Painter Evelyn Dunphy of West Bath is honored for her work protecting Maine’s wilderness.
Evelyn Dunphy has moved mountains with her watercolors, say her admirers.
The painter from West Bath is widely known and admired for her paintings of Maine landscapes, especially Mount Katahdin. She also is known as a generous and tireless activist who has helped to protect those landscapes.
“It’s a natural mix,” she said. “It kind of goes hand in hand.”
The Natural Resources Council of Maine said this week that Dunphy has won its 2009 People’s Choice Award for her work protecting Maine’s wilderness areas, particularly Katahdin Lake.
“Not only does she help bring awareness of these natural treasures and our need to protect them, but she also shows us, with her artist’s eye, why we must,” said Brownie Carson, executive director of the Natural Resources Council.
Dunphy, who began painting in 1996 and became a full-time artist in 2000, was also selected this year as Baxter State Park’s first “visiting artist.”>/p>
Dunphy and her paintings helped convince people that Katahdin Lake should be added to Baxter State Park in 2006.
Then, she helped to make it happen by showing and donating paintings as part of a record-setting fundraising campaign – $13 million in less than six months, said Maine Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan.
The work took Dunphy from icy and muddy trails in Baxter State Park to rush-hour exhibits in Manhattan, said McGowan.
“She’s done it all in the name of helping conservation in the state of Maine,” he said. “The Maine Department of Conservation loves Evelyn.”
Dunphy continues to paint Katahdin and other places, from Moosehead Lake to Eagle Island in Casco Bay.
She understands painters’ ability to connect people to landscapes, and to motivate them to act.
She is in good company among noted painters who have trekked to Katahdin Lake to paint the mountain.
A Marsden Hartley painting of a scene overlooking the lake hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, McGowan said.
“We think there’s a group of artists that have created art at Katahdin Lake that will probably be in that vein someday,” he said, “and Evelyn is one of them.”