September 21, 2009
The University of Maine at Fort Kent's Blake Library Gallery will feature artwork by Jay LaBrie throughout the month of October.
The paintings in the exhibition include scenes of the lakes and farm country near the LaBrie homestead in Frenchville, where the painter was raised. This is the first time his work has been shown in northern Maine.
An opening reception will be held at the UMFK Blake Library Gallery on Sunday, October 4 from 3 to 5 p.m. Labrie will be present.
LaBrie lives in Portland and his paintings have been shown often in various places around the city. Jay returns to the Valley every summer for a week or more of painting.
He is the son of Silvio and Eva (Roy) LaBrie. He gives both his parents a great deal of credit for fostering his artistic skills. Silvio liked to draw. Father and son often sat at the kitchen table drawing together. Eva painted imaginative colors in her kitchen and Jay takes his love of color from her.
When he was growing up, Jay also took lessons from the available art teachers: Claude Picard in Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada and Lily Michaud, who taught at UMFK for 25 years. However, he considers himself largely self-taught because, by and large, he found his own way of painting.
His prolific paintings are done in acrylic on canvas over carefully prepared pencil drawings, sometimes using photographs to aid his memory and supply details. Landscape is an important subject for him, often including buildings. Many of the scenes he chooses to paint will be familiar to viewers who know the St. John Valley well.
For more information on the exhibit or library hours, contact Sofia Birden, gallery curator at 834-7527. ###