studies from Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH). After Dartmouth, says Arnold, he “learned more from artists, poets, dancers, chefs, hair stylists, and physicists. He is represented locally by McGowan Fine Art.  Says the Gallery, “Ted Arnold is a unique voice in the art world. He uses paint and collage to depict homely scenes that offer insight into human relationships.”The Salon Series allows audience members to interact directly with working artists at small, intimate events in our Kimball House mansion.

Tea is not tea is not tea. Tea is a moment set aside, a receptacle into which reminiscences or plans are poured. Having tea or coffee can involve anything except the hectic pace of every day. There can be music, plans, regrets, good or bad news to share or recover from. Even the teacup is not necessarily a teacup, but is frequently a coffee cup, or (rarely) a bouillon cup, and always is a character in the drama of the painting. The cups and pots and creamers are from many lands  and of many persuasions like people in our cities. What are they doing here? What do they say to each other in the garden of the tablecloth?


Once, as a teenager in India, I looked under the hood of a car which had carried my family halfway to Agra before collapsing. The engine compartment was littered with string, coat hanger wire and torn sheets wound tightly around hoses. An old, stately goat herd appeared and pointed with his staff to something. That something was then wrapped tightly with something handy and so to Agra. I have for some time felt that we run like that car. Patched and lashed and cobbled together, recovering from each blow with hanger wire, compensating for erosions with torn-sheet bindings. We are ridiculous miracles, pathetic miracles. Contradictions and inconsistencies are our only mode of motion, survival and creation.

The wedding paintings began with photographs of a white wedding from the 1950s. They offered the pageantry and complexity of this rare moment in life, when private emotions are made public, friends and family become actors in a drama staged for the community, complete with lines to speak and costumes to wear. Undercurrents, fears and hopes flow throughout the event and the marriage that follows. The complexity of humanity offers this brief theatrical followed by the life of those hopes, fears, contradictions, inconsistencies, accidents and triumphs.

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