AUGUSTA — The Maine Arts Commission is bringing the thrills and excitement of Maine’s summer to the Capitol complex with an exhibit of 60 photographs that depict Mainers having fun at state fairs and festivals.

The exhibition, which remains up until December, features work by some of Maine’s most talented photographers. It highlights 26 popular annual statewide events that bring Maine communities together through all seasons. These include state fairs in Bangor, Skowhegan and Fryeburg; the midway at Old Orchard Beach; an ice fishing festival on Sebago Lake; dog sled races in Fort Kent; and July 4 celebrations in Eastport and Castine.

“This show has been on my mind for years,” said Bruce Brown, curator emeritus of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, who organized the exhibition.

“Certain photographs in the show, especially featuring state fairs by Dee Peppe of Hope, Philip Isaacson of Lewiston and Christine McLarty of Camden, have percolated in my mind’s eye for more than a decade. The time had come to put such a show together,” Brown said.

“Mainers find so many ways to celebrate social, environmental and seasonal events and, fortunately, they attract the attention of several of Maine’s most gifted photographers who help us see popular culture in new and engaging ways,” he said.

Among those exhibiting photographs for the first time at CMCA and in the Capitol are Ilya Askinazi, Leslie Bowman, Bridget Brown, Kate Collins and Edwin Martin of Bangor; Rene Braun of Windham; Dagney Ernest of Thomaston; William L. Duncan of Stockholm; Arthur Fink of Peaks Island; Diane Hudson and Jo Moser of Portland; and Brad Maushart of Kennebunkport.

The “On and Off the Midway” exhibit, like all Arts in the Capitol events, is free and open to the public.

While most of the exhibit is easily accessible in the first-floor lobby and Governor’s Gallery, some works may be installed in offices of state employees; this may require some flexibility on the part of visitors and respect for those working in these offices. At times, exhibitions may not be accessible due to meetings. Visitors with special needs are encouraged to call ahead.

Exhibitions are self-guided and may be visited as follows:

Maine Arts Commission Office, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; Maine Statehouse, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; Blaine House, 2 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (please call ahead at 287-2121).

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