BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic’s summer art exhibit, “Humanity’s Oldest Stories Illuminated,” a show of paintings by Maine and California artist Stefan Elliott, opens with an artist’s reception at the school’s Ethel H. Blum Gallery on Thursday, July 19, at 5 p.m. All are invited to this free event. The exhibit continues through Aug. 24.
According to Elliott, his oil paintings touch on the realm where myth and reality intersect.
“I would like to believe that we live in the realm of mythos where the world ends and recreates itself again and again. But I feel humanity is stuck in the world of logos where people fear the world can completely come to an end,” Elliott said.
“You can say myths are lies that tell the truth. They are the narratives that can never be proven. But they reveal the inner underlying story of the soul. Therefore myths explain things that are otherwise impossible to understand,” Elliott said.
As the world shifts into the Age of Aquarius, Elliott said, people are becoming aware of the presence of myth all around them.
Elliott grew up at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountain Range in Southern California. He knew he wanted to be an artist from the time his father taught him how to draw a circle free-hand at age 5.
His first job was putting books away for $4.25 an hour at the public library. He was soon promoted from putting books away to painting murals for the children’s reading program. By the time he was in his early 20s he was receiving grants and commissions to paint large scale murals.
Rather than go to art school, Stefan pedaled his bicycle through the United States and spent time surfing in Costa Rica while honing his craft and selling pieces. His subject matter ranges from photorealistic landscape and portraiture to surrealism and abstraction depending on his audience and location. He now splits his time between Mount Desert Island and Humboldt County, Calif., where he shows and sells his work.
“Everyone is awakening in a new dimension of consciousness. We are tuning into a higher vibration connecting to millions of people, a collective awakening. It is a belief that the end is always near. As an actual historical event, it never comes. The apocalyptic calendar keeps changing,” Elliott said.
“We are in the transitionary phase of collapse and renewal,” he continued. “Leaving the Piscean Age of divide and conquer and entering into the Aquarian Age of unite and create. We are moving from an old paradigm into a new paradigm.”
College of the Atlantic’s annual summer event series, including Coffee and Conversations, evening lectures and the Champlain Institute, offers free presentations, conversations and art from July through early September. Visit coa.edu/developmentevents.