Stroke of genius Norway artist combines simplicity with complex detail to capture scenes of everyday life


Aranka Matolcsy photo

Artist Duncan Slade works on one of his signature “monochromes” in his Norway studio.

Stroke of genius Norway artist combines simplicity with complex detail to capture scenes of everyday life

Duncan Slade will be recognized at Matolcsy Arts Center gallery opening

NORWAY – His work as been described as “humanscapes” and his compelling subject matter is rarely more than a block or two from his studio. Norway artist Duncan Slade, whose unique ability to capture everyday life captures the attention of all who view his paintings, will be honored Friday, July 13, at a gallery opening at the Matolcsy Arts Center.

“Honoring Duncan Slade: A Retrospective” will open with a reception 5 to 8 the 480 Main The public is invited to celebrate the artistic journey of Slade’s long life as well as the first gallery opening at the Matolcsy Arts Center in two years.

The galley will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday for the duration of the Slade show.

“Paint as you like and die happy,” one of Slade’s favorite sayings immortalized by writer Henry Miller, explains much of the motivation behind the choice of his subjects.

His paintings are snapshots of everyday life captured on canvas with oil paint. Many of his subjects are simply interesting combinations of people and vehicles on Main Street in Norway or Market Square in South Paris on any given day. It may be the way rays of sunlight strike the Opera House clock tower in Norway while an antique truck drives by, or it could be a Camaro parked in front of Longley’s hardware store adorned with fancy flower boxes.

The simplicity of his subjects juxtaposed with the complexity of details integrated into each piece and his choice of vibrant colors are trademarks of Slade, whose work is admired by buyers and art appreciators from all over New England.

“The Western Maine Art Group (which owns and runs the Matolcsy Arts Center and founded the Annual Norway Sidewalk Art Show) – I realize really gave me the confidence to go onto everything I’ve done. I owe it a lot,” said Slade, noting that winning his first Best of Show in the 1979 Norway Sidewalk Art Show enabled him to go public as an artist.

His exhibition credits include Lajos Matolcsy Arts Center, Norway; Greenhut Gallery, Portland; L/A Arts, Lewiston; Beeker Gallery, St. Mary’s Hospital; the Atrium Gallery, Lewiston-Auburn College in Lewiston; and numerous juried shows throughout New England.

Throughout his art career Slade has received numerous awards for his work, including seven Best of Shows in the Portland Art Festival, plus many purchase awards.

Slade’s highlights of life accomplishments are as colorful as his paintings.

In the 1940s the Norway artist worked as a Congressional clerk and entered the U.S. Marine Corps, reaching the rank of major and earning a distinguished Flying Cross as a pilot in the South Pacific. He later went on to become a product design supervisor at Uniroyal Inc., where he was awarded seven patents. Slade also taught art in Brooklyn and Connecticut and at Oxford Hills Junior High School. He was nominated Maine Teacher of the Year in 1983.

For more information, contact the Western Maine Art Group, 739-6161 or e mail [email protected]