ROCKPORT, Maine – On Saturday, June 28, the harbor village of Rockport will be transformed into “Wegman World” as Maine Media Workshops hosts an all-day visual arts festival celebrating the work of renowned photographer, artist, and filmmaker William Wegman.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Mr. Wegman to Rockport,” says Workshops Executive Director, Charles Altschul, “Bill works in so many different media forms, he is an artist that perfectly embodies all that we do at Maine Media Workshops. What a perfect way to celebrate the thriving arts community we have in Maine.”
This series of programs, sponsored by Camden National Bank, begins at 11am in the Rockport Opera House with a screening of selected children’s films produced by William Wegman, including Alphabet Soup, which features his famous Weimaraners, Fay Ray and offspring Batty, Chundo and Crooky. At 2pm, following a break for lunch, Wegman screens a compilation of video works created throughout his career. Beginning with The Hardly Boys, which also stars his beloved canines in this detective story and filmed largely in Rangeley, Maine, the presentation also includes examples of Wegman’s diverse, influential and innovative performances. Wegman is available for discussion, questions and comments after the screenings. Afternoon events continue at 4pm with simultaneous receptions at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (162 Russell Ave., Rockport), with an exhibit of Wegman’s postcard paintings and other recent works, and at the Workshops Gallery (Union Hall, 2 Central Street, Rockport), for the opening of the photographic exhibit, Wegman Outdoors. Thanks to the generous support of Camden National Bank, all of the William Wegman events are free and open to the public. “This is exactly the kind of family event Camden National Bank enjoys being a part of,” says CNB President Greg Dufour, “it involves our community at every level, benefiting our customers with cultural entertainment and the business community by attracting visitors to the region. It also provides an engaging activity for our employee team of volunteers.”
A summer resident of Rangeley, Maine, William Wegman was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and received a BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and an MFA from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 1967. Wegman's interest in areas beyond painting began to develop, ultimately leading him to photography and to video. While in Long Beach he got his dog, Man Ray, and began a long and fruitful collaboration that was to last for twelve years. Man Ray, known in the art world and beyond for his endearing deadpan presence, became a central figure in Wegman's photographs and videotapes.
Wegman has published a number of children’s books based on classic tales and stories of his own invention, and a number of books for adults including "William Wegman 20 x 24" (Abrams), a photographic survey of almost thirty years of Wegman's work with the 20 x 24" Polaroid camera. Wegman has created film and video works for Saturday Night Live and Nickelodeon and his video segments for Sesame Street have appeared regularly since 1989. In 1989, Wegman's film The Hardly Boy was screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
Wegman's photographs, videotapes, paintings and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. A retrospective of his work originated by the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne and has traveled to museums throughout Europe and the United States. His most recent exhibitions include traveling retrospectives in Japan and in Sweden as well as the exhibition "William Wegman: Fashion Photographs" which traveled throughout North America. Wegman lives in New York and in Maine where he continues to make videos, to take photographs and to make drawings and paintings.