It feels like … Indiana summer

Posted June 17, 2009, at 8:12 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The man of the season at the Farnsworth Art Museum? With apologies to Jamie Wyeth, another artist of international renown who currently has an exhibition up in the Farnsworth, it’s got to be Robert Indiana.

A major exhibition of his work, “Robert Indiana and the Star of Hope,” will open Saturday after a reception Friday night, and run through Oct. 25. Also on Friday evening, the Farnsworth and Strand Theatre will host the world premiere of a documentary film by Dale Schierholt called “A Visit to the Star of Hope — Conversations with Robert Indiana.” Earlier this week, his “EAT” sculpture was placed atop the Farnsworth, and Indiana will be recognized on June 27 for winning the museum’s Maine in America award.

Indiana, an 80-year-old resident of Vinalhaven, has said he rarely leaves the island but Farnsworth spokesman David Troup said both the exhibition opening and the movie premiere are enough to lure Indiana to Rockland this week.

The exhibition features Indiana’s work from the 1950s to the present with a focus on his work since 1978, when he moved to the Star of Hope Oddfellows Lodge, a late-19th-century building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Included in the show are many of Indiana’s best-known themes — “Love,” “The American Dream” and “Hope,” the sculpture of which was displayed at last year’s Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The museum will hold a “Live at Night at the Farnsworth” members-only preview and reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., followed by a free public party ending at 9:30 p.m.

Schierholt’s documentary is being billed as an intimate visit and a glimpse into the home, life and career of Indiana. Schierholt’s previous films include “Nevelson: Awareness in the Fourth Dimension” about Maine artist Louise Nevelson, and “The Farnsworth: Lucy’s Gift, Rockland’s Treasure,” the story of wealthy recluse Lucy Farnsworth and her beneficence to the midcoast town.

The movie premiere will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Strand, across Main Street from the museum. This event is free to members and $25 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. For details, call the museum’s membership office at 596-6256.

Finally, the Farnsworth will honor Indiana as the 2009 recipient of the Maine in America award during the Maine in America Summer Gala, which will take place on June 27 at the museum. Cost is $250 per person. All proceeds help support the museum’s public programs. Seating is limited. For details, call 596-6457, ext. 117.

Indiana events, including lectures, a gallery talk and another Schierholt documentary, will continue all summer, assuring fans of the artist that he’ll remain in the spotlight all season long.

jbloch@bangordailynews.net

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