Gail Spaien is an American artist and educator based in Maine. Her studio practice centers the idea that a painting is an object which transmits touch and emotion from one person to another. This transmission causes connection and exchange. Using a slow painting process, akin to embroidery or quilting, her paintings highlight themes of desire and denial, well-being and mortality, place and time.
Spaien has been the recipient of numerous fellowships including the Varda Artist Residency Program, Millay Colony for the Arts, the Djerassi Foundation Resident Artists Program, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has received grant funding from the Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Artist Advancement Grant, and the Maine Arts Commission. Spaien’s solo exhibitions include Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, ME; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME; Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York, NY; Taymour Grahne Projects, London, UK; and Ellen Miller Gallery in Boston, MA. Group exhibitions include the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA; Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, ME; San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME; the University of New Hampshire Museum, Durham, NH; and studio e gallery, Seattle, WA. Spaien received her BFA from the University of Southern Maine and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. After thirty years as a faculty member at Maine College of Art and Design she is now working full-time in her studio.