MDOL to Display Artwork that Brings Employees and Employers Together

March 25, 2011

Augusta, Maine – Maine Governor Paul LePage is asking for artwork that depicts the cooperative relationship that exists between Maine’s job creators and the workers who power Maine’s economy. Artists interested in participating should be willing to offer their artwork on loan to the State. Appropriate submissions will be displayed in public spaces at the Maine Department of Labor’s Administrative offices and in the lobbies of Career Centers throughout Maine. Photographs, paintings, sculptures and other forms of art will all be considered.

“Without workers and employers, we do not have an economy,” offered Maine Governor Paul LePage. “Maine’s Department of Labor needs to serve and balance the interests of both employees and employers to accomplish its mission. I encourage anyone with artwork that celebrates the cooperation that exists in Maine’s workplaces to consider offering it for display at any Department of Labor or Career Center location.”

Judy Taylor’s mural currently on display at the Maine Department of Labor will be transferred to Portland City Hall for display. “I appreciate the effort and talent Ms. Taylor devoted to the creation of her mural as well as the important history it represents. I am pleased that her work of art will be prominently displayed in Portland City Hall, the site of Maine’s first State House.”

Representative Ben Chipman, whose district includes Portland City Hall, initiated conversation with the Governor’s office about the possibility of moving the artwork to City Hall. “While I do not agree with the Governor’s decision to remove the mural, locating it to the site of the original Maine State House where it can be on public display and continue to be owned by the people of Maine will allow it to receive the recognition and appreciation it deserves,” said Representative Ben Chipman.

According to information from the Maine State Law Library, when Maine separated from Massachusetts and became a state on March 15, 1820, Portland became the capitol city. The first State House was a modest two-story Federal style building at the corner of Congress and Myrtle Streets where the current City Hall building is located. It served as Maine's State House until 1832 and was eventually destroyed in the Great Fire of 1866.

The City of Portland has agreed to accept a loan of the mural for display pending city council approval. A memorandum of understanding concerning the loan is being finalized and it is expected the physical transfer will occur soon. Maine Department of Labor officials will work closely with the Maine Arts Commission and the City of Portland to ensure a safe transfer of the artwork.

Artists interested in having their materials placed at the Maine Department of Labor should contact the Maine Arts Commission, 193 State Street, 25 State house Station, Augusta, Maine 04330-0025. The phone number is (207) 287-2724.