Meet artist Eric Hopkins, and see Shells, Fish & Shellfish, a major retrospective of his work, on Friday, July 25, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm in Penobscot Marine Museum’s Carver Memorial Library Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport, Maine.

Sacred Cod #1, by Eric Hopkins

Sacred Cod #1, by Eric Hopkins

“I could spend a lifetime intimately exploring any one animal form,” Hopkins says, and in Shells, Fish & Shellfish we see that he has.  One of a handful of artists born in Maine to receive national recognition, Hopkins has exhibited in galleries and museums across the country and is the subject of two monographs.  Much of the work in this exhibit has not been seen before.  It includes Hopkins’ work in a variety of media: paintings, monotypes and glass and wood sculpture.  It also includes, for the first time, Hopkins’ personal collection of the skeletons, shells and remnants of creatures picked up on beaches over his lifetime and which have inspired the artwork in this exhibition.

The sea was an integral part of Eric Hopkins’ childhood on the island of North Haven in Penobscot Bay.  His father owned a marina and fish market, and ran the ferry between North Haven and Vinalhaven islands.  “I look back and think how connected everything in my life was in those days,” Hopkins says of his childhood.  “The rocks and shells and bones and branches were my play things.  I’d see the patterns of clouds repeated on the waves on the water and later in the flesh of the filleted flounder.”

Over a period of ten years, Hopkins studied a variety of media at six different art schools, ending with Rhode Island School of Design where he learned to blow glass with world-famous glass sculptor Dale Chihuly.  Many of Eric’s blown glass shells are in this exhibit.

Admission is free for this reception.  The Penobscot Marine Museum is on Route One in Searsport, Maine and has seven new exhibits and over fifty programs and events during the 2014 season.  Its three acre, ten building campus is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm through Sunday, October 19.   PMM admission is free to Searsport residents.