Brunswick artist Matt Barter displays a print of “Boatwork.”
The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, a Brunswick-based nonprofit working to support vibrant fisheries and healthy fishermen, is collaborating on a fundraiser with Matthew Barter, a painter and sculptor known for his works depicting fishermen and members of the fishing community.
Barter, of Brunswick, has donated 100 signed prints of one of his paintings to the Fishermen’s Association to raise funds for its Fishermen Wellness Program. The original oil-on-canvas painting, “Boatwork,” captures a scene from South Gouldsboro’s working waterfront.
The prints, on 18-inch-by-24-inch archival paper, are numbered and signed by the artist and can be purchased online at mainecoastfishermen.com/shop.
Proceeds will support the Fishermen Wellness Program, which advocates for resources to support the mental health and well-being of commercial fishermen, and partners with organizations to create opportunities for fishermen to find help, information and support.
“We are immensely proud of this program and thrilled about the partnerships that we’ve been able to create in order to help support Maine’s fishermen,” said Monique Coombs, director of community programs at the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association and head of its Fishermen Wellness Program. “Part of sustaining Maine’s fishing communities for future generations must include providing the resources for better health and well-being of Maine fishermen and their families.”
“Maine fishermen are under an incredible amount of stress, facing an uncertain future,” Coombs said. “It’s important they have access to the resources and support they need to be well and stay safe on and off the water.”
Barter understands the benefits of the program from his personal experience working on a fishing boat off the coast of Maine.
“I wanted to collaborate with Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association on this project because the wellness of Maine fishermen is something that I think about a lot,” Barter said. “When I paint and sculpt, I think about the weight of the traps and the stress on the shoulders of the fishermen as they go out to sea. … I wanted to capture that in my art and I appreciate all the hard work that goes into the fishing industry.”
Barter grew up in Sullivan. He and his family reside in Brunswick, where he operates the Barter Art House, which features his work alongside the work of his father, Philip Barter. An installation of the Barters’ art, “Cantown Company Store,” opened at Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth on June 15.