Abbie Read (MFA 1991) recently traveled to Qatar to install one of her large mixed media pieces as a participant in the State Department’s Art In Embassies Program. Her work, along with seven other Maine artists, will remain in Qatar for three years in the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Doha, the capitol city. While there, as an Artist in Residence, she presented a slide show of her work and conducted three workshops relating to her mixed media art practice. The trip lasted five days, during which she was able to see much of Doha, travel into the desert to see Richard Serra’s recent installation, “East, West, West, East”, learn about the culture, meet local citizens and Qatari artists and get a feel for life in a Muslim country.
Read works full time in her studio on Appleton Ridge in Appleton, Maine. She has recently exhibited in Maine and Massachusetts in addition to the opportunity in Qatar. The piece she installed in Doha is called “Library” and is made up of handmade books, old books and book covers, found objects and small constructions she has made. It is part of a larger piece, now 36 feet long, which breaks down into two foot wide panels for transport and installation. The image shown here was taken in the fall of 2013 when “Library” was included in the Portland Museum of Art’s Biennial exhibit “Piece Work.”