Artists » Philip Frey

Philip-Frey-plein-airPhilip Frey is a visual artist whose painterly work is focused on the here and now, the feeling or connection to his everyday experience: evocative colors, unexpected light and the sublime quality of ‘ordinary’ objects and surroundings. His work addresses our relationship to visual space and the painting’s surface by gently asking us to observe and to look again and again. He invites us to ‘walk through’ the painting, from dark to light, from enclosed to open spaces, from shape to shape…to enjoy the patterns, forms, colors, brush strokes and marks on the canvas.

My work is about the painting itself, and how all of the elements that create it fit together on the canvas. I am inspired by a feeling, a connection to my everyday experiences: evocative color; unexpected light; and fleeting gestures. Perceptions are the inspiration but the act of painting: the dance between the paint; my tools; my hands; and the surface is the real juice behind my work. It’s about the here and now.

The viewer is drawn to an initial seed of visual inspiration by marks and bits of paint on a journey, partially of their own making, moving through the painting guided by impressions, shapes and colors. In the final analysis, a painting is very complex.

When a painting is going well, there is a palpable feeling of being in the groove, an experience of being present – not thinking about what came before, or what is to come. Essentially, in those carefree, clear and joyful moments, there is ‘no painter’ and ‘no painting.

Frey is a nationally exhibiting artist and has been featured in many publications including:
Art New England, Art of Acadia, Gettysburg Review, Maine Policy Review and the Maine Sunday Telegram. The University of Maine Museum of Art mounted an exhibition of his work in 2016. Currently, his work is held internationally in prominent private and corporate collections including that of writer Harlan Coben, Rep. Chellie Pingree & Donald Sussman, Dick Wolf Films and the University of Maine Museum of Art.

Philip has studied with artist Alan Bray and graduated from Syracuse University in 1990 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in painting. He maintains a full-time studio practice nestled in the woods along the bold coast of downeast Maine and teaches painting workshops each year.

-Philip Frey, 2017

American, 1967, Portland, Maine


BFA (Painting) Cum Laude, Syracuse University, NY, 1990

Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, 1986-1988


Carver Hill Gallery, Frey & Lafuente, Rockland, ME, 2017

University of Maine Museum of Art, Parallels: Philip Frey, Bangor, ME, 2016

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Unexpected Light, Ellsworth, ME, 2016

Maine Art Gallery, New Works, Kennebunk, ME 2015

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, In the Moment, Ellsworth, ME, 2014

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Island Portrait, Ellsworth, ME, 2013

Gleason Fine Art, New Work, Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2012

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, New Work, Ellsworth, ME, 2011

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Maine Harbors, Ellsworth, ME, 2009

The Gallery on Chase Hill, The Works of Philip Frey & Stephan Pastuhov, Kennebunk, ME, 2009

Thos. Moser, Luminous Maine: Reflections of Coastal Life, Freeport, ME, 2008

Shaw Jewelry, Interiors/Exteriors: Frey & Banquer, Northeast Harbor, ME, 2006


Edgewater Gallery, Middlebury, VT, 2017

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Ellsworth, ME, 2006-2017

Maine Art Gallery, Kennebunk, ME, 2008-2017

Greenhut Galleries, Portland, ME, 2001-2004, 14’, 16’, 17’

Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor & Portland, ME, 2010-2016

Bert Gallery, Providence, RI, 2014

University of Maine, Lord Hall Gallery, Orono, ME, 2010

The Firehouse Gallery, Damariscotta, ME, 2003-2009

Shaw Jewelry, Northeast Harbor, ME, 2001-2008

Élan Fine Art, Rockport, ME, 2007

George Marshall Store Gallery, ME, 2006

Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, ME, 2004, ‘09

PO Box 173, Sullivan, ME 04664

(207) 422-2008 | |

Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA, 2003

Clark House Gallery, Bangor, ME, 1998-2001

Argosy Gallery, Bar Harbor, ME, 1997-2000

McGrath Dunham Gallery, Castine, ME, 1996-2000

Between the Muse Gallery, Rockland, ME, 1997

Spring Street Gallery, Belfast, ME, 1997

June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Portland, ME, 1996

Frick Gallery, Belfast, ME, 1994


University of Maine Museum of Art, ME

Harlan Coben, NJ

Frederick Hauck and Susan Bruce, Falmouth, ME

James and Isabelle Katzer, Bedminster, NJ

Rep. Chellie Pingree and Donald Sussman, Washington, DC

Peter and Suzie Kunhardt, NY

George and Susan Schreiber, Naples, FL

Louis Vitali, Kennebunkport, ME

Neil Shister and Cait Clarke, Washington, DC

Acorn Capitol Management, Kennet Square, PA

Company C, Concord, NH

Dick Wolf, Dick Wolf Films, Universal City, CA


Castine Plein Air Festival, First Place Award, 2014

Heliker-LaHotan Foundation Residency, Great Cranberry Island, 2012

Good Idea Grant, Maine Arts Commission, 2004


Burnham, Emily. “Finding Solace in Landscape.” Bangor Daily News, 2016.

Little, Carl, and David Little. Art of Acadia. Down East Books, 2016.

Kany, Daniel. “Greenhut’s Biennial ‘Portland Show’ Sets a Standard.” Portland Press Herald, 2016.

Kinghorn, George. “Regionalism and Contemporary Artists in Maine: Opportunities and Challenges.” Maine Policy Review 24.1, 2015.

Kadour, Ric Kasini. “Philip Frey: Lavish Attention,” exhibition catalog, Maine Art Gallery, 2015.

Little, Carl. “Philip Frey: In the Moment.” Art New England, 2014.

Kany, Daniel. “The Cultural Space of Painting,” exhibition catalog, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, 2014.

Gettysburg Review, Fall 2012.

Little, Carl. “Fresh Ways.” exhibition catalog, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art. 2011.

McAvoy, Suzette. “The Canvas.” Maine Home+Design, 2010.

Maine Home+Design, “One’s to Watch.” 2009.

Maine Home+Design, “Extraordinary Artists Whose Work Reflects Maine’s Timeless Mystique.” 2008.

Little, Carl and Arnold Skolnick. Paintings of Maine: A New Collection. Down East Books, 2006.

Little, Carl and Arnold Skolnick. The Art of Monhegan Island. Down East Books, 2004.


College of the Atlantic, Painting Workshop, 2017

Art Waves, Painting Workshops, 2012-2017

River Arts, Painting Workshops, 2008-2012, ’14, ’16, 17’

University of Maine Museum of Art, Painting & Drawing Workshops, 2008-2012

River Tree Arts, Painting Workshops, 2008, ’12

Maine Alliance for Arts Education, Learning in Community Mentor, 2002-209

Ellsworth High School, Interim Art Teacher, 1998

Swan’s Island School, K-8 Art Teacher, 1998-2002

Ellsworth High School, Artist in Residence, 1996-2000

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