Local artist, teacher shows paintings at UMFK gallery
FORT KENT, Maine – The University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Blake Gallery is featuring “La Palette de Coul׳Art,” a collection of artwork by local artist Gert Thibodeau, from Aug. 15 through Sept. 26.
The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, includes paintings created in oils and acrylics. Thibodeau is well-known for her commissioned work of people’s homes and cottages. She apprenticed with a renowned master artist from Quebec in figurative painting, and she now thoroughly enjoys and practices this form of painting.
“Art is a basic human need and it’s the highest expression of the beauty of God’s creation,” said Thibodeau. “I am honored to be the artist featured during Fort Kent’s 150th celebratory year.”
Thibodeau is a French Canadian artist born in Clair, New Brunswick, and has been an art instructor for over 30 years to both adults and children. She has taught art in SAD 27 since 1988, the St. John Valley Technology Center in Frenchville, the Madawaska Adult Education program, and full-time at the Madawaska High School.
“Bringing the new ‘figurative’ style into my paintings opens me to a whole new world of expression and nourishing my soul with more freedom and satisfaction,” she said.
Her skills are familiar to the local communities on both sides of the border and are enhanced by her willingness to share her time promoting art throughout the Valley. One of her greatest thrills is fostering an environment that encourages the discovery of hidden talents in her students, she said.
In 1992, Thibodeau was named SAD 27 Adult and Community Education “Outstanding Teacher” and received the Adult Educator’s Award for Aroostook County in 1994. In addition, Thibodeau was chosen as the cover artist and Artist of the Year in 2007 by Memories of Maine magazine (www.vintagemaineimages.com). At the 2010 Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle, Thibodeau earned first place in six art categories, along with “Best in Show.”
She has exhibited at annual art symposiums which include: Meet Our Colors (Madawaska); “Le Rendez Vous des Artistes” (St. Leonard, New Brunswick), which represented 150 artists from Canada, U.S., Belgium, and Luxembourg; Fall Caribou Chamber of Commerce Arts & Crafts Fair; Presque Isle’s Fall & Winter Expo; and “Lac Baker en Couleur” (Baker Lake, New Brunswick). She was also the featured artist for the World Acadian Congress in 2014.
Thibodeau also participates locally at the annual Ploye Festival, International Muskie Derby, the Scarecrow Festival, the International Can-Am Crown Sled Dog Race and the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce’s Arts and Crafts Fair.
Thibodeau’s exhibit can be viewed during UMFK’s Blake Library hours. For more information on the exhibit or library hours, please contact Gallery Curator Sofia Birden at 834-7527.
Submitted by the Marketing and Communication Office of the University of Maine at Fort Kent.